Guide For Thanksgiving Weekend Visitors To Washington DC

November 16, 2013 7:00 AM

(Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving in the nation’s capital can be a great trip. There’s so much to see and do in DC, but here are the top five places to hit to experience all that DC has to offer over your extended weekend.

Leesburg Midnight Madness
241 Fort Evans Road N.W.
Leesburg, VA 20176
(703) 737-3071

Black Friday used to start on Friday, but every year it gets earlier and earlier to meet the needs of Washingtonians wanting to grab some great deals. Leesburg Outlets is a great place to knock out all of your holiday shopping on Black Friday, but this year it will be open on Thanksgiving Day. After you’ve finished your turkey feast, stave off the food coma by heading over to the outlets, which will open Thursday, November 28 at 6 p.m. and remain open until 10 p.m. on Friday. This popular event means a full parking lot, so line up early to get a good spot.

Trot for Hunger
Freedom Plaza
13th St. N.W. and Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 797-8806

Date: Nov. 28, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

Burn some calories before the giant holiday feast with the 12th annual Trot for Hunger. This 5k fun run or walk on Thanksgiving Day is not just a great way to get out and exercise, it’s a great way to give back. The proceeds from the charity run go to SOME, which stands for So Others May Eat. This local charity is dedicated to feeding and clothing the DC homeless population. It also works to do job training and treat the medically ill. The race is $25 for an untimed participant and $30 for a timed participant.

Smithsonian Museums
1000 Jefferson Drive S.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 633-1000

The Smithsonian Museums are world renowned for their collections of historical artifacts, research, documents and art housed in the 19 museums and galleries. All free and open to the public, they are the perfect place to spend the day exploring. Some of the more popular museums include the National Gallery of Art, Natural History Museum, American History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. Be sure to check out the documents of our founding fathers and give thanks for our freedom at the National Archives. Wear comfortable shoes because most of the museums are within walking distance of each other flanking the National Mall.

Related: A Guide to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Skyline Drive
Shenandoah National Park
Skyline Drive at Route 340
Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 999-3500

For a relaxing drive, head over to the Shenandoah Mountains where you can meander your way down the 105 miles of road on Skyline Drive. There are 75 overlooks to stop off at and view the rolling hills of Virginia’s countryside. In November when the leaves have turned, the fall foliage is breathtaking to behold. Pack a picnic and take a day hike to work off those calories on one of the many miles of trails, including the Appalachian Trail. You’ll be glad you did.

Drag Brunch
Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-6355

For a buffet brunch with a little entertainment on the side, check out DC’s popular drag queen-hosted brunch at Nellie’s Sports Bar in the U Street area. Every Sunday, the queens strut their stuff and talk smack in this interactive and always hilarious brunch. The all-you-care-to-eat brunch buffet is $24 and includes your first mimosa. There are also specials on Bloody Marys as well. Reservations are highly recommended as this popular event fills up quickly.

Related: Walking Tour Of Washington DC’s Shaw Neighborhood

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

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