Washington D.C. in the snow is beautiful, and it’s even better when it’s a surprise!
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By March of this year, I’d ditched all my cold weather gear in Alabama. Living out of a suitcase meant I wanted to shed as much unnecessary gear as possible, and after a month of unusually warm weather in the south I was ready to get rid of warm layers. So when I visited my husband in sunny Alabama, I ditched the gloves, hat, and snow coat. Because March in the south means daffodils and dogwoods, right?
Apparently not. Days after leaving Alabama, my trip to D.C. came into question because of snow. Not wanting to miss the chance to visit, I headed up a day early to beat the weather. The joy of crashing with my parents means that I borrowed my mom’s snow boots and my lovely host Catherine lent me a coat, but it cracked me up that my winter gear got left in sunny Alabama when I’m snowed in here in the District of Colombia.
While I’ve been snowed in in D.C. before, it’s never been during the same time the cherry blossoms were predicted. This time, I was visiting my friend Catherine, and she and I spent a few days comparing notes on our favorite D.C. So here’s a few bits of our snow day adventures!
I arrived only an hour before the snow, so the next day we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow loveliness. Catherine lives between Cleveland Park & Woodley Park, a fun area which I hadn’t spent much time exploring.
In a blanket of new-fallen snow, we snapped a leash on her dog Nike and headed out! Our first destination was the National Cathedral. Ever since a middle school visit I have been in love with this place. It has the feel of an old-world cathedral with some distinctive American touches. I remember gazing up on the ceiling, full of 1800’s U.S. iconography. It’s both beautiful and patriotic, in the purest sense of the world.
With all the snow, it was closed for the day, so I don’t have any indoor pictures to show you. But the outside the blanket of white and cloudy sky created a moody, magical atmosphere.
If you find yourself near there on a snowy day, take a walk in the nearby neighborhood. The peace created by the snow, combined with the gorgeous enormous homes, feels a world away from the typical picture of D.C.. But that’s one of the things I love that this city – you can get away from the hustle relatively quickly and find yourself on a quiet residential street or in a wooded valley without walking too far from a metro stop.
Another area transformed by the snow is Rock Creek Park. It feels miles away from civilization, instead of just outside one of the busiest cities in the US. We spent an hour by Peirce Mill, in the southern part of the park. Named after the mill it contains, the creek bubbles past the snow-covered rocks.
Another fun part of this area to check out are the embassies dotted along the road. They’re not so much open, but it’s cool to see the buildings and try to name the flags outside.
Areas like Peirce Mill offer such a good reminder that our capital city wasn’t always the sprawling metropolis it is now. Once it was a farming community along a river, full of families trying to grow food and settle in this new land. It’s a great spot for an hour’s walk or a weekend picnic with friends.
Another great part of snow days is that enjoying the new views are free! Everything I’ve shared today is open to the public for free. Visiting the inside of the Cathedral won’t be, but if you’re looking for a walking tour, both of these areas offer less-seen views of the capital!
I’ve visited Washington D.C. at least annually for years. From this trip, I also shared a few favorite things and some new-to-me food discoveries. If you want to see some of my other suggestions for D.C. fun, you can see the complete list here!
What’s your favorite place to visit in the snow?