Ellicott City in Maryland between Washington and Baltimore, is a charming little old town that's full of knick-knack and antique stores, plus pleasant walks, cafes and restaurants.
Harper's Ferry, in West Virginia at the picturesque junction of four states, brings mountains, rivers, forests and history together: this was the site of the 1859 raid against John Brown.
Mount Vernon, was the home of George Washington before there was a Washington, on the Virginia banks of the Potomac. The grounds are open to the public every day of the year, 16 miles south of the city.
Rehoboth Beach, on the Delaware Atlantic shore, this is the favored gay beach destination from Washington and Philadelphia, with many bars, restaurants and guesthouses -and plenty of sand. It's a three hour drive, so spend a night or two, and see our article on Rehoboth in our list of featured cities.
DC Cowboys Dance Company (1801 T Street NW #D) has been doing ‘Cowboy-Broadway’ style performances since their debut in Washington, at the 1994 Atlantic Stampede. Critical acclaim and extraordinary bookings have been continuous as they combine traditional country-western with jazz, musical theater, cabaret dance, with a big dash of masculine sex appeal. See clips online at their website, and catch them live at performances at Remington's bar on Capitol Hill or the Green Lantern at Logan Circle. Other dates this summer include: Philadelphia; Rehoboth Beach; the Laughlin, Nevada World Gay Rodeo finals; and even Budapest, Hungary at the August 16-18 Sziget Festiva
The National Mall is a tourist-thronged expanse of lawns between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. The streets here are lined with the many museum buildings of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum complex and research organization, with 19 museums, 9 research centers, and also the National Zoo (north of Dupont Circle, at 3001 Connecticut Ave).
The Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art (401 Constitution Ave), the National Portrait Gallery (750 9th St NW) - where Walt Whitman was fired from his clerk job, (when pages from his Leaves of Grass were found in his desk) -- and the Corcoran Gallery (500 17th St NW), are all within walking distance.
Washington DC of the 1970s could boast as many male stripper bars as Montreal. To clubs around Dupont Circle and the neglected bits of SE down by the South Captol Street Bridge (Frederick Douglass Memorial), guys would flock from surrounding states' farms and small towns, or from neighboring Baltimore, which had a similar scene at the time. In those days, before everyone was gym-toned big and buff, these were regular guys, in all shapes and sizes, with muscles from hard work, rather than work-outs. They'd show hard and strut naked for appreciative men of this capital city, including many of the powerful men who worked on nearby Capitol Hill, and/or their staff members. After the Northewest area clubs closed in the 1990s, only the SE clubs remained. Then came the Nationals Park stadium construction, and the last three gay strip clubs, a bathhouse and a sex shop were demolished in 2005. The Ziegfeld's/Secrets building was among them.
It took several years and much uncertainty before the club was able to return - nearby on the other side of South Capitol, (by the old location of Pier Nine, a popular 1970s gay dance club) - but now, Wednesday through Sundays, the guys are back at Secrets, 1824 Half Street SW. A big evening on their calendar is the fourth Wednesday of each month Amateur Strip contest with cash prizes ($300, $150, $50) for the top three contestants chosen by management as potential regulars dancers, judged by audience applause. LaTroya Nicole hosts the evening. Other events include Soaker Nights, with hot guys in tight underwear under LaTroya's (water) gun.
Ziegfeld's next door is open Friday and Saturday for drag show performances, hosted on Saturdays by the legendary Miss Ella Fitzgerald who recently celebrated her 27th year at the club. See their website for more details and upcoming events.
Washington has a wide variety of stage, music, comedy, dance and film entertainment on offer.
The Kennedy Center presents the greatest performers and performances from America and the world, in theatre, dance, opera, song, as well as classical music performances by the National Symphony Orchestra - and more.
Theater venues include: DC's only complete glbt theater company, Ganymede Arts; the GALA Hispanic Theatre; the American Century Theatre; RepStage; the Signature Theatre; and nearby in Maryland the Olney Theatre. The DC Improv features national touring comedy headliners, and local celebrities, plus they have a full restaurant and bar.
Music performances, besides those of the Kennedy Center, take place at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium; the 9:30 Club; and Verizon Center. Nearby in Virginia Wolf Trap has a variety ranging from jazz, opera, classical, and popular, to the Louisiana Swamp Romp. The Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia Maryland presents the big rock and popular concerts of all kinds.