Get to know the distinct DC Neighborhoods of Washington DC– each with their own culture, community, and offerings.
Located in Northwest DC about 1.5 miles north of the White House, Adams Morgan is known for its laid-back ambience, active nightlife scene, and famous 18th Street row of numerous restaurants, bars, and quirky retail shops.
If you were around 20 years ago, you might have known Adams Morgan as a “party neighborhood.” Back in the good old days, bars and restaurants along the main corridor would stay open until 2 or 3 a.m. and the streets were loud and raucous. While remnants of that old AdMo still exist (all hail Jumbo Slice!), for better or worse, the neighborhood is much quieter now. The area architecture is diverse and lovely- with beaux arts estates converted to condominiums and modern architecture with tons of light.
To get to know AdMo better, check out some of our favorite local stops including: Tryst Cafe, Cosmo Nail Bar (Ask for Helen - she’s the best). The Line Hotel (Inside the spacious lobby restaurant) is one of the top places to work/eat during the day. It’s beautiful, the food is outstanding, and you feel like you’re part of something cool.
American University Park
American University Park is along the Northwest border of DC and Maryland, anchored by the prestigious American University to the south. It is just Northwest of Embassy Row, although some embassies can be found in the neighborhood. Often referred to as AU Park, the small neighborhood is almost wholly residential. It was one of the first residential developments in DC to be designed for car traffic, though there are no driveways, bringing residents out to interact with one another.
AU Park consists of somewhat small, colonial style single-family houses with back allies and interconnected yards. The small homes allow residents to get creative with renovations and expansions, but also draws families out of the house bringing the community together. Despite AU Park’s proximity to the major university, it doesn’t attract rowdy events or crowds, but the neighborhood’s children can always be found playing games outside.
East of the Anacostia River is the historic neighborhood of Anacostia, one of DC’s older neighborhoods and a hotspot of local African American history and culture. This vibrant and artsy neighborhood has superb restaurants and important cultural attractions such as abolitionist Fredrick Douglass’ former home, the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, and the Anacostia Arts Center.
Anacostia offers ample green space, with 1200-acre Anacostia Park running alongside the Anacostia River. The neighborhood is directly across the river from Washington Navy Yard, a fast-growing community, as well as the Nationals baseball stadium. Anacostia represents some of the more affordable properties in the DC Metro area. If you visit be sure to check out The Big Chair - just down from Busboys and Poets.
Brightwood is a serene Northwest DC neighborhood with mostly residential homes. It is unique because its boundaries are unclear, even for longtime occupants, but all are certain it guarantees peace and quiet. Brightwood does not have bars or cafés, and has few restaurants, which provides the quiet atmosphere. The closest metro station is about a mile away, but there is a bus line that allows some walkability in the neighborhood.
Brightwood is mostly residential with single family homes lining the streets. Most residents are deep-rooted professionals, who are now retired and turning over the homes for sale or rent, sure to jumpstart a wave of interest in this affordable up-and-coming real estate. The area consists of many duplexes, houses and condos that don’t look like much at first sight but have been well maintained and have solid foundations for future renovations.
The Northeast neighborhood of Brookland offers an emerging arts district, quiet tree-lined streets, and plenty of green space. The area has been dubbed “Little Rome” due to its housing the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America along with the Catholic University of America and other churches, chapels, and monasteries.
In recent years, Brookland has been recognized for its growing creative scene– with artsy street markets, performance spaces, impressive murals, and local artisans selling their art, pottery, clothing, and other handmade goods. As the area increases in popularity, restaurants, breweries, and bars are popping up– along with newly constructed condo developments and freshly renovated single-family homes. Brookland is along one of the main bike commuter routes, a compelling feature for buyers.
If you’re in Brookland, check out Primrose, one of our favorite french restaurants in DC– especially if you want a great wine recommendation. The Dew Drop Inn is hands down the best dive bar left in DC. Right Proper Brewing has a brewpub and production facility tucked into the neighborhood, and Brooklands Finest is a great local join where neighbors congregate in the evenings.
As the name might imply, the Capitol Hill neighborhood surrounds the United States Capitol. It’s the largest historic residential neighborhood in DC and one of the most densely populated. It’s a unique and desirable place to live, with close proximity to regal government buildings, gorgeous and historic rowhouses, and a thriving restaurant and nightlife scene.
Check out Beuchert’s Saloon (currently fight club) for fantastic food and drinks, and Little Pearl at the Hill House– a high-end restaurant by night and posh coffee shop and coworking spot by day. The labyrinth game shop is always worth a visit, as is Biker Barre– the best cycle and barre studio in DC (formerly owned by Katie, co-partner here at Collective Property Consultants ;)See Capitol Hill Listings
Located in Northwest DC bordering the U Street Corridor, Columbia Heights is a diverse and fast-growing neighborhood with a rich history and a growing arsenal of major retailers and a bustling restaurant scene. The neighborhood was home to famous jazz musician Duke Ellington and sits up on a hill, so rooftops here offer a panoramic view of downtown DC.
Columbia Heights is undergoing a surge of new development, with a wave of freshly renovated single-family homes and newly built condos hitting the market. It’s become a true melting pot of cultures and people from all walks of life, from young professionals and first-time buyers to families seeking an affordable and vibrant neighborhood with plenty of shops and restaurants.See Columbia Heights Listings
For brunch, check out the Coupe cafe, coffee house, and bar, a neighborhood staple. Bad Saint is an iconic Filipino restaurant, and the Raven is another of our favorite dive bars in the city. (What? We have fun.) Heads up– it’s cash only!
Downtown DC (Penn Quarter and Chinatown)
The exact definition of Downtown DC is up for debate, with no official government designation of neighborhood boundaries. To us, the area encompasses the central business district in the northwest quadrant of the city, including Mount Vernon, Gallery Place China Town, Metro Center, and Foggy Bottom.
What’s not up for debate is the desirability, prestige, and professional convenience of living in or near the Downtown DC area. This cosmopolitan neighborhood offers a blend of iconic museums, luxury retail shopping, and important landmarks such as the White House. The area is popular with well-to-do families and professionals who work in the busy Downtown DC district.
You can’t leave without browsing the shops along F ST and at City Center (even if it’s only window shopping). Get touristy and dine at Old Ebbitt Grill, a historic DC restaurant. Insider tip: head straight to the bar for your meal and drinks, rather than waiting among tourists for a table.
Just north of the White House is Dupont Circle - a neighborhood, park, traffic circle, and historic district. The area is characterized by its sophisticated air, concentration of government embassies and think tanks, and plenty of high-end shopping, dining, and sights. The iconic Dupont Circle fountain is one of DC’s most beloved landmarks.
While Dupont is doubtlessly a sophisticated area, it’s also known to be welcoming, friendly, and inclusive. The area hosts the annual Pride Parade, with 17th street known for its plethora of LGBTQ-owned businesses. Dupont’s eclectic dining scene offers international flavors while the year-round Dupont farmers’ market is one of the most frequented in the District.See Dupont Circle Listings
When in the area, you have to check out Kramerbooks and Afterwords– a memorable bookstore with a full bar and restaurant area. Bistro Du Coin is great for Moules Frites and a taste of the international cosmopolitan flair of DC. Russia House DC (temporarily closed due to Covid– we’re hoping it reopens!) is a formal Russian dining experience with an authentic menu and extensive vodka selection. The Phillips Collection is always great and worth a visit, but especially fun for their Phillips After 5 events
Located west of the White House and Downtown DC, Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the district and a center for academia, government, and business. The U.S. State Department sits in Foggy Bottom, as does George Washington University (GWU) and the iconic Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
With so much to offer, residents of Foggy Bottom are as diverse as the area itself, with many colleges and medical students as well as families and young professionals working in the surrounding area. Bordering DC’s famous Rock Creek Park– a 2,100-acre greenspace– Foggy Bottom also offers ample natural beauty, biking, and running trails.See Foggy Bottom Listings
Fort Totten/Queens Chapel
Fort Totten is located in Northeast DC and earns its name from the fort built on the high point of the Northern Defense during the Civil War. The remains of the Fort still remain, although the calm residential neighborhood isn’t a tourist destination.
Fort Totten today is composed of more affordable row homes and houses than most of DC. With North Capital Street, a main artery of DC, running through Fort Totten directly to the Capitol building, getting around is easy as can be. Not to mention, the creation of the Fort Totten metro station has sparked developments in the form of apartment buildings and condominiums, along with shopping centers, notable restaurants, and a swanky brewery and distillery scene.
Check out Bluestone Lane West End– it’s attached to the West End Library, so you can grab a delicious latte and egg toast and then browse the shelves for your next great read. Anyone can purchase inexpensive tickets to a game at the Smith Center– the basketball arena for George Washington University. The university does a fantastic job with game production and sound and watching the talented college athletes play is a blast.
Located just west of Foggy Bottom, Georgetown is a colorful and vibrant neighborhood at the steps of the prestigious Georgetown University. Its cobblestone streets and federal style yet luxurious architecture make it a popular travel destination and home to many professionals, families, students, and university employees.
Georgetown waterfront is a popular day picnic and dining destination, along the famous Potomac River and boasting views of Theodore Roosevelt Island and Arlington, Virginia. It also hosts a bustling, wide-range retail scene along M Street that is a hot spot for tourists and locals alike. Georgetown offers historic canal trails, delicious and diverse dining and charm make it a favorite location for Washingtonians and visitors alike.\
Rent a kayak or SUP board and paddle between DC monuments and Arlington’s skyline. You can rent everything you need from the Key Bridge Boathouse– reservations recommended. There are so many great places to eat in Georgetown. Chia Tacos is one of our favorites, and people literally line up for the famous Georgetown Cupcakes
Kalorama provides restful residential space next to the funky fun of Adams Morgan. This Northwest DC neighborhood translates to “fine view” in Greek, earned by resting atop the highest elevation in the district. True to its international name, Kalorama hosts embassies and former presidents, with unique and winding streets distinct from DC’s gridded streets.
Kalorama’s large homes have a magical appeal, each with individual architecture and design. Despite the estate lined streets, the neighborhood has a welcoming and humble appeal, with shaded dog parks and local pubs filled with the neighborhood’s distinguished residents.
When in NoMa, check out Union Market, an eclectic cafeteria hall offering some of the greatest delicacies DC has to offer. Browsing the food stalls and shops is a popular activity for families and friends. Red Bear Brewing is a popular craft brewpub with tons of board games, and Solid State Books is relatively new but quickly cherished bookstore on H Street.
One of the trendiest neighborhoods in DC, Logan Circle is home to a chic bar scene, picture-perfect restaurants, and posh condominiums. Head to 14th Street on a Friday night and you’ll see the city’s young and trendy float between establishments.
The neighborhood of Logan Circle is named for the centerpiece, a grand statue of Civil War General John Logan atop his horse overlooking picnickers from high above. The elegant neighborhood originated as a Civil War encampment that evolved during the post-war boom. A walk down any well-shaded street in the neighborhood impresses with grand and historic Victorian row homes.
Today Logan Circle’s large, retrofitted rowhomes are home to many professionals and young people looking for affordable and strategic locations. Logan Circle is in walking distance to the downtown businesses and firms, as well as Michelin star restaurants, cool coffee shops, craft breweries and many retail destinations.
A must-visit is Le Diplomat– an iconic restaurant and homage to “French cafe culture.” Balance Gym, tucked behind office buildings in Thomas Circle, has some of the best personal training in the city. Flow Yoga is a DC mainstay with two locations in the area. Check out Milk Bar for eclectic cookie combos and Colada Shop or Bar Pilar for drinks.
Mount Pleasant is well known for its impressive houses, quirky main road and tree lined streets. Enclaved by Rock Creek Park. The options seem endless in Mount Pleasant for boutique apartments, row homes, or single-family houses, attracting professionals and young people who want to join a welcoming community, but find some peace away from the center of DC.
Mount Pleasant offers an extremely walkable community to a wide array of locally owned international cuisine, plenty of shopping and dive bars. Daily commutes and errands are easy to tackle by foot, bike or public transport. The nearness of Rock Creek Park is a huge draw for Mount Pleasant’s residents, which houses the Smithsonian Zoo that is free of charge!
Mount Vernon Square
Mount Vernon Square, located in the Northwest quadrant of Dc is considered a part of “downtown,” and it certainly feels like it with many residential apartment buildings and impressive office buildings. The visual appeal is abundant while modern rises starkly contrast with renovated historic brick architecture, creating a unique urban experience.
In Mount Vernon Square fine dining is not difficult to stumble upon and many other well-loved restaurants just border Chinatown. The rebuilt Carnegie Library houses one of the city’s two apple stores, while also providing one of the neighborhood's only large lawns to gather with friends and pups on a sunny day. The hustle and bustle feeling of Mount Vernon Square is further complemented with multiple Metro stations and nearly every line in the city, making it easily accessible and walkable for those who want to be free of a car. For the DC city experience, Mount Vernon Square is the place to be!
Check out A Baked Joint for fantastic coffee and breakfast, the Capital Burger for the best gourmet burger in the city, and Farmers & Distillers, an all-American classic.
NoMa / H Street Corridor
Noma and H Street are rapidly developing areas found in the Northeast quadrant of DC. H Street is well known for its hip vibes and authentic global cuisines. H Street Corridor hosts an array of locally owned small businesses and eateries. The H Street Corridor is envied by all for its lively annual H Street Festival, which showcases the eclectic talent of local DC artists and musicians. It is the only place in the city that shares its road with an electric streetcar that runs the length of the corridor, no doubt adding to the unique and creative buzz of the neighborhood. However, just walking a block north or south of H Street, the quick-paced energy is replaced with that calm Sunday stroll feeling.
NoMa, named for its position just North of Massachusetts Ave., offers pedestrian friendly streets and rowhomes, each with their own charm and character. In true DC form, the area is undergoing development of modern, industrial style residential buildings perfect for professionals seeking a quick commute downtown or to the Hill.
Bordering Rock Creek Park and several popular neighborhoods, Petworth is one of DC’s largest neighborhoods. Located in the Northwest quadrant of DC, Petworth is well known for its outgoing porch culture- like stoop hangs but covered! Neighbors can quickly become friends among the row houses with many annual events like the Petworth Jazz Project and Celebrate Petworth.
While easily bikeable, on a rainy day there are numerous options for public transportation. Walking is also a breeze to admire the numerous gardens in the attached brick row homes, which are the dominant style of the neighborhood. However, there are condos and loft options for those who prefer the city feel. There’s no doubt the neighborhood is based on good times with family and friends leaving Petworth a favorite for many newcomers to DC.
Don’t leave Petworth without grabbing a slice at Timber Pizza, chowing down at rock n’ roll burger joint Slash Run, or stopping by Cinder BBQ for some of the most flavorful sauces and extensive whiskey and bourbon list in DC.
Shaw / Bloomingdale
The neighborhood of Bloomingdale is one of DC’s lesser-known gems situated on the border of the Northwest quadrant. It attracts almost no tourists, but many families and young professionals looking for a diverse, well-located, family-oriented neighborhood where one is guaranteed to be on a first name basis with one of the local corner markets’ keepers. Bloomingdale takes after its name with many parks and gardens bursting with colorful flowers and shaded by its tree-lined streets.Many of the large bright rowhomes saw development when the neighborhood was absorbed by the District in the 1880s. Along with homes, the late 19th century brought about several stunning churches whose bells keep track of time for the community of Bloomingdale. Crispus Attucks park is a Bloomingdale favorite and can only be found by those who know Bloomingdale well. The quiet green escape is tucked into a block of homes and removed from any street, contributing to Bloomingdale’s status as DC’s idyllic urban-suburban paradise.
Southwest & The Wharf
At the most Southwestern corner of DC, you’ll find the nation’s oldest fish market still bustling among glitzy new high rises. The Wharf is one of DC’s newest daytrip locations along the Washington Channel with views for days. Much of the city’s finest dining can be found right next to the district’s coolest music stages with over 50 shops and restaurants within walking distance. The Wharf is also home to the Anthem, where you can enjoy your favorite band with 6,000 other guests in a stunning and modern auditorium.
Southwest and the Wharf is home to urban luxury with many new lofts and industrial-style apartments for those who like the feel of being on the water. Recently developed, the idea for the neighborhood was brought about in the early 2000s as DC’s biggest neighborhood project. The design allowed for the perfect view of sunsets over the river, from the piers to the rooftops Southwest offers DC’s most beautiful waterfront views.
The Takoma neighborhood of DC sits at the Northeast tip of DC, bordering Maryland and the city of Takoma Park. Though they are close in distance, they each have a distinct air of individuality. The deep focus on arts in the community is enough to keep visitors from all around DC coming back for the historic and walkable nature of the neighborhood, but trendy and underground culture.
While Takoma’s bars and restaurants are known to be closed by 9pm, the small neighborhood is loved by its residents who are often young first-time home buyers. The neighborhood’s friendly community spirit comes from these diverse and open-minded residents. The dense neighborhood’s homes have a historic designation and are delightful colonial, cape-cod-style houses
There’s an abundance of activities and fun to be had in Northwest DC’s well-known U Street neighborhood. Growing from the center of African-American culture and arts in the 1920’s, once dubbed “Black Broadway” it was home to many of the country’s most beloved artists and historic figures. The street still hosts many of the city’s famous and oldest bars and trendiest restaurants. U Street is just a short walk to the Shaw neighborhood and 14th Street with no shortage of murals and artwork and historic buildings (like the Lincoln Theatre!) along the way.
The surrounding neighborhoods are home to many families, government officials and students with a mix of loft developments and rowhomes. Undoubtedly, U Street is one of the busiest neighborhoods, but perfect for those who love the company of a stylish and quirky crowd with a friendly, active atmosphere.
Woodley Park sits along the edge of the largest urban park in DC, Rock Creek Park. The secluded neighborhood provides easy access to the world-famous Smithsonian Zoo and park trails, which is always just a short walk away. The quiet and enchanting rowhomes rest behind dappled rays and manicured lawns. Woodley Park feels like an escape from the city with many pockets of Rock Creek Park to enjoy.Despite the suburban atmosphere, downtown is a quick metro, bus, or bike ride away. The housing options seem endless with stately, early 20th century row houses tucked away behind more affordable apartments on the main roads. The endless access to natural beauty and trails, paired with the historic charm and easy public transportation makes Woodley Park a dream neighborhood.
16th Street Heights
16th St Heights is a highly walkable urban dream in DC. While still in the district, the area feels suburban due to a lack of mid and high rises, or busy intersections. 16th St Heights is the perfect place for those who want to come home from a busy workplace to a warm community bordering the best nature DC has to offer in Rock Creek Park.The houses in the area consist of endearing early 20th century architecture, with American foursquare style. Though there are several options to live in new and modern condominiums. The area of mostly established families is almost wholly residential, as far as shopping goes there are no more than a few corner shops with friendly and helpful keepers.
Find the Right Neighborhood For You.
Every relationship starts somewhere. For us, it’s over coffee. We keep it casual on purpose—after all, the whole point of the real estate journey is to help you feel right at home.