Travel Guides for Un-tourists


Palo Santo, Ayurvedic Tonics, and More: 5 High-Vibes DC Ventures

by Brandy Walker

posted on January 02, 2020

Photo Courtesy: tomwachs

You might be surprised to find a thriving bohemian scene in this city of politicos, power suits, and people with big, important places to go, but moving at a breakneck pace requires stamina and energetic balance. In these complicated times, it’s no wonder that a growing subset of Washingtonians soothe their souls by burning palo santo, sipping on ayurvedic tonics, and meditating in nature. (Sure, skeptics might say it’s all for the ‘gram, but that turmeric mylk isn’t going to drink itself.) Below, a curated list of the capital’s best high-vibes ventures.

Photo Courtesy: jameswillett

Sate your sweet tooth at Sticky Fingers, an award-winning vegan bakery with a charitable bent. Sticky buns, sandwich cookies, doughnuts, and layer cakes line the bakery case, while brunch offerings range from breakfast burritos to challah french toast. Each month, a different charity is highlighted; a dollar is donated per sale of the bakery’s fan-favorite almond creme cupcake. Cake for a good cause? Yes, please.

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Challah French toast, sticky bun, chorizo tacos, biscuits and gravy, tofu scramble

Photo Courtesy: The Crystal Fox

A vast array of crystals, incense, tarot cards, and essential oils await your perusal at The Crystal Fox; the DC Metro Area’s premier pagan emporium. Get answers to metaphysical questions, gather ingredients for a witchy brew, or let the right crystal find you. While technically outside the city’s bounds, this Maryland shop warrants a visit.

Photo Courtesy: Pua Naturally

Get a new wardrobe and do your part for the earth at Pua Naturally, a slow fashion collective championing ethically-made and environmentally-friendly women’s clothing and accessories. Pieces are lovingly designed using hand-loomed fabrics, block printing, hand-stitched embroidery, and other creative techniques that you’ll be proud to wear.

Photo Courtesy: tomwachs

For a breath of fresh air, head to this Smithsonian site, where a glorious collection of flora and fauna are on display and the pace is measured and calm. After you’ve wandered through the lush greenery of the Conservatory and the National Garden’s plot of local plants, hop across the street to Bartholdi Park. Seek out one of the tucked-away benches, take in a few deep breaths, and relax; if meditative bliss finds you, lean in.

Photo Courtesy: busboysandpoets

Social activism and art combine at Busboys and Poets, a local favorite whose name is a nod to the writer and activist, Langston Hughes. Head over on Tuesdays for open mic night, or on the second Friday of the month for the intensely-competitive 11th Hour Poetry Slam. For a more low-key evening, Sunday Kind of Love (on the third Sunday of the month) features both seasoned and new poets; it's a powerful and uplifting experience. While you’re there, try the shrimp and grits or the vegan nachos (trust us, they’re good).

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Vegan nachos, mini cherry pie, shrimp and crab fritters

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