How to Get Out and Explore Your Own City


Funny enough, last time I did a photo shoot in this same spot, I actually wrote about a similar topic. I wrote a post about How to Make the Most of a Weekend at Home, covering all sorts of ideas from exploring your city to knocking off a list of productive to-do’s to going into full on self care mode. Today’s post is a bit different, however.


Today, I’m discussing how to get out and explore your own city. So many of us know that we want to take advantage of all our city has to offer, but we don’t even know where to start. Whenever we take a trip to another city, we hit every major attraction, try out all the new restaurants, check out the art scene, and live up a weekend in said city to its fullest. Yet, when we’re at home in our own city, we forget to approach it with the same eager attitude. So, this weekend, I’m challenging you to get our and explore your own city.


Y’all know all I’m about staying out of the sun, so when I am spending a day out and about, I always reach for a hat – and I’m absolutely loving this nautical inspired hat that Tenth Street Hats sent me recently. This particular style is the Bethany and it’s just $50. They have all sorts of fun straw hats at reasonable prices, definitely check them out if you’re in the market to add a few everyday hats to your wardrobe.

Also, I haven’t stopped wearing my white Jack Rogers ever since I picked them up on sale a few weeks ago. I was scared they’d get super dirty super fast, but fortunately that hasn’t been the case at all. They’re a nice alternative to my normal gold pair.




One of my favorite places to look for ideas about what to do with a free weekend in Washington, DC is local going out guides. The two classic guides are definitely those from Washingtonian and the Washington Post, but there are whole slew of options.

  • Washingtonian: A high level synopsis of the biggest cultural events going on in the DC area each weekend, Things to Do is a great place to start when you’re looking for…well, things to do.


  • Washington Post: The Going Out Guide is an in depth round up of a few highlights each weekend in DC – but beware their article limit for the month might prevent you from reading it.



  • DCist: A little more tuned in to the hipper going-ons around DC, DCist Weekend Events is another great spot to find music, art, and food events.




Okay, I know you’re not traveling if you’re sticking around your own city for the weekend, but look up travel guides! This goes back to my point about how we make the most of a couple days in another city when we’re traveling, but don’t do the same when we’re at home – travel guides to our own city might touch on activities and landmarks that you never even thought about exploring.

For example, when I’m thinking of museums in DC, I think of the big ones – the National Gallery, American History, – but travel guides will for sure mention some of the smaller ones that you should absolutely visit – the Renwick, Hirshhorn, or the National Portrait Gallery. Or, some of the spots that are a bit under the radar – the National Arboretum, the National Botanical Gardens, and more




Another great way to explore your own city? Don’t just default to your usual restaurant and bar options. Scour the lists of the hottest restaurants on Eater, pay attention to who Bon Appetit is mentioning, see who’s getting all the buzz on Twitter.

Sure, I could go down the street to one of my old stand-by’s, but why not save that for a weeknight when the fridge is empty and use the weekend to check off a new restaurant. Just last weekend, we ended up with cancelled Friday night plans, pulled up a list of the 38 best restaurants in DC, and saw where we could get a reservation for that night. Then, the next night, we ended up driving through a new to us neighborhood on the way home from a housewarming, spotted a much-hyped new pizza place, decided to stop in, and ended up having one of our best meals in a long time.




If none of these ideas are leaving you inspired, why not do as you would in Paris or New York or Charleston and just wander? Who knows, there could be a used bookstore down the street that you never would have noticed otherwise, a tucked away farmers market in the next neighborhood over, or a brand new coffee shop that’s serving the best cold brew in the area. Not everything can be found on Google, but you may find it when using your own two feet.



  1. allindetailsblog
    August 6, 2018 / 8:21 am

    I found my favorite DC bookstore, The Lantern, by just wandering Georgetown when I first moved to Glover Park. And a great small museum to visit is Dumbarton Oaks! I worked there for two years and never stopped loving the museum or the beautiful gardens!

    • hmbien
      August 6, 2018 / 8:26 am

      Yes, I love Dumbarton Oaks! There are so many hidden gems over there in Georgetown, particularly when you start wandering further into the neighborhood.

Leave a Reply