Need a new writing location? Try these 6 spots in DC

Petworth Citizen and Reading RoomIf you’re interested in finding where to write in DC, you’ve probably been to a few Starbucks and bakeries and other little places in search for the perfect spot to tune out the world around you and get productive.

Sometimes, going to the same spots over and over again becomes too mundane. Or maybe the places you go don’t provide the best atmosphere to fuel your creativity.

Luckily, this vibrant city has several amazing options for writing locations. Check out the different options below to discover a writing destination that will help you reach your writing potential.

Tryst (Adams Morgan)

Why it’s great:

Tryst is a one-stop shop — where you can get coffee, brunch, dinner, alcohol, delicious baked goods, etc. — and because of its wide selection and cozy vibe, it draws in a lot of people. If you like hearing the background bustle of those around you while you focus on writing, this could be the perfect place.

Curl up on a couch or sit on the outdoor patio and enjoy a warm coffee in the winter (which comes with a couple of animal crackers as a garnish) or a refreshing cocktail. It’s a great spot for people watching, as well, if you’re looking for some character inspiration.

Best times to go:

Every evening, Tryst has entertainment planned. Check their schedule to see which nights they have live music and stop in for whichever you think suits your creative mind the best.

Location: 2459 18th St NW

Busboys and Poets (Multiple Locations)

Why it’s great:

When you walk in, you’re immediately enveloped in a creative community. It appears to be just a restaurant, but as the website states, Busboys and Poets is “a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide.”

Take a seat at the bar, and you’re likely to discover someone else working on a creative pursuit or interested in hearing about what you’re working on. That sort of camaraderie can be a huge boost in productivity.

Best times to go:

Before/after one of the scheduled events that piques your interest. From poetry readings to panels, Busboys offers a wide range of programming that can help you grapple with themes and topics you want to explore in your writing.

Location: Various

Kogod Courtyard (Gallery Place)

Why it’s great:

Journey through the Portrait Gallery for a bit of creative inspiration before heading to the courtyard, where you’ll find plenty of natural light and a calming space to get a productive bout of writing done.
Perhaps the biggest charm of this place is that it’s located in a bustling area of town. It’s a tiny oasis that, because it’s surrounded by the sights and sounds of busy Chinatown, makes it all the more rewarding to visit.

Best times to go:

If you can make it during an off-time, you’ll have a better chance of getting an ideal spot. People tend to visit the courtyard on weekends (because of the higher attendance of museum visitors) and also during work lunch hour, because the Portrait Gallery is located near where so many people work.

Location: 8th and F Streets NW

Petworth Citizen & Reading Room (Petworth)

Why it’s great:

A restaurant/bar with a library — what more can you ask for? The bar itself is great, but head to the back of the establishment and take a right, and you’ll end up in the library, where books are on the shelves in rainbow order.

There are a few tables and a small bar, so settle in to this book lover’s nook to get writing. Bonus: On weekends, they have a literary cocktail series (!!!), which is where we have our DC Fiction meetups!

Best times to go:

Hours vary depending on whether events are going on back there. If it’s open, probably the weekends or late evenings would be best to work around the planned events (though those are great if you’re looking for a break!)

Location: 829 Upshur St NW

Meridian Hill/Malcom X Park (Columbia Heights)

Why it’s great:

If you want to be surrounded by people from the neighborhood, check out this park. It’s got that quiet but not empty charm. You’ll hear the wind and the sound of faraway laughter while you write away on a bench along the park’s perimeter or on a blanket in the grass.

It’s also just beautiful — a great little oasis in the middle of the city. People will be playing frisbee, walking their dogs, or picnicking, so keep this in mind if you get easily distracted.

Best times to go:

Weekends are best if you like activity around you. In the summer, Sundays are the best because of the drum circle that goes on in the afternoon. Most visitors come during this time, and the energy there is palpable.

Location: 16th & W Streets NW

Wangari Gardens (Park View)

Why it’s great:

This might be one of the most low-key spots on the list. This community garden is located in the Park View neighborhood and features a variety of public gardens and private plots. The greenery among gray streets makes for a pleasant contrast.

The best part, though, is the community hammock, which is strung between two trees in the back. If you’re lucky enough to get there when no one else is relaxing in it, this might very well be one of the best spots to write in the city.

Best times to go:

Any time the weather is great! If you’re looking to enjoy the park when it’s on the quiet side, check their website to make sure no events are going on (like outdoor classes, yoga, etc.).

Location: Between Kenyon Street, Irving Street, and Park Place NW

If you try out any of these places, or if you have favorites of your own that didn’t make this list, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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