How to Beat the DC Summer Heat

The time has come for another summer in the city here in DC, and the heat is on!  Luckily, there are many options to help you stay cool.  Here are our tips for how to beat the DC summer heat.

Splash Parks

There are various parks through the DC area that are home to water features designed for playing in.  These features can be fun for all ages, and when the 90 degree days set in, you’ll be more than willing to put your grown-up pride aside and relive your days of running through the sprinklers.  Here are some of our favorites, but you can check out the Department of Parks and Recreation page for a comprehensive list.

Canal Splash Park: Navy Yard
Canal Park


1100 New Jersey Ave SE

Washington, DC 20003

Yards Park


355 Water St SE

Washington, DC 20003

Georgetown Waterfront Park


Water St NW

Washington, DC 20007


When the splash park just won’t cut it, pack up the swim suits and floaties and take it to the pool!  Park Chelsea residents have the luxury of a beautiful rooftop pool to cool down in, but there are many public pool options throughout the district.  Check the websites for summer hours and updates.

Park Chelsea Rooftop Pool

Anacostia Pool


1800 Anacostia Drive SE

Washington, DC 20020

Banneker Pool


2500 Georgia Ave NW

Washington, DC 20001

Deanwood Aquatic Center


1350 49th St NE

Washington, DC 20019


Although the numerous Smithsonian museums offer free admission throughout the year, visiting is particularly sweet in the Summer months.  Pick a weekday to avoid the crowds, then enjoy the history, sights, sounds and deliciously cool air conditioning.  Here are some of our favorites:

How to Beat the DC Summer Heat: National Museum of American History

National Portrait Gallery

Take a look at our nation’s history through a stunning array of portraits.  Bring a book or your laptop and set up in the serene enclosed courtyard; bonus cool points if you cap your visit off next-door with a signature Zaytinya martini and some house-made tzatziki.


Eighth & F Streets NW

Washington, DC 20001

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Take a stroll through the curious sculpture garden, then treat yourself to the cool air inside this cylindrical building filled with modern masterpieces.


Independence Ave & Seventh St SW

Washington, DC 20560

National Museum of American History

Take a trip down memory lane with an impressive collection of americana and pop culture relics.  Some highlights include the original Star Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the inaugural gowns of America’s first ladies.


Fourteenth St & Constitution Ave NW

Washington, DC, 20001

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Take a short walk down M St. and visit the only Naval Museum that chronicles the history of the U.S. Navy from its creation to present day. The USS Constitution’s fighting top and the world’s largest deepest diving submersible highlight the artifacts in the museum.


736 Sicard St. SE

Washington, DC, 20374

Sweet Treats

We’re happy to use the sweltering heat as an excuse to indulge in a chilly treat!  Here are some yummy options throughout the district.

Sweet Treats: Ice Cream Jubilee

Pleasant Pops

Located in Adams Morgan, this pop shop/cafe offers an array of unique and surprisingly delicious flavors such as Grapefruit-Rosemary and Mexican Chocolate.


1781 Florida Ave NW

Washington, DC 20009

Ice Cream Jubilee

Ice Cream Jubilee is located in the Yards Park just down the street from Park Chelsea. The menu of flavors changes seasonally with fresh locally sourced products. To give you an idea of their creativity, Honey Lemon Lavender and Banana Bourbon Caramel are a few delicious flavors they offer.


301 Water Street, SE

Washington, DC 20003

Good Stuff Eatery

When you’re over-heating coincides with a growling stomach, head over to this Spike Mendelsohn gem, slinging killer burgers and home-spun milkshakes.


303 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Washington, DC, 20003

Cooling Centers

All fun aside, when you or someone you know is truly in need of a retreat from the heat, there are various cooling centers throughout DC.

Hey, You! You Should Live Here.

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