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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

D.C. bucket list: What to look forward to once you’re in town

Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor
When it becomes safe to do so, check out freshman nightlife hallmarks, like Ultra and Decades and crepe joint Crepeaway.

D.C. bucket list: What to look forward to once you’re in town

You might not get a full campus feel this fall, but there’s a laundry list of places to look forward to visiting once you’re living in the District.

On campus, get excited for 2 a.m. trips to a creperia or study breaks on the National Mall. On weekends, jot down these Georgetown shops and Dupont Circle restaurants to visit.


This seemingly ordinary crepe shop is a freshman hot spot after a late night on the town. 

While the sweet and savory crepes are delectable, people usually venture to Crepeaway to dance on tables late at night and meet up with peers you lost at some point throughout the evening. Whether you’re craving a crepe for lunch or need something sweet to end a night out with friends, Crepeaway has you covered.

2001 L St. NW, Sunday through Wednesday 11:30 to 12 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.

The National Mall

One of the highlights of living on campus is your proximity to the monuments. The Mall is just a 20-minute walk from the heart of the Foggy Bottom campus.

Consider picking up a bike or electric scooter to roam around the monuments, or go for a walk or run with friends. If you run down the Reflecting Pool and around the Tidal Basin across the street, you’re guaranteed a solid four-mile loop. You could also head to the Mall with friends for an evening picnic, or wake up early to see the sunrise over Capitol Hill. 

20-minute walk from campus.

Smithsonian Museums 

Ranging from the National Museum of Natural History to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, you can get a whole other education outside your classes. 

These free museums are situated along the National Mall, about a 30-minute walk from campus. If you don’t feel like walking, you can take the Metro from the Foggy Bottom station to the Smithsonian station. The museums are one of the more touristy spots in D.C., but you can still find students roaming around the National Mall on weekends. 

National Mall, take the Metro to Smithsonian station.

Freshman nightlife: Ultra and Decades

If there are any two clubs to choose from when you arrive as a freshman, it should be Ultra and Decades.

Ultrabar plays a mixed variety of music, like EDM, while Decades is a retro-themed club that plays music from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and the early 2000s. Students 18 years or older can get into Decades on Thursdays, while you can get into Ultrabar Thursday through Saturday as an 18-year-old.

Ultrabar, 911 F St. NW. Take the Metro to Metro Center station, and walk five minutes to the club.

Decades, 1219 Connecticut Ave. NW. Take the Metro to Farragut West station and walk eight minutes to the club.

GW Delicatessen

As a freshman, you may have trouble figuring out where to spend your GWorld, but the GW Deli should be a go to spot for breakfast and lunch sandwiches.  

The deli is conveniently located next to Funger Hall and behind Gelman Library, so you can grab a bite to each in between studying and class. But make sure you have some time on your hands – there’s usually a line out the door in the morning. Some of its most popular eats include the bacon and egg sandwich ($4.50), the chicken salad sandwich ($6.95) and the BLT ($5.95). 

2133 G St. NW, Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

18th Street in Adams Morgan

For a range of restaurants, cafés, bakeries and bars, add 18th Street in Adams Morgan to your bucket list. 

This street is typically bustling with activity. You can head to Songbyrd, a music house and café, and enjoy live music with an appetizer. Right next door, lounge on a sofa with friends at the coffeehouse Tryst. Down the street, you can check out the bar Town Tavern, which doubles as a comedy club on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

18th Street NW from Florida Avenue NW to Columbia Road NW, 10 minute Uber from campus or take the Metro from Foggy Bottom to Woodley Park and walk five minutes to 18th Street


Just about a 10-minute walk from campus, the historic Georgetown area is home to clothing stores, restaurants, dessert shops and gyms.

M Street, at the heart of Georgetown, is lined with clothing stores like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Lululemon. After doing some shopping, you can choose from Italian cuisine to Spanish tapas at restaurants like il Canale, Filomena and Bodega. Afterward, head to the infamous Thomas Sweet, an ice cream shop frequented by former President Barack Obama. 

Seven-minute walk from campus.

The National Portrait Gallery

Complete with paintings of Barack and Michelle Obama, the National Portrait Gallery should be at the top of your list of museums to visit.

The gallery is made up of a large courtyard and four floors that are each dedicated to different elements of American history. You can visit an exhibit filled with portraits of every former U.S. president, or explore artwork from hundreds of Time magazines. In addition to perusing the portraits, you can spend hours in its courtyard studying or grabbing a bite to eat.

8th Street NW & F Street NW, take the Metro to Metro Center station and walk three minutes to reach the gallery, free.

First Fridays in Dupont Circle 

Get a taste of the District’s art scene at First Fridays in Dupont Circle.

On the first Friday of every month, dozens of art galleries around Dupont open up to the public and allow everyone – not just collectors – to talk to the artists and experience their work. You can round off the night by stopping at a restaurant in the Dupont area, like Pizzeria Paradiso, Cafe Citron and Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe.

Dupont Circle, take the Metro to Dupont Circle station or walk 12 minutes from campus.

Library of Congress 

If you are ever bored of studying in Gelman Library, you can always pack up your books and head to the Library of Congress. 

Once you get there, pick up a library card so you can read books at your leisure. This picturesque library is made up of three buildings on Capitol Hill – the Thomas Jefferson Building, the James Madison Memorial Building and the John Adams Building. Each building contains reading rooms and exhibitions you can explore, read or study in for hours. 

101 Independence Ave. SE, take the Metro to Capitol South station and walk seven minutes to the library, Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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