Tag Archives: DC

Valentine’s Day in the District

7 Feb

Are you still looking for Valentine’s Day ideas?  Well, below are some of my favorite Valentine’s Day activities in the DC area:

  • Bring a picnic to Gravelly Point (VA) and watch the planes take off and land.


  • Want to feel relaxed?  Visit a spa.  To make it more “coupley” – get a couples massage.  Matt and I had a couples massage at M3 in Georgetown.
  • Do you want to do the dinner and a movie?  Well, I would recommend dinner at Filomena in Georgetown and then a romantic movie at AMC Loews Georgetown.
  • Like to ice skate?  Go ice skating in Georgetown and then follow it up with dinner and, more importantly, dessert at Serendipity 3.



  • If you love chocolate & wine, you must try Coco Sala.  They have a special Valentine’s Day menu for $120 per person with wine pairings.
  • Something I have never done, but would LOVE to do is an Odyssey or Spirit of Washington cruise.  Spirit‘s Valentine’s Day packages start at  $99.90 per person.    Odyssey‘s prices start at $129.90 per person.
  • Another great option is to take a cooking class together at Sur La Table in Arlington, VA (click here).  The price for the class is $79pp and includes the dinner menu you will be able to eat afterwards.

For a list of restaurants with Valentine’s Day offers, check out OpenTable.com.

What are your DC Valentine’s Day plans?

Courtney Mara’s 2013 Bucket List

31 Dec

My 2013 DC bucket list:

  • Go inside the National Cathedral
  • Bureau of Engraving & Printing
  • Go to the top of the clock tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion
  • National Geographic Museum
  • Air & Space Museum in Dulles, VA
  • National Observatory
  • US Capitol building tour
  • Explore 14th Street NW

My 2013 personal bucket list:

  • Get married (May 2013)
  • Have more DC dates with my fiance/husband
  • Spend more time with friends and family

My 2013 travel bucket list:

  • Jamaica (wedding): (1) jump off of a cliff (even if its a baby one) in Negril and (2) Margaritaville in Montego Bay
  • South Africa and Mozambique (honeymoon): (1) see a great white shark, (2) swim with a whale shark, (3) go with Matt on his first safari, (4) ride an elephant with Matt in Africa, and (5) go to Cape Town. 
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Travel to at least one state that I have never been to (e.g., Hawaii, Alaska, Alabama, Vermont, etc.)

What is on your 2013 bucket list?

National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD

24 Nov

What’s a good way to spend a rainy day?  Visiting an aquarium.  And, if you happen to live in the DC or Baltimore metro areas, the National Aquarium in Baltimore is a MUST VISIT.   Tickets are expensive: $29.95 for adults; but, you can sure fill a day with all of the exhibits.  You will be able to watch a dolphin show, walk through a cool jelly fish exhibit, explore a “rain forest”, and visit the Australia exhibit.  Click here for more information about the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD.

Gravelly Point Park (Arlington, VA)

17 Nov

Gravelly Point Park in Arlington, VA, is a MUST VISIT if you want a romantic activity in the Washington, DC, metro area.  You sit on your car or on one of the park benches and watch the planes land and take off.  Many couples bring picnics.  Instead, Matt and I brought cupcakes from my favorite DC cupcake shop:  Baked & Wired in Georgetown.  They are just scrumptious (see below).

Gravelly Point Park is open year round, is free to enter, and is open from dawn until dusk.  Click here for more information on Gravelly Point Park, including directions to the park.

Enjoy Gravelly Point Park!



Mount Vernon

20 Oct Mount Vernon

A visit to Mount Vernon is a MUST, especially if you are in DC in Spring or Fall.  Take a stroll around the property.  It is a romantic atmosphere, but can also be used as a historical stop for you and your family.  I recommend getting a timed ticket to see the house or the wait can be long.  Also, if you live in DC and you think you will go on more than one visit to the estate in a year (especially if you have a lot of visitors), I recommend getting the annual pass.  Finally, make sure to check the calendar to see if there are any fun events.

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Date Night on H Street NE

7 Oct

H Street N.E. in Washington DC has a lot of great shops, restaurants and bars to check out.  Here is a recommended date night itinerary on H Street N.E.:



October in the District

1 Oct

October is one of my favorite months in the District.  There are so many great fall festivals and halloween activities.  Here is a list of some of my favorite October happenings around the District of Columbia:

  • Oktoberfest at Biergarten Haus in Washington, DC.
  • Oktoberfest Reston from October 5-7, 2012.
  • Germantown Oktoberfest on October 6, 2012.
  • Snallygaster in Washington, DC.  Saturday, October 13, 2012.
  • Nightmare on M Street.  Saturday, October 27, 2012.
  • Silver Spring Zombie Walk on Saturday, October 27.  You can read my past post here.  This is a MUST see or participate.  You can watch the zombies walk around 8pm in downtown Silver Spring or participate by dressing up as a zombie and walking with the hundreds of other zombies.  It is a lot of fun.
  • Boo at the Zoo.  The National Zoo’s Trick or Treat Event.  October 26-28, 2012.
  • Terrorville in Aldie, VA.  Until October 28, 2012.
  • DC Drag Queen Race 2012.  Tuesday, October 30, 2012.
  • Markoff’s Haunted Forest in Dickerson, MD.  Open until October 31, 2012.
  • Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland. Until November 3, 2012.
  • Summers Farm in Frederick, MD (about an hour outside of DC).  There is so much to do at this farm for all ages.  You can pick pumpkins, pet animals, shoot out apples, challenge yourself at the many different mazes, go through a corn maze, play mini golf, watch pig races, jump on huge “jumping pillows”, ride on a hay ride, and more!  I HIGHLY recommend visiting this farm.  Open until November 6, 2012.

DC-Area Bridal Salons Under $2000

29 Sep

When I searched for bridal gowns, I had the hardest time finding a list of salons in the Washington DC area that sold gowns under $2000, preferably under $1500 (I just couldn’t live with myself if I paid more than this for a dress that I wear only once).   After much research I finally came up with my own list and would love to share it with you.   The following are a list of salons that have reasonably priced gowns:

  • Alfred Angelo in Springfield, VA.   I ended up buying my gown here.
  • Katherine’s Bridal in Alexandria.  This had my second choice dress.  Beware:  they won’t let you take pictures which was important to me since I wanted to see how I looked in photos with the dress on.
  • Ellie’s Bridal Boutique in Alexandria, VA
  • Moni’s Bridal Boutique in Manassas, VA.
  • Jeanette’s Bridal in Manassas, VA.
  • David’s Bridal in Rockville, MD.
  • The Bridal Boutique in Columbia, MD.  Not great for beach brides since most of their dresses are pretty heavy.  However, a large selection of gowns.
  • Bobbie’s Bridal in Fairfax, VA. – I didn’t find anything here for me, but other ladies may find dresses here.
  • Rosalin’s Bridal in Falls Church, VA.
  • Distinctive Designs Bridal in Rockville, MD.  – This one was far for me but it was my favorite of all the salons.  Absolutely great salon.  I love the layout.  Beware:  they won’t let you take pictures which was important to me since I wanted to see how I looked in photos with the dress on.
  • Pattrapon Bridal in Kensington, MD.  Cute neighborhood especially if you love antiques.

DC Fall Festivities

21 Sep

Fall may be the best season in DC for festivals and activities.  There is just so much going on!  The following is a quick list of some of my favorite festivals/activities in DC in September and October. Please add any other festivals you think of in the comments section.  Please note I will do a later post on Halloween festivities!

Happy Fall!

Adam’s Morgan Day – September 9 (PASSED – sorry!)

H Street Festival - September 15  (PASSED – sorry!)

Fiesta DC – September 23

WalkingTown & BikingTown DC – September 24 – October 1

Turkish Festival - September 30

Mount Vernon Wine Festival & Sunset Tours – October 5-7

Virgin Mobile FreeFest - October 6

Taste of Bethesda – October 6 (see my post about last year’s Taste of Bethesda)

Columbia Heights Day – October 6

Taste of DC – October 6 – 8 (see my post here about last year’s Taste of DC)

Cirque du Soleil’s Totem – now until October 7

Maryland Renaissance Festival – now until October 21

Outdoor Movies in DC

28 Jun

There are A LOT of outdoor movie options in and around DC during the summer.  Here is a list of a few of the options:





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