clock menu more-arrow no yes

Don't Get Stuck Behind the Popemobile: Detours for the Pontiff's Visit

View as Map

Pope Francis is pretty great, but the traffic he's bringing during his visit will be abysmal. For those who may not care to see the Holy Father in person and for those who will be avoiding the crowds and general hullabaloo of the event, Curbed mapped over 15 locations that will keep you occupied while avoiding the street closures. These locations range from music venues to restaurants to parks. In case you're still interested in doing some touristy activities, a few museums were included in this list like the African American Civil War Museum. For those living in the DMV area, Curbed also included hip and trendy locations like Epicure Café in Fairfax, Virginia and Bethesda Row Cinema in Bethesda, Maryland. If you think there are any notable locations that should be included on this map, feel free to let us know by leaving a comment.

Below, take a look at which streets will be closed during the Pope's visit:


· The Pope Should Move to D.C.; Here's Where He Should Live [Curbed DC]
· Here is the Catholic U-Designed Chair the Pope Will Use [Curbed DC]
· Pope Francis' Visit to D.C. Results in Uptick in Airbnb Rooms [Curbed DC]
· See What the Basilica Will Look Like During Pope Francis' Visit [Curbed DC]

Read More

1. Theodore Roosevelt Island

Copy Link
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Washington, DC

Welcome to one of the most remote green spaces in all of Washington, D.C. The Teddy Roosevelt island is peaceful, quiet, and a great space to go for a jog.

2. The National Harbor

Copy Link

Why even go to Washington, D.C. when you can enjoy the relaxing waterfront at the National Harbor? We suggest renting a kayak or pedal boat, taking a spin on the Capital Wheel, and enjoying the many restaurants and bars available.

3. Rock Creek Park

Copy Link
Beach Dr NW
Washington, D.C. 20015

Just escape from all the noise of the city and take a hike on Rock Creek Park. Be sure to check out our three favorite trails.

4. National Arboretum

Copy Link
3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 245-2726
Visit Website

While we would suggest avoiding the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall during Pope Francis' visit, that doesn't mean you can't still do something touristy and fun. At the National Arboretum, you can take a look at Corinthian columns that were original a part of the U.S. Capitol building.

5. Le Grenier

Copy Link
502 H st NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 544-4999
Visit Website

Two words: bottomless mussels. On Thursday, September 24, this H Street NE restaurant will offer all-you-can-eat mussels with a serving of fries for $18.95 per person. Unfortunately, sharing is prohibited, but we won't tell anyone if you lend some seafood to a friend. To check out the full menu, go here.

6. Topaz Hotel

Copy Link
1733 N St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 393-3000
Visit Website

Get some chuckles on a Thursday night with the Topaz Hotel's standup comedy show. The show is every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can find the venue downstairs in "The Enlightenment Room." You must be 21 to enter.

7. Echostage

Copy Link
2135 Queens Chapel Road, NE
Washington, D.C. 20018
(202) 503-2330
Visit Website

Dance the night away at this Thursday's Armin Van Buuren concert at Echostage. This Grammy-nominated DJ is one of the most influential figures in EDM. General admission tickets cost $50.

8. Science Club

Copy Link
1136 19th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 775-0747
Visit Website

Check out some local comedians at The Science Club's weekly comedy show. The show is on Thursday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. and is totally free. The show is upstairs.

9. Dance Place

Copy Link
3225 8th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
(202) 269-1600
Visit Website

Every Wednesday, Dance Place hosts beginner dance classes from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Learn some cool dance moves to impress your significant other or soon-to-be significant other.

10. Black Cat

Copy Link
1811 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 667-7960
Visit Website

Why see the Pope when you can check out the California-based band Joyce Manor? This pop-punk band is known for loving chaos. Tickets to the show cost $15 with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.

11. U Street Music Hall

Copy Link
1115 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

If you like music with deeply personal lyrics, you may enjoy California-based singer-songwriter Mikal Cronin. On Tuesday, September 22, U Street Music Hall will feature the performer along with Calvin Love and The Cairo Gang. Tickets cost $15 with doors opening at 7 p.m.

12. Port City Brewing Company

Copy Link
3950 Wheeler Ave
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 797-2739
Visit Website

Get a taste of Washington, D.C.'s nightlife and brew pub scene by taking an after hours brew tour at Port City Brewing Company. The tour starts at 5 p.m., comes with a dinner at around 6:45 p.m. and ends at approximately 10 p.m. Ticket are $90.

13. Torpedo Factory Art Center

Copy Link
105 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 838-4565
Visit Website

For those yearning for some art in their lives, but too afraid to meander around the National Mall, Curbed suggests checking out the Torpedo Factory. This arts center houses 160 artisans and 82 studios and galleries. Nearby, there is a wide range of restaurants and bars you can visit afterwards, or you can take a walk on the waterfront.

14. Northside Social

Copy Link
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 465-0145
Visit Website

Grab a glass of wine or a cup of chai tea at Northside Social. There isn't much parking available, but the trip to this coffee and wine shop is worth it. Located on a small triangular plot, this spot is also perfect for people watching. See the full menu here.

15. Meridian Hill Park

Copy Link
2500 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 895-6000
Visit Website

Do some yoga or read a book in this peaceful park in Washington, D.C. Take a breather from the city by lying on the grass or enjoying the cascading water on the Spanish Steps.

16. National Zoo

Copy Link
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 633-4888
Visit Website

You can check out one of the U.S.'s oldest zoos and not have to pay any fee to get in. There are over 1,800 animals and 300 different species in the zoo with about one-fifth either endangered or threatened.

17. African American Civil War Museum

Copy Link
1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 667-2667
Visit Website

If you’re determined to go out and learn some history, be sure to check out the African American Civil War Museum. This museum honors the 209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors fought in Civil War and features photography, newspaper articles, and replicas of uniforms.

18. Epicure Café

Copy Link
11104 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

Out in Fairfax, Virginia, you can find this hip restaurant/bar/art gallery. Every Thursday, the venue hosts an open mic at 7:30 p.m. If interested in signing up to play some guitar or even a little didgeridoo, check out all the details here.

19. Bethesda Row Cinema

Copy Link
7235 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-7273
Visit Website

Catch an independent film at this eight-screen luxury movie theater. The concessions also offer a cocktail bar. Win-win!

1. Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island, Washington, DC

Welcome to one of the most remote green spaces in all of Washington, D.C. The Teddy Roosevelt island is peaceful, quiet, and a great space to go for a jog.

Theodore Roosevelt Island
Washington, DC

2. The National Harbor

Ft. Washington, MD 20602

Why even go to Washington, D.C. when you can enjoy the relaxing waterfront at the National Harbor? We suggest renting a kayak or pedal boat, taking a spin on the Capital Wheel, and enjoying the many restaurants and bars available.

3. Rock Creek Park

Beach Dr NW, Washington, D.C. 20015

Just escape from all the noise of the city and take a hike on Rock Creek Park. Be sure to check out our three favorite trails.

Beach Dr NW
Washington, D.C. 20015

4. National Arboretum

3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

While we would suggest avoiding the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall during Pope Francis' visit, that doesn't mean you can't still do something touristy and fun. At the National Arboretum, you can take a look at Corinthian columns that were original a part of the U.S. Capitol building.

3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

5. Le Grenier

502 H st NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Two words: bottomless mussels. On Thursday, September 24, this H Street NE restaurant will offer all-you-can-eat mussels with a serving of fries for $18.95 per person. Unfortunately, sharing is prohibited, but we won't tell anyone if you lend some seafood to a friend. To check out the full menu, go here.

502 H st NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

6. Topaz Hotel

1733 N St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Get some chuckles on a Thursday night with the Topaz Hotel's standup comedy show. The show is every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. You can find the venue downstairs in "The Enlightenment Room." You must be 21 to enter.

1733 N St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

7. Echostage

2135 Queens Chapel Road, NE, Washington, D.C. 20018

Dance the night away at this Thursday's Armin Van Buuren concert at Echostage. This Grammy-nominated DJ is one of the most influential figures in EDM. General admission tickets cost $50.

2135 Queens Chapel Road, NE
Washington, D.C. 20018

8. Science Club

1136 19th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

Check out some local comedians at The Science Club's weekly comedy show. The show is on Thursday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. and is totally free. The show is upstairs.

1136 19th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

9. Dance Place

3225 8th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20017

Every Wednesday, Dance Place hosts beginner dance classes from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Learn some cool dance moves to impress your significant other or soon-to-be significant other.

3225 8th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20017

10. Black Cat

1811 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Why see the Pope when you can check out the California-based band Joyce Manor? This pop-punk band is known for loving chaos. Tickets to the show cost $15 with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.

1811 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

11. U Street Music Hall

1115 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

If you like music with deeply personal lyrics, you may enjoy California-based singer-songwriter Mikal Cronin. On Tuesday, September 22, U Street Music Hall will feature the performer along with Calvin Love and The Cairo Gang. Tickets cost $15 with doors opening at 7 p.m.

1115 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

12. Port City Brewing Company

3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304

Get a taste of Washington, D.C.'s nightlife and brew pub scene by taking an after hours brew tour at Port City Brewing Company. The tour starts at 5 p.m., comes with a dinner at around 6:45 p.m. and ends at approximately 10 p.m. Ticket are $90.

3950 Wheeler Ave
Alexandria, VA 22304

13. Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

For those yearning for some art in their lives, but too afraid to meander around the National Mall, Curbed suggests checking out the Torpedo Factory. This arts center houses 160 artisans and 82 studios and galleries. Nearby, there is a wide range of restaurants and bars you can visit afterwards, or you can take a walk on the waterfront.

105 N Union St
Alexandria, VA 22314

14. Northside Social

3211 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Grab a glass of wine or a cup of chai tea at Northside Social. There isn't much parking available, but the trip to this coffee and wine shop is worth it. Located on a small triangular plot, this spot is also perfect for people watching. See the full menu here.

3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

15. Meridian Hill Park

2500 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Do some yoga or read a book in this peaceful park in Washington, D.C. Take a breather from the city by lying on the grass or enjoying the cascading water on the Spanish Steps.

2500 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

16. National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008

You can check out one of the U.S.'s oldest zoos and not have to pay any fee to get in. There are over 1,800 animals and 300 different species in the zoo with about one-fifth either endangered or threatened.

3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

17. African American Civil War Museum

1925 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

If you’re determined to go out and learn some history, be sure to check out the African American Civil War Museum. This museum honors the 209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors fought in Civil War and features photography, newspaper articles, and replicas of uniforms.

1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

18. Epicure Café

11104 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030

Out in Fairfax, Virginia, you can find this hip restaurant/bar/art gallery. Every Thursday, the venue hosts an open mic at 7:30 p.m. If interested in signing up to play some guitar or even a little didgeridoo, check out all the details here.

11104 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

19. Bethesda Row Cinema

7235 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

Catch an independent film at this eight-screen luxury movie theater. The concessions also offer a cocktail bar. Win-win!

7235 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814