By Christina Breda Antoniades
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, September 2, 2007
It's September, and by now you probably have played host to the usual assortment of summer guests, all seeking to hit the usual assortment of tourist destinations. You have trekked to the National Zoo, covered miles of polished floor in Smithsonian museums, solemnly moved shoulder-to-sweaty-shoulder past the various war memorials.
Sure, you've enjoyed showing off the nation's capital, but secretly you've started to dream about ever-so-gently nudging your guests off the beaten path, giving them a unique taste of Washington.
But where to go? And what to do? We asked a few of the area's better-known locals to chime in with their favorite not-so-touristy destinations for a day with visitors. Some were born and reared here and others are transplants, but all have a special place in their heart for what Washington has to offer.
So read on to Page 4 and take notes. Summer is drawing to a close, but the tourist season is anything but over, which means you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore these less-traveled roads.David Baldacci
Author of best-selling thrillers
Lives in: Vienna
"A favorite place to dine with out-of-town friends is Eve. Amazing food and quite extraordinary service. We love it."
Restaurant Eve, 110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria, 703-706-0450, http://www.restauranteve.com.James Brown
Sportscaster and host of CBS's "NFL Today"
Lives in: Bethesda
"I collect muscle cars and hot rods. The way I get to let my hair down is to go to a couple of area cruise spots. So if I have friends in town we'll go to the Boulevard at the Capital Centre. Every Friday night . . . the car club Unity Thunder sponsors [a cruise night there starting at 6], and people from all over the metro area bring their favorite classic car."
Boulevard at the Capital Centre, Interstate 95 south and Arena Drive, Largo, http://www.capitalcruisin.com.Caron Butler
Forward for the Washington Wizards
Lives in: Centreville
"When my family is in town, I like to take them to go to Tysons Corner to go shopping and to the movies. [But] my favorite place to take my family is Gladys and Ron's Chicken and Waffles on the Boulevard in Largo, Maryland. I love their soul food. It's the food my mother or grandmother would cook for me when I go back home."
Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, 703-893-9400, http://www.shoptysons.com.
Gladys Knight and Ron Winans' Chicken and Waffles, 860-E Capital Centre Blvd., Largo, 301-808-6402, http://www.gladysandron.com.Gillian Clark
Chef and co-owner of Colorado Kitchen
Lives in: Petworth
"I like to go to an Orioles game, especially if the Yankees are in town. Or I go and watch the Mystics.
"And I like to go to the Hotel Washington-- the view is great. I kind of use [visitors] as an excuse to get up there."
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, 800-551-7328, http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com.
Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, 202-397-7328, http://www.wnba.com/mystics.
Hotel Washington, 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, 202-638-5900, http://www.hotelwashington.com.Philippe Cousteau
Animal Planet personality, co-founder of the nonprofit group EarthEcho and grandson of explorer Jacques Cousteau
Lives in: Pentagon City in Arlington
"One of the reasons I love D.C. is that it's not this huge high-rise monster. Within 20 minutes I can be rock climbing in Great Falls or walking in Rock Creek Park. And I love food, so I always take visitors to some of my favorite restaurants -- Citronelle, Sushi-Ko, BLT and Hook-- to show them the culinary delights in Washington, D.C."
Great Falls Park, 9200 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, 703-285-2965, http://www.nps.gov/grfa. $3, vehicles $5.
Rock Creek Park, Northwest Washington, 202-895-6070, http://www.nps.gov/rocr. Free.
Michel Richard Citronelle, 3000 M St. NW, 202-625-2150, http://www.citronelledc.com.
Sushi-Ko, 2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-4187, http://www.sushiko.us.
BLT Steak, 1625 I St. NW, 202-689-8999, http://www.bltsteak.com.
Hook, 3241 M St. NW, 202-625-4488, http://www.hookdc.com.Lindsay Czarniak
Sports anchor and reporter for WRC (Channel 4)
Lives in: Downtown Washington
(grew up in Clifton)
"Since I grew up here, I remember so well being dragged to Civil War reenactments all the time by my mom, who was a teacher. It was like 105 degrees, and the firetruck would come by and spray the hoses on all the kids. It's a memory I can appreciate now, and I'd take people because [reenactments] are so unique. You can't see that in a lot of other places.
"Another thing I love to do is the Billy Goat Trail[near Great Falls]. If I have friends in from out of town, we'll just go and hike it. I love the terrain, and the views are fantastic.
"And, of course, sports stuff is always great. I'm a huge fan of Nationals games, so it's always fun to take people to those."
Civil War News lists reenactments on its calendar page at http://www.civilwarnews.com.
Billy Goat Trail, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Access Section A of the trail from Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, 301-767-3714, http://www.nps.gov/choh. $3, vehicles $5.
RFK Stadium, 2400 East Capitol St., 202-397-7328, http://washington.nationals.mlb.com.Jon Gann
Filmmaker and director of the DC Shorts Film Festival
Lives in: Penn Quarter
"I love taking people to the National Building Museum. Not only is it in one of the most beautiful buildings in D.C., but the tours are great -- I'm a docent there -- and there's a great gift shop. I also take people to the Enid Haupt Garden-- that's one of my favorite places -- and I still ride the carousel, although now it costs [more]. I remember when it was a quarter."
National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, 202-272-2448, http://www.nbm.org. Free.
Enid A. Haupt Garden, behind the Smithsonian Castle, 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW. Free.Rebekah 'Becky' Lee
Finalist on "Survivor: Cook Islands," lawyer and founder of Becky's Fund, a group that combats domestic violence
Lives in: Near Chinatown in the District
"I just moved to the Chinatown area, and I think most people still don't realize what's out there. I tend to take [people] to Zengo or Oya. Another thing is that in summertime there's Jazz in the Garden, where you can sit on the grass and just listen to the music. It's so nice and a great thing to do when the weather is nice."
Zengo, 781 Seventh St. NW, 202-393-2929, http://www.modernmexican.com/zengodc.
O ya, 777 Ninth St. NW, 202-393-1400, http://www.oyadc.com.
Jazz in the Garden, Friday evenings in the summer,
National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street
and Constitution Avenue NW, http://www.nga.gov/programs/jazz.shtm. Free.Justine Love
Radio personality for WPGC-FM (95.5)
Lives in: Michigan Park in the District
"I love taking folks to the Frederick Douglass home. It's beautiful, and people are surprised because they didn't know about it. And it's free! I also love taking them to see 'The Awakening' and to the Anacostia museum, which is very culturally enriched. And then I like taking them to different places to eat. There's a Dominican restaurant, Julitas, in Hyattsville that I really like. It's inexpensive but nice, and it's family owned."
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1411 W St. SE, 202-426-5961. Free.
"The Awakening," Hains Point, southern tip of East Potomac Park, Ohio Drive SW. (Plans call for the sculpture to be moved to the National Harbor project in Prince George's County.)
Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE, 202-633-4820, http://anacostia.si.edu. Free.
Julitas Restaurant, 6521 Riggs Rd., Hyattsville, 301-559-0958.Chris Matthews
Host of "Hardball With Chris Matthews" and "The Chris Matthews Show"
Lives in: Chevy Chase
"I take everyone to Martin's Tavern. I eat there all the time; it's like the food we used to eat in college, real comfort food. It has that old Washington pub feeling, and there's so much history in that place. If you go in they'll tell you where Jack proposed [to Jackie] and how some of the old spooks used to hang out there. I also used to take people to the 'Exorcist' steps. A lot of people use them for exercise. Not me. I just go because I love that movie.
"There's also a point at the Lincoln Memorial, if you walk around the edge to the far corner, in the back on the left: You can stand there and look out toward Virginia directly across Memorial Bridge and then turn around and see directly past the Washington Monument to the Capitol building. At night it's pretty dramatic."
Martin's Tavern, 1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-7370, http://www.martins-tavern.com.
Steps in "The Exorcist," 3607 M St. NW.
Lincoln Memorial, 23rd Street NW and West Potomac Park, 202-426-6841, http://www.nps.gov/linc.Ben Olsen
Midfielder for D.C. United
Lives in: U Street area
"To me the best way to see D.C. is at night. I often take bike rides on a weeknight at like 10 p.m., when everything dies down and the traffic is next to nothing. I live in the U Street area, so sometimes I cruise around here, sometimes I go down towards the monuments -- I go everywhere. It's a nice way to see the city without the summer heat and all the traffic and all the tourists. It's such a pretty city."
Bike maps available from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, 202-518-0524, http://www.waba.org.Deborah Jeane Palfrey
Former owner of a D.C.-based escort service and alleged D.C. madam
Lives in: California
"When in D.C. and not in court, I like to go to Morty's Deli on Wisconsin and have whitefish and matzo ball soup. Since the matzo balls are the size of miniature basketballs, I recommend the one-matzo-ball portion."
Morty's Delicatessen, 4260 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-686-1989, http://www.mortysdc.com.Dana Perino
White House deputy press secretary
Lives in: Capitol Hill
"I love Eastern Market. We go almost every weekend and buy a lot of our food to get through the week there. There's a fantastic family who brings in dried fruit -- their dried mango is to die for -- so we always get some of that.
"And we're members of the Congressional Cemetery, which means we're allowed to bring our dog, Henry, there. It's a great place to go for a walk; there are some interesting historical stories to be told. So I like to take people there, even if they aren't from out of town."
Eastern Market, Seventh Street and North Carolina Avenue SE, http://www.easternmarket.net.
Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. SE, 202-543-0539, http://www.congressionalcemetery.org. Free.Michel Richard
Executive chef and owner of Michel Richard Citronelle and Central Michel Richard in the District
Lives in: Potomac
"Most of my friends are chefs, and when they visit me we visit the Asian store the Great Wall in Virginia. There are live fish, big live frogs, leafy greens -- they have so much to offer. And we love to sit at the end of the store eating their barbecue crispy pork and Peking duck. It's so delicious."
Great Wall Supermarket, 2982 Gallows Rd., Merrifield, 703-208-3320.Cokie Roberts
Senior news analyst for National Public Radio and political commentator for ABC News
Lives in: Bethesda
"I used to take people on very special tours of the Capitol baths, which are those fabulous marble baths in the Capitol basement, but security has become so bad -- it's heartbreaking. So I don't do that anymore.
"One place [I take people] is the Franciscan Monastery, which is peaceful and beautiful and unexpected. The other is the Sewall-Belmont House. It has a lot of women's history, which is of particular interest to me. And since my grandchildren have moved to town I've done a lot of the going-around-town kids' stuff. There's a wonderful little aviation museum in College Park that they like."
Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. NE, 202-526-6800, http://www.myfranciscan.org. Free.
Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, 144 Constitution Ave. NE, 202-546-1210, http://www.sewallbelmont.org. Free, $5 suggested donation.
College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park, 301-864-6029, http://www.pgparks.com/places/historic/cpam. $4, seniors $3, students and children $2.Eric Schaeffer
Co-founder and artistic director of Signature Theatre
Lives in: Arlington
"I spend so much time in Shirlington[home of Signature Theatre], and it has become this great neighborhood. It feels like a European village. You can sit outside and eat or watch people walk by. And you can go around the world for dinner: We have Thai, Indian, Italian, Mexican, American and Chinese restaurants, all within a block of each other. And then you can just walk down the street and see a show. What's really great: There's free parking."
Shirlington neighborhood, South Arlington, http://www.arlingtonvirginiausa.com/index.cfm/6034.
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-820-9771, http://www.sig-online.org.Danella Sealock
Host of BET's "Black Carpet"
Lives in: New York (grew up in the District and Maryland suburbs)
"The past two times I've gone home, I've brought people who aren't from D.C., so we went to the Southwest waterfront, which is probably one of my favorite places to go because it's so cool. You can go there and pick up fresh seafood, get the traditional Maryland crabs or lobster and get it steamed. Then you can either eat it there or get in the car and drive to Hains Point, sit in the shade and watch the boats go by or people fish while you eat.
"Another one of my favorite spots is the Arboretum. They've done an amazing job of getting trees and plants from different parts of the world. It's amazing. You feel like you're not in the city; you can look up and just see trees and sky."
Southwest waterfront, Water Street SW.
Hains Point, southern tip of East Potomac Park, Ohio Drive SW.
U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE, 202-245-2726, http://www.usna.usda.gov. Free.Peggy Smith
Co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery (with Sue Conley)
Lives in: California (grew up in Northern Virginia and visits the D.C. store monthly)
"Sue and I always go to the Dupont farmers market. There's cheese and eggs and really good fish and bread and, of course, vegetables. Then there's the Penn Quarter farmers market on Thursdays, and we love to go to Eastern Market and afterward to Murky Coffee, which makes delicious cappuccinos. I think those are some of the best cappuccinos I've ever had."
Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market, 20th and Q streets NW;
Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market, Eighth and D streets NW; 202-362-8889; http://www.freshfarmmarket.org.
Murky Coffee, 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 202-546-5228, http://www.murkycoffee.com.Alison Starling
Co-anchor of "Good Morning Washington" and "ABC 7 News at Noon"
Lives in: Alexandria
" Roosevelt Island is a hidden treasure. A lot of people that live here don't know it's there. I hike around the path and then stop to see the monument, or take a picnic if it's not too humid. And because I live in Alexandria I always take people to Old Town. I love to go to Indigo Landing on the water, even if it's just for a drink. You have a nice view of the airport and water."
Theodore Roosevelt Island. Enter north of the Roosevelt Bridge from the George Washington Memorial Parkway, 703-289-2500, http://www.nps.gov/this. Free.
Old Town Alexandria, Ramsay House Visitors Center, 221 King St., Alexandria, 703-838-5005, http://www.funside.com.
Indigo Landing, 1 Marina Dr., Alexandria, 703-548-0001, http://www.indigolanding.com.Marcus Washington
Linebacker for the Washington Redskins
Lives in: Leesburg
"When I have people come in, I take them to Sweetwater in Sterling. That's one of my favorite restaurants. They have an outdoor deck and a little pond out back. It's nice when it's nighttime to sit out there and eat or have a drink. It has a nice ambiance about it, and the food is great. My favorites are probably the ribs and the salmon. And the crab cakes are great, too."
Sweetwater Tavern, 45980 Waterview Plaza, Sterling, 571-434-6500, http://www.greatamericanrestaurants.com.Septime Webre
Artistic director of the Washington Ballet
Lives in: Adams Morgan
"I love going to Comet Ping Pong to play Ping-Pong. It's one of my favorite places to eat and drink. And who doesn't love Ping-Pong? I live in Adams Morgan and I'm Cuban American, so I also love to go salsa dancing at Habana Village. I get the rhythms of my childhood combined with a late-night mojito."
Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-0404.
Habana Village, 1834 Columbia Rd. NW, 202-462-6310,