A go-to meeting spot during the warmer months, the grassy surroundings easily double as reading grounds. Whether you snag a coveted bench, grab a seat by the fountain, or spread a blanket out in the greenery, this haven offers just the right amount of natural light and people-watching.
Adams Morgan's essential spot for dining, socializing, and study provides enough ambient chatter for those who can’t seem to focus in stark silence. The variety of seating options let you go it alone or get your communal read on. Plus, you can't beat the coffee here.
Tryst, 2459 18th Street NW; 202-232-5500.
Baked & Wired
Not only is this Georgetown spot famous for hefty cupcakes (and bars, cookies, coffee, and cheery employees), but the seating areas are perfect for a catch-up chat or a book session. (Now that the shop no longer offers wi-fi, there are fewer camped-out customers, so you're more likely to find a seat.)
Baked & Wired, 1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW; 202-333-2500.
Meridian Hill Park
Sure, it’s an image you’re familiar with — a dreamy-looking bookworm parked on a bench or sprawled in the grass, sun shining, pages turning. And here, the experience is just that perfect. Grab your copy of The Great Gatsby and give it a second read in this picturesque spot.
Meridian Hill Park, 3545 Williamsburg Lane NW; no phone.
Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery
Named one of seven architectural wonders by Conde Nast Traveler, the elegant, enclosed courtyard offers casual dining options and wi-fi (for all those e-readers) in a breathtaking setting. Revisit an ancient classic or brush up on contemporary European lit, and take a break to peruse contemporary portraiture and American artwork in the adjoining museums.
National Portrait Gallery, 8th & F Streets NW; 202-633-8300.
Pick Your Own Historic Landmark
It's safe to say that no one takes less advantage of the District’s signature offerings than its residents. Sure, tourist attractions are often swarmed with visitors, but on a random Sunday afternoon, you might find the lawn of the Capitol Building mostly empty. Who knows? Maybe all you need to make it through that last chapter is an inspiring view of the Lincoln Memorial, or the Washington Monument in your peripheral — all from your cozy seat on the grass, of course.
Photos: Courtesy of National Portrait Gallery/Baked & Wired