(Updated Sept. 23, 2017)
Can you believe the winter we're having? Or aren't having? Last weekend, I dusted off my Evernote folder of outdoor to-dos in DC and decided to finally take this 2.9-mile walk along the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and into Navy Yard that the Washingtonian suggested a couple of years ago.
It was awesome. Empty pathways, pretty boardwalks, naval ships, outdoor art, ice cream, fountains, ping pong, and at the end of our yellow brick road, a beer garden. All with a view of the Anacostia River.
We parked on the Anacostia side of the river, in a little National Park parking lot just to the east of the South Capital Street bridge. Parking was easy when we got there around 11 a.m.; by the time we left at 3 p.m., people were waiting for spaces.
It's an easy walk east to the 11th Street Bridge, which has a lovely pedestrian walkway and peninsulas for stopping and taking pictures. You'll cross over the river to the Navy Yard side.
Walking west along the Navy Yard side, you'll find a million things to do. You can stroll along the boardwalk, visit the Naval Museum of the U.S. Navy, enjoy a wine tasting at District Winery (D.C.'s first winery), grab a snack at the fantastic Ice Cream Jubilee, get a meal at Bluejacket, TaKorean, or Osteria Morini (the garlic smell coming out of there was KILLER!!) or play some ping pong in front of National Park.
Or you can just hang. With lots of green spaces and outdoor tables surrounding interesting outdoor architecture, there's plenty of cool stuff to stare at.
After successfully dragging what could have been a 40-minute walk into three hours, we found a surprising jewel in the shadows of the Nationals Stadium and the South Capital Street bridge: an outdoor brewery.
Through an open gate in a fence, down a mulch trail lined with logs, and over a varnished wooden slab with beer tanks behind it, we ordered two beers from the gang at Bardo Beer, a beer garden once on Bladensburg Road that has relocated to this jewel-in-the-rough spot. Taking advantage of the awesome weather, they had their soft opening the day before we arrived, on Feb. 18. Their grand opening won't be until the Nationals' first game -- but it looks like they're going to continue to be open. The dogs, riverside views, and awesome beer made it really difficult to continue our walk.
But after one beer, we did continue, across the South Capital Street bridge on a mildly harrowing pedestrian walkway high above the lovely river.
- Thanks to The Washington for the article "Things to Do By the Anacostia Riverwalk" and inspiring this amazing day.