Travel is more than a hobby for a lot of D.C.-area people – it’s a passion, but sometimes you’re short on vacation days, or the budget gets tight.

Not to worry! WUSA9 expert on all things D.C., Bruce Johnson, is taking us to three of his favorite spots that are way off the beaten path.

The Catacombs:

First stop: the Catacombs under the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Northeast, D.C. They’re not as big as the ones at the Vatican – but, those narrow pathways will lead you past the remains of two saints buried there. In warmer weather – the Monastery’s gardens are worth a tour, too. Daily tours are available. They’re free of charge. Reservations required for groups of six or more.

16th Street NW and the Houses of Worship:

Ever walked or driven up 16th Street in Northwest Washington and thought that there must be a house of worship every single block? You’re almost right.

Dozens of churches, synagogues, mosques, and more fill the 16th street corridor, including the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. That congregation was the oldest black Baptist one in the city, and when they moved their church over to 16th street, they didn’t want to change the name. This all dates back to the construction of St. John’s Episcopal Church – where 16th Street meets Lafayette Square in 1816. It immediately became the house of worship of choice for Presidents and first families – and other houses of worship wanted an address on the same street.

The Best View of D.C.

Head across the river to where Fort Stanton once stood in Southeast, Washington for the best view of the city. It’s the spot where soldiers stood guard during the Civil War to protect the northern capital from Confederate advances from Virginia. You’ll learn a little history and be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Washington Monument, Capitol Dome and more.

At WUSA9, we want to know about your favorite spots in D.C. that aren’t on the tourist maps. Send them to or tag us on social media.