Takoma Park is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year. If this is your first time visiting this quirky little town, or if you simply got off at the wrong Metro station on your way to Silver Spring, here’s a helpful list of things to do during your stay.
1. Sip hand-roasted single-origin coffee at Takoma Beverage Company while listening to the dulcet tones of residents complaining about “cut-through” traffic on their neighborhood’s public streets.
2. Go for a quiet stroll along beautiful Sligo Creek Trail while staring down at your phone, constantly checking your Twitter feed for new things to be mad about.
3. Sweat out toxins in a hot Bikram yoga class – you’ll relieve stress, improve your health, and be physically fit enough to furiously type out your next rebuttal on the latest listserv debate.
4. Attend a performance of Takoma Park’s famous ‘Citizens Yelling at Elected Officials’ every Wednesday evening at City Hall from 7:30pm. This legendary show has been running longer than The Phantom of the Opera and still features the original cast!
5. Sample a carefully-crafted cocktail made by a mustachioed mixologist and slurp delicious (and sustainable!) East Coast oysters shucked by someone way cooler than you at Motorkat, Takoma Park’s newest restaurant, where the maître d’ turns the music volume up to eleven to drown out the sounds of protesting vegans on the street.
6. Hang out under the Old Town Gazebo long enough and you might experience the uniquely painful schadenfreude of watching older white people with dreadlocks attempt a jam session.
7. Step back in time as you wind your way through the Takoma Park Historic District – it’s filled with beautifully preserved Victorian-era houses, Craftsman bungalows, and anachronistic parking enforcement officers ticketing cars without residential parking permits.
8. Admire the cornucopia of fresh organic produce and breathe eye-watering patchouli aromas at the TPSS Co-Op, a one-of-a-kind local organic grocery store. Don’t miss the amazing savings on strawberries this Tuesday – $29.99/lb on sale!
9. Watch a collegiate-level athletic competition at Washington Adventist University. Cheer for the home team, then after the game, cross the street to boo Team Minor Master Plan Amendment.
10. Visit the local dog park behind the community center on a chilly day and warm up with the heated stares at those who don’t bring rescues. (Bonus side eye for bringing a pitbull!)
11. Be sure to pay your respects at the 7/11 memorial mural, dedicated to the former convenience store that was recently torn down to make room for a 5-story condo building. There, you can make your own luminaria with a used Big Gulp cup, a Black & Mild, Babybel cheese wax and a Bic lighter before placing it in front of the construction dumpster shrine to honor its memory.
12. Purchase handmade goods at the Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair. Patronize a kid’s startup business while acting patronizing towards their cute lil’ entrepreneurial spirits by simultaneously decrying capitalism and child labor, then demand they donate all of their profits to save the Nuclear-Free Committee.
13. Chow down on corn tortilla tacos and housemade margaritas at Cielo Rojo. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of a middle-aged white couple providing their unsolicited feedback to the owners about how they know the food is “super authentic” because they went to Cancún one time in college and are therefore experts in traditional Mexican cuisine.
14. Pop into the Historic Takoma storefront on Carroll Avenue – your one-stop-shop for all manner of historic educational resources. We recommend making several attempts as they are almost always closed during normal business hours. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find them – just whisper to a friend that you’re thinking of installing beautiful new double-hung double-pane Pella windows on your 19th century home and they’ll find you faster than you can say “vinyl siding!”
15. Finally, if you are feeling adventurous, travel to the exotic land of New Hampshire Avenue! Despite being within the City’s border, residents like to pretend it doesn’t exist…but can still be found secretly patronizing the commercial stretch for car-centric contraband such as gasoline, drive-thru fast food, and those sexy high-speed 35 mph streets for when they “gotta go fast!”