A City of Neighborhoods
Dominated by the presence of the federal government, the world's first planned capital remains a beautiful and lively metropolis. Much like New York, Washington, D.C. is a city of neighborhoods. Each area has its own distinctive history, appearance and atmosphere.

Here is a listing of several of the (unofficially designated) D.C. neighborhoods:

  • Adams-Morgan - This vibrant, trendy, multiethnic neighborhood is full of boutiques, clubs, and restaurants. If you're a fan of street art, be ready to admire a number of colorful murals as you stroll through Adams-Morgan. In addition to the many outdoor paintings, other points of interest here include the District of Columbia Arts Center and an open-air market held on Saturdays.

  • Anacostia - Named for its original Native American inhabitants, this section was the settlement area for freed blacks after the Civil War. The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and Anacostia Museum (of African American history and culture) are located here.

  • Brookland - This is a residential area that makes up the northeast part of the city. It features the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Franciscan Monastery, and the Catholic University of America.

  • Capitol Hill - Known affectionately as "the Hill," this area offers many attractions. You'll find the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court building, the Library of Congress, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Postal Museum and Union Station here. You can also tour the U.S. Botanic Garden or visit The Eastern Market where you'll find fresh baked goods, produce and fruit as well as local arts and crafts.


    Photo courtesy The Architect of the Capitol
    Bartholdi Park, a garden demonstration landscape within the U.S. Botanic Garden

  • Downtown/Lafayette Square - Overflowing with things to see and places to visit, here you'll find the White House, the National Archives, the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Ford's Theatre, the U.S. Mint Museum, and Chinatown. Stroll through Lafayette Park or visit the Renwick Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. You can even learn about the world of espionage on a tour of the International Spy Museum.

  • Dupont Circle/Kalorama - Washington's famous Embassy Row is a focal point of Dupont Circle. In addition, the streets are thriving with bookstores, restaurants, art galleries, museums, nightspots, and movie theaters. It is also the hub of D.C.'s gay community.

  • Foggy Bottom - Foggy Bottom was Washington's early industrial center. At present it is a low-key part of town, enlivened by the presence of the Kennedy Center, State Department, George Washington University, the Watergate complex, small and medium-size hotels, a mix of restaurants, and residential side streets.

  • Georgetown - Home to Georgetown University , this wealthy community dates from colonial times when it was a thriving tobacco port. Today you'll find luxurious hotels, numerous boutiques, chic restaurants, and popular bars. Quiet, tree-lined streets of restored houses, Dumbarton Oaks gardens and the C&O; Canal surround this popular neighborhood.

  • Glover Park - Mostly a residential neighborhood but with a significant student presence, this section of town lies above Georgetown and near American University.

  • The Mall - This 300-foot-wide open space stretches between Constitution and Independence Avenues, extending 2 1/2 miles from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, and includes most of the Smithsonian Institution museums as well as numerous other attractions.

  • Shaw/U Street - Here you'll find the African American Civil War Memorial, the Thurgood Marshall Center and the Lincoln Theater and the famous Duke Ellington Mural. Traditionally the city's black cultural, professional, and educational center this area is currently seeing a surge of popularity as D.C.'s avant-garde nightlife neighborhood. Located just north of this neighborhood is Howard University.

  • Southwest/Waterfront - South of the National Mall, this area is home to the Tony Award-winning Arena Stage, Benjamin Banneker Circle and Fountain, the Titanic Memorial, and L'Enfant Plaza. The waterfront area features piers, sailboats, yachts, fishing boats, seafood markets, and restaurants.


    Photo Credit: Max Reid, USHMM Photo Archives.
    The 15th Street/Eisenhower Plaza entrance to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

  • Upper Northwest/Woodley Park - This neighborhood contains restaurants, antique stores, Washington's largest hotel (the Marriott Wardman Park), the National Zoo, and Rock Creek Park -- a sprawling urban park open to the public for hiking, jogging, picnicking, horseback riding, and playing golf .

Now, let's take a closer look at some of the many attractions in and nearby the Washington D.C. area.