Think of dog parks as playgrounds for our four-legged friends. Dog parks allow our pups to exercise, socialize and cut lose in this gorgeous DC fall weather. If you’re looking for a local park to take your dog, look no further. We have a list of dog parks in the neighborhood and nearby.
Neighborhood Dog Parks
- Shaw Dog Park (1673 11th Street NW, between Rhode Island and R Street NW). This neighborhood favorite is open Monday through Friday from 7 am until 10 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am until 10 pm. Check out the park’s new website for community information and doggy tips.
- S Street Dog Park or 17th Street Dog Park (17th and S Streets NW). This dog park, which looks like a triangle of grass right next to New Hampshire Avenue NW, was just renovated. Renovations included fixing tears and holes in the K9Grass surface, power-washing and vacuuming the turf, cleaning the turf with odor-killing enzymes and anti-microbial sprays, removing dead trees and stumps, planting new trees in the park and covering the tree and bench area with wood chips.The 17th and S dog park is managed by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation and is frequently cleaned by neighborhood volunteers. For more information on the park, call or email the DC Department of Parks and Recreation at (202) 671-0421 or dpr.dogparks[AT]dc.gov.
- Bundy Dog Park (P Street NW between 5th Street and New Jersey Avenue). Brand new to the Shaw neighborhood, Bundy just opened on April 7, 2012. The park opens at 7 am everyday, and closes at dusk. For more information, visit the website.
- Walter Pierce (2630 Adams Mill Road). Located closer to Adams Morgan, Walter Pierce provides a very green, fenced-in park for dogs. For more information, visit the dog park’s website.
- Mitchell Park (23rd and S Street NW). Yes, the playground and the tennis court at Mitchell Park are great, but so is the giant, open grassy space for Dupont’s dogs. Great for frisbee throwing or just running free, Mitchell Park is a good option in the neighborhood. The area is not fenced in (and is close to traffic), so make sure your dog is not a sprinter.
Nearby Dog Parks and Doggy Day Trips
If you and your best friend are feeling a little more adventurous, there are plenty of nearby destinations and day trips perfect for dogs.
- The Shirlington Dog Park (2601 South Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington). The Shirlington Dog Park is one of the best and biggest in the DC Metro area. The park seems to extend for miles and even has a large creek for the dogs to play in.
- Jones Point (off of Lee Street and Green Street in Old Town Alexandria – See map). Located on the Potomac River, just south of Old Town Alexandria, Jones Point is a historical (and beautiful) location. Dogs must remain on leash, but the walk to the park and along the river makes the restrictions worth the visit. Jones Point Park is open year-round from 6 am to 10 pm.
- The Billy Goat Trail and Great Falls. It’s amazing to think that Great Falls is practically in our little urban backyard — it definitely feels worlds (or at least towns) away. The Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls offers scenic views and hiking along the Potomac River.
- The Dog Beach at Calvert Cliffs State Park (9500 H. G. Trueman Road Lusby, Maryland). This Maryland State Park has a beach just for dogs. You have to hike to get to the beach, so pack some extra water and some treats for your pup.
I’m always surprised when people tell me they haven’t been to a county fair– after all, memories of candied apples and craft tables during fair season are a significant part of my childhood.
With state budgets being hit hard, state and county fairs are buckling down more than ever before. Luckily, if you’re up for a day trip, these fun ventures into fried food, pie contests and shaky rides can still be part of your childhood — or adulthood, for that matter.
DC State Fair
DC “State” Fair, September 22
Just because we don’t have states’ rights doesn’t mean we don’t know how to throw a good party. This year the DC State Fair will be joining Barracks Row Day on Capitol Hill, where you’ll find the best of gardeners, cooks, bakers, photographers and artists. We’re already looking forward to the contest for best homebrew.
Arlington County Fair, August 8-12
Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 S. Second Street, Arlington, Virginia
You’ll have fun at the Arlington County Fair if you go for the pig races alone, but you can also catch performances by local artists and check out the competitive competitions (pie, anyone?).
Prince William County Fair, August 10-18
10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, Virginia
Believe it or not, there is another reason to visit Prince William County besides Ikea, namely the largest county fair in Virginia. Check out the Demolition Derby, 4-H Livestock Shows and carnival rides. Deal: On Tuesday, August 14, purchase admission to the Fair for only $2.00!
Virginia State Fair, September 28-October 7
13111 Dawn Boulevard Doswell, Virginia
Getting to Virginia’s State Fair will require a bit more of a drive to it’s Doswell location, but still well-within day-trip territory. Head here for the Midway – wonderfully colorful rides and games. You can also check out livestock animals including cows, rabbits, chickens, goats, ducks and newborn calves.
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, August 10-18
Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 16 Chestnut Street, Gaithersburg, Maryland
If you were ever a 4-H’er, you’ll remember county fair just like this. MoCo Ag Fair has a demolition derby, monster trucks, and tractor pull. If you’re a parent, head to the KidZone for remote control car racing and carnival rides, including bumper cars. Be sure to check out the animal demonstrations and if you’re hungry, pick up something called a Fudge Puppie Waffle.
Prince George’s County Fair, September 6-9
PG County Showplace Arena, Water Street, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Check out local performers, a NASCAR simulator and carnival rides at the Prince George’s County Fair.
Maryland State Fair, August 23- September 3
Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland
If you happen to live with a 13-year-old girl, you should definitely make plans to visit the Maryland State Fair where The Band Perry and Victoria Justice will be performing. If you’re 15 or older, you’ll want to go to the Maryland State Fair for the bull riding competitions, the attempt to beat the world’s largest crab cake record and the chainsaw sculptors. Kids will enjoy learning how to milk a cow at during the Agricultural Farm tours, and mom and dad can check out hyper-local Maryland food at the farmers market, to you know, balance out that fried Oreo.
Ah the joys of the long weekend. The beginning of it’s great because you know the general fun of the standard weekend is going to last long. The end is great too because the following work week is a Monday-less, four-day walk to the next go around.
This MLK weekend had plenty going on from very competitive NFL playoff games (the march toward a Super Bowl XLII rematch continues) as well the welcoming of a new basketball power in L.A. However when it comes to a time like this, I am a big fan of the day trip to break up the weekend, and with a car you can easily put the district in the rearview.
Looking for history and nostalgia outside of DC, last Saturday my girlfriend and I made the easy one-hour drive south to Fredericksburg, Virginia. I had heard various reports that this was the “bit farther but just as nice” Old Town Alexandria and was worth a drive down 95. My advanced scouting was accurate as the town is a mix of pre-World War I homes and antique stores on every single corner (I kid you not). The attractions and small museums made for the perfect day trip as we spent around five hours there.
Highlights of our Fredericksburg Day Trip
How Many Antique Stores Can You Have? The answer for Fredericksburg is “not enough.” One after the other, all containing really old books, dated posters, and classic America stuff. The only one worth mentioning was a store called Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. It felt like a trip back to 1996, meaning it sold classic Nintendo, grunge rock on vinyl and funky leather jackets.
The Civil War Wasn’t Pretty. If that wasn’t clear to you during your high school civil war class, take a stroll to Fredericksburg and learn about the Civil War battle there. As it is a national historic landmark, there is plenty of background and a well funded museum, which comes fully loaded with a great educational video narrated by James Earl Jones (complete with historic re-enactments). It was at times a bit creepy walking around the battlefield knowing the gory details — similar to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — but made for an interesting afternoon.
After checking out this battle, we then jumped in our car and took a great driving tour of both the greater battlefield there and the nearby Spotsylvania Court House Battle site. Both these battles included lots of key players such as General Burnside, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Bottom line: Great experience for the history buffs in Borderstan.
I Hear the Food is Tasty. We only stopped at a delicious coffee shop famed for its espresso art but if you’re a bit classier than I, there are some fine dining options for you. I guess a Virgina foodie would be more help than me.
Owning a car in DC is the difference between being “limited by the Metro” to “where can we go this weekend?” If you are feeling that history vibe, especially Civil War, this is the trip for you.
What Really Grinds My Gears
This. DC cabs are bad enough and now that. Ugh