Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Leave the cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial to the out-of-towners, and give me Hains Point any day. Tucked at the very southern tip of East Potomac Park, it has miles of roads for biking, views of both the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, pleasant willows and other trees, decent playground equipment—and almost no reason for sight-seeing tourists to visit. (Even the park’s one longtime claim to fame, the sculpture “The Awakening,” was moved to National Harbor in 2008.) Which explains why most of the cars in the (ample) parking lots there have plates from the District, Maryland, or Virginia, and why there’s far more of a neighborhood feel there than anywhere else with such a high density of Tourmobiles in the vicinity, with families having cookouts on picnic tables or lounging by fishing poles. It’s a great way to while away a sunny day—and then head back to your nearby home.