Suggestions for Your Leisure Time

In Washington, DC, you will find plenty of arts, cultural and sporting activities to keep you busy and entertained. If you stay a few extra days outside of the conference program in the Washington, DC, Metro area, this list provides some recommended activities and places to visit.

Please make use of the Restaurant Guide posted on the Washington Evaluators website and also check local newspapers, especially the Thursday edition of the Washington Post, Express, or City Paper for entertainment.

In the event the government shutdown continues, please check DC area news stations, papers, and websites of interest.

Updated 10/15/2013. Click here to download a PDF for printing with maps and links.

Places to Visit

Two useful sources for the week of the conference are:

The Washington Post Going Out Guide

Cultural Tourism DC Event Calendar


Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Other Museums

Anacostia Museum

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (the view of the Nation's Capital from Cedar Hill is breathtaking)

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

National Galleries of Art

International Spy Museum

National Geographic Museum

National Museum of Women in the Arts

National Portrait Gallery


The Phillips Collection. 1600 21st St. NW (202) 387-2151. Tue-Sat. 10:00 am to 5 pm. Thurs. extended hours to 8:30 pm. Sun. 11:00 to 6:00. Admission to ticketed Van Gogh exhibit $12.00. For museum collection only, Tue-Fri by donation.

Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW (202) 667-0441. Museum closed as of 10/142013. Reopening at GWU in 2014. Gift shop remains open Friday-Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Click here for other Washington DC museum information.

National Mall and Memorial Park

Map of the National Mall from the National Park Service, including all monuments

If your time is limited but you want to see the sites, here is a 90-minute walking tour: Get off metro at the Smithsonian stop, walk east past the Air and Space Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, and Botanical Gardens; pause at the Capitol and Reflecting Pool; continue around past the National Gallery of Art, and Museums of American History and Natural History. Continue walking toward the Washington Monument. You will see the site of the African American Museum, currently under construction. You can detour from the Washington Monument to Constitution Ave for a glimpse of the White House (between 16th and 17th Sts]. From the Washington Monument, if your time permits, continue on to the Jefferson Memorial. If time does not permit, turn back and retrace your steps back to the Martin Luther King Memorial (further on you will find the FDR Memorial). At the MLK Memorial, you can cross Independence Avenue. You will then see the World War II, Korean Memorial, Vietnam Memorials, and the Reflecting Pool. Continue to the Lincoln Memorial. The Vietnam Memorial is on the opposite side of Reflecting Pool. From the Lincoln Memorial you can walk up 23rd street to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station. This tour will not allow for a lot of exploration, but you will see the main parts of the Mall.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks general  information

Washington Monument (currently under restoration)

Arlington National Cemetery (Veterans, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, President Kennedy’s gravesite); US Marine Corps Memorial (aka Iwo Jima memorial, next to Arlington Cemetery)

Federal Government Buildings

The White House [currently White House Tours are suspended. Check in for periodic updates.] You can take a virtual tour at this site and see the White House from the web site.

The White House Visitors Center remains open, view the White House at E and Pennsylvania Ave.

The US Capitol; also, see information on the Washington Evaluators website about the initiative “Evaluators Visit Capitol Hill.”


The National Zoo (midway between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park). Meet Bozie the new Asian elephant, Rusty the precocious red panda, our giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian (their newborn female cub is only observable only by webcam), and many others. If you are feeling energetic, get off Metro at Woodley Park and walk up to the zoo, conserving energy ride on to Cleveland Park and walk down to the zoo.

Washington Botanical Garden

National Arboretum (including the national bonsai museum and the columns from the east portico of the US capital)

National Aquarium in Baltimore

National Aquarium in DC

St. Matthew's Cathedral (Roman Catholic), which honors the patron saint of civil servants, is the seat of the Archbishop of Washington. The funeral Mass for President John F. Kennedy was celebrated in the Cathedral on November 25, 1963. A memorial marker is on the floor in front of the altar.

Washington National Cathedral:  6th largest cathedral in the world, 2nd largest in US

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Mosaic laden basilica on Catholic University’s campus

Sixth and I Streets Historic Synagogue

The Islamic Center: the largest Muslim center for prayer in the Western Hemisphere when opened in 1957


Washingtonian Guide to Washington, DC: Trails for Hiking, Biking, and More: Descriptions of and directions to local trails.

Capital Bike Share: With membership, the first 30 minutes of any bike ride are free. DC is a great city to borrow a bike to get exercise and go sightseeing.

National Park Service: A list of day and nighttime ranger led walking, running, and cycling tours of the national mall.

Union Station: Transportation hub, shopping and dining

Theatre Venues

Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage Events: Free performances every day at 6:00PM

National Theater

Shakespeare Theatre Company (Sidney Harmon Hall and Lansburgh Theatre)

Studio Theatre

Warner Theater

Woolly Mammoth


Eastern Market:  225 7th Street SE DC's oldest continually operated fresh food public market. Located in the heart of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood. Local farmfresh produce and handmade arts and crafts.

Union Market:  1309 5th ‘St. N.E. The historic Union Market has been revitalized by EDENS in order to create an authentic artisanal marketplace.  A year-round indoor market featuring 40 local artisans opened September 8, 2012. Union Market is again the culinary epicenter of the Capitol City.

Cultural Tourism

DC's Neighborhood Heritage Trails are the official walking trails of Washington, DC. Take a stroll through DC history when you follow one the self-guided walking trails. Each trail sign combines stories, historic photos, and maps. Explore, shop, exercise, and enjoy a bite to eat -- all at your own pace. Some neighborhoods to explore: Adams Morgan, DuPont Circle, U Street, H Street NE, Georgetown, National Harbor, and Old Town Alexandria.

Live Music

The Birchmere in Alexandria, America’s Legendary Music Hall

Blues Alley Jazz and Supper Club in Georgetown

Westminster Presbyterian Church (SW), Jazz night on Fridays

Carlyle Supper Club in Alexandria

HR-57 on H Street (NE), Center for the preservation of jazz and blues

Bohemian Caverns on U Street, the Sole home of soul jazz

9:30 Club, a small club featuring national acts located in downtown DC

Recommended Running Routes

At AEA 2012, a group of runners enjoyed a brief tour of Minneapolis.  DC is a great city to run in as well.  The runs described below will give you a view of some of the sites of our city.  

Long Run

Short Run

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