Spring has officially sprung in DC, and baseball season has returned. The Washington Nationals may not necessarily be World Series contenders, but over the past five years they’ve provided locals with another good reason to visit the city’s blossoming Southwest Waterfront, where the Nationals Stadium is located.
Southwest is an interesting neighborhood: historically significant yet often overlooked; within spitting distance of some of the city’s best-known memorials yet plagued by poverty until the mid-20th century. Over the last 50+ years, through various urban renewal projects, the face of Southwest has changed quite a bit, and with the construction of Nationals Stadium in the early 2000′s, the neighborhood experienced a major new phase of gentrification. Hotels, restaurants and bars have cropped up, and existing landmarks have enjoyed renewed interest.
If you’re planning a visit to the Southwest Waterfront, consider checking out the following spots:
Arena Stage – enjoy a production at one of the city’s foremost theaters at its sparkling new Mead Center venue.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – powerful and humbling, this museum is a must-see, though it’s too intense for young children.
Titanic Memorial – this lofty statue, built in remembrance of those who died in the ship’s sinking, was around long before Leonardo and Kate did their “king of the world” pose in that movie.
Odyssey Cruises – See the sights while stuffing your face on this dinner cruise ship that leaves from Southwest and floats along the Potomac.
Cantina Marina – This seasonal waterfront restaurant serves Tex-Mex and Cajun food; the margarita-drinking crowd can get a little rowdy.
US Botanic Garden – lush and peaceful, these gardens, on the grounds of the US Capitol, are open year-round.
Zanzibar on the Waterfront – this slick restaurant/lounge/nightclub plays everything from Latin and Jazz to neo soul and hip-hop; beware the hefty cover charge, though.