How to Live Like a Local in Washington D.C.?

Akanksha Verma

Established in 1790 to serve as the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. has great importance. It is a city of great historic and political significance. A sprawling metropolis, Washington, D.C. is a hub of federal importance. At the same time, it is also an attractive tourist destination. If you are planning to take a break here, or are shifting to the city for work, you must be eager to learn how to blend in. 

To live like a local here, you need to keep certain things in mind. These insights will help you become one with the culture of the city. You can then feel completely at ease in your new environment. 

Here are some tips on how to live in Washington, D.C. like a local:

1. Discover Local Food Specialties 

It goes without saying that the first thing one needs to get used to is the food of a new place. If you are visiting Washington, D.C. from outside the US, you will be in for a treat. You can explore the different kinds of foods that the local people love. Due to the large count of immigrants, the food scene is diverse and will suit all your moods and cravings. Be open to trying delicacies from different parts of the world. You can thus understand the local culture better. 

Washingtonians love dishes like half-smoke, kimchi ramen noodles, and more. You can also enjoy a good juicy sub or cupcakes for that matter. There are also iconic drinks like the Rickey or craft beer that the local people swear by. Jump in and have the time of your life trying out different foods and beverages as you try to settle in Washington, D.C.

2. Explore Your Surroundings and Know How to Navigate the City

As appealing as Washington sounds, the idea of navigation may feel intimidating. Yet, this only happens in the beginning. To get over this apprehension, start exploring the city on foot. Walk around and explore everything around you. Find out more about how the locals get around the city. As most people say, the best way to experience Washington is through walking. The sidewalks meander along the most aesthetic monuments and museums. 

Even local neighbourhoods are appealing in their planning and architecture. If you are not a fan of walking, rent a bike or moped. This will help you access your workplace faster. With an accessible public transportation system, things will ease up soon. You will soon get used to the efficient Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator. Trips on any of these are payable through a SmarTrip account. You can pay for your ride either by a re-loadable plastic card or mobile pay. 

3. Learn About the Local History and Culture

Head straight to your nearest library and read more about Washington. Go to a museum and try to learn as much as possible about the city's past. This will help you understand why things are the way they are in this capital city of the US. You should also visit all the landmarks with an eagerness to understand them better. Another way of knowing more about the local culture is to talk to people who have resided in the area for a long time. You can learn more about Washington, D.C. and cover day-to-day requirements. 

It is also an effective way to make new friends or to become a member of clubs and groups that share a common hobby. The more you communicate, the sooner you are likely to learn a great deal. Glean details about the community, helping you settle in faster. You can look for short term rentals in Washington DC nearby. This will help you explore the city as fast as you can.

4. Look Out for Local Markets, Fairs, and Festivals

If you want to become a true Washingtonian, then you must go to these places. Local markets are a great place for buying fresh fruits and veggies. They also help in growing your circle of acquaintances. Engaging in local festivities and visiting fairs will allow you to feel more at home in the new city. Washington, D.C. has residents from across the globe. This means that your exposure to different cultures will be greater. You might also find others belonging to your hometown. Apart from annual fairs and festivals, you can also learn about local sports teams. Show them your support to find ready acceptance among the locals. Feel free to go to farmer's markets, potluck dinners, and garage sales. You can also try community activities if you want to immerse yourself in local cultures.

5. Read and Discuss Local News

Knowing what is going on in the political world around you is important as well. You must stay updated about the local news and if possible discuss it with others. Talking about local events can be a good icebreaker and help you mingle with the community. Read local newspapers and magazines, and do not feel shy to discuss your opinions.

The most important thing you need to live like a local in Washington, D.C. is a good power of observation. See what the locals do. See what food they like, what places they visit, and what hobbies they share. Try to take part in the same. If you can soak up the culture of D.C. you will start living like a local in no time.

Akanksha Verma
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