Although the Redskins are the highest-grossing NFL team, football isn’t just for the boys in the district, which is also home to the D.C. Divas women’s pro team, and Coolidge High School, where Natalie Randolph, 29, is the new head coach of the boys' football team. Washington-area high school football even made it to the silver screen when T.C. Williams High School was depicted in Remember the Titans.
A capital time
History is mostly free in D.C. Whether you visit the White House, the Capitol, any of the monuments, the National Gallery of Art or any of the Smithsonian’s 17 museums, you don't have to pay admission. And the Newseum, the Museum of Crime and Punishment and the International Spy Museum — where you can see James Bond’s Aston Martin — offer a different take on national history for a nominal price.
For shopping, dining and people-watching, neighborhoods such as Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, Dupont Circle and the revitalized U Street — where Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Cosby and Barack Obama have all enjoyed the half-smokes at D.C. landmark Ben’s Chili Bowl — can’t be beat. Keep your eye out for political players at Old Ebbitt Grill or The Caucus Room, and on weekends, check out Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market for everything from African art to prosciutto.
D.C. is a great town for exercise — rent a kayak on the Potomac, or run along the Mount Vernon Trail. Hike the trails at Great Falls or let someone else do the sweating with a hockey or basketball game at the downtown Verizon Center.
Wineries, beaches and mountains are all within a few hours’ drive of D.C. Tour George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation, or Annapolis, home of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and the Naval Academy--a historic football school itself; its annual game with Army is played in Philadelphia, a two-hour train ride from D.C. And don’t miss the University of Virginia's ACC football action and Jeffersonian architecture in Charlottesville, less than two hours away (and recently named by our friends at Frommer's as the "Best Place to Live in America").
- NEXT, No. 5: Fount of football pageantry
- Previous, No. 7 Tuscaloosa: Rolling to another championship?
- Introduction: 11 Football Destinations You Can't Miss