5 Must-Visit D.C. Metro Stops

5 Must-Visit D.C. Metro Stops

Eight weeks into my Washington Center experience, I’ve gotten pretty familiar with taking the Metro, and have even come to prefer it. While you do sacrifice some of the convenience of being able to drive, it saves you the hassle of looking for and paying for parking, as well as having to worry about paying for gas or doing car maintenance. After using the Metro extensively for both work and fun, I’ve found my top five favorite stops, some of them fairly common and others slightly off the beaten path.

 

1. Union Station

For anyone who takes the red line regularly, you’ve probably passed through Union Station more than once. It’s the hub for trains, buses, and shuttles for anyone who might be visiting from out of town, and houses a huge collection of shops and restaurants. The station essentially functions as a miniature mall and is right across the street from the National Postal Museum. The Capitol is also only a short walk away and the station is only a ten minute walk from TWC's Residential and Academic Facility (RAF) for those who live there for the semester.

 

Recommendation: Ebenezers, a coffee shop that’s a five minute walk from the station and features amazing lavender lattes.

 

2. Gallery Place-Chinatown

This Metro stop is the one I enter and exit every day for my job, and has become as familiar to me as the back of my hand. There are two exits, one of which is closer to the Capitol One Arena (formerly the Verizon Center) while the other leads more directly into Chinatown. The Chinatown area is one certainly worth exploring, with plenty of Chinese restaurants to grab a bite to eat and a giant, beautiful arch at the entrance to the area. Within a five minute walk are several restaurants and coffee shops, and many sports events are held nearby.

 

Recommendation: Pitango Gelato, a gelato place with several flavors to choose from and coffee drinks if you’re looking for something to warm you up in the mornings.

 

3. Waterfront Station

Waterfront Station is on the green line, and is most accessible when transferring from Gallery Place if you’re coming from any of The Washington Center's residential facilities. In the fall, the southwest neighborhood holds an event with live music, a flea market, farmer’s market, and beer garden all combined in the lot directly across from the station. If you’re willing to walk, you can get to the District Wharf in about 15 minutes at a good pace. The Wharf has a fish market available as well as a collection of shops and they often host special events on weekends.

 

Recommendation: Walking along the District Wharf and (if you’re a seafood person) stopping to get some fresh seafood.

 

4. Foggy Bottom - GWU Station

Foggy Bottom is a picturesque area that speaks to the college crowd, due in large part to its location near George Washington University’s hospital and campus. There are a number of shops, restaurants, and bookstores that start near the station and continue all the way to the Georgetown Waterfront. Fair warning: the closer to Georgetown Waterfront you get, the more expensive the shops are likely to become! If you’re up for a walk, the Georgetown Waterfront Park and the river are a nice escape from the busyness of the city, and the cruises are well worth the money if you’ve got the budget for it.

 

Recommendation: Baked and Wired bakery, which features the best chai cupcakes I’ve ever tasted in my life. Well worth the 20 minute wait - the hunger makes the cupcakes taste that much better.

 

My suitemate Teasha and I enjoying a day at the Georgetown Waterfront

 

5. Pentagon City

While it’s a fair distance off the well-traveled red line for me, Pentagon City was worth going a little out of my way. I originally traveled here in search of a haircut that would cost me $25 or less, and the Arlington Great Clips was the nearest one I could find. On my way to shorter hair, however, I found a huge five-floor mall that had more conventional stores like Forever 21 and Sephora as well as less common ones like Nyx, one of my favorite makeup brands. The area outside the mall also has a number of unique eateries that are well worth a visit.

 

Recommendation: Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, where I could shop for days in if my budget allowed me to. However, even my much shorter trip yielded a new nude lipstick and an amazing bubble tea, both without leaving me broke.

 

Pentagon City

The view from the window on the yellow line to Pentagon City Station

 

While I only listed five here, there are many more stops where I've unexpectedly discovered a new favorite hang-out or haunt. Don't be afraid to make a visit to a new Metro stop just for the sake of the adventure - you never know when your new favorite burger place or coffee shop is waiting right around the corner.


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