Five Reasons to Visit D.C. this Summer

May 10, 2014 8:00 AM

Supreme Court Likely To Allow Muslim Inmate To Grow Out Beard (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s summer in the city! Sure, you can go the tourist route and see the monuments and museums. Or you can check out one of these five reasons to visit DC and make this year a summer to remember.

NoMa Beer Fest
1250 First St., N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 289-0111

The NoMa Beer Fest is a free outdoor festival featuring numerous local brewers and restaurants and their best brews and food, live entertainment and fun stuff for the kids. Grab your friends and play a round of corn hole or bocce ball or check out local DC entertainers as they take on the stage. Kid-friendly activities include face painting and arts and crafts. Friendly leashed dogs are also welcome. Admission to the event is free however tickets are required to sample the beer. Tickets are available at the event or online. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online to avoid long lines. The 2013 inaugural event was a huge hit, attracting more than 5,000 people. Check the website for this summer’s festival dates.

Half St. and M St., S.E.
Washington, DC 20003

Have you caught the food truck fever yet? If so, then check out Truckeroo, an event that features more than 20 local food trucks plus live music, cool drinks and fun games. Enjoy delicious foods like lobster, empanadas, cupcakes, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. Each Truckeroo event, which take place at certain days each month from April through October, also features live music all day, drinks from the Nationals Park Bullpen, corn hole and other fun games plus plenty of space and shade to enjoy your meal. Admission is free. Click here for this summer’s dates.

Related: Best Bars With a Rotating Beer Menu in Washington DC

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
900 Ohio Drive, S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 633-1000

Held outdoors on the National Mall, this annual festival celebrates cultural traditions from around the world. The event features a variety of events including daily and evening programs, arts and crafts, live entertainment, sports, food, concerts and workshops. Learn about the creativity, heritage and culture of China or watch craftspeople from Kenya build crafts from a variety of objects including clay, soapstone and recycled materials. Launched in 1967, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is recognized as the largest cultural event in the area. The festival also features a marketplace where guests can purchase arts, crafts and music from exhibitors from around the world. This year’s festival will be held June 25-29 and July 2-6.

Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle
Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. between 9th and 14th St.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 488-6990

What better way to ring in the summer season than with a good barbecue battle? The 22nd annual Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle, held June 21-22, 2014, features delicious barbecue and other grilled treats from all around the country, plus fun interactive events, contests and non-stop family-friendly entertainment. Swing by the Safeway sampling pavilion where you will find free food samples, celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, talent shows and other fun events, or grab a bite from the BBQ Boulevard featuring tasty treats from local restaurants like Smoke Shack BBQ, Harry’s Smokehouse or the Tender Rib. Proceeds from the battle help support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

Related: Best Late-Night Activities Beyond Bars In The DC Area

DC Jazz Festival
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044
(301) 780-9300

Check out some of the greatest performers of jazz and adult contemporary music, including Chaka Kahn, the O’Jays, Faith Evans and John Legend, at the 22nd annual DC Jazz Festival held June 6-8, 2014. Featuring nearly 30 artists, the festival also features a two-hour tribute to the legendary George Duke, recognized as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer for jazz and popular mainstream music. Be sure to check out the marketplace, showcasing arts and crafts from local, national and international exhibitors, as well as the food court, artist workshops, a late night dance party and meet-and-greet sessions. Talent lineup, tickets, directions and hotel information is available online.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at