When you read this, the federal government may or may not be operational. Nonetheless, in these uncertain times, it’s good to have a bunch of spots in your arsenal you know will always be open. After all, it’s no fun to plan a trip and then have your excursions thwarted.
The Newseum is not one of the museums run by the Smithsonian, so it remains open. Interactive and informative, it currently has exhibits on “The Civil Rights Act at 50,” how news and the media covered 9/11, a piece of the Berlin Wall (and how the fall was reported) and lots more.
The Kennedy Center offers free performances every day at 6 p.m on its Millenium Stage, from comedians and composers to choral groups and spoken word. (Some are decidedly more kid-friendly than others.) Check the website for the calendar, plan on getting there well in advance and know parking is $23 at the gate and $20 if you reserve online. Afterwards, go upstairs to the Roof Terrace Restaurant for a killer view and a drink or dinner.
Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink
At 11,800 square feet, the Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink is the biggest in D.C. Open from mid-November through mid-March, the circular rink is open every day for recreational skating overlooking the Potomac River. Afterwards, warm up with a table at the uber-popular Farmers Fishers Bakers, a casual, bustling farm-focused restaurant with something for everyone ($10/adults, $9/children, $6 for skate rental).
Sure it’s a little chilly in D.C. this time of year, but bundle up and explore District Wharf, the city’s hip new area on the water, with shops, restaurants and music venue The Anthem which hometown boy Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters calls one of the best places they’ve ever played in the world.
A few years ago “The Awakening”, a 72-foot statue of a giant embedded in the earth struggling to free himself, was relocated to National Harbor. Sitting on one of his massive hands is a selfie-lover’s dream. Once you’ve snapped all the shots from every angle, take a lot of some of the other art installations and life-sized bronze status of U.S. presidents you can pose next to, then peruse the shops or stay for lunch or dinner.
California's Central Coast is an ideal destination for couples looking for a romantic weekend away. The coastal town of San Luis Obispo, SLO for short, lets you enjoy the beautiful California climate without the fast pace of a big city like Los Angeles or San Francisco.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
If the hardest part of planning your vacation is worrying about leaving your family pet behind, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront feels your pain. This season the hotel offers a Puppy Love package designed just for you and Fido.
While most travelers know Lake George to be a bustling lakeside beach town in the summer, it’s actually a true stunner in the fall and winter also. With warm-weather seekers and summer crowds heading home, Lake George stays open for business well into the fall and offers even better deals for traveling families looking for a budget — without having to compromise.