The tristate region of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia is locally known as the DMV. Within the DMV, Maryland hosts the fourth largest concentration of African immigrant populations in the U.S. Most African immigrants live in Prince George’s (PG) and Montgomery counties (MoCo) on the eastern and northern flank of the District of Columbia. In PG, the majority of Africans hail from Nigeria, Cameroon, and Sierra Leone. However, in MoCo immigrants from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Cameroon are more prevalent. Given this diversity, you are sure to find a range of activities from these cultures to engage in.

Start your day the Ethiopian way

First, start your day with a selection of delicious pastries and fragrant coffees. Offering a wide range of Ethiopian coffees, Sidamo Real House of Coffee is the perfect venue for a quick breakfast. Since 2006, this family owned and operated coffee house has supported fair-traded quality coffees. They also offer a healthy dose of Ethiopian culture, including a full Ethiopian coffee ceremony on the weekends.

Shift your day into higher gear

Across the DMV there are several opportunities to take an African inspired exercise class. One such location is at Performing Arts Center for African Cultures in Laurel, MD. The popular Besa dance class is not to be missed. ‘Besa’ means ‘come and dance’ in the Akan language of Ghana.

Rest, refresh and refuel

Next, after your work out, change and head over to lunch at the popular Swahili Village Bar and Grill in Beltsville, MD. Swahili Village offers diners a superb introduction to East-African fine dining from Kenya. Their curated menu offers a full range of flavors from the culinary traditions of India, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and West Africa. Come hungry, and you will not be disappointed!

Design your next African couture outfit

The Sew Creative Lounge in Mount Rainer, MD is our recommend go-to destination for an ‘Ankara’ sewing and quilting education. Ankara is a boldly colored cotton fabric, with vibrant, geometric and tribal-like patterns and designs, commonly associated with the African culture. Classes support both new and experienced sewers. Take a look at the popular ‘Sip and Sew’ course and walk away with an eye-catching ready-to-wear dress.

Dive deeper into African textiles

Love Ankara fabric? By all means – head on over to African Eleganza also in Beltsville, MD to purchase African fabrics and accessories. Prepare to be dazzled by the array of fabrics on offer as well as head wear, bags, shoes, and jewelry. Ladies can source Ankara wax cotton prints, French and Swiss lace. There are items for men also including menswear fabrics and embroidered appliques for formal wear.

An evening of fine dining and dancing

To conclude your day and get your jollof rice fix at Ékó House. It is a full-service Nigerian/Pan-African restaurant located in Rockville, MD. Notably, their menu offers a range of authentic and tasty fusions of well-known and beloved Nigerian foods in a contemporary and upbeat setting. There is plenty to see and do – from an impressive collection of art pieces by Nigerian artists to dancing either to live music or the in-house DJ.

Want to explore more of the DMV region? Check out our guide to spending a day in Washington, DC!