Washington, DC: Must-Visit Neighborhoods

DC is one of my favorite cities in the US – tons of history and culture, plenty to see and do, great eats and drinks, and there is always something new whenever I’m in town. What do you need to see when you go to DC? There is quite the long laundry list, but here are some of the neighborhoods and sites that are a must-see if you want to get to know more of what the city has to offer, and trust me, it’s much more than the famous buildings and monuments.

The National Mall/Capital Hill Area

(Photo: urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com)
That photo pretty much sums it up, with a couple other sites in between. You should visit all of those sites if you have the time and energy during your trip. Begin at the White House, head over to the Washington Monument, crossover to the Lincoln Memorial then to the Korean Veterans Memorial and end at the Capital and Library of Congress, but don’t miss out on the nearby International Spy Museum and Eastern Market – a cross between a flea, crafts and farmer’s market.
I think DC is most beautiful during the Spring and Fall seasons (it gets hot an muggy in the summer), and the Cherry Blossom Festival in March along the Tidal Basin has a priceless view of the blooming Japanese trees with the monuments in the backdrop.
Cherry Blossom Festival (Photo: www.fodors.com)

Foggy Bottom

Right next to the Capital neighborhood and a hop skip and a jump away from Georgetown, Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods and a great place to hit up a bar for drinks after all of those long walks through the National Mall. Remember Watergate? The infamous building is located here and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Department of State, and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts all call Foggy Bottom their home.
The iconic Octagon House and Museum (Photo: www.theoctagon.org)


Quaint residential neighborhoods, historical homes, a shopping Mecca, the waterfront, cool bars and restaurants – that´s Georgetown. Home to the oldest building in DC and Alexander Graham Bell´s Volta Laboratory, and you might recognize it from Georgetown Cupcakes (DC Cupcakes) or perhaps The Exorcist.
The Exorcist Stairs (Photo: pkatr)

Adams Morgan

Adams Morgan is where DC finally loosens and livens up. Go here for a flavorsome, long list of international cuisine, shopping, bars with live music, dancing, karaoke, hookah, etc. You can find a hot spot for any taste from hipsters, salsa fans, frat boys, to cool cats.

Dupont Circle

(Photo: www.dcapped.com)
DC’s vibrant cosmopolitan neighborhood, known for being a gay friendly area and highlighted with trendy bistros, bars, boutiques, galleries, book stores, and a nice venue for an impromptu game of chess. Check out the Phillips Collection – the first museum of modern art in the USA, the Woodrow Wilson House, the National Geographic Museum, and a walk, bike, or drive down Embassy Row.

U Street

A U Street favorite (Photo: Luke Frazza)
The more jazzy version of Adams Morgan, and was once known as the Black Broadway. U Street is a lively night life scene and shopping area peppered with boutiques, booming live music, and tasty international cuisine. Get an extra dose of culture at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum.

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