Best Indoor Picnic

The Kogod Courtyard
8th and F streets NW, (202) 633-8300
Sure, in the best of worlds, you’d be taking your basket and your date to the Arboretum. But you don’t always have a car at your disposal, the time to venture out there, or cooperative weather. For all the other times, there’s the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Its curved glass-and-steel roof, designed by Norman Foster, provides shelter from the elements while maintaining an outdoor feel that’s enhanced by the foliage. Its location makes for an easy walk from downtown offices, or from the Green, Yellow, and Red lines. And its friendly security staff seem (so far) to have no problem allowing a basket full of food and drink into a building housing priceless paintings.