As you spend time being filled up at Foursquare Connection 2017 in Washington, D.C., and enjoy being a tourist, I hope that you can experience the significance of this great city.
In 2006, my family moved to the D.C. metro area to serve as youth pastors in Northern Virginia, when our son was 3 and our daughter was 5. Today, my husband, Steven, and I serve as lead pastors of Hope Chapel (Westminster Foursquare Church) in Westminster, Md., and our kids are now teenagers. It has been an honor to live, minister and raise our family near one of the most influential cities in the world.
Each time I visit D.C., I am filled with such a reverence for those who laid the foundation for this country, for those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and for those who continue to work tirelessly for the good of this nation and world.
To help you plan your visit to D.C. during Foursquare Connection 2017 (May 29–June 1), I’ve put together this list of 10 fun things you and your family may enjoy.
Connection 2017 is an amazing opportunity for thousands of Foursquare pastors to pray for this nation and its leaders. Grab a map of the National Mall and surrounding government buildings, and spend a day, or a couple of hours, on a prayer walk while you are there.
D.C. Dream Center
If you are looking for an opportunity to minister in D.C., get in contact with the D.C. Dream Center. They have many opportunities to serve. They also host “D.C. Plunges,” which are inner-city missions service projects.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, D.C., 20008 (Map)
The National Zoo is free of charge and filled with exhibits that can fill an entire day. You can get to the zoo using the Metro, or you can drive and pay to park.
Smithsonian Museums and Monuments
The rich history of the U.S. can be observed all over the city, especially within the museums and monuments at the National Mall. It’s easy to find your way around with a map, and most museums are free of charge. You can visit landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial and the White House on foot. The Natural History Museum, and the National Air and Space Museum, are great for families with kids of any age. If you would like to tour the Capitol or visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, it’s best make advanced reservations.
Georgetown is a charming part of the city, with cobblestone sidewalks, fantastic shopping and great restaurants. You can stroll along the C&O Canal or tour some mansions of famous people, such as JFK. For those who enjoy shopping, there are quaint little boutiques, too. One of the best things about Georgetown is the amazing restaurants. After a delicious dinner, be sure to get dessert at Georgetown Cupcake, also known as D.C. Cupcakes on the TLC network.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Sherri and kids at Ben’s Chili Bowl
1213 U Street, Washington, D.C., 20009 (Map)
This little 1950s-style diner is frequently visited by presidents and celebrities. The chilidogs, smoked sausage, and milkshakes are delicious and inexpensive. What makes this place so special is that it is the only business to survive the riots in this section of the city after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The restaurant has an upbeat and friendly atmosphere, and you can also request to watch a short documentary of its amazing story.
201 F Street NE, Washington, D.C., 20002 (Map)
Mark Batterson—who will speak at Connection 2017—writes about Ebenezers Coffeehouse and the answered prayers surrounding its establishment in his book The Circle Maker. Why not meet a friend there for a cup of coffee or use it as a place to study or read? All proceeds from the coffee shop fund outreach at National Community Church.
501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, Md., 21202 (Map)
The National Aquarium is located in the beautiful Baltimore National Harbor. This is an amazing aquarium, filled with wonderful exhibits, including a giant indoor rainforest. If you don’t have a car, you can get there on an Amtrak train from D.C. While visiting the aquarium, you can visit the shipyard or walk to one of the waterfront restaurants.
101 Cave Hill Rd, Luray, Va., 22835 (Map)
The Luray Caverns are remarkable underground caverns with ceiling heights reaching up to 100 feet. Their towering natural columns and picturesque formations of stalactites and stalagmites are breathtaking. If you want to spend time enjoying the beauty of God’s creation, it is worth the drive. You can rent a car and reach the caverns in under two hours.
If you enjoy hiking and nature, you might want to visit the Shenandoah National Park and plan a day or more of hiking on the Appalachian Trail. You can get there in about two hours by car, and the park is also near Luray Caverns. Once you enter the National Park, just stop by a ranger station to find out which trails lead to waterfalls, beautiful overlooks or a natural rock water slide.
Bonus Foursquare Tips
Want to visit a new Foursquare church while you are visiting the East coast? Use the church locator on foursquare.org, and experience how another fellow congregation worships together.
Also located a short four-hour drive from Washington, D.C., is the campus of CSR East. Every Foursquare credentialed minister is gifted a complimentary week at CSR each year; make the most of your flight to the East Coast by booking a stay before or after convention.