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One of the most popular rail trails in the country and also the most used, the Capital Crescent Trail is a pleasant 11-mile (17.70 kilometers) stretch covering through Georgetown on Water Street till Silver Spring. Set on the once deserted Georgetown Branch rail line, it is a haunt for rollerbladers, hikers, skateboarders, walkers, bikers and joggers. Most of the trail is asphalt and is also used for commuting. Winding through parks, wooded areas, water bodies and local attractions, it is indeed a landmark in the locality and the nearby areas.
This historic neighborhood is lined with trendy boutiques and fine restaurants. The abundant nightlife in Georgetown draws both locals and visitors. Just wander down busy M Street and Wisconsin Avenue and explore the eclectic shops, or stop in for a pint at one of the numerous pubs overflowing with college kids. After you get your fill of the hoopla, stroll off the main strip onto the tree-shaded streets filled with Georgian and Victorian townhouses that are home to many politicians and celebrities.
Book Hill is a charming, historic neighborhood that is centered around the stretch of Wisconsin Avenue that lies between P street and Reservoir Road. With its beautiful 19th-century homes and charming boutiques, Book Hill boasts a distinct style that would not be out of place in Paris or London. From antique stores and clothing boutiques, to quaint patisseries and cafes, Book Hill is a haven for discerning local shoppers and tourists alike. You could easily while away hours exploring the many treasures on offer and soaking up the pleasant charm of Book Hill. The neighborhood is also known as the venue of the much-awaited annual French Market and street fair.
This post office warrants special attention due to the rather monumental building in which it is housed. Originally built as a customs house, it is made of sturdy granite and has two sets of shallow steps, also granite, leading up to its over sized doors. The inside is majestic and still functions as a regular post office. A visit here kills two birds with one stone; you can view a historic site, and buy stamps for those postcards you have been meaning to send!
The former home of George and Martha Washington's granddaughter, Tudor Place offers formal gardens and a house full of artifacts from the Washington family. The mansion was designed by Dr. William Thornton who also engineered the U.S. Capitol. For those with an interest in early American history, but without the time to travel to the more-famous Mount Vernon, this museum within the city is ideal. Docents lead the frequent tours.
This Potomac River island is an apt memorial to the conservation-minded Teddy Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president. The 88-acre wildlife refuge can be explored along winding footpaths. In a clearing at the island's center stands a 22-foot bronze statue of Roosevelt, accompanied by inscriptions of his eloquent thoughts on nature and conservation. Access the island from Virginia via George Washington Memorial Parkway. A pedestrian bridge connects the island to a parking lot on the Virginia shoreline.
A popular outdoor destination for children, college students and nature lovers, this park lies north of Georgetown. Woodlands surround a recreation area with tennis courts, picnic tables and a playground. Special features include a boxwood maze and Lovers Lane, a cobblestone walkway on the west side of the park. To explore more elaborately designed grounds and an elegant estate, visit Dumbarton Oaks next door. Admission is free.