The District of Outside

The District of Outside

When we say nature restores us, we actually mean it. To kick off both the summer and our new series on The Great Outdoors, today we’re publishing photos from seven locations you can explore all summer long throughout the DC area. Get your friends together and become better friends together, or pick up a journal and get all your inner thoughts sorted out. The truth is, nature can give us depth of perspective and presence to listen, adapt, and work effectively, which is perhaps what any city needs more than anything else.

Work in a cubicle? The sun rises at 5:45am-ish for the next month—plenty of time to set a Personal Record (PR) on the trail before the day gets so crazy you wish you’d gone outside first. Need a place to take the team out for a brainstorming session? There are picnic tables—and grass, for that matter—all over the District of Columbia. Have a meeting later in the day? Grab a little extra deodorant. Because let’s be real: a little sweat isn’t going to impede a groundbreaking insight for your work—but cubicle claustrophobia might. It’s time to explore a little more, find a path you haven’t walked, and stay fit in the process.

Here’s to having class outside. Here’s to The Great Outdoors, and the wide world in which we were created to live. Here’s to our Creator, and the undeniable goodness that surrounds us every day.

PS – Stay hydrated. 

1. Mount Vernon Trail

Washington and Lincoln may or may not be weeping over the current state of affairs in the country, but this willow along the Mt. Vernon Trail definitely is. 

"And I run through the tall trees with your hand chasing me." Yes, Of Monsters And Men. Exactly.

Actually, you'll still be working on the Hill if you take the trail all the way down to Mt. Vernon regularly. 

2. Theodore Roosevelt Island

You'll have to find out for yourself what mysteriously lies beyond the gate on the other end of the bridge crossing over to Theodore Roosevelt Island. 

3. Great Falls National Park

On a hot day, you might be tempted to jump into the river at Great Falls, even though it's technically illegal. But taking a nap on the rocks definitely isn't. 

You can get all up close and personal with the falls, especially if you remember your zoom lens.

Ahh, refreshing

4. Rock Creek Park

Who knew "go in and out and find pasture" is a thing you can do in DC's Rock Creek Park? 

If finding pasture in the heart of DC doesn't give your spirit rest, hopefully being led beside still waters will. 

If stillness isn't on your agenda, Rock Creek Park is also a great place to get started trail running. Just look out for tree roots; sometimes they come out of the ground and trip you.

Or drive. Rock Creek Park is also a beautiful drive. 

But let's face it. You never know who-hoo's wise eyes are looking back at you. 

5. National Harbor

If nothing else, National Harbor is worth a visit just to catch the day's last sunrays before they head west for the night. 

And forget reaching across the aisle, a sunset at National Harbor brings blue and red so close together only a sunburst can fit between them.

It's true you can sail on the Potomac. Or go sky-sailing above it. But if The Capital Wheel is your lift into thinner air, don't expect to wake up beside the ocean in California

6. Huntley Meadows Park

We're guessing you don't have to be from Ohio to see the state's bird flirting at Huntley Meadows.

Not that you were doubting after seeing those eyes, but for the record, he caught the live snack he was after. And that neck is a lot longer than it looks. 

If you plant roots at Huntley Meadows for too long, you may never leave. 

7. Alexandria Waterfront

There's no point in using words to describe why it's worth getting up for sunrise along Alexandria's waterfront.

If this were Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, we'd all be running for higher ground before those dew drops start falling. 

This sand vollebyall court is so close to the water's edge, you could literally spike the ball straight into the Potomac. 

We won't judge you if you snatch up a sturdy piece of driftwood for a centerpiece in your home. 

When the wind beneath your wings carries you so high you almost touch the sky, be sure to grab a seat on the right side of the plane for a window view of either the Alexandria waterfront or the National Mall. 


Wait, why haven’t you dropped this journal and headed outside?

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