Around the World In 80 Stops


With fuel costs making air travel out of reach for many, maybe this is the summer we won’t have Paris. Luckily, we’ve pulled together 80 — count ‘em, 80 ‚ — internationally-flavored stops that are all within a day’s drive. From restaurants to concerts to movies to exhibits, you can go all summer (and into the fall) collecting stamps on your mental passport. 

The Americas

1. “An evening with Gordon Lightfoot” includes songs and folklore of this Canadian legend. At Wolf Trap June 14, Lightfoot will be performing such songs as “If You Could Read My Mind” and  “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” $22-$40. 1648 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va. 703-255-1900.

2. Sit back and relax while listening to the great tunes of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, August 15-17. The Philadelphia Folk Festival will include music from artists of Canadian, Newfoundland and Cajun decent, along with many others. The festival allows visitors to enjoy the music of a variety of cultures, with a variety of sounds. Prices vary; check website. 7113 Emlen St., Philadelphia, Pa. 215-247-1300.

3.Experience the culture and arts of Central and South America on Sept. 28 through performances, games, exhibits and food at the Latino Festival/La Gran Fiesta. Mt. Pleasant St. from Park Rd. to Argonne Pl., NW, Washington. 202-232-4393.

4.  Belts, bags, hats and other items from the Aymara- and Quechua-speaking peoples of Bolivia are on display through Sept. 18 in the exhibit “The Finishing Touch: Accessories from the Bolivian Highlands.” Once the kids are bored with looking at hats, take them to the interactive Textile Learning Center, where they can touch, do and learn. $5 suggested donation. Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW, Washington. 202-667-0441.

5. The Lost Amazon”  is on exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History museum through October 31.  This exhibit takes you on a journey into the Amazon of Colombia through the photographs and quotations of naturalist Richard Evans Schultes. Free. Intersection of
10th St. and Constitution NW, Washington. 202-633-1000.

6. At the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, visitors  can visit a Colombian home, shop the marketplace, play with rainforest puppets, and even say “hola”  to Rosita the red-tailed boa constrictor! $3.  25 Silopanna Rd., Annapolis. 410-990-1993.

7. The Giant Amazon River Turtle cannot be missed, literally.  It is one of the largest freshwater turtles in the world and can weigh up to 200 pounds!  This species lives in the Orinoco River of Venezuela and other Amazon River systems. Prices vary.  National Aquarium at Baltimore, 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore. 410-576-3800.

8. Local favorite Crisp and Juicy specializes in the Peruvian specialty pollo a la brasa (charbroiled chicken). Great prices and a casual dining environment caters to families. Try some of the exotic sodas to complete the experience. Two locations in Silver Spring and one in Wheaton and Rockville, Md.

9. Get down to traditional Andean music on the Sunday of the 30th Anniversary of Textiles Celebration. You can also see sheep shearing, spin wool into yarn and see artisans use a natural indigo dye. Free. June 7-8. Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW, Washington.

10. In 1970, there were fewer than 200 Golden Lion Tamarins, native to the tropical forests of Brazil, living. You can see the monkey-like creatures daily at the National Zoo. Free. National Zoo, 3001 Conneticut Ave., NW.

11. On June 22, Brazilian Jazz legend Gilberto Gil brings bossa nova into the 21st century. $35-$75. George Washington University Lisner Auditiorium, 730 21st St. NW, Washington. 202-397-7328.

12. Fogo de Chao is not a dining experience for the faint of heart (or for the vegetarian). This all-you-can-eat meat extravaganza, based on the gaucho tradition, involves waiters in traditional dress parading around with large skewers of meat, including beef, pork and chicken. Pick what you want and eat until you burst. 600 E. Pratt St., Baltimore.

13. Think your kids can’t handle a jazz concert? Try the National Gallery’s Jazz in the Garden program, which features Brazilian artists Origem on June 20 at 5p.m. It’s more casual, it’s outdoors, and it’s free! (Kids are still expected to be mostly quiet, though). National Gallery of Art, 4th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington. 202-737-4215.

14. Learn from Mexico’s Wixarika of Bancos de Calítique as they reflect about the past and share stories on events that have shaped this Mexican tribe as a distinct people. Free. National Museum of the American Indian,
4th St. and Independence Ave., SW, Washington. 202-633-1000.

15. Everyone thinks they like Mexican food. Then they go to Mexico, and realize that most of what we get here just isn’t authentic. That’s not a problem at La Sirenita in Hyattsville. With most entrees under $10, you can find beef tongue and goat burritos (as well as some meats kids might find a bit safer). This tiny spot is sure to get the taste of the chains out of your mouth. 4911 Edmonston Rd., Hyattsville. 301-864-0188.

16. Lucia Chiriboga, celebrated Ecuadorian    sociologist, photographer and researcher, is featured at the Art Museum of the Americas through her artistic photographs of the people of Ecuador. Art Museum of the Americas, 201 18th St., NW, Washington. 202-458-6016.

17. From Sept. 27– Dec. 20, GALA Theater will present Que Las Hay … Las Hay/You Better Believe It … They Exist!! by María Inés Falconi. This is a bilingual comedy in which a young boy unites two feuding sorceresses who have opposing plans for the neighborhood they share. Prices vary. GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St., Washington. 202-234-7174 or 800-494-TIXS.

18. Into “Dancing With the Stars?”  Take a look at authentic tango, which originated in Argentina, at a concert by QuinTango on August 8 at 5 pm. Free. National Gallery of Art, 4th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington.

El Salvador
19. On Sept. 14, attend the Adams Morgan Festival for a mini-fest of the Salvadorean prized dish of pupusa — a thick tortilla stuffed with cheese, meat or beans. Local cooks will compete to win the honor of Best Pupusa Maker. Along 18th St. NW, Washington.


20. LatinoFest 08 is Baltimore’s Premiere celebration of Hispanic culture, music and art. Live Latin music, including merengue, bachata, cumbia and mariachi will be featured, as well as salsa dance lessons. Plus lots of food and fun! June 21-22, Patterson Park, Baltimore. Adults $5, children under 12 free.

21. From June 28-29, join the DC Caribbean Carnival, including a parade cruising along Georgia Avenue, cultural arts, crafts and music of the Caribbean. $10. Banneker Park, Georgia Ave. at Barry Pl., Washington.

22. The Anthropology Department at the National Museum of Natural History features a new collection of Taíno artifacts from the Dominican Republic. It includes celts, pendants and statues from the first indigenous people that met Spanish explorers in the late 1400s. Free. 10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington. 202-433-1000.

23. Got a kid into Bob Marley? Take a look behind the dreds with discovering Rastafari at the National Museum of Natural History, running through Nov. 8. Free. 10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington. 202-433-1000.

24. The 20th Annual Kunta Kinte Festival, from August 11-12, celebrates African life, history and heritage by serving traditional foods along with entertainment. $4-$8. Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, Rt. 178, Crownsville.

25. Visit the little-known African Art Museum of Maryland to gain a fuller understanding of the African cultures. With exhibits, lectures and workshops the museum features of art from ceremonial masks to basketry. They currently have irregular hours, so be sure to call ahead. $1.50-$3. 5430 Vantage Point Rd., Columbia. 410-730-7106.

26. Dance Place in DC will be offering a show entitled “Dance Africa” on June 7-8, celebrating the tradition of African dance and music.
$10-$25. 3225 8th St. NW, Washington. 202-649-1600.

27. A special exhibit consisting of over 80 works, some  of which have never been exhibited publicly, is at the National Museum of African Art until Sept. 7. “African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art  Collection” includes masks, ceremonial objects and other pieces from across the continent. Free. National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave., Washington. 202-633-1000.

 28. The International Capoeira Angola Foundation (capoeira is part martial arts, part dance) offers children’s classes from 1-2 pm on the first and third Sundays of the month. If you haven’t experienced this ancient-but-hip way to get in shape, now’s the time to try it! 733 Euclid St. NW, Washington. 202-232-0828.

29. Travel to Egypt — and back in time! In this permanent exhibit, you need to use your mind and body to decode the ancient hieroglyphics and find a pharaoh’s lost tomb. Port Discovery Children’s Museum, 34 Market Pl., Baltimore. 410-727-8120.

30. You don’t get more authentic Ethiopian food in D.C. than Etete. Come prepared to eat with your hands and share large platters of doro wat, yebeg kikil and gored gored. It’s also vegetarian-friendly! 1942 9th St. NW, Washington. 202-232-7600.

31. Ever had the hankering to try a new and unique food? Visit Taste of Morocco and really get the insight you’ve been searching for. This restaurant is sure give you a taste of the exotic. 8661 Colesvilee Rd., Silver Spring. 301-588-4003.

32. Connecting back with their roots of South Africa, tribal dancers Lesole’s Dance Project express the simplicity and beauty of dance in “Stomp South Africa.” July 19 at 10 am. $5. 1645 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va. 703-225-1900.

33. Gum Springs, Va., might be a drive, but it’s the first time ever the South African Food Festival, running July 13-14, is happening! Dutch, Indian and Malaysian influences can all be found in this little-known cuisine. Grayhaven Winery, 4675 East Grey Fox Circle, Gum Springs, Va. 804-556-3917.

34. Join others in viewing art from the land of the Queen of Sheba, Southern Arabia (now Yemen.) “Faces of Ancient Arabia” displays over 60 works of alabaster sculptures from 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D . from July 20- Sept. 7. $6-$12.The Walters Museum of Art, 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore. 410-547-9000.


35. Share a lunchtime concert with Marita Halili and Raif Hyseni Orchestra as they present a program of Albanian music. June 19, 12-1pm. The Library of Congress, ground floor, Thomas Jefferson Building. 1st St. SE between Independence Ave. and East Captiol St. 202-707-1743.

36. Strap on the lederhosen for the Hard Bargain Farm Oktoberfest. There will be authentic dancing, food and a live and silent auction. October 11, 1-6 pm. $6. Hard Bargian Farm, 2001 Bryan Point Rd. Acoceek, Md.

37. Brasserie Beck is a D.C. bistro that serves up traditional Belgian food like moules et frites (mussels and French fries) and beef carbonnade. 1101 K St. NW, Washington. 202-408-1717.

38. In the mood for a good international film? The Avalon  Theatre is presenting The Indian and the Nurse on Aug. 13 at 8 pm as part of their “Lions of Czech Film” series. Frantisek falls in love with Marie, a modern Romany girl, who’s expected to marry within her “tribe.” $9.75; $7 for students. Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington.

39.  With a mock Renaissance town, food, jousting and shops, the Rennaisance Festival is fun for all ages. Open on specific weekends from Aug. 23-Oct. 19 from 10 am to 7 pm. Prices vary. 18231 Crownsville Rd., Annapolis.

40. Only four originals of the Magna Carta — the landmark English document that founded the practice of common law (and, therefore, inspires our own Constitution) exist. And the only one that permanently resides in the U.S. is in the West Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives. Free. Constitution Ave. and 9th St. NW, Washington. 1-866-272-6272.

41. Enjoy free performances of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor at various locations throughout Prince George’s County from July 16-20. Love, marriage, jealousy and money all clash in this comedy, performed outdoors! Check for locations and times.

42. “My Paradise-A Hundred Years of Finnish Architects” is an exhibition that showcases Finnish architecture of various time periods, running June 1-8. The exhibit examines the importance of architecture in the Finnish culture, as a place of both relaxation and retreat from the outside world. 3301 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington.

43. Who designed Dulles Airport’s famed curves and the St. Louis Arch? That would be Finnish American architect and designer, and the first major retrospective of his work runs at the National Building Museum through Aug. 23. The museum also has an extensive hands-on section for kids who don’t understand why they’re looking at pictures of an airport. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW, Washington. 202-272-2448.

44. The 108th Annual German Festival, located in Timonium, will be held from July 26-27. The festival incorporates all aspects of German life from popular music to choral singing. $4-$6. Maryland State Fiargrounds in Timonium, 2200 York Rd., Timonium. 410-522-4144.

45. See the largest display of portions of the original Berlin Wall outside of Germany. Eight 12-foot-high concrete sections of the wall and an East German guard tower all stand at the Newseum. Prices vary. 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, 1-888-639-7386.

46. Whether it’s to celebrate your heritage or to simply have some good fun attend the Greek Folk Festival in Baltimore on June 5-8. Hosted by St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the festival will present performances by Greek musicians, crafts for purchase and delicious Greek meals. 520 South Ponca St., Baltimore. 410-633-5020.

47. The energy and sensuality of the breathtaking dynamic beauty of Riverdance is visiting Wolf Trap on June 1 at 2 pm. $20-$70. 1648 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va. 703-255-1900.

48. On August 16 and 17, Baltimore City wil host The Saint Gabriel Italian Festival. The festival will include a wide variety of Italian foods, from snacks to dinners and desserts as well as wines and live music. Suggested donation $1. 227 S. Exeter St., Baltimore. 410-675-7275.

49. Two highly acclaimed Norwegian musical artists, Ladytron and Datarock, will be hosting a U.S. tour that will make a stop in DC. With electrified tunes and energetic stage performances these artists will rock the stages of DC on June 28 at the 9:30 club with their one-of-a-kind mystique. $10-$20. 818  V St. NW, Washington. 202-297-SEAT.

50. Give points for Best Rhyme to the founders of “Polkamotion by the Ocean,” a family festival of all things Polish in Rehoboth Beach, running Sept. 11-14. Food, crafts, a polka Mass on Sundays and, of course, lots of music will keep your toes tapping. $16 for adults. 229 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth, De.

51. Classika Theater performs “The Lion and the Mouse” Saturdays &  Sundays from June 14-Aug. 16. This company patterns its productions on Russian theatrical traditions, so look for lots of movement to keep kids four and up enthralled. $12-$15. At the Synetic Theater, 4041 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va. 703-824-6200.

52. The McHenry Highland Festival of Mountain Maryland has everything from sheepdog demonstrations to live music to that bizarre Scottish sport where people throw logs. June 6-8; $10 for adults; $5 for students. 6 and under free. McHenry, Md.

53. Snuggle into a labyrinth of dining rooms at Baltimore’s Tio Pepe. With a plethora of Spanish delights, Tio Pepe’s offers a taste of Spain. 10 E. Franklin St., Baltimore. 410-539-4675.

54. Noche Flamenca, one of Spain’s most successful companies of  flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists are visiting Wolf Trap on July 29..1648 Trap Rd., Vienna, Va. 703-255-1900.

55. Each season, GALita at GALA Theatre presents special student matinees of classical Spanish works. On June 21 and June 28 at 3 pm and June 27 at 10:30 am, GALita will present Un Encuento Maravilloso/A Marvelous Encounter by D2 Puppet Theatre (in Spanish only). The timeless story of the “little prince” comes to life through the colorful world of puppets that spark the imagination and promote awareness of the plight of our planet today. Prices vary. 3333 14th St. NW, Washington. 1-800-494-TIXS.

56. Stop in at the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on Sept.13-14 for an activity-filled day at the Ukrainian Festival. The festival will include  festivities and food from Ukraine, along with traditional music and arts. 15100 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring. 301-384-9192.

57. Who wants to see a movie about tractors? OK, what if we told you it was a musical? Tractor Drivers tells the story of a man who comes home to his collective in Ukraine to find his girlfriend is now an ace tractor driver with plenty of male admirers. June 1, 4:30 pm. National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse, Large auditorium. 600 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington. 202-737-4215.

58. Maggie Sansone performs a musical tour of the ancient Celtic lands, stretching from Ireland to Scotland, on July 12. $15. Londontowne Rd., Edgewater. 410-222-1919.

59. “Walk-In Tour: The Ancient Americas & Asia” displays art of each culture and demonstrates the commonality between the two diverse, yet similar, worlds; June 7. $6-$12. The Walters Museum of Art, 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore. 410-547-9000.

60. The National Museum in Kabul has undergone rocket attacks, having many of its artifacts smashed by the Taliban, and looting. But some of its greatest treasures survived and can be seen through Sept. 7 at the National Gallery of Art. Free. 600 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington. 202-737-4215.

61. Possibly the best restaurant on a chain-ridden stretch of Rt. 1, Afghan Restaurant can serve as either an introduction to the cuisine or satisfy anyone pining for aushak or mantu. Plus, it’s heaven for vegetarians! 2700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Alexandria. 703-548-0022.

62. Come out and celebrate the 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival from June 25-29 and July 2-6. The featured country is Bhutan, which lies between the Himalyan mountains and borders both China and India. The festival will include Bhutanese artists, dancers, cooks, craftsmen and locals. Free. The National Mall.

63. Join the area’s Cambodian community on Aug. 24 to celebrate the Khmer culture with displays of Cambodian art, crafts and paintings and food and dance. Free. Ben Brenman Park, 4800 Duke St., Alexandria.

64.  With a 50-member Choir from the Columbia Chinese Choral Art Society and a variety of performers, exhibits and demonstrations, “Bridges to China” will be a fun-filled event for the whole family. June 7, 7 pm. Free. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. 410-280-5640.

65. Visit the National Geographic Museum from June 1 to July 13 to experience the diverse culture of China. The museum will present an exhibit, “Visions Of China”, that gives an in-depth analytical perspective on Chinese architecture, both anciend and modern. Free. 1145 17th St. NW, Washington. 202-857-7588.

66. Attend the Asian Festival in DC for bhangra dance, an Indian Film and a performance of the Dohl Indian Drum. July 21. Lake Newport Tennis Facility, 11452 Baron Cameron Ave., Reston, Va.

67. Regina Spektor, Mandy Patinkin and the Sesame Street Muppets perform at “Israel @ 60: A Capital Celebration”. In addition, there will be music, dance and theater performances, cultural food, children’s activities and family workshops. Free. June 1. The National Mall in front of the National Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum.

68. The Freer and Sackler Gallery has more than 6,000 pieces and exhibits ranging from paintings to tea ceremony items. Plus, they have the best gift shop of all the museums — think adorable yet bizarre Japanese trinkets. Free. 1000 Jefferson Dr. SW. 202-633-1000.

69. On June 20, from 7-9pm, visitors to the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria can learn about Japanese pottery with Ken Matsusaki through a discussion, slide show and exhibition. Free. 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, Va. 703-683-2323. us.emba-Japan.go/jp/jicc/otherevents.htm.

70. The permanent Korea gallery explores the nature, geography, history and culture of Korea. The exhibit includes satellite photographs (one taken at night shows North Korea almost entirely in darkness, while South Korea twinkles away). Free. Intersection of 10th St. and Constitution NW, Washington.

71. DC’s popular Malaysian restaurant, Singapore Bistro, provides visitors with the chance to order their favorite dishes or try new and exciting ones. 1134 19th St. NW, Washington.

72. Dzi: The Tibet Collection sells textiles, religious items and other products made by Tibetan refuges living in exile in India and Pakistan.117 Carroll St. NW, Washington. 202-882-0108

73. The Sixth Annual Turkish Festival has traditional dancing and music, artists and vendors, a kids’ tent, lots of Turkish food from the best local Turkish restaurants. You can even have your fortune read after having some Turkish coffee. Free. October 5. Pennsylvania Ave.  NW between 13th and 14th Streets.