Washington DC

Everything You Need to Know About the Women's March in DC This Weekend

Victoria Pickering/Flickr
Victoria Pickering/Flickr
Victoria Pickering/Flickr

The Women’s March in DC is back for Round Three. As they have every year since January 21, 2017, protestors will take to the streets of DC and hundreds of other cities around to advocate for justice, equality, and civil rights for women and marginalized communities around the world. The march this weekend in DC promises to be a huge and galvanizing political event, meaning you can expect to witness throngs of people, pussyhats, and lively chants and rallies if you plan on venturing outside this weekend.

According to the organizers, the mission of Women’s March “is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.” In addition to the annual march’s themselves, they also coordinate trainings, outreach programs, and smaller events dedicated to advancing their progressive causes. The first march was organized in direct opposition to the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump and political positions he had taken

during the 2016 election cycle. It was the largest mass protest since the anti-Vietnam War protests of the ’60s and ’70s.
The theme for this year’s theme is “#WomensWave” — as in, getting waves of voters to the polls. Here’s everything you need to know about the march in DC this Saturday, which, alongside the one in New York, is expected to be among the largest in the country.

What time does the march start and what is the route?

The 2019 Women’s March on Washington: The #WomensWave will take place on Saturday, January 19, at Freedom Plaza, or 1455 Pennsylvania Ave NW. The same plaza was the site of Occupy DC protests in 2011 and has a long history of hosting political protests. The original schedule for the march had to be relocated due to the partial government shutdown in recent weeks, as well as reports of snow.

The march itself will gather at Freedom Plaza starting at 10am, then step off from the corner of Pennsylvania Ave NW and 13th St N at 11am. It will later return to Freedom Plaza following a 0.5-mile march route along Pennsylvania Avenue (and past Trump Tower) at 1pm for a rally that will last until 4pm. The rally will feature speakers and activists. The march is a public and free event, but it’s a good idea to RSVP on Facebook or Eventbrite to receive updates and help organizers gauge interest and attendance.

Organizers and volunteers will also be on hand to provide accessibility assistance for those who require it. Their efforts include a separate accessible meeting point at the plaza of the Ronald Reagan Building (at Pennsylvania Ave NW and 13th St NW), American Sign Language interpretation, an ADA section and vans, ADA accessible porta-potties wherever there are porta-potties, and a lot more. Organizers encourage participants to email [email protected] for more information.

Victorial Pickering/Flickr
Victorial Pickering/Flickr
Victorial Pickering/Flickr

How do I get to the march route?

Avoid taxis, Ubers, and other car services, as the streets are likely to be packed or closed off. The best way to get to Freedom Plaza is by taking the DC Metro along the Red, Blue, Orange, or Silver lines to the Metro Center stop. The Penn Quarter/Navy Memorial, L’Enfant Plaza, and Smithsonian Metro stops are all also nearby or a short walk away.

What should I wear or bring for the weather?

Comfortable shoes and warm clothing are absolutely necessary this weekend. Umbrellas won’t be a bad idea either, as the forecast currently looks like a mixture of light snow and frigid rain. Temperatures are forecasted at a high of 39º F as of Thursday afternoon. If you want to bundle up and represent the cause, the march’s website has a bunch of official merch, including hoodies, beanies, and more.

Definitely pack snacks and reusable water bottles (there will be water stations) to keep your endurance up. Small backpacks and bags are allowed, as are signs; the only restriction on signs in DC is the height limit of 12 feet. Do not bring weapons, and to be safe, don’t bring anything that might be mistaken for a weapon; leave any knives, box cutters, scissors, or multi-tools at home. Do not bring illegal drugs, even pot. (Marijuana is legal in DC, but is crucially not legal on the federal property that the march will be moving on.)

Above all, have fun, stay safe, and be respectful. Public nonviolent protest is one of the cornerstones of American democracy, and one of the core tools that voters can leverage against those in power. That’s an inspiring thing, no matter who you voted for.Sign up here for our daily DC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Eric Vilas-Boas is an editor at Thrillist. He also co-edits the animation blog The Dot and Line and was previously an editor at Esquire. His writing has also been published by Paste, TV Guide, SYFY, SPIN, Popular Mechanics, ELLE, and other fine establishments.

Washington DC

15 Totally Free Things to Do in DC

A full itinerary, completely free of charge.

Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery
Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery
Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery

Washington DC is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and for those of us who call the District home, it’s easy to see why. With dozens of world-class museums, murals that transform streets into galleries, and sites brimming with history, DC offers a full agenda-completely free of charge. Whether you want to try a new farmer’s market, explore a new hike, or polish off your roller skating or canoeing skills, here are some of our favourite free things to do in the District.

Flickr/gawnesco
Flickr/gawnesco
Flickr/gawnesco

Hike, bike, or stroll along the C&O Canal

The historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is one of the most accessible nature escapes from the District. Thanks to a multi-year restoration project, the first mile of the canal is an idyllic walk that’s easy to access in Georgetown. Stick to a short stroll there, or grab a bike or lace up your hiking shoes for a longer adventure along the 184.5-mile canal.

Jump on the pickleball craze

Pickleball is working its way up the ladder past kickball and softball as one of America’s favourite games. Jump on the craze and practice your paddling at one of the District’s pickleball courts in Takoma Park, the Palisades, and more. Plus, Washington DC Pickleball invites guests to drop in to beginner sessions to try their hand at the sport before signing up for a $30 annual membership.

Flickr/mcfeelion
Flickr/mcfeelion
Flickr/mcfeelion

Bike the Mount Vernon Trail

DC is incredibly bike-friendly, and luckily that applies to the land immediately outside of the city as well. Start in the city and bike along the Mount Vernon Trail, a scenic route that hugs the water and cuts through the woods. It’s about a 10-mile trip from DC to Mount Vernon, but you can cut the trip slightly short and end at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront-just make sure to factor in time for ice cream before pedalling home.

Explore a sculpture park

While not located in the District proper, Glenstone, an expansive sculpture park in Maryland, is worth the 45-minute drive. Tickets to the park are free (just be sure to reserve several weeks in advance), and the 300-acre space offers stunning art, architecture, and open land. In addition to its indoor gallery spaces, you can spend hours walking on paths that wind through sculptures, meadows, and forests.

Flickr/Geoff Livingston
Flickr/Geoff Livingston
Flickr/Geoff Livingston

See the monuments at night

When the sun goes down-and the summer humidity somewhat dissipates-head to the National Mall for the rare chance to see the monuments without busloads of tourists. Moonlight will give you a different perspective as you traverse the marble steps of the Lincoln Memorial or gaze up at the Washington Monument set aglow with lights.

Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery
Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery
Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery

Museum hop the day away

One of DC’s greatest strengths is its world-class Smithsonian museums that are open to the public free of charge. There is no shortage of options, from the intimate Renwick Gallery, to the sprawling National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonians offer something for everyone. Pro tip: Some of the museums are open late in the evenings, making for an ideal date night.

muralsdc
muralsdc
muralsdc

Explore the city’s murals

Washington is home to hundreds of murals that are becoming as much a part of the city’s landscape as the monuments on the National Mall. Take a self-guided tour of these colourful creations no matter which neighbourhood you happen to be in. MuralsDC, the organization behind 150 of the District’s public artworks, is a great resource for mapping out a route to explore the city’s street art.

Hotel Washington
Hotel Washington
Hotel Washington

Take in a birds-eye view of the city

Washington looks pretty stunning from up high, and there are few spots within the city that make for phenomenal vantage points. Rooftop bars and restaurants offer epic views for the price of a drink or two, but there’s no more iconic sight than seeing the city from the top of the Washington Monument, which is completely free. Book a ticket ahead of time and ride an elevator all the way to the top of the monument and step out on the 500-foot observation deck.

Flickr/Nicolas Raymond
Flickr/Nicolas Raymond
Flickr/Nicolas Raymond

Wander through a garden

DC is home to some of the most beautiful urban gardens in the country, and many of them are open to the public for free. There is nothing like an afternoon spent strolling through, or picnicking, at the expansive 446-acre United States Arboretum or wandering through the Botanic Garden on the edge of the Mall. For something a bit smaller, explore the grounds at Tudor Place or Dumbarton Oaks (free in the winter), both of which are in Georgetown.

Flickr/ehpien
Flickr/ehpien
Flickr/ehpien

Hike the Billy Goat Trail

You can catch one of the District’s most popular hiking trails, the Billy Goat Trail, from the C&O canal. The full trail is 4.7 miles and ranges from easy to strenuous, so hike a section in and back or make the full loop for the variety.

Pay your respect at Arlington National Cemetery

Just across the Potomac from DC, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 veterans. The cemetery is an expanse of 639 hallowed acres and the ANC Explorer allows visitors to locate graves, notable sites, and take self-guided walking tours to spots including the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as the final resting place of President John F. Kennedy.

Lace up your roller skates

When was the last time you went roller skating? Chances are it’s been too long. So get back into this nostalgic activity at the Anacostia Park roller skating pavilion. You can rent skates for free, just show proof of a government-issued ID, and the skating pavilion is open from 9 to 5 every day.

Help clean up the Anacostia River

We all know there’s a lot of work to be done to keep our waterways clean. Do your part, and have some fun, by participating in the city’s Green Boat initiative. On select weekends, DCers can join a two-hour guided paddle along the Anacostia River to collect trash and monitor the river’s progress.

Eastern Market
Eastern Market
Eastern Market

Stroll your local farmer’s market

DC’s close proximity to the farms of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and beyond mean that the city’s farmers’ markets always have something to offer. Check out the year-round markets like Eastern Market in Capitol Hill and the Sunday market in Dupont Circle or head to seasonal markets like the pop-up in front of the White House that draws vendors like Cucina al Volo and Call Your Mother Deli.

The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress

Play tourist all around the city

It’s easy to forget that all those traditionally touristy activities can be fun for locals too. If you haven’t been on a tour of the White House, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, or the Capitol, this is your sign. All are free with advanced reservations. Plus, tucked in the northern quadrant of NW, the Washington National Cathedral is free and open to all. Tour the cathedral’s impressive architecture, 215 stained glass windows, 112 Gothically-inspired gargoyles, and enormous pipe organ. See if you can spot the sculpture of Darth Vader.

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Madeline Weinfield is a Thrillist contributor.

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