9 Unexpected Summer Experiences in Georgetown

This season, there’s so much heating up in Georgetown – from last call to curtain call, and boats, brews, and scenic views.

Taking a Ride Through History

All aboard Georgetown Heritage’s new C&O Canal boat! Boat rides are available five days a week through October, 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. (A crowd favorite involves mule poop and children running around barefoot). Experience one of the most visited national park sites in the country in a new way.

Grabbing a Front-Row Seat to Fun

For the first time in its 17-year history, The Capital Fringe Festival is coming to Georgetown. More than 250 theatre artists will be performing sketch comedy, stand-up, documentary theatre, musical theatre, and cabaret July 14-17 and 21-24 at Georgetown Park. Themes reflect what’s happening in the world, from the climate crisis, to our relationship with our bodies, and motherhood. (Photo by Andrew Bossi)

Watching a Movie Under the Stars

Hey you guys! (Had to start with a Goonies reference for this one.) Join the Georgetown BID on Tuesday nights this August and September for our free outdoor movie series in Georgetown Waterfront Park, with the Kennedy Center to your left, the Key Bridge to your right, and the Potomac River behind a giant movie screen. Films start at sunset – around 8:30/8:45 pm – but arrive early to grab something to eat at a nearby restaurant and get the best seating. All movies include closed captioning. Our 2022 theme is “Fan Favorites”, featuring The Goonies (8/2), Encanto (8/9), Bridesmaids (8/16), Black Panther (8/23), Summer of Soul (8/30), and Knives Out (9/6).

Kayaking on the Potomac

It’s that time of year to get your sea legs – or, in this case, river legs. Bring the whole family to Key Bridge Boathouse or Thompson Boat Center and rent kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes by the hour or day. Tours and classes are also available. Paddleboard or boat past the Georgetown Waterfront, Roosevelt Island, some of DC’s most stunning monuments and under the beautiful Key Bridge. Or, you can kayak and board your way up river to the C&O Canal for a relaxing day of tranquility.

Raising a Glass Under the Freeway

Across the street from Georgetown Waterfront Park, The Berliner features German brats and beers, and an atmosphere that will make you forget you’re in DC. The industrial beer hall is under The Whitehurst Freeway, with garage doors that open on beautiful days for both indoor and outdoor seating. If you’re feeling ambitious, grab a stein and unwind after hitting one of the bike trails just a few feet away – recently named as some of the best in the world by the New York Times. More than 20 Georgetown streateries offer additional outdoor dining and drinking options, as well as the waterfront restaurants at Washington Harbour.

Sipping Cocktails on a Rooftop

Some of the best-kept secrets in DC (until now) are the rooftops at two Georgetown hotels, Rosewood Washington, DC and The Graham Georgetown. Both are open to the public and ideal locations to see the city and its monuments from a unique vantage point, while enjoying al fresco dining and drinks on plush furniture, watching sunsets over the Potomac, and moving to the beats of after-hours DJs. If you’re in town for the 4th of July, skip the crowds on the National Mall and watch the fireworks from above.

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.

Cooling Off at Waterfront Park

The 10-acre Georgetown Waterfront Park is the perfect place to play, picnic, and feed the ducks on the waterfront steps. Running through the large fountain is a summertime favorite, and the nearby labyrinth provides a little more calm. On summer nights, you may even catch an impromptu musical performance.

Discovering Secret Gardens & Patios

Known for its antique stores, art galleries, independent boutiques and buttery croissants, the historic Book Hill neighborhood is home to more than 50 small businesses, the heart of which are along the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Wisconsin Avenue. Lesser known are its hidden backyard patios and gardens, perfect for a quiet and picturesque escape. Enjoy a cappuccino and apricot tart on Patisserie Poupon’s patio, or dinner under the garden lights at City Sliders. If you’re here to shop, Pretty Chic has discounted clothing racks and consignment finds under its backyard garden tent. A few blocks down the hill, Boulangerie Christophe’s back patio features a hidden mural.

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