This summer, more than 1,500 Key Clubbers from around the world will meet in Washington, D.C., for the 2013 Key Club International convention. Find out what you can discover while you're in "the District"—thanks to these recommendations from 10 Capital District Key Clubbers.
HOLIDAY HOT SPOTS
The Key Club International convention will seem like a blip on the radar in the hustle and bustle of the United States’ capital. Thousands of people will be there to celebrate Independence Day while we celebrate a great year of service. From the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the famous Lincoln Memorial (pictured, above), there is no shortage of history to be admired.
On the Fourth of July, there will be parades, fireworks over the Potomac River and shows playing all around the city. You can stop for lunch at the famous Jumbo Slice for some great pizza or go to Busboys and Poets for a poetry slam during lunch. Grab some fresh blue crab caught in Maryland at the Maine Avenue Fish Market and eat while looking out onto the river.
If you visit Washington D.C., one of the first words you will get used to is “Smithsonian.” The Smithsonian Institute was founded by British scientist James Smithson in 1836. Today, it’s a world-class research institute with 13 museums, galleries and a zoo. Of its 13 museums, the National Museum of Natural History has the most intriguing artifacts. With free admission, it is the most visited natural history museum in the world.
My favorite part about Washington, D.C., is the variety of museums you can visit—for free. The Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art—the list goes on and on. If you are a nerd like me, go in to any of these for a short visit and you will not be disappointed. What’s nice is that everything is reachable by foot. No cars necessary. And don’t forget to stop by Chinatown for some rockin’ traditional Chinese food you won’t find anywhere else.
If the past doesn’t interest you, reflect upon the present. Take a tour of the Capitol Building (pictured, right), where politics and innovations converge in one place. Washington, D.C., not only educates us about the past, but reminds us of the present and builds ideas for the future.
After seeing the city and its breathtaking sights, it’s time to eat. We, the Pizza has great pizza, Good Stuff Eatery has amazing burgers and Ben’s Chili Bowl (pictured, left) has chili dogs that are out of this world! For dessert, go to Georgetown Cupcakes or Crumbs.
Check out the city’s oldest running outdoor market. Located right in the heart of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood, the Eastern Market is filled with stalls of fresh food and produce brought in by farmers from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Looking for a unique souvenir? The market’s plaza is filled with talented local artists.
THE D.C. SCENE
Do you want to be a part of an iconic Washington, D.C. activity? Stick a Frisbee in your luggage! During our stay, when you have a few extra minutes, grab a Key Club friend or two and toss a Frisbee around on the National Mall.
Another big attraction is Jack’s Boathouse (pictured, right), where you can rent a boat and row on the Potomac River. Want something that isn’t too expensive? Take a breath of fresh air on a Washington Walks tour. All tours are just US$15 per person. Themes range from “Memorials by Moonlight” to “The Most Haunted Houses.”
It’s doubtful that Lady Gaga or One Direction will be performing at the Verizon Center during our time at convention, but that doesn't mean you should miss out on the city’s exciting music and theatre experience. Washington, D.C., features plenty of free/affordable live performances. Participate in traditional African drum circles at Meridian Hill Park, listen to jazz at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, or travel back in time to the Elizabethan era with a performance by the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
*All photos courtesy of Destination DC and Jack's Boathouse
What are you most excited about this year's Key Club International convention? Tell us below!