(Simon Williams)

We asked, you answered. Here’s what readers voted as the best things about living in the D.C. area.

Best seasonal event in D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival
Who knew a city could make such a fuss about a shower of pink petals? For one of D.C.’s signature events, people flock to the Tidal Basin from all over the area — and much farther away. The big events are the opening ceremony, the kite festival and the parade, but locals know the best thing to do is pack a picnic, find a spot with a view of the Jefferson Memorial and count all the forced family portraits and marriage proposals that are bound to happen. —Kristen Page-Kirby (Various locations; next year’s festival is scheduled for March 20-April 16)
2nd: Fourth of July on the Mall, National Mall
3rd: National Christmas Tree Lighting, E Street between 15th and 17th streets NW

Best depiction of D.C. on TV

‘House of Cards’
Netflix’s flagship series — the Hollywood way of airing Washington’s seductively sinister side — was voted best at capturing this fair town for the second year running. “House of Cards” doesn’t get into the grit of D.C.’s city life too often, but its portrayal of politicians behaving despicably while raising their henchmen to become just as diabolical? Well, that is something we can relate to these days. In the wise words of President Francis J. Underwood himself: “Give and take. Welcome to Washington.” —Bryanna Cappadona
2nd: “Veep,” HBO
3rd: “The Americans,” FX

Best non-car commute

Uber
In a year when SafeTrack threatens to turn Metro riders into pumpkins if they’re out past the system’s early midnight closure, Uber is this city’s Prince Charming. And the San Francisco-based company is still finding more ways to come to Washingtonians’ rescue, by partnering with Nationals Park and FedEx Field to create zones where riders can meet up with Uber drivers safely, and launching UberEats, a food delivery system for when you just can’t make the trek to your favorite Vietnamese place. Then there’s UberPool, which lets travelers share rides to get cheaper fares — and to beef up their conversation starters. (Our suggestions: “Oh, man, that Redskins game!” and “Oy vey, Donald Trump!”) —Lori McCue
2nd: Metrorail
3rd: Capital Bikeshare

Best place to take classes

The Art League
Not every art school can boast that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s formal portrait was painted by one of its teachers. For 60 years, the Alexandria-based Art League has taught kids as young as 5 and adults into their 90s how to make jewelry, ceramics, fiber crafts and art prints. Dip your toe in the water with a one-off workshop, or take a deeper dive with semester-long courses for both beginners and more advanced students. You’ll likely get a whole lot more out of it than just handmade Christmas presents for your entire office. “A lot of people end up making a community here,” says Kathi Cohen, director of the school. “They find a kindred soul.” —Erin Bylander (105 N. Union St., Alexandria, and 305 Madison St., Alexandria)
2nd: Lemon Bowl, 3015 Georgia Ave. NW
3rd: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW), 545 Seventh St. SE

Best record store

Smash Records
Though it specializes in punk and hardcore vinyl, Smash Records really does have something for everyone, whether you’re looking to start a collection or you just want to browse during a Sunday stroll in Adams Morgan. The record store, which also sells vintage clothes, posters and other trinkets, is constantly rotating its used stock — there are usually at least two bins stuffed with new additions — and has a huge selection of marked-down LPs. Records are helpfully organized by genre (there’s also a separate section for new releases), and prices are reasonable. —Rudi Greenberg (2314 18th St. NW)
2nd: Red Onion Records, 1628 U St. NW
3rd: CD Cellar, 105 Park Ave., Falls Church


(Bob Peterson)

Best Day Trip

Annapolis
It’s easy to see why our neighbor to the east beckons D.C. residents year after year: quaint cobblestones, a grand history and a dining scene that’s quickly demolishing the Maryland capital’s reputation as a crab-only destination. West Street is a stretch of boutiques, bars and restaurants (and, OK, a ton of T-shirt shops) that ends at City Dock, where visitors can gape at yachts they’ll never be able to afford — for the best view, grab a seat outdoors at Pusser’s. A walk around the Naval Academy grounds offers a glimpse into the lives of future Navy and Marine officers and gives you ample time to wonder when they started admitting people who look 12. K.P.K.
2nd: Baltimore
3rd: Philadelphia

More Best Of winners:

Dining: restaurants, food trucks, snacks and more

Drinking: bars, breweries, distilleries and more

Arts: museums, galleries and more

Style: shops, salons and more

Fitness: gyms, yoga studios and more

Sports: teams, venues and more