By Bruce Summers, Personal Historian, Summoose Tales
Board Member, Association of Personal Historians
January – Hemlock Overlook Regional Park provides access to some great hiking trails with rolling wooded hills. It connects to the 18 mile long Bull Run Occoquan Trail, it was fun to walk along the river and “runs.” We even got in a bit of train spotting.
It is also a great time to spend a day indoors exploring the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – a part of the National Air and Space Museum out near Dulles Airport. We visited the recent open house and saw a lot of behind the scenes sections of the restoration center and archives. It was also a treat to see a large model of the Star Trek – Starship Enterprise. Even when there is not an open house there are hundreds of exhibits, displays, planes, jets, rockets, space capsules, the Concorde and of course the Space Shuttle Discovery to see.
March – Spring is the prettiest time to be in the Washington, DC area. The trees start to bloom, the light green leaf buds emerge and spring flowers erupt. Many visitors make a special trip down to see the Cherry Blossoms, but I find the suburban neighborhoods around Washington, DC equally beautiful in the spring.
July – A rooftop or balcony with a view of the Washington Monument on the 4th of July provides a perfect view of the spectacular national fireworks display on the National Mall. We enjoyed a beautiful 4th of July night with colleagues watching from the balconies of a federal building. The sunset made the rooftops of Washington, the U.S. Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial, and the monuments glow with rose colored hue and the fireworks display was amazing.
October – Was a great time to stop by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, it is all outdoors with lots of water features and memorable quotes. Nearby you can take in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial or catch a few ultimate frisbee teams scrimmaging across the street.
December – The Hirshhorn Museum and the National Gallery of Art on a cool but not so cold winter day is a great escape. The exhibits in the Hirschhorn are a bit more avant-garde, they often provide novel ways to look at art. The National Gallery of Art provides a more historical view of masterful art. The two museums provide an interesting contrast. The nice thing about winter is that around closing time you get to see the sun setting over some of the grand spaces and buildings on the Washington Mall.