If there’s something that happens this time of year, it’s the nagging need to want to do everything you love in the summertime before the fall starts up again. Here are 25 activities to inspire you to make your own end-of-summer bucket list.
1. Hike Great Falls. The most popular park in the area, Great Falls includes 15 miles of hiking and walking trails, 10 miles of horseback riding, and five biking trails.
2. Have a drink at the Denim & Pearls rooftop bar. Enjoy summery sips overlooking Old Town Warrenton. The family-friendly, pet-friendly, warm and welcoming bar and restaurant has a great kids menu (complete with Shirley Temples!) and the “Fancy Like” is summer fun, made with homemade fruit punch, Absolut Citron, and a splash of lemon juice.
3. Grab some ice cream at The Creamery in Alexandria. This ice cream shop has been around since 1984, serving hard ice cream, soft serve, sorbet, and more.
4. Don’t miss the Zac Brown Band’s “Out in the Middle” tour. The band will play August 27 at Jiffy Lube Live.
5. Catch Steve Martin and Martin Short at Wolf Trap. The “Only Murders in the Building” co-stars are bringing their live show to Wolf Trap at the end of the month.
6. Eat out for Alexandria Restaurant Week. Running August 19 to 28, it will include over 60 eateries with prix fixe dinners.
7. Stroll Mount Vernon’s grounds with your pup. George Washington and his family adored dogs, so they are allowed on Mount Vernon’s grounds as long as they’re leashed.
8. Speaking of pups, take your furry loved one for a dip in a local pool. Many local pools in the area have end-of-summer dog days, including the Great Falls Swim Club, Ida Lee Park, and more.
9. Spend a weekend camping at Shenandoah National Park. Take the kids for their first foray into camping at this national park with plenty of options for all ages.
10. Head to the National Mall for the day. Take a day to head down to the National Mall to appreciate the monuments and museums that make living in the area truly special.
11. Enjoy an afternoon at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. You can picnic at the beautiful gardens (the picnic area is first come, first served and gatherings of 10-plus are not permitted).
12. Visit Luray Caverns. Did you know they are the largest caverns in the Eastern U.S.?
13. Take in the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Currently on display is Turning Tides, a group exhibit that explores climate change.
14. Go for a run along the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail. The 45-mile trail is quiet, scenic, and perfect for late summer.
15. Take a day trip to Monticello. Get the kids into school mode with a day trip to Thomas Jefferson’s home.
16. Shop King Street in Alexandria. Pick up unique back-to-school finds from the street’s cute and trendy boutiques.
17. Cool off at Lake Anna. Lake Anna is home to rental cabins, camping areas, over 15 miles of trails, picnicking, lake swimming, and more.
19. Get tickets to The Color Purple at Signature Theatre. The show debuted August 16 and is a musical adaptation of the book, which won a Pulitzer Prize.
20. Pay your respects at Arlington National Cemetery. Take little ones who are curious about history to help them learn the importance of paying your respects to those who fought for our country.
21. Gobble up some tacos and tequila at Don Taco. The snug, modern taqueria in Alexandria serves up deliciously fresh tacos.
22. Consider adopting a pet. DC’s Humane Rescue Alliance recently issued an emergency call for adoptions.
23. Visit a county fair. One Loudoun Carnival and Prince William County Fair are currently in town, just to name a few.
24. Don’t miss the “A Space Between” art exhibit. The exhibit focuses on shadows, negative space, and overlooked the themes of isolation.
25. Get nostalgic with Blondie. Rewind to simpler times with one of the most famous bands of all time. ‘80s phenom Blondie is coming to The Anthem August 21.
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