The Best Things to Do in Navy Yard

Georgetown is great for shopping, and Dupont is known for its nightlife, but there’s a lesser-known DC neighborhood that has been garnering some attention lately, and for good reason. Situated on the Anacostia River and 1 mile from Eastern Market, the Navy Yard area has been making quite a name for itself these past few years, with a mix of dining, shopping, and loads of outdoor activities. Here’s why you need to check out this southeast treasure.

Grab a bite and a beer at Bluejacket

The area has plenty of great cafes and restaurants, but Bluejacket tops them all. Out front, there’s a dog-friendly patio with Edison-bulb string lights and picnic tables. Inside, there’s a large industrial-style dining room with a rotating selection of beers and an extensive food menu that has something for everyone, from boards of housemade pickles to falafel burgers.

Swing over to the Trapeze School

Trapeze School of New York
One of this area’s most unique attractions is the Trapeze School. It hosts 12 classes for all skill levels of gymnasts, from juggling to acrobatics. You can buy a ticket for just one activity, or purchase a membership to hone your trapeze skills over a few weeks. Passes start at $50.

Fetch a brew at Bardo

Bardo Beer
While there are several dog parks in the area where your pet can play off-leash, Bardo Beer is by far the best. A riverfront dog park/brewery hybrid near Nats Park, Bardo is a massive open-air garden with cornhole boards and plenty of brews. If the Nationals are playing, Bardo opens two hours early to accommodate the game crowd.

Cool off in the dancing fountains

Capitol Riverfront
Capitol Riverfront features water jets and a wading pool to help you beat the heat. On sunny weekends, you’ll find tons of DC residents and tourists alike splashing around and enjoying snacks at the nearby picnic tables, so pack a PB&J and some sunblock for a great afternoon.

Indulge in a Rosé Garden

Whaley’s Raw Bar and Restaurant opened its trendy Rosé Garden just in time for summer. With pink-striped umbrellas, lush potted plants, and a view of the Anacostia, this is an Instagrammer’s dream. The menu includes a frozen gin cocktail, pina colada, and 10 different rosés by the glass or bottle

Catch a flyball at Pups in the Park

Nationals Park
What could make stadium snacks and America’s favorite pastime even more fun? A bunch of dogs, of course. The Washington Nationals host this event only twice a year (once in April and again in September), and a portion of ticket sales benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. There’s even a pregame parade and designated pet sitters to watch your pooch while you grab a refill.

Get pampered at Cosmopolitan Nail Lounge

Cosmopolitan Nail Lounge
Yes, you read that right -- this isn’t a salon, it’s a lounge. Coming to the ground floor of the Arris apartment complex is a full-service nail salon that offers nail and wax treatments, free Wi-Fi, refreshments, and tablets for guests to listen to music or watch a movie while they get pampered.

Explore your creativity at Steadfast Supply

Steadfast Supply
This space is a haven for DC creatives, housing collections from local designers, artists, and creators. Looking for a pair of handcrafted baby moccasins, or maybe a digital print of the Washington Monument? From jewelry to housewares to artisanal chocolate, this place has it all

Jam out at the Friday Night Concert Series

Yards Park
Every Friday evening from May to September, you can treat your ears to a free concert series on the riverfront. The shows start at 6:30pm and include local rock bands, jazz ensembles, and, maybe best of all, a Journey cover band.

Enjoy a boozy scoop or three at Jubilee

Ice Cream Jubilee
This isn’t your typical ice cream shop. Exclusive to DC, Jubilee carries a variety of unique and adult flavors like Banana Bourbon Caramel, Gin & Tonic Sorbet, and Mango Habanero. There’s nothing better than enjoying a few scoops on a hot day while watching the boats float by.

Catch a flick at the Outdoor Movie Series

Yards Park
Every Thursday from June until August, The Yards Park hosts a free movie beginning at sundown. Attendees are invited to bring blankets and snacks, and each film is open to all. As a special addition to the series, Bard in the Park is putting on a three-week showing of Shakespeare-adapted movies on select Wednesdays, including the ‘90s classic 10 Things I Hate About You.

Take a dip at the Penthouse

Penthouse Pool and Lounge
On top of the trendy VIDA Fitness gym is a rooftop pool with a fire pit, health-centric food menu, and bar featuring craft cocktails and Capitol City beer. Pool-goers can rent day beds, host a private event, or book a luxury cabana with fridges and TVs. Guest passes start at $19.

Paddle over to Ballpark Boathouse

Ballpark Boathouse
Whether you’re into a solo adventure in a canoe or a group kayak ride, Ballpark Boathouse has your contraption of choice. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you can paddle around the Anacostia for just an hour or all day, or take a riverfront twilight tour to watch the sun set over the Capitol.

Get Bendy on a Rooftop

Up Top Acres
Yogis of all levels will bend over backwards for tickets to these Hatha/Vinyasa flow classes, held on the Up Top Acres rooftop farm. On Monday evenings, participants enjoy a view of the DC skyline with the scent of freshly planted produce during the workout. The registration fee for each class is just $15.

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Brittany Kerfoot is a contributing writer for Thrillist DC. You can view more of her work on her website, and follow her on Instagram at @brittany_kerfoot.
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