Washington DC Neighborhoods

Featured Neighborhoods in Washington DC

1 Downtown

Washington D.C.’s downtown core covers an area near the White House in the northwest portion of the city. There are several museums, theaters and sports and a section of the area is historic and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Major cultural institutions including the National Aquarium, the National Portrait Gallery and theaters such as the National, the Warner, and the once infamous Ford’s Theater—where Abraham Lincoln was shot—are all here. For top-notch views of the city, the Old Post Office Pavilion’s Observation deck is the tallest building in the area. Many bars, cafes, and retail shops line the Gallery Place corridor on 7th Street. Verizon Center is a major sporting venue, presenting basketball, hockey, and other events. Farragut Square Park and Mount Vernon Square both offer pleasant green space, while the busy restaurants of Chinatown offer excellent cuisine and late hours.

2 Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is a neighborhood, a park and a traffic circle in Northwest Washington. Jazz clubs, the historic St. Mathews Cathedral, international embassys and charming row houses define the neighborhood. The historic Patterson mansion built by famed architect Stanford White, and the row houses of the Striver’s Section are standouts in this pleasant community shaded by trees, and served by broad streets centered about the traffic circle. Within the circle is a park with a stunning fountain, ample seating, and permanent stone chessboards. The Brookings Institution, the Center for Global Development and the first museum of modern art in the nation, the Phillips Collection, are all located here. Every June, the LGBT Pride Festival Parade takes place in Dupont Circle and the High Heel Race (also popular with the LGBT) community, draws thousands every October.

3 Anacostia

Home to the iconic “Big Chair,” an advertising gimmick for Curtis Brothers Furniture, Anacostia also contains other artistic endeavors, including the Honfleur Gallery, which showcases the work of local and national artists and hosts a bi-monthly poetry series. Also a part of this area is the Anacostia Museum, which operates under the auspices of the Smithsonian. Fort Dupont Park is home to tennis courts, playing fields and an ice skating rink. In the summer, live jazz concerts are performed weekly. The annual Martin Luther King Birthday Parade runs in the community every April. The vibrant Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus here houses eleven different educational nonprofits and the Anacostia Playhouse hosts independent theater productions. [Photo courtesy of the National Park Service]

4 Capitol Hill

Located right in the heart of Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the district, home to the U.S. Capitol building and the imposing U.S. Senate and House of Representatives buildings. The Library of Congress is also located here. Capitol Hill is also one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. It’s home to the famous Eastern Market, established in 1873, which serves as an awesome gathering spot that still serves up fresh produce in both indoor and outdoor stands. There is an outdoor flea market on weekends here, as well, weather permitting. From classic vinyl to handmade jewelry, the flea market has a plethora of great shopping finds. Hill Center, a local community center, operates from the Old Naval Hospital, and serves as a focal point for music, theater and educational programs in the neighborhood, which is edged by the Anacostia River and the Washington Navy Yard. Pennsylvania Avenue is the main retail and entertainment area, filled with bars and restaurants, as well as smaller boutique-type shops. [Photo courtesy of ShutterStock by f11photo]

5 Georgetown

Historic Georgetown abuts the scenic Potomac River with a busy, thriving community filled with local and national chain stores, bars, restaurants, and renowned music venues, such as the Cellar Door. Upscale shops, restaurants and galleries line the Wisconsin and M Street corridor. Georgetown Park is an enclosed shopping mall closer to the river. The community also houses Georgetown University, a number of international embassies, and historic structures such as the Canal Square Building and the City Tavern Club. Built in 1765, The Old Stone House, is the oldest original structure in the Washington, D.C. area. Many buildings in this densely urban enclave are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another well known site: the steep, stone seventy-five so-called “Exorcist steps” named for the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist which was partially filmed here. [Photo Courtesy of Georgetown University]

6 Foggy Bottom

Named for the fog that sometimes gathers near the Potomac River, Foggy Bottom is home to George Washington University’s main campus. It is a major cultural destination with the renowned Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the DAR Constitution Hall (another performance venue) and the more intimate concert venue of Lisner Auditorium on the George Washington Campus. The historic Watergate complex is located here, and along with its condominiums and offices, there are a several mid-rise apartments and single-family homes, many of which are also historic. Government buildings, such as the Main Interior Building and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, are also found here, as are the World Bank Building and Corcoran Gallery of Art.

7 Adams Morgan

Located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., Adams Morgan is known for a social and entertainment scene rich with music, nightlife, and a vast array of shopping and dining options. This neighborhood’s nightlife scene includes more than 90 bars and clubs and diners will find a variety of international foods here, including Guatemalan, Mexican, Nepalese, Italian, Dutch, Vietnamese, Ghanaian, Cajun, Brazilian, Palestinian, Peruvian, Indian, Israeli, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Large Rock Creek Park borders the community on the west, with walking and biking trails. The Adams Morgan Heritage Trail invites residents and tourists alike to explore the neighborhood following illustrated signs throughout the neighborhood beginning at 16th Street and Florida Avenue. Every September, the Adams Morgan Day Festival street celebration holds forth with music, food and local crafts and art. Each Saturday in spring, fall, and summer, a local farmers market offers produce and baked goods.

8 Columbia Heights

Bordering Howard University to the east, this pleasant neighborhood offers commuter convenient access on Washington Metro transit Green and Orange lines. The Tivoli Square entertainment and business complex is located here, as are numerous condominiums, town homes, and apartments. A large retail complex near the Columbia Heights metro station includes national retail chains. Diverse restaurants and bars are also a part of the neighborhood, which is the home of the GALA Hispanic Theatre, housed in the art deco era Tivoli Theatre. The Dance Institute of Washington is just across the street. A number of international embassies and the Greater Washington Urban League are also a part of this pleasant, tree-lined community. [Photo courtesy of GALA Hispanic Theatre]

9 Southwest Washington

The Southwest Waterfront offers many outdoor recreation spots with great water views and activities. Walking and biking paths edge the Anacostia River which borders this neighborhood, as well as near the Washington Channel. Also along the Channel is the impressive Titanic Memorial, a large granite statue honoring the RMS Titanic disaster. With its own Green Line Metro station and bordered by I-395 for easy commuting to downtown and the Maryland suburbs, this neighborhood is a hotbed of development, including offices, hotels, residences, and retail multi-use complexes springing up all around the quadrant. Theater buffs flock to the renowned Arena Stage, a cultural highlight of the district, well known for its edgy and experimental dramatic live theater productions. Founded in 1950, the theater is now housed in the shiny new 200,000-square-foot Mead Center, and boasts three stages. For pre-or after theater dinners, a variety of restaurants and cafes line the streets around the center.

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