With the nights already getting chilly, it's time to get out those sweaters, buy a pumpkin spice latte, and take part in some of the fun activities autumn brings. Any Washingtonian knows that fall is a great time to be in DC. The tourist crowds and humidity dissipate just as temperatures drop to a tolerable level and the beautiful foliage emerges. Here are just a few suggestions to help you make the most of your fall before the winter chill sets in:
Channel your Inner Knight at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
Just a few miles east of the Beltway bustle, a shady forest in rural Maryland transports you back to the Middle Ages for a few weeks every fall. At the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, Maryland, you can enjoy a turkey leg, watch a live joust, and of course enjoy a wide array of libations. The many vendors who set up shop at the festival sell fanciful handicrafts and are always eager to engage in witty medieval banter with any visitors who will play along. The festival also features comedy, musical performances, games, rides, and fun for all ages – not to mention great people watching. This year’s Maryland Renaissance Festival is already underway, and runs on weekend days through October 19. All are welcome, whether you show up in cargo shorts or a full suit of chain mail. For more info, visit: http://rennfest.com/
Get Out on the Water at the Annapolis Boat Show
For over four decades, boaters from all over the country have descended on Annapolis, Maryland during the month of October for the U.S. Sailboat Show and the U.S. Powerboat Show. The shows give boat makers and other vendors a chance to show off their wares on a series of floating docks at the historic Annapolis waterfront. If you’re not in the market for your next dream boat, this could be your only chance to climb aboard a yacht you could never hope to afford and see how the other half lives. Even if you are not a salty sailor type, these shows make for an interesting spectacle and a fun way to spend a fall afternoon. This year, the U.S. Sailboat Show runs from October 9th through October 13th and the U.S. Powerboat Show runs from October 16th through October 19th. More information can be found here: http://www.usboat.com/
Avoid the Crowds and Catch Up on Sightseeing
As the spring and summer tourist season comes to a close, fall is a great time for locals to take the time to visit the many attractions which grow too hot and crowded during the summer months. The Washington Monument reopened to visitors earlier this year following extensive efforts to repair the damage inflicted by an earthquake which struck DC in 2011. Although advance reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov, walk-up visitors can often catch a free ride to the top of the Monument during the off season. On a rainy day, duck into one of the city’s many museums and galleries. On October 1st, the Corcoran Gallery of Art will shutter its impressive collection of contemporary art and pieces from European and American masters due to its reorganization, but admission is free in the meantime. If you have passed on the Corcoran in the past due to its cost of entry in favor of the free Smithsonian and National Gallery museums on the National Mall, now is your chance to check it out. Be sure to take advantage of this local gem before it’s too late!
These are a sampling of the many activities that DC and the surrounding areas have to offer during the fall, but we hope this information will help you to plan and enjoy the great autumn season!