Where the Pros Play
If you're going to a pro sports event, chances are you'll be headed here.
Nationals Park. D.C.'s baseball team, the Nationals, plays in a spacious, 41,546-seat state-of-the-art park, on the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront in Southeast Washington. Since it's opening in 2008, the park has been a catalyst for the renaissance in this area. Inside the stadium, at various locations, fans witness panoramic views of Washington, including the Capitol and the Washington Monument, and dozens of outstanding food venues and craft beer vendors operate concessions. The stadium offers the option of sitting or standing at a bar within sight of the field. Tours are available. 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, 20003. 202/675–6287. www.washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/ballpark. Tours, $15. Navy Yard.
Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. Soccer is incredibly popular in the nation's capital, finding many of its fans in the international crowds who miss the big matches at home, as well as families whose kids play soccer. Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, the Redskins' and Senators' former residence on Capitol Hill, is now home to Major League Soccer's D.C. United. The Capitol View Club is a pub-style eatery with full bar. 2400 E. Capitol St. NE, at 22nd St., Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, 20003. 202/587–5000. www.dcunited.com/stadium. Stadium.
Verizon Center. This 20,000-seat multipurpose sports and entertainment venue averages more than 200 events each year and has helped to turn the surrounding area into the most vibrant part of Downtown. The Acela Club restaurant is accompanied by a wide range of vendors selling everything including doughnuts, kosher and vegan specialties, craft beers, and Chesapeake Bay crab cakes. The Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Station is directly below the Center, making it extremely convenient for fans to travel here and back. Sporting events include Washington Capitals hockey; Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, and Georgetown Hoyas basketball; and figure-skating events. Outside, street musicians of all kinds and styles add to the Center experience. 601 F St. NW, between 6th and 7th Sts., Chinatown, Washington, DC, 20004. 202/628–3200. www.verizoncenter.com. Gallery Place/Chinatown.
With every change of the seasons, D.C. offers new pleasures for sports and outdoor enthusiasts.
In winter you can have an old-fashioned afternoon of ice-skating and hot chocolate in the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden, or go to the Verizon Center to see the Wizards play basketball or the Capitals play hockey.
Come spring, the city emerges from the cold with activities everywhere. Runners throng Rock Creek Park, Frisbee contests and soccer games fill up the Mall, and boats float down the Potomac.
In summer, baseball fans head to Nationals Park for games, and this greenery-laced city seems to become one big outdoor playground.
When fall arrives, the seasonal colors of the trees in Rock Creek Park are a spectacular sight for bikers, hikers, and runners. Tickets to see the Redskins at FedEx Field are among the city's most prized commodities.