The Yards Near the Yard

I've been to Nationals Park several times, but I do what most fans do: I walk straight from the Metro station to the ballpark. I don't even hit The Fairgrounds on the way, though it has tempted me a couple of times. Along the fencing protecting an about-to-be-developed property, I've seen advertisements for The Yards, which I've never really paid attention to. 

However, the other day--well before a Nationals game started--I found myself in the area and decided to explore a bit, and I'm glad I did. The Yards is a nascent neighborhood with a bunch of good dining and shopping options that will no doubt get better. I do have to highlight two places.

First is Ice Cream Jubilee, which was recently named best in Washington by Washingtonian magazine. I have a major weakness for ice cream, so I was already in. That the place features some very wacky and cool flavors makes me a fan. I tried caramel popcorn, but was seriously tempted by Snickerdoodle. The place was a little crowded, but no wonder: I can see how this place won best in town.

The second place was where I enjoyed my ice cream, the nearby Yards Park. There is obviously more to the place than a fountain, but I am a sucker for a fountain, so that's what I snapped. Below the fountain there's a wading pool that kids were enjoying. There are also great views of the river and plenty of places nearby to sit and just relax. During the summer, they have concerts every Friday night, which is pretty cool. It is a great public space, and one that I hope to return to soon--perhaps even when the Nats aren't playing.

 

Golf in DC?

I am a big fan of both miniature golf and regular golf, but I assumed that if I wanted to do either after moving to DC, I would have to head to the suburbs. 

I was pleasantly surprised then when I learned that I could do both, and in the middle of the Potomac. 

East Potomac Park is on the same island in the middle of the Potomac as the Jefferson Memorial, but on the eastern side of it, across I-395. It houses three different courses, a driving range, and miniature golf. The park also has a public swimming pool and, for the runners, Ohio Drive goes around the entire island, so it's a great place to exercise and see some great views of the DC waterfront and of the planes landing at the airport.

So far, I have only taken in the driving range and miniature golf. The driving range is pretty good and very large, with two levels and great views. The miniature golf course does not feature windmills or clowns or pirates; what it does have is a wide range of holes from easy to very challenging. It also is under the shade of some very large trees, which makes for a nice respite from the summer sun. 

I also just have to show you the two holes I got holes-in-one on. 

The only trouble with East Potomac Park is also a selling point: it's isolated, so it is difficult to get to by public transportation: there are Metro stops like L'Enfant Plaza and Smithsonian across the river, but then it's a decent length walk, so if you're interested in going, a cab or an Uber might be the way to go if you really need to swing those clubs.