Things To Do While Staying at The Wharf Marina DC in Spring
Thinking of staying at The Wharf DC this spring? Great - we’d love it if you stopped by! And while you dock at our premier Washington DC marina, why not take in the sights?
There are plenty of things to see and do at our nation’s capital, and while the usual attractions like the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and the Smithsonian Museums are always a must-see, the Wharf neighborhood in Washington DC has a lot more to offer prospective visitors, especially in the springtime!
Check out our list of the best activities to do and places to visit near the Wharf if you find yourself in Washington DC this spring.
Spring Festivals Near the Wharf
Springtime is one of the best seasons to visit Washington DC because of the amazing, one-of-a-kind festivals visitors and locals alike get to experience.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Gaze at beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. These stunning blooms first arrived in the city as a gift from then-Tokyo city mayor Yukio Ozaki way back in 1912, and they’ve been celebrated every year throughout the city ever since.
Visitors can marvel at the pink and white blossoms during peak bloom when they’re at their brightest and fullest. Peak bloom season varies from year to year, but they usually occur from late March to very early April. The view of the trees as you stroll along the Tidal Basin makes for a truly breathtaking sight, whether you’re enjoying the view alone or with friends and loved ones.
Running from March 20 to April 16, 2023, this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival promises to be an unforgettable experience that’s unlike any other with a full list of activities for all ages to enjoy! There’s the Blossom Kite Festival, the Festival parade, the Japanese street festival Sakura Matsuri, Petalpalooza, and the Pink Tie Party.
Cherry blossoms only remain in full bloom for a fleeting few days, so be sure to catch them at their most beautiful before it’s too late!
Have a unique, DC-only experience at Passport DC, an extraordinary international celebration that lasts all throughout the month of May! Passport DC is a festival that honors all the colorful cultures that make up Washington DC.
The highlight of this event is the Around the World Embassy Tour on May 7, 2023. This is the only time visitors are allowed to tour the inside of some of the 170 foreign embassies along Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue and get a taste of different cultures! This includes the EU Open House on May 14, 2023. There’s food, drinks, music, dances, showcases from different countries, and many more fun activities planned.
Best of all, admission is free! So if you’re looking for something truly special while you’re in town, Passport DC is one you don’t want to miss.
Events at The Wharf
Whether you want a night out in town or a leisurely day out, The Wharf is sure to have something fun planned for you this spring.
Ireland at The Wharf
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day differently this year and head on over to Ireland at The Wharf, The Wharf’s own special Irish festival featuring live bands, bagpipes, and of course, Guinness Beer.
Whether or not you’ve got some Irish in you yourself, this Irish festival on the waterfront is sure to be a blast! This one-day event happens on March 18, 2023 at the District Pier from 12 PM to 6 PM.
Witness The Wharf’s own celebration of the Cherry Blossom Festival with Bloomaroo, a full day event filled with cherry blossom-themed showcases, music, food, and fireworks to end the night right. It’s got everything you look forward to in an event, from live music, beer gardens, s’mores, to family-friendly fun that all ages can enjoy.
This spring extravaganza takes place on April 1, 2023 at the District Pier, so mark the date!
Cinco de Mayo
Join The Wharf for a unique Cinco de Mayo celebration with the Annual Running of the Chihuahuas! Just as the name suggests, the Running of the Chihuahuas is a fun, family event that features a foot race of up to 90 chihuahuas on a 60-foot race track. It’s just as entertaining and hilarious as it sounds! Best of all, all proceeds from the race go to Rural Dog Rescue, a non-profit organization that saves dogs from dog shelters.
Other than that, there’s live music, food, games, and other activities for everyone to enjoy. Stop by on May 6, 2023 from 2 PM to 5 PM at the District Pier for a fun-filled day you’ll never forget!
Shows and Exhibits Near the Wharf
Take a dip into the city’s rich local art scene and catch a show or an art exhibit at one of these local venues. Check out all the upcoming shows and exhibits premiering this spring in venues all over DC.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
There’s always something going on at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at Foggy Bottom, just north of the Lincoln Memorial. From musicals, plays, and opera, to comedy shows, concerts, dance performances, and art exhibits, The Kennedy Center has something for everyone! They even hold free shows at the Millenium Stage every night at 6 PM.
Get a ticket to all the latest shows coming this spring, like the plays Mortification of Fovea Munson, Blue, and even legendary Broadway musical Les Miserable; women-centered stand-up act RIOT!; and music shows BRG!Fest and Sounds of the DMV: Hip Hop Showcase. If you’re planning to be in the area while a show’s on, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity and reserve your tickets as early as possible!
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theatre
You’re in luck — this event venue is located right near The Wharf Marina, so you can dock your boat and then head just across the street to catch a show! If the Kennedy Center is too far for you, the Arena Stage is a wonderful alternative that stages plenty of amazing shows, concerts, and other events all year round.
Immerse yourself in arts and culture during your stay in Washington DC and check out what’s coming to the Arena Stage in spring, such as the historical play The High Ground, award-winning drama Angels in America, powerful new play Exclusion, and darkly funny musical Ride the Cyclone (now showing!).
A Tour of the National Mall
The National Mall is a historic national park and is one of America’s most visited attractions. Here you’ll find iconic monuments like the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, and an astounding number of national museums and art galleries, including the Smithsonian Museums.
Get ready for an educational and historic tour unlike any other at the National Mall. Wander the picturesque grounds of the park and marvel at the famous monuments, from the iconic Washington Monument to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Monument. Take selfies with the modern art installations in the various sculpture gardens scattered throughout, or relax and enjoy an extraordinary, immersive experience at Artechouse. If it’s a show you want, the National Theatre and Ford’s Theatre are right nearby. (And yes, the latter is where the Lincoln assassination took place.)
Smithsonian a bit too crowded for you? Take a look at the other wonderful, eye-opening museums the Mall has to offer: the National Gallery of Art (which features original pieces from world-famous artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, and da Vinci), the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the International Spy Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (the latest addition to the Mall’s museums), just to name a few.
Most of these museums offer free admission and the outdoor areas are completely free for everyone to walk, sit, and even hold picnics in. Plus, the Mall looks absolutely beautiful during cherry blossom season!
If you’d rather be out and about in the city instead of sitting around in a stuffy museum, we’ve got you covered! Enjoy everything the city has to offer with these fun outdoor activities and places.
Monuments by Moonlight
Want to see DC’s most popular monuments in a different light? Monuments by Moonlight is a nighttime bus tour that lets you see the capital city under the moonlight. They offer fully narrated tours with licensed tour guides and a view of DC that most daytime tourists don’t even get to experience, with stopovers at sites like the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the US Marine Corps War Memorial.
These two-and-a-half-hour-long trips occur nightly, so if you ever feel like seeing the sights of Washington without all the pesky daytime crowds or the heat of the sun, Monuments by Moonlight is just the thing for you!
US Botanic Garden
Get a taste of nature from the comforts of the indoors. Located in the National Mall, the US Botanic Garden is the oldest continually operating botanic garden in the country and is completely free to enter every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.
It features a conservatory made up of 10 garden rooms and courtyard gardens, including a room dedicated entirely to orchids and the World Deserts Room which has succulents and cacti that thrive in deserts all over the world, with over a thousand different plant species, including rare and endangered ones! They also have outdoor gardens like the Rose Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, and the interactive Children’s Garden. And when you’re done, you can head right across the street to Bartholdi Park, a lesser-known gem of the city, for a little break or for some pictures.
The US Botanic Gardens is a great place to take the family on a little excursion and is open to the public all year round!
Not to be confused with the myriad national parks in Washington, the Nationals Park is a baseball stadium located right near the marina in the Navy Yards neighborhood. The home of the major league Washington Nationals, this is the perfect place to go if you’re a fan of sports and love to catch a good game before you set off on your next boating adventure!
Try and catch a game if you can, and while you’re at it, enjoy a chili dog from Ben’s Chili Bowl or dine in at the Budweiser Brew House located right inside the stadium. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch the legendary President's Race! Head on over to Nationals Park if you’re aching for a great sports experience.
Tour the Washington Navy Yard
Once you’ve caught a game at Nationals Park, it’s time to unwind with a walking tour of the Washington Navy Yard neighborhood. Get your walking shoes ready because this 90-minute guided tour is going to take you all over Navy Yard, starting from the National Museum of the U.S Navy.
The Washington Navy Yard is home to one of the country’s oldest military facilities and is a historic site with a little-known story to tell. Want to find out just how significant the Navy Yard is? Sign up for a tour now and see for yourself!
And finally, if you’re up for some exercise, take a jog up and down the Watergate Steps near the Lincoln Memorial. Originally intended to be a dock for boats setting off along the Potomac River, the Watergate Steps are a great place to sit, relax, and enjoy the view of the river. The National Symphony Orchestra holds concerts here during the summertime, where guests can sit at the steps and watch as the orchestra plays for them on a float on the Potomac.
While you might not be able to catch the orchestra during the spring, the Watergate Steps are still a nice place to sit down and relax after a long day spent touring and taking in the sights of Washington. Be sure to watch the sunset beyond the river before you head on back to The Wharf and get ready for your next trip.
Plan Your Spring Trip to Washington DC Now!
Whenever you decide to go, Washington DC has a lot more in store for you, from seasonal events and festivals to tours and shows that offer a fascinating insight into the state’s rich history and culture.
If you’ve been planning a boating trip, why not rent a slip at The Wharf Marina and sail along the Potomac? And while you’re at it, take your own little detour into town at Washington DC and enjoy everything the capital city has to offer in the springtime!