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Urban Adventurers: Volume 5

A look into the life and times of Urban Adventures’ Guides

Leila, Washington DC

We had the pleasure of speaking with Leila to ask her 10 questions for all of you to get to know her better! Read on to learn more about this Urban Adventurer!

1. Where are you from?

Silver Spring, Maryland

2. How long have you lived in DC or the area?

Silver Spring is right on the DC border, so I’ve lived here my whole life, apart from college in Saratoga Springs, NY and spells in San Francisco and the Hudson Valley.

3. What are a few of your hobbies and interests outside of guiding?

I really love doing ceramics, attempting to grow things in my garden, reading, traveling, and cooking elaborate meals. 

4. What drew you to Urban Adventures?

There’s nothing I like better than talking about history, so giving tours about the early days of Washington DC seemed really fun. Plus, I like that UA partners with so many local and independent businesses. I love the National Mall, and always have, but it’s great that so many of our tours focus on neighborhoods, shops, and restaurants that a visitor might not find on their own, such as in the H Street Corridor.

5. What are a few of your favorite DC hidden gem neighborhoods, stores, restaurants, or sites?

Mount Pleasant near Rock Creek Park is one of my favorite spots. It’s a neighborhood that I don’t think a lot of visitors find, but it has some of the most beautiful row homes and cute cafes and bars. I also always recommend the Washington National Cathedral and Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, the former home of an heiress with an amazing collection of French and Russian decorative arts. 

6. What’s a good day trip for people visiting DC?

Mount Vernon is always a great place to visit and learn about George Washington, the enslaved workforce in the area, and the founding of this nation. I also highly recommend strolling around Old Town Alexandria or hiking in Shenandoah National Park!

7. What book, movie, or song is a great representation of DC?

I love that the Hirshhorn got its moment to shine in Wonder Woman 2! I also have to give a shout out to the Real Housewives of DC, of course.

8. What’s your dream travel experience anywhere in the world?

I would really love to go to Scotland! The Highlands are so beautiful and the medieval and Viking history is fascinating. Thailand and Indonesia are also on my list–I can never get enough Southeast Asian food.

9. What’s meal do you crave if you haven’t been home in a while?

My favorite food in the world is crab cakes! This is a classic choice for someone who grew up near the Chesapeake Bay. While there are hundreds of places that make great crab cakes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, I can honestly say that my mother’s are the best!

10. What’s your Hogwarts house and why?

I am definitely a Ravenclaw. I spend most of my time learning about history and art, and I’m always ready with a fun fact, whether or not you’ve asked for one!

To keep up with Leila and her adventures, follow Washington DC Urban Adventures on Instagram!

@washingtondcua