9 Unexpected Spring Experiences in Georgetown

Spring’s arrived in Georgetown, and so should you! From Canal boat rides, to thought-provoking outdoor art, French festivals, patio dining, waterfront parks, and new restaurants, cocktail bars, and cute boutiques, it’s time to emerge from your winter hibernation and branch out.

Walking Under a Canopy of Blossoms

Georgetown is celebrating DC’s cherry blossom season with its annual Book Hill in Bloom promotional event, March 20 – April 17. More than 15 small businesses on upper Wisconsin Avenue are participating by decorating their storefronts with pink and cherry blossom-themed decorations and offering special promotions – from 50% off jewelry, to cherry blossom cocktails and kids’ crafts. A few blocks north of Book Hill at 1703 32nd St NW, stroll cherry tree-lined gardens and walkways at the 10-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate – one of DC’s best-kept cherry blossom secrets. Set on a slope at the bottom of the garden, Cherry Hill is a mixture of cherry species, including Prunus sargentii, Prunus subhirtella, and Prunus x yedoensis. All the Instagrammable cherry blossoms, without all the Tidal Basin crowds!

Taking a Canal Boat Ride

All aboard Georgetown Heritage’s new C&O Canal boat! Boat rides are available five days a week starting April 29, offering one-hour guided historical tours of the first mile of the Canal. Learn about the fascinating history, technology and culture of the Canal, and the surprising stories of the people who lived, worked and played here over the past two centuries. Experience one of the most visited national park sites in the country in a new way. Boat ride tickets are on sale now!

Taking a Seat on Public Art

ABCDC by Takoma Park, Md.-based artist Jesse Kirsch was created for the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s 2021 public art exhibition, Art In Bloom. This beautiful sculpture now has a permanent home in Georgetown, and currently resides in the small park in front of 1666 Wisconsin Ave NW. Inspired by antique wood type from the world of letterpress and the alphabetized streets of Washington, DC, each letterform has a unique shape and history – much like the city, its iconic cherry blossoms, and its people. A hidden message among the jumble of letters aims to bring viewers hope for a better day to come. Take a seat, snap a picture, and tag @OfficialGeorgetownDC!

Drinking in "the Room Where it Happened"

The Fountain Inn opened this spring in Book Hill, featuring a rare spirits tasting room with historic roots. Originally established in 1783 by clockmaker John Suter, The Fountain Inn was one of the most important taverns in American history – where Thomas Jefferson drank, George Washington slept, and city plans were made. The Georgetown bar also hosted the debate between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams during the election of 1800, for all you Hamilton fans. Although the exact location of the original tavern is unknown, the new Fountain Inn pays homage to its spirit and history. Over 250+ unique spirit expressions are on the menu, in addition to featured flights like A Presidential Palate and An Agave Adventure. Craft cocktail highlights include Fish House Punch and Syllabub, the latter dating back to 1600. Beer, wine, and zero-proof cocktails are also available, plus a charcuterie and cheese board. Upstairs, a private dining and rare spirits experience can be booked for up to 14 people.

Rethinking the Climate

In celebration of Earth Day, the Kennedy Center is hosting a global documentary photography exhibition called “COAL + ICE” – educating visitors about climate change through an arts and culture lens. As an off-shoot of that exhibit, the Georgetown BID was selected to work with COAL + ICE’s art partners, Dysturb and Magnum Foundation, to display a #ReframeClimate public art photo campaign in Georgetown through April 22. Visit the four locations on the map to view eight large-scale photographs – each with an interactive prompt, allowing the viewer to hear the story behind the image from their phone.

Eating Croissants at a French Festival

Bonjour, carbs! The 19th annual Georgetown French Market returns April 29 – May 1. This popular open-air market – originally inspired by the outdoor markets in France – features sidewalk sales and specials of up to 75% off from more than 30 locally-owned boutiques, cafés, and galleries along Wisconsin Avenue from O St to Reservoir Rd. – plus a caricature artist, live music, stilt-walkers, and more. Neighborhood restaurants will also offer specials and festive fare, including French pastries, croissants, cakes, and macarons, and lunch items from an outdoor grill. Visit our dedicated French Market website for the full list of participating businesses, and more information!

Meditating Near the Key Bridge

Toward the western end of Georgetown Waterfront Park, you can get your meditation on with a few laps around the labyrinth – funded by an organization that promotes urban green spaces to facilitate community healing. Work your way from the outer edge along a circular path to the center and quiet your mind. One lap for every day since March 2020 should do the trick.

Watching an Artist at Work

The new StudioLab RD is helmed by DC-based contemporary abstract artist Robin Davisson, who left her career as an award-winning biomedical scientist to follow her passion for art and painting. Studio visitors can browse available art, flip through Robin’s art library, and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea on the studio’s sun-filled street level. Upstairs, guests can watch Robin at work, from testing ideas in her sketchbook and prepping canvases, to mixing and applying paints. Robin will be accessible during open studio hours (Wed – Sat, 11 am – 5 pm) to chat and explore the creative process together.

Visiting Europe Via Cady's Alley

Tucked away just one block south of bustling M Street, Cady’s Alley feels like you’ve been transported to a quiet European village (without involving TSA). The charming cobblestone alley is home to more than 20 home furnishing showrooms, fashion and specialty boutiques nestled in a cluster of historic industrial buildings. Nestled in between the showrooms, Kafe Leopold serves Austrian fare, from schnitzel to strudel, on its patio. A few doors down, you can also grab some of the best treats in town at District Doughnut. For a real show, order the creme brulee doughnut and watch them torch it to perfection.

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