Oh, the places you’ll go: Travel among these six outdoor local destinations that are conducive to social distancing

Jonathan Morris and Zara Ducker

1. Check out your local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets are a great way to support local businesses and farmers while enjoying fresh food. There are numerous local options, such as the Bethesda Farmer’s Market, which is held every Sunday at Bethesda Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a wide variety of foods, including fresh produce, pastries, cheeses and breads. The market is outside and masks are required. For crowd control, you may have to wait in a line, but the market is worth the wait.

2. Visiting the zoo is a fun and free activity to do right now. Since the majority of the zoo is outdoors and they require masks, it is very COVID-19 friendly. At the Smithsonian National Zoo, you will have the opportunity to see and learn about an abundance of animals, ranging from elephants to zebras. There are no walk-up passes available now, so you must get the entry passes online before you visit. It is definitely a change of scenery from most of the things we have been seeing these days and is worth the trip.

3. Have a picnic by the water at The Wharf or the Georgetown Waterfront. Both are vibrant spots to explore and have a meal with friends or family. There are plenty of places to walk around if you want to explore, but you can also just relax by the water. It is especially enjoyable on a sunny day.

4. Union Market is a super trendy place to grab some food and hang out. It offers many different cuisines and has a nice rooftop with socially distant seating. They have everything including acai bowls, Korean tacos, Indian dosas, ramen, pizza and much more. Because of the variety, it is likely you will find something you like. It has a positive energy with a lot of pretty art and cultural music. It is even interesting just walking around and seeing all the vendors preparing and cooking the food. They are open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but it is better to go earlier in the day because it gets more crowded in the late afternoon.

5. Growing up in the Greater Washington area, we often neglect to visit the historical landmarks around us. Visit the monuments in Washington, D.C. and walk or rent a scooter to get around town. Trips during both day and night provide drastically different experiences, with the night having the benefit of fewer people around. It may seem a little too touristy for some, however it actually is very fun and pretty.

6. Kayaking is a pleasant and relaxing way to connect with nature. Fortunately, the Greater Washington area has a myriad of places to get a rental. Fletcher’s Cove Boathouse is easily accessible and right on the C&O Canal and Capital Crescent Trail. A single kayak on average is $16 per hour, and a double kayak is $22 per hour. They also offer paddle boarding, another fun watersport. If you are looking for more of an adventure, you may want to go out towards the Eastern Shore. Sultana Education Foundation in Chestertown, Maryland offers well-priced kayak trips that focus on the surrounding ecology and habitat.