Columbia Heights is a diverse, multicultural neighborhood that is located in the Northwest Quadrant of Washington DC. This neighborhood has so many interesting sites to offer to its visitors, as well as to the people who live there, hence making it a very attractive place to live. So, no matter if you are just passing through or if you are coming to Columbia Heights in order to experience what it has to offer, this article is for you. Here, we have compiled a list of the favorite places that locals in Columbia Heights love to visit.
Meridian Hills Park
Going to Meridian Hills Park is a great way to escape the hustle of a big city and enjoy nature. The way that people tend to describe Meridian hills is as if they were teleported to Europe since its historic part has a variety of monuments and architectural pieces that seem to contrast the modern American architecture, like Meridian Hill Park’s grand fountain for instance. The park is home to great monuments, like the Joan of Arc Statue, for instance, that is the only equestrian statue of a woman in entire Washington D.C.
The drum circle
If peace and quiet are just not what you are looking for, don’t worry, Meridian Hills Park has a surprise for you. For nearly 50 years, every Sunday afternoon (if the weather is nice), dozens of drummers gather together and play in the park! The best part, anyone can join in, be it to dance, sing, or even play with them. The tradition started in the 1960s when the drummers first gathered in order to celebrate black liberation. Being a part of such an event is a great way to have fun, meet someone new, and embrace the local culture.
A bike ride through the neighborhood
This is a great way for you to experience the whole neighborhood and its dynamic without wasting a lot of time in order to walk from one place to another. If you are not sure about which route to take, Mt Pleasant apartments are the best starting point since they are close to the parks and nature, and from there you can circle the neighborhood and make stops wherever you like. A bike ride like this will quickly get you familiar with Columbia Heights, and you will surely find many points of interest along the way that you can visit afterward.
The farmers market
The farmers market is located on the paved plaza near the Metro station. It is such a vibrant place, offering not only fresh, locally grown produce but live music and a bunch of events do make your shopping even more memorable. It also features a lot of vendors that offer a variety of different authentic cuisines, freshly made from local produce. We highly recommend visiting the farmers market since not only is it a fun experience, but by purchasing products from the market you are also supporting local produce farmers.
GALA Hispanic Theater
Ever since it was founded in 1976, GALA Hispanic Theater has been a groundbreaking, vibrant, and energetic place. GALA stands for Grupo de Artistas Latino Americanos, and it is an amazing place that offers a lot of different opportunities for Latino artists. Its work educates youth about the Hispanic culture as well as engages the entire community in an exchange of perspectives. You can expect to find many different plays with simultaneous English translation, as well as Spanish flamenco dancers and Argentine musicians.
BloomBars is a not-for-profit community arts organization that frequently hosts many events, both for adults and for children. It’s worth mentioning that BloomBars has been voted the Best Arts and Culture Nonprofit for six consecutive years! You can find pretty much everything when you walk through their door, so be sure to check their events in order to decide what you find most interesting.
Columbia Heights offers a wide variety of different restaurants, but we had to give a special mention to Thip Khao since it truly is a culinary adventure. It is one of only a few Laotian restaurants in the entire region, it’s signature being that most dishes are accompanied by sticky rice that comes in little baskets, hence the name Thip Khao (it translates to sticky rice serving basket). We would recommend checking out the “jungle menu” since it offers some quite spectacular dishes that range from the snakehead fish to minced alligator.
It goes without saying that one compiled list can’t even begin to describe the entirety of the Columbia Heights, but by visiting these spots, we are sure that you will get inspired to go and find out more. There is something interesting behind every corner, so be sure to explore further!