Welcome to Washington, DC — the district, the home of the federal government and an all-around great city to visit and live in.
If you’ve moving to the city or planning to visit, here are the top 10 neighborhoods to check out.
If you’re young, single and looking to enjoy all of DC’s nightlife, then you’ll want to be right in the middle of all the action in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. This diverse community is known for its nightlife, which means you’ll never be bored whether you live in the neighborhood or just plan to visit it.
A dense neighborhood, Adams Morgan offers great access to everywhere around the city. It’s not uncommon to see bikers, and the Metro and bus lines through the neighborhood make downtown access a breeze. Housing mostly consists of apartments, so it’s likely you’ll be living in a small space, but the gorgeous row houses in the area make it all worth it.
Once known as “Little Rome,” Brookland has become a haven for artists in Washington, DC. As it is also home to the Catholic University of America, you’ll find plenty of Catholic churches, including the largest Roman Catholic church in North America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Nowadays, you can also find tons of galleries featuring painters and local craft makers.
Unlike other DC neighborhoods, Brookland has a fairly low population density, but its transportation access isn’t as great as other neighborhoods. If you work from home or have a car, then Brookland may be a good fit.
One of the city’s most densely populated neighborhoods, Columbia Heights is a home to a number of embassies and international organizations. Generations of Hispanic families have lived in this neighborhood, and their influence can be found at the Mexican Cultural Institute and the GALA Hispanic Theater. In fact, the building that houses the Mexican Cultural Institute was once the Mexican Embassy.
A bike-friendly neighborhood with one Metro stop, Columbia Heights offers beautiful architecture and some amazing homes, but it may be difficult to find a space to rent with such a dense population. But if you’re looking for great restaurants and plenty of multiculturalism, then the neighborhood is definitely worth a visit.
A neighborhood built up around Georgetown University, Georgetown may have a lot of students living in it, but it’s a high-end neighborhood with some of the city’s most historic homes, including ones owned or lived in by Julia Child and John F. Kennedy. From fine art galleries to high-end shopping, Georgetown is definitely pricier than other neighborhoods in Washington, DC, but its retail scene does include some high-street staples such as Anthropologie and H&M.
With so many tourists and students in the area, Georgetown is heavily populated, but some housing prices and rents can be lower because they’re aimed at students. Although the neighborhood itself is walkable, Georgetown does not have its own Metro stop, which can make it harder to get to the rest of the city.
If you love taking walks down by the Potomac River, why not just live there too? Foggy Bottom may live up to its name — the area usually has a lot of fog that comes up from the river — but it’s also a historic area. It provides easy access to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Kennedy was a big promoter of the arts), and the infamous Watergate building also calls this neighborhood home — and now it has a great rooftop bar.
Because the homes in the neighborhood offer such great views of the Potomac, rent and housing prices in Foggy Bottom can get pretty expensive. Because Georgetown is so nearby, a lot of students live in the neighborhood, which means the population is dense. The many hip restaurants and bars in the area, however, can make it all worth it for the right person.
The neighborhood that could be a suburb, Chevy Chase sits on the northwest corner of the city and is ideal for young families looking for a quieter place to settle down in the city. Chevy Chase borders Rock Creek Park, which means there’s a ton of green space for kids to play and bike. In general, the neighborhood is a bit more suburban-like, but there are a handful of good restaurants serving the community.
You won’t find a Metro stop in Chevy Chase, but because it’s one of the outermost neighborhoods in Washington, DC, it’s easy to drive out of the city. If you do have a car. Then getting around here will be much easier, but with the park so close, it’s also easy enough to ride your bike down into the heart of the city.
When it comes to transportation access, there’s no better neighborhood in Washington, DC than DuPont Circle. This neighborhood functions as one of the city’s transportation hubs, and with so many hotels in the area, it’s easy for residents and visitors to get around. As this neighborhood is so close to downtown Washington, DC, it too is densely populated, but for renters, that could mean living in the English basement of some of the city’s oldest homes.
A little more upscale than other neighborhoods, DuPont Circle is teeming with embassies, boutiques, bistros, galleries such as The Philips Collection and even a Michelin-starred restaurant. There are also great spots for brunch on a Sunday morning as well as some late-night hangouts. On Sundays, the Dupont Circle farmers market brings in residents and tourists from all over the city, and it’s a great place to shop and people-watch.
If you’re working for the federal government, then there’s no better neighborhood to call home than Capitol Hill. All of the major government buildings are just blocks away, but even if you don’t work for the government, the neighborhood is the hub of transportation in the city, so it’s easy to get out wherever you need to be.
Capitol Hill also has a great selection of restaurants and markets, including the always popular Eastern Market where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade pasta and baked goods. Because of its popularity with residents and tourists alike, this is a dense neighborhood, but if you’ve dreamed of living in a 19th-century row house or apartment, then Capitol Hill is the place to call home.
You would think that a city as old as Washington, DC would never have a new neighborhood, but Navy Yard has sprung up over the years as a new up-and-coming area for DC professionals looking for something a little different. Nationals Park is located here, which means easy access to baseball games plus tons of bars and restaurants opening up nearby. Although it can be hectic on game day, you can’t beat the excitement in the area.
With new neighborhoods, however, it’s impossible to escape higher rents and home prices, but if you like riverfront views and a lively neighborhood, then Navy Yard may be the perfect spot for you.
Ready to start looking for an apartment in Washington, DC? Contact the pros at Atlas Lane, and we’ll help you find your next great home.