The 16 Tourists You'll Inevitably Meet in DC

Published On 05/20/2015 Published On 05/20/2015

Living in DC means dealing with tourists constantly. Sometimes you can avoid them (these places are a good start). Sometimes an encounter is unavoidable. That can be a bad thing or... a really bad thing. In the cases of these 16 tourists, it's pretty much the worst.


The Escalator Obstructer

Lost in a world of their own, oblivious to all surroundings, they're blissfully ignoring the repeated loudspeaker requests to stand on the right side of the escalator, thus allowing Metro passengers to pass on the left. It’s basic escalator etiquette, and the easiest way to fall out of graces with Washingtonians. Or possibly get trampled.


The Union Station Food Court Feeder

This place is perpetually crawling with field trip groups seeking one of three things: cheap, fried Chinese food; cheesesteaks; or Johnny Rockets. Actually, some individuals acquire all three.

The Off-Puttingly Friendly Midwesterner

Made the seven-hour drive in from Ohio for the weekend, and they’re just happy to be here. Will smile and say things like "Hi, how are you?" right there on the street, and may even try to pull up a chair next to you and strike up a casual conversation about the weather. Basically, if you see a Big 10 T-shirt and a fanny pack, start heading in the other direction.


FBI Hoodie Dude

Better do what he says, seems legit... said nobody, ever.

The Conventioneer

Wear that convention badge with honor, sir! Conventioneers are kind of like lemmings. They move in packs around Mount Vernon Square. They’re decked out in uniform suits and convention swag. They take up all the valuable bar and restaurant space in the surrounding Chinatown area. Three out of four are looking to cheat on their spouses.


The Passive-aggressive Georgetown Cupcake Customer

Didn't get the memo that cupcakes aren't even that cool anymore (and apparently the other tourists didn't either, hence the around-the-block line). Has been waiting 30 minutes for a damn cupcake, and is starting to lash out. Do not bump into this person, and don't even THINK about looking like you're trying to cut.

The Cherry Blossom Virgin

OMG! Cherry blossoms! Must Instagram! And Snapchat! These hordes are perpetually roaming the Tidal Basin (even though you can find cherry blossoms all over DC) each spring with a level of excitement that, inexplicably, sometimes does resemble a person about to have sex for the first time.

Wikimedia/Library of Congress

The Quadrant Confused

This person is holding a map, scratching their head, and approximately three to four miles away from their intended destination. Why? Because they forgot to type "NW" into their GPS navigation. Newsflash: you’re in Northeast.

The Selfie-sticker

These people are totally incapable of asking a nice and friendly stranger (perhaps the Midwesterner?) to take their photo. Instead, they stand in front of national monuments hold a giant pole extension, somehow rendering the notion of snapping a photo of yourself at the Vietnam Memorial even more tacky. 


Pushy Panda Lady

Approaches panda exhibit at the National Zoo like an NFL linebacker trying to shed blockers. Don’t even think about trying to sneak in front of her when baby Bao Bao is out in the panda play yard. Pushy panda lady will break you.

The Matching Colored Shirts

Most likely an 8th grade field trip -- just look for sea of neon pink shirts, listen for the high-pitched shrieks, and observe the hilariously awkward attempts at interacting with the opposite sex.


White Socks & Sandals Dad

There is something begrudgingly admirable about his commitment to comfort over style... though it seems like it would be more comfortable without the socks? But there's no arguing with White Socks & Sandals Dad.


The Ollie’s Trolley Burger Baron

DC is home to many burger joints, but none attracts tourists more than Ollie’s Trolley (fact: tourists love rhyming). It sits at the corner of E and 12th St NW, and has been in the tourist trapping business for more than 30 years. And it’s not going anywhere soon.

Stubborn Sweaty Guy

Somehow didn't realize DC summers are the worst. He's in long sleeves. His aversion to public transit is keeping him away from the Metro and his frugality is keeping him out of a cab. He's hoofing it across the city in 98-degree heat. His pit stains are expanding at an alarming rate. Please, someone hand him a towel and a water bottle before he passes out. 


The Segway Posse

This is kind of like a gang. They have turf (usually by the White House or Pennsylvania Avenue) and they are led by a kingpin (the Segway tour guide). And the first rule of Segway posse: leave no Segway rider behind.

The Overzealous Protester

Oh look, it’s the rally for _______ (fill in the blank). The overzealous protester wants you to know why they're here to restore sanity in Washington. And also to ruin any chance you had of reaching your destination on time. 

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