Walking the Wharf

Image courtesy of https://www.lonelyplanet.com/

By Kat Kaderabek 

Located a mere ten-minute drive from the Washington Monument, and twenty minutes from CUA, the Wharf District is one of D.C.’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods. Located where the city meets the water, the Wharf provides scenic waterscape views, a myriad of restaurants, and both free and ticketed event options. This is the perfect place for D.C. newcomers to explore. 

Restaurants along the waterfront of The Wharf vary in food options. Most establishments specialize in seafood due to their location relative to the river. Other restaurants that offer different cuisines include Mi Vida with Mexican food, Kirwin’s Irish Pub, Lupo Marino with Italian food, and many more. Some of the restaurants can be expensive, but cheaper options include fast-food places including Shake Shack, District Doughnuts, and Union Pie. 

Hungry for dessert? Not only does the Wharf have its own Ben & Jerry’s store complete with its iconic cow bench for photos, but also at the center of the promenade sits a smores RV. Decorated with lights and Christmas trees, the smores RV is open year-round to bring that beloved Christmas-feel at any time. A fire pit surrounded by a dozen rocking chairs is located directly next to the RV for customers to roast their marshmallows and warm up in the colder months. The smores RV gets creative with their concoctions, offering Reese’s and Kit-Kat smores to chocolate lovers, and caramel or simple s’mores to the more traditional crowd. 

While the Wharf has a wide array of food options, it also has several other activities great for the family. On the furthest pier are several artistically constructed swing sets meant for 2-3 people to sit and enjoy the view of the docked sailboats. This is one of the best places in D.C. to go during the sunset because of the stunning foreground of the marketplace and marina as well as a view of the Washington Monument peeking up above the trees. 

Located on the same pier as the swings is a decent-sized interactive fountain. Water sprays from the ground in intervals for children to run through. This is a great entertainment option for children, especially during the hot and humid summer months. These sprinklers are only open during the warmer months. 

Another fun and free activity at the Wharf occurs sporadically throughout the mile-long promenade. Several jumbo screens are mounted along the walk for people to enjoy the current D.C. sports teams or news. Recently, a major crowd has gathered to watch the Washington Nationals in their attempt to win the World Series. 

The Wharf is always hosting events each weekend. Later this year, the Wharf will host the Fire and Ice Festival, complete with ice sculptures and fire-dancers. Their website details all the exciting and mostly free events going on each weekend, including this upcoming weekend’s “Fill A Boat Food Drive.” 

Music lovers will find a home at The Anthem, one of D.C.’s most prominent concert venues. The theater is located directly on the waterfront and can hold 2,500 to 6,000 people. The massive and newly-designed Anthem has a stellar line-up for the end of 2019, including artists such as Hozier, Sara Bareilles, AJR, and Bob Dylan along with his Band. The presence of this venue along the Wharf water line has created a popular and thriving nightlife that has contributed to the up-and-coming status of the neighborhood.  According to the Wharf’s official website, construction is underway to lengthen the mile-long waterfront experience. The District plans to add 255 new apartments, 223 more boat slips, and a 1.5 acre park. This extensive undertaking is projected to be completed by the end of 2022 with the majority of the water-side work taking place throughout 2019-2020. While the Wharf is already spectacular and interactive with the D.C. community, the continuation of the construction plans will bring the experience to another level.

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