‘Tis the Season: 10 Reasons to Visit Washington, DC (DMV) for a Perfect Instagramable Moment

DMV stands for District/Maryland/Virginia. She’s been waiting for more than 200 years, and, Washington D.C. has a new nickname: DMV. Catchier than “The Nation’s Capital” yet retaining all the appeal and cachet of a mega-bureaucracy.

Surprisingly, or maybe not, DMV provides perfect backdrops for holiday photography, in particular for Instagramable moments. Here are my top 10 recommendations for seasonal snapshots. Check the list, check it twice, and get clicking.

Location 1: Leesburg, Virginia

Nestled in a rural hamlet with a single traffic light, the Old Lucketts Store is a 138-year-old restored general store and family home. Built in 1879 by the Luckett family, it was brought back to life in 1996 by owner Suzanne Eblen with her husband, Pat, and countless friends and workers. The shop now is home to 35+ dealers specializing in antiques, vintage finds, and just plain cool stuff!

Old Lucketts Store

I love the sleigh in front of the wall with the stenciled flocked Christmas tree.

The Old Lucketts Store is a 138-year-old restored general store. The shop now is home to 35+ dealers specializing in antiques, vintage finds, and just plain cool stuff!

 

The town of Lucketts also operates The Design House, which hosts seasonal special events. In case you are not able to fly to Europe for the Christmas Markets this year, this is the perfect substitute. Each room is decorated with different themes. I love their whimsical, seasonal concepts that showcase local artists. If you live in the Washington Metro area, this is very Instagram-able. More importantly, please support the local artists. Check out my Christmas postings from @luckettstore. 

Location 2: DMV – Washington Union Station

Washington Union Station is one of the country’s first Union Railroad terminals. Designed by renowned architect Daniel Burnham, the station opened on October 27, 1907 and was completed in April 1908. You probably recognize some shots of the station from the movies. @unionstationdc Did you know that Union Station is America’s second busiest station after Penn Station in New York? Union Station has had a tree lighting ceremony each year since 1997, make sure to catch it if you are in town. This beautiful terminal has many dining options and boutiques to get some Christmas shopping done.

Washington Union Station is one of the country’s first Union Railroad terminals.

Location 3: Washington D.C. Wharf

Add the Washington D.C. Wharf to your calendar. Bring your camera or phone to catch Santa Claus and the carolers bringing Christmas spirit to the waterfront. The fire pit strengthens the spirit, as do the s’mores, a fun treat to share with family and friends. I love the D.C. Wharf, but parking can be challenging. You can always take a ferry in from Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria, or, better yet, Uber. If you do decide to drive, most restaurants will validate your parking tickets. There are a lot of great restaurants to explore. Check here.

Add the Washington D.C. Wharf to your calendar.

Location 4: Nalls Produce — Alexandria, Virginia

Nalls is the go-to garden center in Alexandria, making it the perfect spot for yuletide greenery, and they have wonderful seasonal activities for all. This is the place to pick up a wreath, a Christmas tree, or great stocking stuffers. I love their Christmas displays!

Location: Nalls Produce. The association of the wreath with Christmas dates back to the 16th century, when the Lutherans in Germany use it as a symbol of the Advent, with a circular shape to represent God with no beginning or end.

So many wreaths, so few doors and mantels. Today, a wreath symbolizes everlasting life and growth. But historically, Ancient Etruscans used gold wreaths as a symbol of power. In Ancient Greece, the wreath was an important symbol of fertility.

The association of the wreath with Christmas dates back to the 16th century, when German Lutherans used it as a symbol of Advent, the four weeks leading to Christmas, with a circular shape to represent God with no beginning or end.

Have you picked out your wreath yet?

Location 5: DMV

Oh, missing those mulled wines from Germany’s Christmas Markets. You too?  Pick up yours here. Where is your favorite go-to mulled wine in DMV? I need to investigate and report back to you on mine. However, nothing is merrier than seeing festive decorations from around the world. I especially miss the European Christmas Markets.

If you are lucky enough to be at the European Christmas Market. I love mulled wine with a shot of amaretto.

If you are lucky enough to be there … I love mulled wine with a shot of amaretto. (Just saying.) Cheers! And thank you!

Location 6: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

You can catch Holiday Magic on Historic King Street in Old Town Alexandria.

You can catch Holiday Magic on Historic King Street in Old Town Alexandria. From the Scottish Christmas Walk to the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, it’s a Christmas miracle all on its own. Check the Top 13 Reasons to Visit Alexandria This Holiday Season here. You’ll find enough inspiration and ideas to last you through next Christmas.

Location 7: Georgetown

Georgetown, D.C. always will have Christmas displays. Whether, exploring the Georgetown neighborhood or restaurants, make sure to catch the Georgetown Glow Walking Tour, this way you can experience the light art installations and a different perspective to learn about the history of the town. And let’s face it: Any season is a great season to walk around Georgetown.

Make sure to catch the Georgetown Glow Walking Tour

 

Location 8: Broadlands, Virginia

If you just want to want a quiet dinner, Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm is a nice place to dine. All of us need have at least one quiet dinner during the most wonderful time of the year. More, if possible. The downtown is always very charming for photo ops. Look at the size of those Nutcrackers! That’s what I call “getting into the spirit.” The Clyde’s Georgetown location has the same set up for you to take one for the gram ツ.

Look at the size of those Nutcrackers! That’s what I call “getting into the spirit.” The Clyde’s Georgetown location has the same set up for you to take one for the gramツ.

Location 9: DMV — The John F. Kennedy Center

And speaking of The Nutcracker, don your gay apparel and warm your spirit with a show at The John F. Kennedy Center. Atlanta Ballet: The Nutcracker runs from November 27 to December 1. I attended last year’s show, always a treat to see The Nutcracker in my hometown.

Something you may not know about Tchaikovsky’s original The Nutcracker manuscript: The masterpiece was lost for more than 50 years. It was assumed the original had disappeared forever, when, in 1946, a conductor found it in a mishmash pile of paper. Today, it’s safe and sound at home in a Moscow museum. Here are more The Nutcracker fun facts.

Location 10: DMV — Penn Quarter

Did you know that there is a D.C. Holiday Market from November 22 through December 23? It’s in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, where there are so many major attractions like one of my favorite D.C. museums in D.C., The National Portrait Gallery & Smithsonian American Art Museum. Quite a few Instagram-able photo opportunities there! See details on Penn Quarter here.

What do you think of the above list? Have you visited any of the places?

Before signing off, I want to share a bit of general knowledge on the history of the Christmas Tree. I think this will enhance your appreciation of the season.

The decorated Christmas tree tradition originated in Germany. In the 16th century, devout Christians decorated trees in their homes. If wood was scarce, they constructed pyramids of scrap wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles. People believe that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. By the 1890s, ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise in America. Europeans prefers small four-foot trees, while Americans like their Christmas trees almost touching the ceiling. Did you know that Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska? Learn more about O Tannebaum here.

So, let me ask you this: Have you been good this year? Only one answer, please.

{1} I’ve been good this year

{2} OK most of the time

{3} Once in a while

{4} Never mind, I’ll get my own gifts 🎁

If you answered #4, please share details. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Jingle All the Way Through This Holiday seasonツ

 

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