Ten Cool Things to Do at The Wharf in D.C.

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As the weather cools down, you may be looking for ways to get your family out of the house. Washington, D.C., has tons of amazing attractions, but one of the best places to spend a Saturday is on the District Wharf. Whether you like shopping, eating, playing, or boating, there’s an activity for you.

The Wharf district has dozens of restaurants, performance spaces, parks, markets, and more. Read on to learn more about this amazing district and discover the sort of fun you could find there this weekend.

Grab Some Food

Restaurants in District Wharf

One of the best things to do at The Wharf in Washington, D.C., is to find a bite to eat. The Wharf is home to more than twenty restaurants, and you can find something delicious no matter what your tastes are. From drinks and coffee to desserts and snacks, you can find plenty of places to grab some food on the go. 

If you’re wanting the best of the District Wharf restaurants, enjoy the Spanish stylings of Michelin-starred chef Fabio Trabocchi at Del Mar. For a spot with a view and a fun atmosphere, don’t miss Mexican restaurant Mi Vida. Hank’s Oyster Bar serves amazing oysters, and Kaliwa brings a taste of Asia with an eclectic twist to The Wharf.

Play a Game

You might be surprised to learn that The Wharf is a great place to play a board game. But there’s a twist – these games won’t be like the ones you played with your family as a kid. Instead, they’re blown-up versions that allow you to step inside the fun you loved when you were growing up.

The Wharf’s Recreation Pier has oversized versions of Scrabble, Connect Four, and more for you to enjoy. Hop on a wooden swing for a gorgeous nostalgic moment or a perfect Instagram shot. You can also find rocking horses and fountains for the little ones to enjoy at the 7th Street Park in The Wharf. 

Get on the Water 

Wharf in D.C.

As you might expect, some of the best sights to see at The Wharf aren’t on land. This area provides amazing access to DC’s waterways, and what could be more fun than spending the day on the water? The Wharf has plenty of ways for you to explore the Potomac at any level of adventure. 

If you’d looking for a day of energetic fun, rent a paddleboard, kayak, or even sailboat at the Wharf Boathouse. You can also use your own equipment if you have access to it. If you want something a little more low-key, check out some of the cruises; there are dinner cruises or historic tours that will be an experience to remember. 

Attend a Show

During your time at The Wharf, why not take in a concert or a show? The Wharf has seven performance spaces that range in size from a 6,000-seat auditorium to a performance stage in an Irish pub. You can listen to live music in every genre, comedians, and other live performers across the Wharf.

Earlier this fall, The Wharf hosted the Jazz Fest, and venues in the park have hosted everyone from Green Day and the Dave Matthews Band to Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, and Twenty One Pilots. You can also find street performers every day at The Wharf, ensuring that you’ll get to see a show each time you visit. 

Go to a Special Event 

In addition to shows and concerts, The Wharf hosts a variety of events year-round. You can attend cultural festivals, craft fairs, and even the annual Holiday Boat Parade that will be held on December 4 this year. There are religious events, oyster derbies, and outdoor movie series for you and the family to enjoy.

This year, The Wharf hosted Fiesta DC, the Wiener 500 Oktoberfest, and the DC Turkish Festival. They recently held a Dia de los Muertos celebration, and next month, you can attend the Oyster Derby. November 26 will be the lighting of The Wharf Christmas tree, and on November 28, they’ll hold the Lighting of the Menorah.

Explore the Fish Market 

Fish market in D.C

If you want a little more historic Wharf culture, consider wandering down to the Fish Market. This marketplace is the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States; it’s been running for more than 215 years! Even if seafood isn’t your thing, you’ll enjoy the historic charm of this section of the District. 

If you do want to get hands on some fresh fish, there’s no better place around to do it. You can buy oysters, shrimp, and crab both fresh and cooked, as well as a variety of different fish. The Wharf also recently opened a historic oyster shed, a new market hall, two small market pavilions, and a distillery.

Explore the District Wharf 

The Wharf is an amazing area of DC, no matter whether you enjoy shopping or eating or taking in a concert. The Fish Market has been running for more than two centuries, and the district hosts dozens of events and festivals every year. If you’re looking for a spot to spend a weekend this fall, there are few better places in D.C. to do it than on the Wharf.

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