DC Neighborhoods to Explore
Washington, D.C., is home to an eclectic blend of attractions, restaurants and famous historical landmarks. If you're figuring out where to go on your weekend in the nation's capital, this D.C. neighborhood guide provides everything you need to know about Washington, D.C., neighborhoods to explore. Visit each attraction's website to learn more about their current guidelines and operating procedures.
1. Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is a popular place to explore for locals and tourists, with landmarks and attractions rich with history. This southeastern D.C. neighborhood includes Victorian architecture, with well-manicured townhouses from the 19th and 20th centuries. These historic houses feature turrets, stained glass and wrought-iron decorative accents.
If you're looking to brush up on your history, you can take a tour around the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and congressional buildings. You can also wander through the lush gardens at the U.S. Botanic Garden, shop at the famous Eastern Market or walk around the Folger Shakespeare Library. When you're ready to grab a bite to eat, you can find some restaurants at Union Station.
2. Southwest Waterfront
Southwest Waterfront makes up the D.C. area along the Washington Channel. The house styles range from 18th-century Federal to Mid-Century Modern and everything in between. As one of the most historic neighborhoods to explore in D.C., it has a loyal following of locals and tourists. To spend time outdoors, visit the Gangplank Marina at The Wharf or take a cruise boat along the channel. When the weather is pleasant outside, you can catch free outdoor movies and do yoga in this waterfront neighborhood.
Those who enjoy history can check out the International Spy Museum, the National Air and Space Museum and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. You can also see a live performance at the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. When you're hungry, visit Station 4 for new American cuisine just steps away from the Arena Stage. Whatever you're hungry for, you can find it in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood making it D.C.'s up-and-coming hub for foodies.
3. Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle is a cosmopolitan, on-the-go area boasting a few apartment complexes to bring locals closer to work and entertainment. While exploring the neighborhood in northwest D.C., you'll find some chocolate shops, bookstores and coffee shops. Visit the Dupont Circle fountain, where you can hang out with your friends or read that book you bought at the bookstore.
Discover dozens of museums, restaurants, boutiques and bars in this busy part of Washington, D.C. The Phillips Collection offers a selection of modern art for you to browse and appreciate. You'll find a nice mix of food, from Afghan to Turkish, Japanese and farm-to-table. You can also explore Dupont Circle's year-round farmers market for some organic produce.
4. Foggy Bottom
Foggy Bottom gets its name from the fog that naturally lingers in this part of western Washington. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in D.C., most locals and tourists visit it for the historic feel it offers. If you're looking to move or stay here, you can find apartments and five-star hotels. The most popular attractions in Foggy Bottom are the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the luxurious Watergate Hotel and the Arlington Memorial Bridge along the water.
If you'd like to get some fresh air, Rock Creek Park features some biking and running trails along the Potomac. Indian cuisine is the most popular type of food in Foggy Bottom, but the neighborhood also has French, farm-to-plate and elegant seasonal American fare. After dinner, head over to an intimate whiskey bar or check out a local brewery — which is usually a meeting spot for college students.
Georgetown is a high-class neighborhood in northwest D.C. Residents live in 18th- and 19th-century homes along narrow cobblestoned streets shaded by mature trees. With Georgetown University in the center, this neighborhood has a younger crowd that brings exciting life to the historic atmosphere. You can find boutiques, art galleries and a wide-ranging retail scene, among other unique attractions.
Take a jog along the C&O Canal and visit Georgetown Waterfront Park for a relaxing day outside. You and your friends can play bocce or go bowling at Pinstripes. If you're hungry, check out the upmarket restaurants or head to Georgetown Cupcake for some celebrity-favorite desserts.
6. H Street NE
H Street NE is one of the best D.C. neighborhoods to explore because of its wide range of social activities. You can find colorful, charming townhouses in this eastern part of Washington, D.C. millennials make up the most of H Street's demographics, with brilliant murals adding a vibrant uniqueness to the atmosphere.
If you'd like to see a local performance, check out the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The annual H Street Festival in the fall features live performances and opportunities to support local businesses. If you're hungry, you can find tons of trendy eateries in H Street NE. Besides the seasonal H Street Farmers Market, the neighborhood also features Lebanese, Japanese, Cambodian, French and Southeast Asian food.
7. Logan Circle
Logan Circle in central Washington, D.C., offers a diverse blend of house sizes, from modest turn-of-the-century homes to three-story Edwardian manses. This area is a cool neighborhood in D.C. for young urban professionals, yet its historic atmosphere also blends in with the rest of the nation's capital.
A popular part of Logan Circle, 14th Street NW, has dozens of restaurants, indie and national-brand shops and an exciting bar scene. You can find restaurants that offer food from Spain and street food from Denmark, Malaysia, Peru, French and Basque. At night, keep an eye out for local bars with sidewalk cafes and patios to enjoy the outdoors. Some places feature indie bands playing live, themed music.
8. Penn Quarter & Chinatown
Penn Quarter & Chinatown in central Washington, D.C., attracts foodies, history buffs and cultural explorers. Rent or buy an upscale apartment in this neighborhood for a front-row seat to all the action. See a live performance at the Verizon Center,Shakespeare Theatre Company or Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, or explore local art at the National Portrait Gallery or American Art Museum.
Ford's Theatre, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, is open for tours and live theatre performances. Penn Quarter & Chinatown features a wide selection of food, from hot dog carts to upmarket Japanese restaurants. You can get rum drinks at a Cuban club or watch hockey or basketball at a local sports bar at night.
Shaw in central Washington, D.C., features brick Federal and Victorian rowhouses and renovated industrial, loft-style buildings. As one of D.C.'s oldest neighborhoods, this modern minimalist area is rich with African-American history. Check out Landmark's Atlantic Plumbing Cinema,Howard Theatre and Lincoln Theatre to watch inspiring, entertaining live performances. This area also offers trending restaurants with American and Mexican food, along with Mid-Atlantic seafood. Visit a rock club or celebrate happy hour with American, German or Belgian beer at the end of the day.
10. Adams Morgan
Adams Morgan is a diverse neighborhood famous for its exciting dining scene and nightlife. This northwest D.C. area features historic row houses lining the streets for a vintage feel. Even though locals and tourists visit to grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink, Adams Morgan is also home to several clothing stores, gift shops and bookstores. Visit the D.C. Arts Center for an entertaining live performance.
This D.C. neighborhood offers a wide variety of Korean, Middle Eastern, Belgian, Ethiopian, Mexican, Japanese and French restaurants. There are also several cafes scattered around the area for a casual cup of coffee. After a day of exploring the neighborhood, you can end the night at one of the many bars Adams Morgan offers with a relaxing drink and ambient music.
Visit Station 4 DC
Station 4 is a restaurant in Southwest Waterfront that offers a diverse selection of creative American cuisine, from quality wines to high-class seafood and meat dishes. We're open from brunch to dinner, so you can fit a visit with us into your busy schedule exploring the town. Our unique and exceptional staff and environment provide you an unforgettable, enjoyable experience as you indulge in an authentically Washingtonian meal. Reserve your table and let us be part of your itinerary as you explore Washington, D.C.