20 Ways to Be Active and Healthy in D.C. This Summer

(photo by Avery Shackelford)
(photo by Avery Shackelford)

Washington, D.C. is a hub of activity come summertime, and it seems as though every weekend the city has a festival, concert or sporting event to attend. But in addition to pounding back pints of craft beer during Brew at the Zoo, or devouring a Ben’s Chili Bowl while watching the Nationals, check out our suggestions for how to have an active and healthy D.C. summer. You’ll have plenty of fun marking off items on this summer bucket list while also maintaining your fitness and nutrition goals.

Join a Class



Warm summer weather draws out the social butterfly in us all. But this month, instead of sticking to your regular bar-hopping routine, mix it up by breaking a sweat and meeting some new people at one of the various fitness classes around the city. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a biker, hiker or yoga extraordinaire.

1. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D (and vino) with Pilates on the Patio led by instructor Chauna Bryant. After this 45-minute class gets your blood pumping, cool down with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine.

2. Are you a seasoned yogi? Soar to new heights with your routine by taking an aerial yoga class at Spark Yoga. A basic class for “first-time fliers” will teach you the fundamentals.

3. If you’re afraid of heights, try yoga and brunch instead, offered at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown. For $49 you get an hour of Vinyasa yoga in the hotel’s Urban Garden plus a gourmet brunch on the terrace featuring bottomless mimosas.

4. Pick up the pace this summer and join a group ride with The Bike Rack. The full-service store offers two rides every Saturday — one for beginners and one for advanced cyclists — so you can participate no matter your level.



5. Love hiking and yoga? Combine both with a Yoga Hike session in Rock Creek Park and surrounding nature trails. The 90-minute class includes three 15-minute “YogaStops” in a scenic setting with stretches of hiking in between.

6. Every Tuesday and Thursday, rain or shine, The North Face offers free Mountain Athletics classes in D.C. parks. These social but grueling workouts aim to help you reach your fitness goals, whether you’re a skiier, climber or outdoor adventure seeker.

Walk to Dinner



What’s a more perfect summer activity than taking an evening stroll? This month, go for a walk with a date or friends to the local D.C. restaurant in your neighborhood. Or, skip desert and burn some calories by walking after you eat. We recommend heading to one of these outdoor eateries that are serving up delicious, wholesome meals that capture the spirit of summertime.

7. Find farm-to-fork dining at Farmers Fishers Bakers, situated on the Georgetown Waterfront. This restaurant whips up made-from-scratch meals with locally grown, fresh ingredients.

8. Located in Old Town Alexandria, Jackson 20 uses local ingredients and seasonal menus. Chefs are more than willing to accommodate for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets.

9. Vinoteca offers small plates made with wholesome, organic foods and artisanal wines. Spend a few hours at its outdoor bar and patio or bocce court.



10. With gluten-free options, fresh seasonal salads and Mediterranean cuisine, Lebanese Taverna offers an exotic twist on healthful eating.

11. Cashion’s Eat Place offers plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, including the market vegetable of the day and market potato of the day. Plates are made from local meat and produce and change with the season.

12. At the Hilton Hotel in McLean, härth is offering sustainable, eco-friendly meals to guests and residents of the D.C. area. Dining on the outdoor patio completes the experience of eating farm-fresh foods.



13. Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town Alexandria is a charming eco-friendly eatery with menu items like farm pork chop and local watermelon salad.

Explore the City



14. Take a morning to wander through one of D.C.’s 13 farmer’s markets, known collectively as FRESHFARM Markets. Individual markets often have events on Saturdays, like jazz concerts and chef demonstrations. Don’t forget to bring home some healthy fruits and veggies.

15. Be a tourist in your own city and spend the day visiting D.C.’s historic landmarks. You might just walk farther and sweat more than you would in a typical workout!

16. Speaking of historic monuments, frisbee on the National Mall, anyone? The D.C. Meetup group is co-ed and welcomes all levels of experience.

17. Venture out of the urban jungle and find some peace and serenity at Great Falls Park, an 800-acre green space just 15 miles from the capital. Hike, bike, climb or boat for a vigorous and scenic workout.



18. Get the ultimate workout on the water with standup paddle boarding at Key Bridge Boathouse. You can also rent canoes, kayaks or join a free paddling tour at sunrise with coffee from a local shop to follow.

19. Play tennis or golf at one of D.C.’s many public facilities. There are nearly 40 public tennis courts in the area as well as plenty of public golf courses that are as well-kept as any private club.

20. Run a 5k to finish off the summer. The LoziLu Women’s Mud Run is coming up July 18, but if you need more time to prepare, there’s plenty of races you can register for in September.

What are you waiting for? There’s plenty of time left to make 2015 your most active and healthy summer in D.C. yet.