The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

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A Washington, DC, landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl has been serving locals half-smokes and chili fries since 1958, when it was a hub for luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. 960 1280

  

True Reformer Building, built in 1902 by John Anderson Lankford, DC's first registered black architect. The building now sports a mural of Duke Ellington, and was the former location of the African American Civil War Museum. 960 1280

  

In the 1950s, "Black Broadway" included Lincoln Theatre, which today hosts theatre, dance and comedy shows. 960 1280

  

Washington, DC's "U Street" neighborhood has been revitalized in recent years, and continues to be a center of African-American history and culture. 960 1280

  

Established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was named for poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the nearby Wardman Park Hotel. Busboys strives to be not just a restaurant/bar, but also "a community gathering place for artists, activists, writers, thinkers and dreamers." 960 1280

  

The U Street district is a neighborhood of diverse cultures, with a mix of new businesses and restaurants operating amid the historic sites and flavors of the area's past. 960 1280

  

"Black Broadway" was marked by the day's big jazz luminaries: Duke Ellington (who was born in DC's west end), Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and Pearl Bailey all played its clubs. 960 1280

  

The African American Civil War Memorial, the only national memorial commemorating African-American troops in the Civil War, bears these words by Frederick Douglass: "Better even to die free than to live slaves." 960 1280

  

Spontaneous celebrations erupted all over Washington, DC, when President Barack Obama was declared the winner of the 2008 presidential election. U Street was the center of it with crowds dancing in the streets, at bus stops and even on top of cars. 960 1280

  

"The Alchemy of Ben Ali" mural, located on the side of Ben's Next Door, shows a portrait of the Alis (founders of the landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl) alongside images of a protest and a butterfly, which depicts the transformation of the area through the years. 960 1280

  

Bohemian Cavern, a restaurant and jazz club dating back to 1926 where John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis played, continues to be the spot for jazz in DC. 960 1280

  

Cherry blossom trees are in full bloom at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, pictured here with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. 960 1280

Alex Wong/Getty Images  

Tourists admire cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. 960 1280

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images  

A man lifts his baby daughter into the air near the base of the Washington Monument during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Embassy of Japan Cherry Blossom Princess, Tomoko Shiojiri, lights a Japanese stone lantern during a ceremony as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. 960 1280

Alex Wong/Getty Images  

Cherry blossom balloons are carried along the parade route on Constitution Avenue. Various cultural groups, marching bands, floats and balloons are featured in the annual event. The festival started in 1935 and today, more than a million people visit Washington, DC, each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and attend events in the 16-day festival.  960 1280

S Pakhrin [Flickr  

People walk a bike at the Tidal Basin under the cherry blossoms, with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in the background. 960 1280

Getty Images  

The Washington Monument can be seen through the branches of cherry trees along the tidal basin. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo giving 3000 cherry trees to the city of Washington in 1912. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Cultural groups perform in the Sakura Maturo street festival on Pennsylvania Avenue following the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival parade. 960 1280

The Washington Post / Getty Images  

Traditional Japanese dancers prepare backstage before a performance in Washington, DC, as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. 960 1280

Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images  

Batala, the all-woman percussion ensemble performs at the Sylvan Theater on the grounds of the Washington Monument during the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC.  960 1280

thisisbossi [Flickr, [CC-NC-SA-2.0   

Rosario Ponte of Alexandria, VA, photographs the cherry blossoms that circle the Tidal Basin as the trees begin to bloom April. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration to commemorate the 1912 gift of 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees from Japan. 960 1280

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images  

Tourists walk by the Tidal Basin to get the best view of all the cherry blossoms. 960 1280

Mark Wilson / Hulton Archive / Getty Images  

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Rooftop Movies -- Perth, Australia

Australia’s balmy nights just got cooler atop this rooftop oasis in Perth. You’ll have the Perth city skyline in the background while watching popular releases and cult classics. The scene at Rooftop Movies has a retro-Miami Beach feel complete with palm trees, astro turf, a series of vintage caravans from which food and drinks are served, beach chairs to lounge in and hundreds of pink flamingoes. 960 1280

Jarrad Seng  

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Millennium Park -- Chicago

Chicago?s Millennium Park is already an impressive sight, even without its new state-of-the-art 40-by-23-foot LED movie screen. The park?s latest high-tech attraction draws both Chicagoans and tourists alike to spread a blanket out on the Great Lawn for its Summer Film Series. 960 1280

  

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Mirage City Cinema -- UAE

Past meets future at Mirage City Cinema, with ancient Sharjah architecture in the backdrop of a modern open-air movie projection. Floor carpets, which were traditionally used in Arab cultures for relaxing, are scattered throughout the courtyard, adding to the laid-back atmosphere of the outdoor cinema space. 960 1280

Buro Ole Scheeren   

Cine Thisio -- Athens

Cine Thisio -- Athens

It has to be a surreal experience to have ancient Greek ruins in the background as you watch a summer blockbuster. Built in 1935, Cine Thisio is the oldest outdoor movie theater in Athens, with impressive views of the Acropolis and the Parthenon just beyond. 960 1280

Basil Koutroumani  

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

Little Italy Film Festival -- Baltimore

After a meal in Baltimore's Little Italy, stay for "Cinema al Fresco," one of Little Italy's most popular events, now in its 16th year. Movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant, and you’ll see all the Italian-themed classics from Moonstruck to Cinema Paradiso. 960 1280

VisitBaltimore.com  

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Movies at the Mural -- Seattle

Watch movies by moonlight with the Space Needle and the starry skies as the backdrop to Seattle’s summer Movies at the Mural. Picnic on the Mural Amphitheatre lawn, in front of a giant, state-of-the-art, 45-foot screen. 960 1280

shelmac, Flickr  

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

Open Air Cinema -- Bondi Beach, Australia

It’s no surprise that beach-loving Australians watch movies on the beach, too. Watch a film at Open Air Cinema amid views of Australia's most famous beach, Bondi Beach. Before the show begins, grab some gourmet food and drinks from a festival bar and listen to local musicians, then settle in for a full night of beachside entertainment. 960 1280

Phil Whitehouse, Flickr  

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

Kamari Cinema -- Santorini, Greece

As in ancient times, the open-air theaters of Greece are still a part of the country’s cultural life -- and a popular way to spend a summer night. Enjoy a big fat Greek movie (at least one with Greek subtitles, anyway) at the outdoor Kamari Cinema on the Greek island of Santorini. 960 1280

Courtesy of Kamari Cinema  

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder Outdoor Cinema -- Boulder, CO

Boulder's Outdoor Cinema is a popular summer night tradition for many outdoors lovers. While waiting for the sun to set and the movie to begin, enjoy local musicians and a trivia contest. 960 1280

Michael Totays  

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

St. George OpenAir Cinema -- Sydney

Located at Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, St. George OpenAir Cinema offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour. The movie screen literally rises out of Sydney Harbour. No need to pack a blanket and a picnic basket; this cinema has stadium seating and its own bars and restaurants. 960 1280

Sarah Rhodes  

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

Outdoor Cinema at Parc de la Villette -- Paris

How can a summer night in Paris get any more romantic? Perhaps by watching a French film on a blanket at the Parc de la Villette with a Parisian picnic of cheese, baguette and wine. 960 1280

A. Legrai  

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Montjuic Castle/ SalaMontjuïc -- Barcelona

Every summer Barcelona’s locals gather at the moat area at Montjuic Castle to watch classic and current movies. It wouldn’t be a Spanish night without a little music, so enjoy live music like bossa nova and flamenco before the movie starts. 960 1280

SalaMontjuïc  

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Film on the Rocks -- Denver

Watching a film at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is sure to be unforgettable -- this is the only naturally occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. Thanks to Mother Nature, the design of the amphitheatre consists of two 300-foot monoliths -- a dramatic backdrop for movie night. 960 1280

Paul Maynard  

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film Night in the Park -- San Francisco

Film buffs gather in beautiful Bay Area parks like Dolores Park for Film Night in the Park. This year's 23st season offers crowd favorites from Up to Silver Linings Playbook. 960 1280

  

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

Screen on the Green -- Washington, DC

The tourists might take over the National Mall in the summer, but Washingtonians take it back for the summer movie series Screen on the Green. Each event in the series attracts approximately 15,000 Washingtonians (tourist are allowed, too). Arrive early with blankets to picnic on the Mall and enjoy one of DC’s most popular summer nights out. 960 1280

Erin M, Flickr  

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

Film4 Summer Screen -- London

London?s Somerset House, a spectacular neoclassical building in the heart of London near the River Thames, offers a dramatic backdrop to watch a movie under the summer night stars. Tourists and locals alike rank Film4 Summer Screen as one of the city's best things to do in the summer. 960 1280

James Bryant  

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