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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 02/23/2012

Reasons to play hooky today

How can you possibly be expected to handle work on a day like this? Blue skies and temps near 70 are just begging for a long lunch and a stroll through the city. But you can’t spoil a beautiful day with an aimless plan, or you could end up like Cameron, thinking you’ve seen nothing good. We put together some of our favorite things to do when you gotta take (even part of) the day off.

Get rolling: Check out these multi-stop excursions that use Capital Bikeshare stations within 30-minute rides of each other. So whether you enjoy an afternoon of art, outdoor activities or a vintage shopping spree, here are some ideas to get started. Click on those links for a detailed map and itinerary.

Hit the range: Got wheels and a solid hour? East Potomac Golf Course, just north of Hains Point, is just a quick drive from most points downtown (or even Rosslyn) and it offers a huge two-level driving range where golfers can get in a few practice strokes during the lunch hour. Don’t worry about having your clubs with you — you can rent everything you need from the pro shop.

Find some new music: If you’ve been meaning to beef up your vinyl collection, today is a perfect day to walk to D.C.’s record stores and browse their bins. Four downtown shops – Red Onion, Smash, Som and Crooked Beat – are all within walking distance from each other and all of them are well-stocked, whether you’re looking for a new release, a classic rock favorite or a hard-to-find old soul LP.

Go to a museum: The National Geographic Museum’s location makes it a prime lunchtime destination for downtown worker bees. And today is the ideal time to visit given the opening of the show “Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2011.” The exhibit spotlights the breathtaking photography that might have accompanied stories about Panamanian wildlife or lovely coastal Crimea. the pictures didn’t make the cut for the magazine due to space constraints, so they’re now on view for all to enjoy.

Tuck into some good eats: Pick up a sandwich from any of these spots to grab-and-go for an impromptu picnic. Wander out to the square to find your favorite food truck. Or, stake out a table at one of these patios. (Call first: They weren’t all open this morning for us to verify that they’ll have the outdoor seating set up today, but they’re likely candidates for some al fresco fun.)

Grab an iced coffee: Let’s use today’s warmth as an excuse to unveil the Iced Coffee Season banner for 2012. It doesn’t get much better than the cup served up at Cafe Phillips, where the ice cubes are made from frozen coffee. It’s perfect for an afternooon pick-me-up.

By Going Out Guide staff  |  11:23 AM ET, 02/23/2012

Categories:  Restaurants, Bars and Clubs, Museums

 
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