July 9, 2015 at 5:54 pm EDT | by Bucky Mitchell
Breaking a D.C. sweat
workout, gay news, Washington Blade

The Watergate Steps were built as part of the Arlington Memorial Bridge between 1925-1932 and were designed by William Mitchell Kendall. They make a great — and scenic — spot to get in a good D.C. workout. (Photo by Tim Evanson; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

As is tradition here at the Blade, every summer we provide an issue that rounds up the best D.C. has to offer if you’re staying in the area. Here are some of my favorite places that you can not only get in a great workout, but that you can also enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of D.C. this summer.

The Watergate Steps

Nestled between the Potomac River and the Lincoln Monument, you will find the often overlooked and oddly placed Watergate Steps. While they look like they are ascending from the water below, the Watergate Steps were originally intended as a water port to dock the arrivals of dignitaries and heads of state who wanted to awe at the marvel and grandeur and scale of the Lincoln monument.

While the steps never lived up to their intended purpose, they have become a great for place for runners and fitness enthusiasts to add a little extra punch to their workouts. Not quite the same as the “Rocky” steps in Philly, you still definitely feel like you have conquered the world when you sweat your way through a good 10 to 20 rounds of running this scenic flight of steps. As an added bonus, the steps have been also come a great place for many Washingtonians to relax, find solitude, journal or even have a picnic lunch with friends or a date.

The Yards Park

Conveniently location along Anacostia’s southeast waterfront and Nats Park, the Yards Park has become a great destination for not only a great weekend workout, but also for a great place to walk around, take in some music and enjoy the blend of old and new architecture that captures both the heart of the city’s past and present.

Designed for with the fitness enthusiast in mind, the Yards Park has teamed up with VIDA fitness and DC Bfit to provide a weekly calendar of free fitness classes that happen along the boardwalk. From Zumba, to yoga and high intensity fitness classes, you will definitely find a good workout at the Yards Park. The class schedule is at yardspark.org/events/calendar. As an added bonus, you can experience some great new restaurants like Bluejacket and Osteria Morini, all while enjoying the sounds of live local bands on Friday evenings.

Key Bridge Boathouse

Tucked away under the Key Bridge is the cute and quaint boathouse. While it seems to be located smack in the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, you still feel like you’re thousands of miles away when you get in the kayak or canoe and paddle down the Potomac. For a brief moment you get to observe your own city from an outsider’s perspective.

You get to appreciate and enjoy the sights along the Potomac as you pass by Roosevelt Island, the Georgetown Waterfront and some of our most treasured monuments. You get to view all this while getting a fantastic back, shoulder and arm workout at the same time. So what if you’ve never been kayaking or canoeing before? No worries! Everyone at the boathouse is extremely knowledgeable and more than willing to give you a short kayak/canoe lesson before sending you on your way. As an added bonus, when you’re done canoeing/kayaking, you can take a nice leisurely walk along the C&O Canal or do some retail therapy at one of your favorite stores.

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