Fireworks behind the Washington Monument
Fireworks behind the Washington Monument

It’s a Saturday morning and my alarm goes off at 7 a.m.

Why, you ask? Because I’m your basic Rhode Islander trying to get a spot on one of our incredibly crowded beaches — even though it’s only 10 minutes from my house. Furthermore, by noon, I’m sunburnt and tired, ready to go home to sleep.

So, I recently reached out on Facebook to ask friends who have lived in the Washington metro area, curious to find out what summer is like 404.8 miles away, and found the overwhelming response to be: “Oh my God, this humidity must end.”

“The humidity is the worst,” junior journalism and family science major Maggie Gottlieb said. “I grew up here, so I’m used to it, but it’s horrible in the summer.”

Combine the area’s potential 90-plus-degree temperatures with the heaviness in the air, and you have weather conditions many talk about in sentences laced with expletives.

Unpredictability, Kutura Bailey, who goes to Howard University said, is another reason why many say the weather is one of the worst things about Mid-Atlantic summers.

But, this heat enables those in the region to get out and do things people in colder areas can’t.

“I could go on and on,” junior atmospheric science major CJ Vernon said on why he loves summer in the capital area. “Waking up in the morning and going crabbing at the river house, … going out with all our friends wakeboarding, then having everyone back over for a party and bonfire that night … It’s for real just the life.”

Senior criminology and criminal justice and journalism major Brianna Hurwitz was also quick to point out how the weather enables fun outdoor activities.

Hurwitz said hiking at Sugarloaf Mountain, water tubing at Deep Creek Lake and looking for sharks’ teeth at Breezy Point Beach are some of the best summer activities.

While Vernon and Hurwitz’s summer activities are centered around rural outdoor localities, many love the area at this time of year for the multitude of free events in the nation’s capital.

“The best part is all the free events around D.C.,” Georgetown University sophomore Anthony Bernard-Sasges said, “it’s a great time for exploring the city.”

Bernard-Sasges attended the Memorial Parade in Washington and plans on going to as many Fourth of July events as possible.

But besides setting the bar for patriotic events around the country, Washington is also home to more casual — and free — events such as outdoor movies and Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art.

“I love going to Jazz in the Garden on Friday afternoons to unwind after work,” government and politics major Libby Brennan said.“It’s a great place to go with a large or small group and just relax and listen to some jazz.”

However, any time spent in our nation’s capital naturally comes with a price: tourists.

“I hate tourists,” Brennan said. “They clog up the Metro by simply being ignorant or picking up the simple clues around them on how to behave and help things run smoothly.”

While tourists may be nuisances to some spending the summer in the Washington metro area, Bernard-Sasges insists there are ways around them.

“[The free events in the district] are more for people who are living in the area,” Bernard-Sasges said. “I’m not even sure they are advertised well enough for tourists to know about them.”

While those in the area were quick to say Washington summer’s humidity is a turn-off, they were also quick to point out why the area is so awesome.

From tubing to hiking to Jazz in the Garden, summertime Washington can give a person a taste of everything.

You only have two more months you experience it; better buy your ticket there soon.