America’s Great Neighborhoods: Washington, DC

Author: Alecia Pirulis

DC blossoms

A true national treasure, Washington, DC is as beautiful as it is historic and important. In summer, crisp blue skies create a stunning backdrop for the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House. In spring, the cherry blossoms erupt into a canopy of cotton-candy pink, creating an impossibly romantic setting that rivals any Valentine’s Day postcard. It is a top tourist destination, the center of government, the location of some of the country’s most important historic sites – and it has a strong, diversified economy and a low unemployment rate. It also has some of the most unique and exciting neighborhoods in the country. If you are considering finding an apartment in the DC area, here are just a few of the neighborhoods to consider:

DuPont Circle: Those who enjoy walking will love pedestrian-friendly DuPont Circle. This National Historic District is part of Washington, DC’s “Old Town,” the original area planned by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1791. DuPont Circle includes the neighborhood, a park, and a traffic circle. If you’re looking for a unique apartment, DuPont Circle contains several Victorian row houses that have been converted to apartments. The area is famous for its fantastic restaurants, exciting nightlife, its many embassies, art galleries, museums, and (of course) historic homes.

Capitol Hill: If you love history, then perhaps Capitol Hill – Washington, DC’s oldest communities and largest historic district – is the ideal location for your next apartment. Capitol Hill is in the center of DC and the US Capitol building is at the top of the hill. The neighborhood also contains the Supreme Court building, the Library of Congress, the Congressional Cemetery, the Washington Navy Yard, and the Marine Barracks. This is a terrific neighborhood designed by L’Enfant, who considered the hill the “pedestal” for the Capitol building. He designed the neighborhood with 59 small parks so residents have ample green space. The neighborhood also contains great restaurants that are frequented by the members of Congress and Senate who often live on the Hill. You’ll also find great schools, a flea market, and several shopping areas.

Georgetown: Want to rub elbows with the DC elite? Georgetown is one of DC’s oldest and most expensive neighborhoods. Here, you’ll find brick sidewalks, historic million-dollar rowhouses, upscale restaurants, the hottest nightclubs and pubs, and exclusive boutiques. You’ll also find the prestigious Georgetown University, Montrose Park, and Georgetown Waterfront Park. Home to highly-educated professionals, lobbyists, politicians, and the rich-and-famous, a stroll down the streets of Georgetown may have you encountering some of the most influential and prominent people in the DC area.

Foggy Bottom: Located in the Northwest quadrant west of downtown, Foggy Bottom dates back to the late 1700s and is a US Historic District. The name comes from the fog that used to rise from the Potomac. George Washington University is located in Foggy Bottom as well as the US Department of State, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the historic Watergate Complex, and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Residents of Foggy Bottom enjoy attending shows at the Kennedy Center, jogging along the Potomac, dining in top-rated restaurants, spending evenings at local taverns, and visiting the local museums.

Adams Morgan: Hip, artistic, exciting, colorful, and friendly – all of these terms easily describe Adams Morgan, one of DC’s most vibrant neighborhoods. This is where you’ll find trendy bars, funky shops, sidewalk cafes, coffee shops, jazz clubs, brightly-painted murals, and ethnic restaurants. Residents stroll along the streets to shop in locally-owned businesses and spend the weekend shopping at the farmers market. It is home to the Adams Morgan Day Festival, an annual street festival featuring live music, international cuisine, and activities. This diverse, affordable community is popular with young professionals and families.

Penn Quarter: Penn Quarter is part of the Downtown/Penn Quarter/Chinatown District. Chinatown is situated in the center of this vibrant district, with Penn Quarter on the east side. This is a trendy area filled with restaurants, bars, museums, art galleries, a theater, shops, and a farmer’s market, but it is the restaurants that put Penn Quarter on the map. If you consider yourself a foodie, Penn Quarter has some of the nation’s best restaurants, owned by famous chefs such as Wolfgang Puck.

Anacostia: An impressive 85 percent of Anacostia residents rent – making this historic neighborhood an apartment-renter’s haven. Located on the Anacostia River, this unique neighborhood is home to the world’s largest chair, a sculpture built by Basset Furniture in 1957. Walkers and joggers will appreciate the Anacostia Riverwalk, a 20-mile trail that spans the Anacostia River from Prince George’s County, Maryland to the National Mall. Sports fans will appreciate the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, while history buffs will enjoy the Anacostia Museum and the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.