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5 Must-See Washington DC Neighborhoods and How to Visit


5 Must-See Washington DC Neighborhoods and How to Visit
Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

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Hi, I'm Juniper!

Juniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

see more

When you think of Washington DC, you probably picture the Capitol Building and White House. Branch out from the classic sightseeing itinerary, though, and you’ll discover scenic parks, hipster food scenes, lively nightlife, and the vibrant cultures of the nation’s capital. Here are our picks for DC’s most interesting districts. 

Capitol Hill

Quintessential Washington DC, Capitol Hill is the first district on many visitors’ lists. The most efficient and informative way to see the political hub is on a sightseeing tour that includes entry to highlights such as the US Capitol Building, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress. Alternatively, explore Capitol Hill and the surrounding monuments and National Mall on a hop-on hop-off bus that provides transportation but lets you set your own pace. 

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The Capitol Building is a highlight of Capitol Hill. Photo: Lee Hoagland / Viator

Georgetown

Located on the Potomac River waterfront and lined with 18th-century mansions, Georgetown easily takes the prize for historic charm. Perhaps surprisingly, the neighborhood also holds its own when it comes to hip dining opportunities. Foodies can visit an assortment of sustainable, locally owned eateries on a walking tour that takes the guesswork out of finding the local favorites. 

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Dupont Circle

Revolving around its namesake plaza, Dupont Circle is a cosmopolitan melting pot buzzing with stylish locals and in-the-know tourists. Take a picnic to the central fountain and spend the afternoon people watching—or check out the area’s many pubs, international eateries, and historic establishments. 

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Adams Morgan

Continue north to find Dupont Circle’s gritty, bohemian neighbor. With rowdy bars and restaurants, and a continual stream of college students and hipster locals lining the 18th Street corridor, Adams Morgan is known for its happening nightlife and laidback food scene. Enjoy affordable drink specials, late-night pizza-by-the-slice, and eclectic bars with live music and DJ dance parties. 

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Colorful houses in Adams Morgan, DC. Photo: Andrei Medvedev / Shutterstock

Penn Quarter and Chinatown

To experience bustling downtown DC, head north of Pennsylvania Avenue. History buffs shouldn’t miss Ford’s Theatre, the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. And if you’re a culture fan, seek out the area’s independent theaters and Chinatown’s authentic shops and dining opportunities. A pedicab tour can be a fun way to get around the busy streets. 

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See all Washington DC tours
454 tours & tickets
Things to do in Washington DC
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Know Before You Go: Visiting Washington DC in Winter
Know Before You Go: Visiting Washington DC in Winter