When I think of cars, several questions pop into my mind. For starters: Why? Then after that: For what? Must we? Are we sure? Gas prices are absolutely helping that argument. With the $4.50 a gallon and traffic and parking, why drive at all? The Metro can be a great alternative, but it’s going through a…thing…right now. Even when it’s at 7,000% capacity there are so many amazing parts of the city that the Metro doesn’t touch. But why take the car when you can take the bus? With over 11,000 stops and 1,600 buses, it can get you to a ton of amazing destinations. Here are some of my favorites.
For bus route references and directions visit here.
Bus: 60, 62, 63, 64, 70, 79, H8
The whole of Upshur Avenue is an adorable little commercial block tucked in Petworth. My favorite spot is Cookie Wear, a boutique store that sells fun and alternative fashion for both men and women. The store sells everything from graphic tees to backpacks to sunglasses — many of which are homemade by owner Michelle “Noodles” Smith. They even sell hand-painted transom suitcases and skateboards. While in the area also check out Fia’s Fabulous Finds two doors down. This gently used clothing store is packed to the gills. Make sure you stop for a coffee at Loyalty Bookstore or a pizza at Timber Pizza. 810 Upshur St. NW, DC; @cookie_wear
Bus: 13A, 17, 23A, 23B, 83, F4, F8
Franklins is a delightful microbrewery offering incredible beer and amazing food smack dab in downtown Hyattsville. I went here on a date on the coldest day of January, yet the welcoming atmosphere quickly warmed us up. Follow up with the delicious food and libations at its attached toy store. This general store is like Cracker Barrel on steroids. It’s filled with fun and unique knickknacks for you, your friends or your white elephant gift exchanges. 5123 Baltimore Ave. Hyattsville, MD;
franklinsbrewery.com // @franklinsbrewery
Freddie’s Beach Bar
Bus: 10A, 23A, 23B
When my gaudily-dressed ass walks into this bar, I essentially become camouflaged. This entire restaurant and bar in Crystal City looks like all of its decorations came from an Oriental Trading magazine. That is hundo p a compliment. This LGBTQ+ establishment features incredible deals throughout the week and events like karaoke, lip syncs and its drag show on Saturdays. 555 23rd St. S Arlington, VA; freddiesbeachbar.com // @freddiesbeachbar
Bus: D32, L2, H2, H4
This is where my chosen brothers and I take our picnic to the next level. This sprawling estate on businesswoman Marjorie Merriweather Post’s historic grounds features many gorgeous green spots to lounge with a deli sandwich. The property includes a greenhouse, a giant lawn, and a hillside Japanese Garden. But there’s also history to explore in the main mansion. Tour the twists and turns of this mansion-turned-museum filled with apparel and art owned by Mrs. Post herself. 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, DC; hillwoodmuseum.org // @hillwoodmuseum
Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens
Bus: U7, R12, V2, V4, V14, W4
Another garden where you can truly lose yourself. This Northeast garden offered me so much peace to journal and reflect. It’s easy to reflect when so many ponds and bridges allow for picturesque views right out of a Rembrandt. This National Park allows for viewing of beavers, turtles and a buttload of flowers. And if you’re into bird watching? Welcome to heaven, you nerds. The National Park Service reports nearly 250 species chill in the gardens throughout the year. 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE, DC;
nps.gov/keaq // @kenilworthnps
Bus: 52, 54, 59, H8, S2, S9
Get a fistful of quarters ready and get ready to take a bumper. Nestled just north of the main, boring Columbia Heights is a great strip of more local, gritty locations. Lyman’s Tavern features a rotating stock of retro pinball machines. Games include properties like “Ghostbusters,” “Rick and Morty” and, if you’re feeling naughty, “Star Wars: A Phantom Menace.” After you’ve hit game over, stuff your face with their large selection of beer and beer bites — particularly their selection of specialty hot dogs. 3720 14th St. NW, DC; lymanstaverndc.com // @lymanstavern
Bus: 90, 92, A33, B2, P6, V2
Nothing is more comforting and cozy than a local bookstore and this one has a mission behind it. MahoganyBooks is a family-owned independent store that focuses on literature written for, by or about people of the African diaspora. Why order online via Amazon when you can go in and get personal recommendations amongst thousands of titles from their incredible staff? 1231 Good Hope Rd. SE, DC; mahoganybooks.com // @mahoganybooks
Anacostia River Tours
I will absolutely be hitting it up this summer. What a great date idea. These educational tours will teach you about all the environmental diversity and history of the underappreciated river. You can take either a motorboat or canoe tours along the shores of the river. The best part? The tours are free.
Various locations in D.C.; doee.dc.gov/service/boattours
Prime Thrift Georgia Avenue
Bus: 54, 70, 79, E4, S2
Clothes are one of the main ways I express myself. I love going out and finding new outfits to wear but I prefer bargains to bank-breaking. Prime Thrift Georgia Avenue is an honest-to-goodness thrift store in D.C. The racks? Packed. The atmosphere? Chaotic. The finds? Amazing. The prices: ICONIC. Jackets for seven bucks. Suits for 20. Furniture for 15. You will always find something here. Hell, this yellow striped jacket was just chilling at the end of the shelving destined for me to find. Find your next favorite outfit here. 6101 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; primethrift.com/pages/washington-dc
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.