11 Reasons Why This Summer Is Going To Rule — Plan It All Now!

UPDATE: This story was originally published on June 14.
Here's the thing about D.C. summers — they're sneaky. Back in early June, we were relishing the still-balmy temps and marveling at spring blooms. Then suddenly, it's mid-June, sweltering hot, and you realize the summer is starting to fly by. But don't worry — we've got an expert guide to the DMV's most iconic summer events and experiences. These are the things you'll look back on in September with a proud sense of accomplishment. Here's to crushing the summer doldrums.
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Free Outdoor Movies
Packing a picnic and settling in for an outdoor movie is a right of passage in this town, and options are plentiful this summer. Catch NoMa's Summer Screen every Wednesday through August 21 or Movies on the Potomac at National Harbor on Sundays through September 1. Screen on the Green, the institution that started it all, returns on July 22 and runs through August 12.


Photo: Courtesy of NoMa BID
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Tubing & Rafting Trips
While there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied within the District, we highly suggest organizing your crew for a tubing or rafting trip on the Potomac or Shenandoah rivers. Head to Harper's Ferry, WV, for the most options — try River Riders, Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, or River & Trail Outfitters to get started. And don't forget the sunscreen!


Photo: Courtesy of River Riders
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Flea Markets
The season's uptick in tourism makes for prime picking at flea markets in the area — more shoppers means more sellers, which means tons more secondhand loot is up for grabs. Start at the Georgetown Flea Market, where you can find some seriously covetable jewelry, and make your way to the Flea Market at Eastern Market, the Arlington Civitan Open Air Market, and the Bethesda Farm Women's Market.


Photo: Courtesy of Georgetown Flea Market
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Truckeroo
Can't get enough street eats? Mark your calendars for Truckeroo, the monthly fest that goes down at Navy Yard and highlights some 20-plus food trucks each month. There's also live music, games, and picnic tables where you can camp out and enjoy a multi-course meal.


Photo: Courtesy of Truckeroo
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Jazz in the Garden
Any steadfast D.C.'er knows that the annual Jazz in the Garden series is a hallmark of the season. Where else can you find droves of people sitting blanket-to-blanket, sharing sangria, and dipping their toes into a giant fountain? To do it the right way, you'll have to ditch work a little early, grab your picnic supplies, and cop a spot before the music starts — don't worry, we won't tell a soul.


Photo: Courtesy of National Gallery of Art
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Farmers' Markets
With summer comes a haul of fresh produce, and even if you're landlocked downtown, you can hit up any number of rotating farmers' markets to stock up on the tastiest, healthiest ingredients around. FRESHFARM Markets operates eight markets that are easily accessible to Washingtonians. There are also markets in Bloomingdale and at 14th and U streets, as well as the new Capitol Riverfront market.


Photo: Courtesy of FRESHFARM Markets
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Killer Concerts
The next few months promise some incredible live music. Start with Kurt Vile & The Violators at 9:30 Club on July 20.


Photo: Courtesy of 9:30 Club/Dustin Whitlow
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Frozen Treats
One of the reasons we love summer so much? There's no reason why you can't have ice cream every. Single. Day. Our favorites: tasty popsicles from Pleasant Pops, gelato from Dolcezza, frozen custard from Goodies, and ice cream sammies from Cream Cycle.


Photo: Courtesy of Pleasant Pops
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Hiking the Shenandoahs
Don't let the high temps turn you into an AC-loving couch potato this summer. Instead, take advantage of your proximity to the Shenandoah Mountains to do some top-notch hiking. The Old Rag Mountain hike is the park's most popular trek, and the views are spectacular — but make sure you're prepared for a workout.


Photo: Courtesy of U.S. National Park Service
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Berry Picking
Is there anything better — and more quintessentially summer — than biting into a ripe, juicy strawberry? Don't limit yourself to the ho-hum selection at your local grocery store; get out there and pick your own! We like the variety at Butler's Orchard, where you can harvest blueberries and blackberries.


Photo: Courtesy of Butler's Orchard
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Outdoor Festivals
Summer isn't, well, summer without a major music festival, right? Head to Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Mad Decent Block Party and the Summer Spirit Festival. Over at Jiffy Lube Live, catch the Under the Influence of Music tour with Wiz Khalifa and A$AP Rocky.


Photo: Courtesy of Merriweather Post Pavilion/Leslie Furlong
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