Escape the northwest quadrant for the historic Anacostia neighborhood, on the other side of the Capitol, for a glimpse at ungentrified D.C. Outside the Anacostia Metro stop, pick up your ride for the day from Capital Bike Share (from $5; check availability online in advance), then wake up with breakfast at Big Chair Coffee, where the Marion Barry latte ($4.50) contains three shots of espresso. Then peddle up the hill to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, where National Park Service rangers offer an in-depth primer on the abolitionist’s life while touring his stately home (free, check times online). Next, bike over to Fort Stanton Overlook (1600 Morris Road SE, behind Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church) for a sweeping, completely tourist-free vista of the skyline before moving on to the Smithsonian’s least-visited outpost, the Anacostia Community Museum (free), which features exhibits about contemporary urban communities and live jazz on various Sundays. Across the street, the quirky Anacostia Art Gallery and Boutique sells wearable art and African crafts. Lunch on fried haddock sandwiches with sweet potato fries ($12.95) at Uniontown Bar & Grill, then cross the Potomac and ride six miles up the newly built Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, a public 700-acre compound where you’ll find rare wildflowers, water lilies, and lotuses. Return your bike to the Eastern Market Metro station, where nearby DC-3 fills a local void for cheap eats with its hot dogs topped with Old Bay and crab dip ($5.99). Afterward you can get buzzed on whiskey-laced milkshakes ($8) at Ted's Bulletin, a retro-style diner a few doors down.
5. Oddball Day
Published on Apr 28, 2011 as a web exclusive.