There is so much more to Washington, DC, than government buildings, museums and history. Most people regard the District as an important cultural center of the U.S., a representative of our nation’s history and values. But did you know that the city has one of the only Spy Museums in the world? Did you know that DC gets more rain than Seattle or that it has the oldest fish market in the country?

Washington is a very diverse city, home to international cultural centers and a population that speaks over 150 languages thanks to the huge number of foreign embassies. In fact, it is estimated that more than 15% of DC residents speak a language other than English at home. However, Washington is not just diverse in terms of population, but also with regard to the wealth of outdoor opportunities residents can enjoy.

Don’t worry, we won’t bore you with a history lesson. We would, however, like to tell you more about popular hobbies in the capital of the U.S. and how you can enjoy these pastimes in the best way possible. Most of these hobbies do require sports gear or some sort of specific or seasonal equipment, and these items can take up a lot of living space in your home. You can take one thing off your mind if you keep them in self storage until you need them.

Standup paddleboarding

This is a fun and easy way to enjoy watersports in the city. Standing and balancing, as well as launching and docking, can be learned quite quickly, and you don’t need any previous experience. With the help of professional instructors, you may find yourself surfing down the Potomac river in a few weeks. While you can rent a paddleboard when you’re a beginner, you’ll soon realize that it might pay off to have your own, if you’re going to be doing this on a regular basis. Since paddleboarding gear is quite bulky, many people prefer renting a storage space in DC, in order not to take up too much space at home.

Wildlife and birdwatching

Wildlife enthusiasts have plenty of reasons to enjoy DC. The city is home to two endangered species, namely the dwarf wedgemussel and the Hay’s Spring amphipod. The city’s surroundings are also known for fostering considerable populations of groundhogs, Virginia opossums, brown bats, flying squirrels, bullfrogs, tree frogs, toads, box turtles, garter snakes and even venomous copperhead snakes. Bald eagles can also be spotted in and around the city, and you can explore the birding sites in Washington, DC. The National Zoo is also a renowned spot in town and is enjoyed by tourists and residents alike.


Any sport, any time

Washington, DC, is one of the 13 American cities that host sports teams in all 4 major leagues, as the Wizards (basketball), Redskins (football), Capitals (hockey) and Nationals (baseball) all call the city home. DC’s collegiate sports are also pretty popular, and there are several athletic clubs throughout the city, confirming the idea that residents are sports fanatics. If you’re into hockey, football, fishing or skiing, for example, you might consider storing your equipment in self storage. A small 5’x10’ storage unit could keep all your gear safe and ready for the next time you’ll need it, freeing up considerable living space in your home. That way, you don’t have to worry about damaging your gear if you don’t have the right space for it back at base.

Biking tours

Whether you’re opting for a night tour around the attractive streets of the city, or you’d rather head from Alexandria to Mount Vernon and see George Washington’s home, the Old Town and King Street Mile, there are so many things to see around DC. Most residents tend to use their bikes for such trips, as it’s a fun hobby, a good workout and an exciting way of travelling with friends. However, bicycle storage can be an issue, especially if you don’t own a garage, for instance. The good thing is that a 5’x5’ storage unit is perfect for storing a bike, while a standard 10’x10’ unit can easily fit the entire family’s bicycles, along with other sports gear. Also, make sure to check out the best DC neighborhoods for cyclists.


The unique vibe of the Eastern Market

This famous shopping space spilling out of an old brick building provides residents with everything from fruit, flowers and jewelry to and it offers spaces to woodworking stalls, artists, booksellers and more. Visiting the Eastern Market is considered one of the most fun things to do in DC and you can do it any day of the week, except for Mondays. It doesn’t matter if you come here for food, if you’re in the mood to do some shopping or looking for specific services like leather working and shoe making, you can find it all here. Moreover, prices are usually better that those of regular retail outlets and the friendly and relaxed atmosphere will make you enjoy the experience even more.

All aboard!

The Washington Harbor, the majestic Potomac River, the proximity to Chesapeake Bay and the variety of rivers and waterways that surround the city all make DC a great place for boating enthusiasts. The Harbor is often regarded as an attraction in itself, a premier waterfront destination and the views of the river are truly phenomenal. If you’re into enjoying the water from a jet ski, a canoe or a bigger boat, you will surely have a blast here. Additionally, if you happen to own your own vessel or if you’re considering purchasing one, know that self storage can come in handy, as many storage facilities in Washington, DC, have larger units that could accommodate your precious vessel.


Shopping in the heart of the city

No city is complete without a gigantic commercial and retail space, filled with parks, restaurants, hotels, shops and condos. City Center DC is a mixed-use development that is always busy, energetic and fun. If you’re into the bustle of crowds and modern urban landscapes, this is the place to be. It stretches over five blocks and is arguably one of the liveliest places in DC, where you’re sure to find something to do, see or buy. City Center DC is a top tourist destination, but at the same time it is also enjoyed by locals. The buzz surrounding the enormous complex is truly unique.

Grab a seat, DC’s theaters are a must-visit

The historically iconic Ford’s Theater barely scratches the surface when it comes to Washington’s incredibly rich performing arts scene. Culture enthusiasts can catch pre-Broadway premieres in the downtown area, as well as watching touring productions at the Kennedy Center, Folger Theater, Arena Stage and many other world-class venues. Arguably, you should start by paying a visit to Ford’s Theater, due to the place’s vintage charm, historical significance and throwback atmosphere. As a bustling arts and culture center, it is worth mentioning that smaller independent companies can make use of self storage units in Washington, DC, in order to safely store scenery, costumes and any other necessary gear.


Matei is a creative writer for StorageCafe and has an academic background in urban development, governance and linguistics. Making use of these disparate sources of expertise, Matei has now turned towards the real estate industry, after covering the latest trends and projects in urban planning, regeneration and green city initiatives all over Europe.

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