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- #1View all PhotosWashington, DC1.7 miles to city center#1 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1289)Read MoreThe Four Seasons' enviable location – perched on the edge of Rock Creek Park in D.C.'s chic Georgetown neighborhood – grants beautiful views of the park and easy access to some of the city's most popular attractions, including the Lincoln Memorial and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. But that's not all this elegant Four Seasons property has going for it. Recent guests compliment the hotel's contemporary accommodations, which come furnished with modern amenities like LCD flat-screen TVs and high-speed internet access. Travelers visiting with kids love that the hotel has Nintendo Wii game consoles available to borrow as well. Guests also exalt Bourbon Steak, the upscale in-house restaurant that regularly plays host to foodies, celebrities and politicos alike. Another crowd-pleaser: the luxurious on-site spa, which offers a versatile array of lavish massages and body treatments. All recent guests agreed that the personalized customer service was a large reasons for return visits. Just try to leave your car at home, as this hotel has expensive parking fees.5.0-star Hotel Class
- #2View all PhotosWashington, DC0.8 miles to city center#2 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1509)Free WiFiRead MoreNamed for the former tenants of the site – Secretary of State John Hay and journalist Henry Adams (who was also a member of the presidential Adams family) – The Hay-Adams is steeped in American history. Perched on the edge of Lafayette Square, The Hay-Adams boasts a spectacular vantage point of the White House and the National Mall. Here, guests are greeted by head-to-toe period decor; the lobby is decked out in rich wooden paneling and marble floors, while guest rooms feature neutral tones with elegant bedspreads. Long story short: If you're a history buff, The Hay-Adams is the place for you. That said, this property isn't completely stuck in the past. Accommodations also house Etro toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi access, 50-inch flat-screen TVs and SoundLink music systems. Meanwhile, The Lafayette – the hotel's elegant dining room – garners high praise from recent guests for its impeccable service, tasty culinary offerings, and impressive views of the White House. What's more, Leaders Club members get perks like room upgrades and complimentary breakfast at this hotel.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #3View all PhotosWashington, DC1.2 miles to city center#3 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1296)Free WiFiRead MoreThe Jefferson, Washington, DC has been catering to Washington's most elite visitors since 1923, providing a taste of European luxury in the heart of the United States capital. The Beaux-Arts era reigns supreme here, with early 20th century paintings and sculptures lining the checkered floors. The Jefferson's elegant accommodations are appointed with iPads, walk-in showers, flat-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi access. (For a little more space, upgrade to a suite, which will come equipped with a coffee maker and, in some, balconies overlooking the Washington Monument.) Recent guests highly recommend making good use of the intimate on-site spa during your stay, and the in-house gourmet restaurants, Plume and The Greenhouse, earn particularly high praise, along with the on-site bar, Quill. Visitors also give props for The Jefferson's location, which is just a short walk from the National Mall.Free WiFi
- #4View all PhotosWashington, DC0.4 miles to city center#4 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (2254)Free WiFiRead MoreSituated two blocks south of the Smithsonian metro station, this beautiful hotel affords scenic views of the Tidal Basin and easy access to popular attractions like the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Most guests love their stays at this Mandarin Oriental thanks to its array of amenities, including The Spa and an on-site art gallery. The recently renovated accommodations also win over recent guests because of their wooden furnishings, Asian design elements and high-end amenities like deep-soaking tubs, high-speed internet access and flat-screen TVs. Meanwhile, the hotel's two on-site restaurants – Muze and the Empress Lounge – earn a thumbs-up for their gourmet cuisine and stylish ambiance. The Mandarin Oriental also boasts an indoor swimming pool and a 24-hour fitness center. Yet for many guests, it's the hotel's wonderful customer service that won them over.Free WiFi
- #5View all PhotosWashington, DC0.9 miles to city center#5 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1459)Free WiFiRead MoreSt. Regis hotels are renowned for their luxurious accommodations, and the D.C. branch is no exception. Set in the heart of downtown – just a few blocks north of the White House – this luxury hotel receives high praise for its elegant decor and lavish furnishings. Recent guests also compliment the St. Regis' historical feel as well as its contemporary amenities, which include down feather comforters, complimentary Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs. But that's not the only reason to bed down here. Previous visitors gave rave reviews to the on-site restaurant, highlighting great customer service and delectable Mediterranean culinary creations as key ingredients that made the meals memorable. You'll also rest easy knowing that you can earn or redeem perks if you participate in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #6View all PhotosWashington, DC1.4 miles to city center#6 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1402)Read MoreLike its sister property in Georgetown, this Ritz-Carlton offers no shortage of elegance. And with its enviable location, set in Northwest's Foggy Bottom area just a few blocks north of George Washington University, these stylish digs draw high-power politicos, celebrities and international guests alike. Apart from its star clientele, the Ritz boasts a wide array of amenities, including the acclaimed on-site restaurant, Westend Bistro, a vibrant hot spot known for its flavorful American fare. The Ritz also touts unique property features, such as a 10,000-square-foot ballroom and 16,000 square feet of meeting space. But what guests seem to love the most are the spacious rooms here, which all include large Italian marble bathrooms, sumptuous feather beds, 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens and sleek flat-screen TVs. Keep in mind that members of the Marriott Bonvoy program can earn and use points by staying here.
- #7View all PhotosWashington, DC0.5 miles to city center#7 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (4036)Read MoreThe massive Willard sits at the heart of everything D.C.; the National Mall and all of the most recognizable monuments are within walking distance. And recent guests say The Willard InterContinental's interior is just as impressive as its surroundings, particularly the massive marble columns and intricate chandeliers in the lobby. Elegant decor extends to The Willard's accommodations, which feature eye-popping red accents, wood furnishings and luxurious amenities like flat-screen TVs, individual climate controls and fully stocked minibars. To ensure a restful night's sleep, request a room that looks west, facing the Washington Monument rather than 14th Street. And after a long day of sightseeing, you can relax at the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa or grab a bite to eat at one of the on-site reastaurants. If you participate in InterContinental's Rewards Club, you can accrue or redeem free perks and discounts by choosing to stay here.
- #8View all PhotosWashington, DC0.4 miles to city center#8 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1059)Read MoreLocated within the Old Post Office building on historic Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Trump International Hotel opened in 2016 and is steps from the National Mall and the White House, as well as numerous museums, shops and restaurants. Inside, the hotel offers 263 guest rooms and suites decorated in a blue, cream and ivory color palette with crystal chandeliers, 14- to 16-foot ceilings, five-fixture bathrooms and large windows with expansive city views. Accommodations also boast original structural details, including hardwood doors, wainscoting and wall paneling, which were all restored during the renovation process. The hotel is also home to The Spa by Ivanka Trump, a fitness center and numerous spaces for meetings and events, including the 13,141-square-foot Presidential Ballroom that can host receptions for up to 1,335 guests. When it comes time to eat, recent guests recommended reserving a table at BLT Prime by David Burke for dry-aged steaks and iconic views of the Clock Tower. Or try imbibing "wine by the spoon" as well as Champagne flights at the Benjamin Bar & Lounge.
- #9View all PhotosWashington, DC1.8 miles to city center#9 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (552)Read MoreIf you're looking for crème de la crème of D.C. digs, recent guests say you can't go wrong with this Ritz-Carlton. The first thing it gets right: its Georgetown location. The second: its decor. Red brick walls hug both the interior and exterior of this property, and cool tones throughout the hotel are reminiscent of the nearby waterfront. The calming color palette extends into the stylish accommodations, which are appointed with 400-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen TVs, minibars and Wi-Fi access (for a fee). Craving more luxury? Retreat to the lavish spa to indulge in a rejuvenating massage. However, what really sets this Ritz apart – aside from its top-notch amenities – is its elegant, relaxed ambiance. Guests can't stop raving about the contemporary, airy design of The Living Room lobby lounge, which features an inviting, wood-burning fireplace. Visitors also exalt Degrees Bistro, the Ritz's intimate dining venue that specializes in gourmet American fare. Keep in mind that this hotel participates in the Marriott Bonvoy program.
- #10View all PhotosWashington, DC0.8 miles to city center#10 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (3505)Free WiFiRead MoreSitting next to Lafayette Square in downtown D.C. – just minutes from the White House and the National Mall – the Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square is an excellent choice for travelers looking to take full advantage of the city's sights. But this property also caters to the luxury set with its services and facilities, including its fitness center and complimentary Wi-Fi access. Accommodations come equipped with contemporary furnishings and high-end touches like marble bathrooms and glass-enclosed showers, not to mention HDTVs, stocked minibars and sumptuous linens. Lodgers were equally complimentary of the Opalie Bar & Brasserie for its gourmet French fare and attentive wait staff. Though some recent guests bemoan Sofitel's high price tags, most claim that the hotel gave them the best night's sleep they'd had in ages. (What's more, members of the Le Club Accorhotels loyalty program can earn points towards a free night's stay.)5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #11View all PhotosWashington, DC1.4 miles to city center#11 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (806)Free WiFiRead More
One of the most infamous hotels in the country has been restored to its former glory in the District of Columbia after a $125 million renovation. Blending modern details (decor is sleek and chic) while embracing its storied past (guest room key cards read "No need to break in"), the Watergate Hotel reopened in June 2016. The hotel is set in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, putting guests close to shopping and dining in Georgetown; the monuments and museums that line the National Mall are also just 1 mile away. On-site, travelers have access to a 12,500-square-foot wellness center with spa services, an indoor pool and a fitness center. The property also boasts The Next Whisky Bar (a visitor favorite for its amber-hued wall of whiskey and extensive selection) and the Kingbird restaurant. But perhaps one of the best parts of this hotel is the Top of the Gate rooftop bar and lounge that offers sweeping views of the Potomac River and downtown Washington. Meanwhile, the hotel's 336 accommodations are outfitted in neutral tones of white, mocha and charcoal, and they feature flat-screen TVs, minibars and marble bathrooms. What's more, recent guests lauded the impeccable design and the friendly staff at this property, though a stay here is quite expensive.5.0-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #12View all PhotosWashington, DC1.5 miles to city center#12 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (2089)Free WiFiRead MoreBoasting rich hardwood and stone floors with elegant furnishings, the Park Hyatt Washington D.C. is as visually stimulating as it is comfortable and convenient. Visitors rave about the spacious guest rooms, equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TVs and deep soaking tubs. Guests also applaud the mouthwatering culinary creations served at the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern and the personal services offered in the private Spa. But what really wins visitors over is the Park Hyatt's top-notch customer service, especially at the friendly and attentive concierge desk. You'll find the property situated just a few blocks north of George Washington University in Northwest Washington, D.C. Because this property is part of the Hyatt family, frequent travelers participating in the World of Hyatt loyalty program may earn or receive special privileges by choosing to stay here.Free WiFi
- #13View all PhotosWashington, DC1.5 miles to city center#13 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (3475)Read MoreDespite its seat in the bustling Foggy Bottom district near George Washingtion University, the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown manages to exude a botanical atmosphere best showcased on its leafy hotel patio. And the hotel's "natural" appearance extends to its guest rooms, which are appointed with rich neutral hues and amenities like Italian marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and flat-screen TVs. But it's the hotel's location – central to Georgetown, the Lincoln Memorial and even the Kennedy Center – that earns praise from recent visitors. The Fairmont also receives high marks for its exceptional customer service, with visitors saying that everyone was more than friendly, from the hospitable hotel concierge to the attentive wait staff at Juniper Restaurant and The Colonnade. However, luxury does have its price. If you're visiting in the busy spring season, do yourself a favor: Save a little money, and book at least two months in advance. You can also earn extra perks (like complimentary amenities) if you become a member of the Le Club AccorHotels program.
- #14View all PhotosWashington, D.C., DC1.4 miles to city center#14 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1429)Read More
This self-proclaimed "best kept secret" straddles the border between lavish Georgetown and the young, hip Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Northwest D.C. Recent visitors love this hotel's historic atmosphere, which exudes from the Melrose's vintage furnishings and large windows. Guestrooms are accented with plush down comforters, spacious desks, and satellite TVs. And the hotel's facilities are accommodating as well, offering a business ceter, fitness center and conference space. When hunger kicks in, retreat to Jardenea, an intimate restaurant that boasts fresh, organic Farm-to-Fork eats. Afterwards, grab a cocktail and mingle with the trendy set at "The Lounge," a lively in-house bar that boasts handcrafted libations. While many recent visitors praise the Melrose for its ideal location and hospitable staff, others complain of steep room rates.4.0-star Hotel Class
- #15View all PhotosWashington, DC1.6 miles to city center#15 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (4735)Free WiFiRead MoreRecent guests of this Kimpton property compliment this hotel's style (a given, really) and its proximity to Dupont Circle's surplus of restaurants and bars. Each of the Hotel Palomar's stylish accommodations features bursts of bold color along with contemporary furnishings, as well as Samsung LCD TVs, Atelier bath amenities and 300 thread count Frette linens. When you're ready to step outside your digs, the contemporary lobby provides a perfect backdrop for the nightly wine reception. Plus, the outdoor heated pool and sundeck serve as equally alluring places for which to unwind in the warmer months. When your stomach starts to rumble, satiate your appetite at Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar, a trendy in-house hotspot that offers delectable Mediterranean fare. And if you participate in the IHG Rewards Club, you can earn or redeem perks by choosing to bed down here.Free WiFi
- #16View all PhotosMcLean, VA10.6 miles to city center#16 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (460)Read MoreLocated within the massive Tysons Galleria shopping center in McLean, Virginia, The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner is a fashionista's dream hotel. And in terms of luxury, this Ritz lives up to its reputation with an indoor pool, a full-service day spa and spacious guest rooms and suites. Accommodations come furnished with deluxe amenities, like 47-inch flat-screen TVs, lavish bath products and feather beds with down comforters. The hotel's in-house restaurant and bar – ENTYSE, Wine Bar & Lounge – also earns high praise from recent guests for its extensive wine selection and culinary offerings. Overall, most guests report a pleasant stay, citing top-notch service as a reason to return. This hotel sits about 15 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., but guests now have easier access to the city's top sights thanks to the metro. The nearest metro station (Tysons Corner) sits just a block and a half away. Since this Ritz property falls under the Marriott umbrella, guests participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program can accrue or redeem benefits by choosing to stay here.
- #17View all PhotosWashington, DC1.5 miles to city center#17 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (3832)Free WiFiRead MoreNamed for one of Washington's hippest neighborhoods, The Dupont Circle Hotel is ideal for anyone in search of trendy lodging. This hotel – a member of the elite Doyle Collection – is decked out in modern decor, complete with rich red, purple and green tones. From the front door, some of the city's liveliest nightlife haunts are within easy reach, making this location perfect for night-owls (families might want to look somewhere more kid-friendly). And on-site, guests have access to the hotel's Cafe Dupont, known for its French fare. But what recent guests seem to love the most at The Dupont Circle Hotel are its reasonable room rates. Though the rooms are smaller than those found in other luxury D.C. hotels, accommodations here do come equipped with luxurious amenities, including marble baths, flat-screen TVs and Nespresso coffee makers.Free WiFi
- #18View all PhotosWashington, DC2.6 miles to city center#18 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (8010)Read MoreIf you're planning a family getaway to the District, consider staying at the Omni Shoreham. Located in the Woodley Park neighborhood, which is home to the beloved (and free) National Zoo, this hotel is a great choice for families looking to take in the sights. Meanwhile, the Smithsonian Museums are only a short metro ride away. Younger guests will have a blast here, thanks to the Omni Kids Crew program, which offers child-friendly amenities like the seasonal outdoor heated pool and complimentary books and games. Plus, Robert's Restaurant appeals to the taste buds of all ages with modern fare and a customized children's menu. Recent guests also report a satisfactory stay at this Omni thanks to its spacious accommodations, appointed with flat-screen TVs and Wolfgang Puck in-room coffee. What's more, if you're a member of Omni's Select Guest loyalty program, you can earn or redeem complimentary perks by choosing to stay here.4.0-star Hotel Class
- #19View all PhotosWashington, DC1.3 miles to city center#19 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (758)Free WiFiRead More
Frequently described by guests as "trendy," the Kimpton Mason & Rook sits in Washington, D.C.'s, 14th Street neighborhood, just minutes from the equally hip Logan Circle. Formerly the Hotel Helix, this Kimpton outpost underwent renovations before taking on its new identity, and recent guests appreciated the updated interiors. Rooms feature "sophisticated, residential design" (retro vinyls, dark woods, and worn leathers) and are equipped with 65-inch flat-screen TVs, Bluetooth speakers, 400-thread-count Frette linens and oversized glass enclosed showers (a highlight for recent lodgers). The hotel's seasonal rooftop pool and bar was another favorite feature for guests, who loved its city views and inventive cocktails. Though you're surrounded by some of the city's best restaurants, you should consider grabbing a bite at the on-site Radiator restaurant, which earned praise from past guests for its small plates and outdoor patio seating. True to the Kimpton brand, this hotel also offers a complimentary wine reception every evening, as well as free morning coffee and tea. You'll also find a 24-hour fitness center on-site, and bikes for exploring the city (use of which is covered in the property's daily $22.99 "facilities fee," which also includes free Wi-Fi). If you're a IHG Rewards Club member, you can use or accrue points and perks here.4.5-star Hotel ClassFree WiFi
- #20View all PhotosWashington, DC1.3 miles to city center#20 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (2326)Free WiFiRead MoreThe Kimpton George Hotel has modernity down pat, which becomes apparent when you take a stroll through the lobby amid bright colors and contemporary art. When dinnertime rolls around, head to the stylish in-house restaurant, Bistro Bis, which is popular with guests and locals alike for its French cuisine. Afterward, catch up on some much-needed relaxation inside your stylish accommodations, appointed with 48-inch flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms and organic honor bars. You can also arrange for in-room spa treatments or work up a sweat in the 24-hour fitness center. Although this Kimpton property will require a good chunk of your vacation budget (it charges a daily $20 "facilities fee"), members of the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program can save on fees for things like Wi-Fi access. You can find the Kimpton George Hotel near Union Station, just north of the U.S. Capitol.Free WiFi
- #21View all PhotosWashington, DC1.1 miles to city center#21 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (2948)Read MoreLabeled as the "second-best address" in D.C. by President Harry Truman (only beaten by the White House), the Mayflower Hotel has been a lodging favorite since 1925. Sitting just a block from the Farragut North metro stop in the downtown area, the Mayflower – now part of the Autograph Collection – makes a convenient base for sightseers hoping to check out the attractions and museums of the National Mall. The Mayflower also wins guests' approval with its elegant feel: Guest rooms are spacious and well appointed with custom duvets, down feather pillows and satellite TVs. And though some recent guests do complain of late-night noise, most report a satisfactory stay thanks to the mouthwatering cuisine served at the EDGAR Bar & Kitchen. Plus, those participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program may earn or use points by choosing to stay here.
- #22View all PhotosWashington, DC1.1 miles to city center#22 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1970)Read MorePerched just off Thomas Circle in downtown D.C., The Kimpton Donovan earns major props from recent guests for its modern decor, rooftop pool and mouthwatering Asian fusion cuisine offered at the in-house restaurant, Zentan. But those aren't the only reasons to stay here; recent guests were also wowed by the Kimpton Donovan's central location, situated within walking distance of the White House and the National Mall. Also praised were the hotel's swanky lobby and sleek accommodations, which feature LCD flat-screen TVs and minibars stocked with Dean & DeLuca gourmet goods. The only downside, according to some guests, was that the property's rooms felt smaller than other D.C. accommodations. For additional space, previous guests suggest springing for a suite.
- #23View all PhotosWashington, DC0.7 miles to city center#23 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (485)Read MoreRubbing elbows with the National Portrait Gallery and the Verizon Center, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC is just as fun and funky as nearby Chinatown. This stylish Kimpton hotel blends vibrant colors and elegant furnishings in its eclectic decor. Meanwhile, accommodations here earn praise from previous visitors for their luxurious amenities like high-speed internet access (included in daily amenity fee), flat-screen TVs and pet necessities (such as bowls and beds). Recent guests can't stop raving about the hotel's warm and inviting guest rooms, but don't plan on spending all your time cooped up in your digs, no matter how smitten you are with their design. For delectable eats, head to the Dirty Habit, a cocktail lounge with Asian-influenced small plates. If you participate in the IHG Rewards Club program, you can receive perks and extras by choosing to stay here.
- #24View all PhotosWashington DC, DC0.8 miles to city center#24 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (300)Free WiFiRead More
Positioned along the historic Washington Channel in southwest Washington, InterContinental Washington D.C. - The Wharf sits amid brand-new shops, restaurants and bars. All 278 accommodations come equipped with Nespresso coffee makers, minibars, 50-inch smart TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi access and spa-like bathrooms. Suites include extra space and high-end perks like Bose speakers, river views and $100 food and beverage credits. That credit is best used at Kith/Kin, the property's modern dining venue, where guests can feast on breakfast, lunch and dinner items influenced by cuisines from Nigeria, Jamaica, New Orleans and more. Recent guests praise the modern decor, the room size and the dining options in and around the hotel, as well as the nearby music venue, The Anthem. But, some past visitors note that the property's location is farther from major attractions than they anticipated. Thankfully, the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle to and from some of the district's monuments and museums. Keep in mind that because this is an InterContinental property, members of the IHG Rewards program can earn and redeem points by choosing to stay here.Free WiFi
- #25View all PhotosMcLean, VA10.3 miles to city center#25 in Best Hotels in Washington, D.C.TripAdvisor (1512)Free ParkingRead MoreLocated in the middle of Tysons Corner's technology corridor and 18 miles northwest of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner appeals to business travelers. After a long day of work, guests can wind down at Harth restaurant (the hotel's cozy fireside venue), dive into a heated indoor swimming pool or retire to one of the comfortable guest rooms. All 458 rooms and suites feature Hilton's signature Serenity bedding, flat-screen HDTVs and iPod docking stations. While guests say the hotel facilities are on par with other Hilton properties, they stress the hotel's warm and welcoming staff as the highlight of their stay. Guests can earn Hilton Honors rewards by choosing to bed down here.Free Parking
Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., is laid out on a grid pattern, with numbered and lettered streets intersected by diagonal avenues. Most of these diagonal avenues are named after states. Generally, streets running east to west have lettered names in alphabetical order as you travel north. So you would walk north to get from K Street Northwest to L Street Northwest. The numbered streets run north to south and increase as you travel west in Northwest D.C. and as you travel east in Northeast D.C. Therefore, you would walk west to get from 19th Street Northwest to 20th Street Northwest; you would walk east to get from 11th Street Northeast to 12th Street Northeast. Get to know the city's various neighborhoods on a guided tour or a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.
Northwest is where you'll find most government office buildings, as well as the majority of the city's postcard-worthy attractions. This quadrant is also home to a bunch of the top nightlife and entertainment options and a burgeoning restaurant scene.
Accessible via all Metro lines at Federal Center SW, L'Enfant Plaza, Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter and Judiciary Square stations.
A beautiful green space that stretches for nearly 2 miles and serves as a central point of the city, the iconic National Mall is anchored by the U.S. Capitol on one end and the Lincoln Memorial on the other. In the middle, the Washington Monument marks the highest peak of the city. Numerous noteworthy (and mostly free) museums line the Mall's sides, including the National Gallery of Art and the recently opened Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Keep in mind, the Mall sprawls over both the Northwest and Southwest quadrants.
Accessible via all Metro lines at Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter, Metro Center, Judiciary Square and Gallery Place-Chinatown stations.
Located north of the National Mall, the Penn Quarter area has a flourishing group of art galleries and restaurants, as well as some of the city's most interesting museums (like the National Portrait Gallery and the International Spy Museum). It's also where you'll find the Verizon Center – where the NBA's Washington Wizards and the NHL's Washington Capitals play, and where many major recording artists perform. The media-focused Newseum and the historically significant National Archives Museum can be found nearby as well.
Accessible via all Metro lines at Gallery Place-Chinatown, Metro Center, Judiciary Square and Mount Vernon Square 7th Street-Convention Center stations.
Northeast of Penn Quarter, Chinatown is a vibrant and historic neighborhood brimming with trendy dining establishments and plenty of entertainment options. Anchored between H and I Streets and 5th and 8th Streets Northwest, Chinatown plays host to a string of hotels, clubs and shops. The area also features a plethora of Chinese and Asian-inspired restaurants.
Accessible via all Metro lines at Dupont Circle, Farragut North, McPherson Square, Farragut West and U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo stations.
Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut avenues intersect at Dupont Circle, a roundabout that lends its name to the surrounding area. This is one of the hippest areas in D.C., and it's also the heart of the city's gay community. Restaurants, boutiques and bars surround the actual circle.
Accessible via the Red, Green and Yellow Metro lines at Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo and Columbia Heights stations.
Despite its small size, the Adams Morgan area just north of Dupont Circle is another one of the city's trendiest, busiest neighborhoods. Eclectic bars, clubs and restaurants are scattered throughout. D.C.'s Metro does not directly service Adams Morgan, but the area is within walking distance of several Metro stations. Multiple bus lines also service the area.
U Street Corridor
Accessible via the Green and Yellow Metro lines at U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo and Shaw-Howard University stations.
To the east of Adams Morgan on U Street between 9th and 18th streets Northwest is an emerging part of the city called the U Street Corridor. Once a historically black area where blues and jazz kings like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong played soulful numbers in nightclubs and theaters, U Street brims with new jazz clubs, bars, shops and restaurants. Howard University, a well-known historically black university, is located to the east.
Accessible via the Red Metro line at Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan and Cleveland Park stations.
Picturesque with its stately residences and canopies of trees, Woodley Park is home to the Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, a handful of antique shops and a collection of excellent restaurants. This neighborhood sits northwest of Adams Morgan and just east of Washington National Cathedral.
Accessible via the Blue, Orange, Silver and Red Metro lines at Foggy Bottom-GWU and Dupont Circle stations, as well as the DC Circulator bus and 10 Metrobus lines – the 30-series, the D-series and the G2 bus.
Georgetown, just west of Dupont Circle, is another popular (and swanky) D.C. neighborhood. Along the district's main corridor, M Street, and housed inside converted row houses, you'll find chain stores galore, including J.Crew, Coach and Nike, among many, many others. Plus, Georgetown boasts some of the city's best gourmet cupcake institutions, including Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles and Baked & Wired. There are also quite a few restaurants with various price points and atmospheres. During your visit, you can't miss wandering along the neighborhood's cobblestone streets or heading to the waterfront to take in scenic views of the Potomac – both of which make for an ideal way to cap off a day of sightseeing.
Accessible via the Blue, Orange, Silver and Red Metro lines at Foggy Bottom-GWU, Farragut West, Farragut North, McPherson Square, Metro Center and Federal Triangle stations.
South of Dupont Circle is the Foggy Bottom area, where the George Washington University campus resides. The neighborhood, which was originally the main industrial portion of the city, is now largely residential. The few restaurants and bars found here mostly cater to the area's college residents, but there are a few standout attractions, including the Watergate complex (now The Watergate Hotel) and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Accessible via the Blue, Orange, Silver, Green and Yellow Metro lines at Smithsonian, L'Enfant Plaza, Federal Center SW, Waterfront, Anacostia, Navy Yard Metro, Capitol South, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter and Federal Triangle stations.
The smallest of the four quadrants, Southwest is home to a selection of museums right off the National Mall, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden – all part of the Smithsonian Institution. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Washington Monument also sit in this part of the city. On the most western end of the Mall are the majestic Lincoln Memorial and the beautiful Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. And a few blocks south of the National Mall is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, which offers superb views of the Tidal Basin.
Accessible via all Metro lines at Union Station, NoMa-Gallaudet U, Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood, Brookland-CUA, Fort Totten, Deanwood, Minnesota Ave, Benning Road, Stadium-Armory, Capitol Heights, Judiciary Square and Capitol South stations.
Northeast D.C. is home to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and another pocket of universities, including Trinity Washington University, The Catholic University of America and Gallaudet University. Gallaudet, notably, was founded by Congress as the world's first school of advanced learning for the deaf. The U.S. National Arboretum, a free botanical garden and research center, can also be found here.
This district, which refers to a portion of H Street Northeast between 12th and 14th streets, is a small but increasingly popular part of town. The area is home to a number of trendy restaurants, as well as a hip nightlife scene that tends to be less expensive than the spots in Northwest D.C.
The Library of Congress, Union Station, the Supreme Court of the United States, the Folger Shakespeare Library and a bunch of Victorian row house residences that surround the U.S. Capitol are part of a neighborhood aptly named Capitol Hill, or simply, "the Hill." Filled with many young professionals who work for U.S. senators and representatives, the area also has a good assortment of restaurants and shops. Travelers should note that Capitol Hill straddles both the Northeast and Southeast quadrants.
Accessible via the Blue, Orange and Silver Metro lines at Eastern Market and Capitol South stations.
The main point of interest in the Southeast quadrant is Capitol Hill's Eastern Market, located only a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol. In addition to its meat and produce counters, the redbrick public market also plays host to an art gallery and a flea market.
Barracks Row, located a couple blocks south of Eastern Market along 8th Street Southeast, is named for the Marine Corps Barracks, which have anchored the area since 1801. Restaurants, bars, boutiques and even a classical acting academy line the street. Charming row houses sit nearby.
The LEED-certified Nationals Park is situated near the Anacostia River and is home turf for the Washington Nationals professional baseball team. Across the river from Barracks Row is Anacostia, home to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. Note: Anacostia isn't the safest area, so you might want to steer clear after dark.
Located southwest of Washington, D.C., across the Potomac River is northern Virginia, where some of D.C.'s most iconic attractions – such as The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery – reside. An array of hotels and restaurants are also available here.
Accessible via the Blue, Orange and Silver Metro lines at Rosslyn, Court House, Clarendon, Virginia Square, Ballston, East Falls Church, Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Crystal City and National Airport stations.
Arlington refers to a large swath of land across from the Potomac River in Virginia. The area is bursting with high-rise office and apartment buildings and streets lined with picturesque homes, as well as interesting shops, restaurants and bars. Plus, accommodation options are generally more affordable in this part of the Washington metropolitan area.
Accessible via the Blue and Yellow Metro lines at Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue and Van Dorn Street stations.
Located west of the Potomac River and south of Arlington, Alexandria is primarily a residential area. Most of the city's shops, restaurants and bars reside in the historic Old Town, which overlooks the Potomac River and features various boutique hotels. Just about 7 miles southwest is George Washington's Mount Vernon, the former estate of inaugural president George Washington.
Accessible via the Red Metro line at Bethesda and Silver Spring stations.
Washington, D.C.'s main Maryland suburbs are Bethesda and Silver Spring. Bethesda is a mainly residential area, with open-air shopping and a handful of restaurants and bars. Silver Spring has a livelier downtown area, which is all about bright and shiny modernity. High-rise apartments and office buildings scream contemporary, as do the many shops, eateries and watering holes.
Baltimore and Annapolis are approximately an hour's drive from the District and make for nice side trips from the area. Baltimore is also accessible by both MARC and Amtrak trains; MARC is the significantly cheaper option.
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