Set sail on the Potomac River
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Set sail on the Potomac River
Sailing is best during the dog days of summer: You can spend an afternoon soaking up the sun while a cool breeze blows and water splashes. If you don’t know your starboard from port, it’s never too late to learn. The nonprofit group DC Sail (www.dcsail.org), based at the Gangplank Marina, and Sailing Club of Washington (www.scow.org), at Alexandria’s Washington Sailing Marina, offer beginner lessons as well as free weekly practice sessions. Once you have the basics down, both clubs will rent you boats on weekends. Gangplank Marina, 600 Water St. SW. 202-554-5000. www.gangplank.com. Washington Sailing Marina, 1 Marina Dr., Alexandria. 703-548-9027. www.washingtonsailingmarina.com.
Watch a movie at D.C.’s only drive-in
Outdoor film festivals are plentiful during the summer months, but we’re pretty sure this is the first time cars have replaced blankets in the movies-under-the-stars equation. Park it for free at Union Market’s D.C. Drive-In Fridays from July 12 to Aug. 2 for movies projected on the building’s three-story wall. The first film is Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” and in true drive-in style, food and drink from market vendors will be served by rollerskating car-hops. Car reservations are full, but standby space is available for the first 20 cars in line on Sixth Street NE at 8 p.m. There also is a no-reservations-required picnic area.
Taste what’s new on 14th Street
By the end of the summer, close to 20 restaurants will have opened on a mere seven-block stretch of 14th Street NW in about a year. Chances are, they will still be crowded. But some of the newest bars and eateries are worth the wait: Your summer will not be complete without drinking a glass of bubbly on Le Diplomate’s broad patio (www.lediplomatedc.com); perching at the window seat of Ghibellina’s bar (www.ghibellina.com) for some fashionable people-watching; or devouring one of the delicious pizzas at Etto (www.ettodc.com).
Go under the big top in the ’burbs
The spectacle of Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” comes to Fairfax in July with a cast of 52 high-flying acrobats and musicians. The show, which debuted in Montreal in 1996, follows a little girl who escapes into an imaginary world of colorful characters. Although, let’s be honest, you aren’t going for the plot. Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Cir., Fairfax. 800-745-3000. www.cirquedusoleil.com. $40-$115; $36-$99 seniors and students; $32-$93 age 12 and younger.
Eat a deep-fried something during fair season
Sure, there are rides and attractions and petting zoos and concerts, but the best thing about spending summer on the midway is that society won’t judge you for eating anything (everything?) that’s deep-fried. If it can be submerged in hot oil, it can be found sometime between the opening of the Fauquier County Fair (July 18-21, www.fauquierfair.org) and the Calvert County Fair (Sept. 25-29, www.calvertcountyfair.com). Fingers crossed for deep-fried cronut this year. Visit goingoutguide.com for more fair listings.
Pick your way through bushels of steamed crabs
Imagine steamed crabs, redolent of Old Bay, piled on a table with corn and hushpuppies, mallets and pitchers of beer at the ready. For those of us who grew up in Maryland, that’s summer. Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn (www.cantlers.com) and Mike’s Crab House (www.mikescrabhouse.com) are the go-to spots near Annapolis, which hosts the “World’s Largest Crab Feast” (www.annapolisrotary.org/crabfeast) on Aug. 2 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Don’t want to leave the confines of the Beltway? The Bethesda Crab House (www.bethesdacrabhouse.com) and Arlington’s Quarterdeck (www.quarterdeckarlington.com) offer all-you-can-eat feasts of Chesapeake crabs for less than $40 a person.