Good times in D.C.
May 17, 2007 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for a fun, relaxing time with my future in-laws in the Washington, D.C. area this weekend?

My fiance's parents are coming in town this weekend. Last weekend was their son's wedding, so they are a bit tired and could use some relaxation. Any ideas for activities? They aren't much for the outdoors/hiking thing, and not that interested in the monuments or historic Virginia. They are from Florida, enjoy a good time. They've talked about the possibility of going gambling in Atlantic City. Any gambling spots closer to D.C.? Any ideas for a day spa in the area? Many thanks.
posted by buddha9090 to Society & Culture (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well...I know you said they aren't so into the outdoors, but a walk along the C+O canal is flat, short, and beautiful. I've done it with my grandpa.
posted by HeroZero at 7:27 PM on May 17, 2007

Gambling in Atlantic City doesn't exactly sound relaxing, but if they proposed it then go right ahead.

If it's nice out, I'd say just head into the mall area and spend a day strolling around. You don't have to specifically check out the monuments or museums if they're not interested, but it's always bustling around there and kind of nice to just walk around looking and people and things. Afterward you can take them somewhere nice for dinner. Wholesome and relaxing.
posted by Caper's Ghost at 7:35 PM on May 17, 2007

There's a MeFi meetup! Oh, relaxing... well, in that case...

The West Virginia tourism board would have you believe that DC people go gamble in Charlestown, which is about two hours away.

They aren't interested in museums? I mean, that seems like the obvious thing to do in DC.
posted by phrontist at 7:41 PM on May 17, 2007

There's racetracks and slots about 2 hours away (I'm just drawing a blank where they are... Pimlico?)

There's a Greek festival in DC this weekend, if that sounds interesting.
posted by inigo2 at 7:42 PM on May 17, 2007

On second thought, it's about an hour and a half.
posted by phrontist at 7:42 PM on May 17, 2007

Charles Town Races and Slots is a booming casino located about an hour from DC. Charles Town, West Virginia.

See if some great show is playing at the Kennedy Center. Maybe you will get lucky to get a ticket.

Or Baltimore Inner Harbor. A treat for any age.
posted by JayRwv at 7:43 PM on May 17, 2007

there's also slots in certain counties in southern Delaware, east of DC.
posted by destro at 9:26 PM on May 17, 2007

Best answer: I usually bring all guests into the city for a few hours, at least if they have never been before. There is no need to "do" the monuments, you can take in the sights and sounds of the city with a leisurely stroll that allows you to talk and people-watch at the same time.

I usually drive in and park at Jefferson, stroll around the Tidal Basin to the memorial itself, and look at the Pentagon/Air Force Memorial from the steps of Jefferson. Then walk the W side of the Tidal Basin (through Roosevelt) over to Lincoln to people watch/take pictures from the steps. Walk on the S side along the Reflecting Pool to go through Korea (or go to the N side for Vietnam) to WWII and from there you can see both the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Plus, now you are almost back to your car. It's an hour if you walk fast, two if you stroll, and you get to see pretty much all of the memorials without rushing around. It's can be either a mellow vibe or touristy, depending mostly on the weather.

After that, go down to either Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria and find a nice place to sit, drink, talk, and people-watch. Georgetown itself can be fun, just walking around, particularly if you also spend some time walking along the C&O Canal.

Another option is a boat tour on the Potomac from the wharf in Georgetown.

I wouldn't recommend going to Atlantic City for the day. The road from DC tends to be crowded on the weekend, and it isn't all that even to begin with. With the exception of the Borgata it tends to be pretty run-down and smoke infested IMO. Charlestown might work, although I've never been.

The Baltimore Inner Harbor and Aquarium is nice and relaxing too, I also recommend it.

If you are anywhere northeast of D.C, and want to do something crazy and cheesy, there's always Medieval Times in Arundle Mills. I take my overseas visitors there for total immersion in American shopping excess, and it's always a hit.
posted by gemmy at 9:54 PM on May 17, 2007

Best answer: There's a Greek festival in DC this weekend, if that sounds interesting.

Y'all should stop on by St Sophia's! It's a beautiful place, right next door to the National Cathedral. Plus the food's a lot better. I mean, Feta-burger or a thin wafer? Come and eat!

(I'll be serving Sunday. Didn't know there was a meet-up.)
posted by now i'm piste at 11:30 PM on May 17, 2007

It's Preakness weekend in Baltimore - traffic will be horrible at Pimlico on Saturday. Unless you're willing to spend $275 a person, there's always the infield (shudder) and it's still $60 pp.

2 hours away is Delaware Park but they're having a buffet for $6.95 & simulcasting the Preakness on Saturday. There's also racing there on Sunday.

River Cruises is a bit pricey and they're probably sold out for the weekend but the food's great & it's relaxing to just sit and watch the city go by.
posted by jaimystery at 3:25 AM on May 18, 2007

I can't believe people are recommending Baltimore. There is so much to do in DC.

You don't say if they've been to DC before...? If not, a tour of the Mall is a must, even if it's just in a car (or cab!), to help them get their bearings. Do a little research so you're a knowledgeable tour guide, which makes it far more interesting.

The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle is a gorgeous private art museum in an old historic house. Even for non-museumers, it's a manageable size, some recognizable pieces, and right near Mark & Orlandos on P Street, which does a wonderful early dinner that's casual but sophisticated, or a dozen other small neighborhood restaurants within two blocks. Walk across the Circle - lots of good people-watching. Windowshop. Go to Kramerbooks, and don't skip the ice cream up the block at Larry's Homemade Ice Cream on Connecticut.

Go to Eastern Market. With the recent fire, one of my favorite weekend activities has changed forever, but it's still a wonderful way to get the flavor of the city with fun things to do (shopping! flea markety!), and again, great restaurants nearby on the Hill.

Go to a Nats game! RFK is a dump, but they're playing the O's this weekend, and that's going to be a fun crowd. You can always get tickets, and it's right near the Metro - or $11 to park, I think. Easy to get back to the Hill for dinner.

Take them to the Zoo! It's great for a leisurely, mostly shady walk. A few blocks away, Dino is great for a family lunch, or just grab a slice (or a hoagie) at Vace.

St Sophias is always fun, and you can walk up to the National Cathedral. Have lunch at Cafe Deluxe or 2 Amys.

The C&O canal really is a lovely walk, and Georgetown is chock-a-block with window shopping.

Really, so much to do right here, no need to drive up to the Inner Harbor...
posted by nkknkk at 3:26 AM on May 18, 2007

Yikes, I'm not as anti-Baltimore as my post made me sound! Guess I'm just feeling a little protective of my town this morning.
posted by nkknkk at 3:30 AM on May 18, 2007

Just as a warning -- if you want to eat out some place nice in Georgetown or the vicinity this weekend, you may be out of luck. Georgetown University has its commencement this weekend, so many of the high-end restaurants in Georgetown are booked solid.
posted by armage at 4:59 AM on May 18, 2007

nkknkk -

The zoo can be a leisurely walk, but it's built on a steep hill, so it can also be exhausting.
posted by grateful at 6:59 AM on May 18, 2007

Grateful - you're right. It's a bit hilly, especially (if I recall) if you're interested in the avian exhibit, and the walk up from the parking lot can be a bear (ha ha). Once you're up there, though, most of the big animals are on relatively flat ground.
posted by nkknkk at 11:05 AM on May 18, 2007

I was going to recommend the greek festival too! Yum yum yum! I'm going to miss it and am really bummed.

The zoo is also a really good choice, and then you're at least in the same part of town as the greek festival and cathedral. You could also stay around there and check out the museum at American University and/or get some sort of spa treatment somewhere at Friendship Heights.

I've been wanting to try that cool double-decker bus that's been going all around town lately. Seems very low-key and I think they just point out all the cool stuff while you sit and enjoy the ride.
posted by ml98tu at 11:15 AM on May 18, 2007

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