Visiting Washington, D.C., solo and looking for company and entertainment? How about swing dancing on a Saturday night at a beautifully restored dance venue called the Spanish ballroom? A poker game? Nightclub parties? Embassy affairs? Mountain hikes? A bike ride? A haunted tour of Washington National Cathedral?
These are the types of things available to Washington, D.C. residents at night and on weekends. They're equally available to out-of-towners. But they're not usually listed in the tourist publications.
These are the types of things I wish I could find when traveling solo to cities all over the world. How can I find out where single people are going for entertainment in Barcelona or Sydney or Toronto?
As a service to those of you travelers who plan to visit Washington on your own, here are a few Web sites to check out to find diversion during your stay. And to connect with locals:
Learning Escapes: an outdoor recreation club for singles, including one-day horseback riding, hiking and boating adventures.
Potomac Pedalers: a bicycling club. You'd have to rent a bike first!
Things to Do: a social networking group that attracts single people.
Professionals in the City: another social networking group that attracts single people.
(Also in Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia)
Jitterbuzz: lists the best swing dance and lindy venues for the week. Many, many people show up alone and many places give lessons during the hour before the dancing.
If you can share what a visitor on his or her own can do for fun in your town, let us know.
Photo: Ellen Perlman. Atypical Washington photo - a statue in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.