Explore Washington D.C.

Washington Capitals’ John Carlson on His D.C. Faves

The ice hockey pro (and 2018 Stanley Cup winner) shares what he loves about his adopted hometown.

The Massachusetts-born Carlson has been “rocking the red” with the Washington Capitals since 2009. During hockey season, he spends a lot of time powering the puck at downtown’s Verizon Center and Arlington, Virginia’s Kettler Capitals Iceplex. (Tip: Practice sessions at Kettler are free and open to the public.)

In the off-season, when many of his teammates decamp to other destinations, Carlson sticks around to explore his adopted hometown. Here are some of his go-to spots.

National Mall

There’s no other place like the National Mall. When family members visit, I take them there to walk around and explore the monuments and memorials. It’s also fun to watch the fireworks there on July 4.  Between Independence and Constitution aves. from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
At the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool (Courtesy Destination DC)

American History Museum

I cherish hearing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before each Capitals game. So it was incredible to visit the American History Museum and see the flag that inspired the national anthem. 14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW

The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner (Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History)

14th Street NW

It’s a happening area with a lot of restaurants. My favorite is Le Diplomate. I love the half roast chicken, the omelets and the ice cream—my guilty pleasure! 1601 14th St. NW

14th Street NW
14th Street NW, a hot retail, dining, theater and nightlife zone (©Brooke Sabin)

Air and Space Museum

It’s amazing to see all the different aircraft at the Air and Space Museum. I remember going as a kid and being fascinated by the exhibits. 600 Independence Ave. NW


Spirit of St. Louis
Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, at the Air and Space Museum (©Mark Avino/Smithsonian Institution)


This historic neighborhood has everything. From stores to restaurants, Georgetown has a lot of great options. M St. and Wisconsin Ave. NW

Georgetown, D.C.’s oldest (and still-bustling) neighborhood (©Sam Kittner)

Verizon Center

I love the environment and the support from our fans at Verizon Center on game nights. A lot of great concerts also come through there. 601 F St. NW


John Carlson
John Carlson in action at Verizon Center (©Washington Capitals Photography)

Want to learn more about this ice hockey rising star? Read our Q&A with Carlson.