dawn-in-dcAs the weather gets warmer, Washingtonians emerge from hibernation and start exploring the city again. For those visiting for the first time, spring is a beautiful time to get to know the nation’s capital. Sure, you should see the monuments and walk along the mall. The cherry blossoms are always a favorite and grabbing drinks at the W Hotel’s rooftop bar is amazing. But, here are the top 4 unconventional things to do in DC.

Sunday Afternoon Drum Circle

Stop by Meridian Hill Park on a Sunday afternoon and lose yourself in the music. Every week, a collection of percussionists join together to put on a several hour drum show. It’s unclear if they have pre-planned sets or if it’s just a go-with-the-flow type thing, but it’s always a treat!

Bread Furst

DC will never have the carbohydrate options available to those visiting Paris, but Bread Furst in the UDC / Van Ness Neighborhood comes close. The bakery, just across the street from the new Park Van Ness community in upper NW DC, is easily accessible from the Metro’s red line and is absolutely worth the trip no matter where you’re staying. Order a cappuccino, a pain au chocolat, and a monkey bread and sit out on the patio in the sun to enjoy the flaky, buttery pastries and the warm sunshine on your face.

Running Tour

Sure, you can meander through the sites like an ordinary tourist, but if you want to kick it up a notch, join one of the free running tours to see the city at a faster clip. DC By Foot offers free hour long running tours that bring joggers by the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, White House, Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool, and more!

Union Market

It’s a little bit off the beaten path, but Union Market offers a quintessential DC experience. Stop by on a weekend for brunch and shopping. You can metro to NoMa and walk about a quarter mile to the market, or hop on a Capital Bikeshare red bike and cycle to the area. Don’t forget to stop in Salt and Sundry and pick up some mementos before you head home!

DC has so many incredible offerings, but it’s nice to avoid the typical tourist traps and spend your time here like the locals. If you’ve got time, the four activities above will give you a glimpse of the city that the average visitor will never experience. Enjoy!