The area along H Street NE, just south of Gallaudet University, is known as the Atlas District. This area is one of the fastest developing neighborhoods of DC. Serving as a sort of alternative to standard D.C. nightlife, the Atlas District attracts a slightly older, more eccentric and artsy, more local, and almost certainly less drunken crowd than you'll find elsewhere in the city.
The following are the main bus routes operating in this area, along with links to timetables and route maps. For more information on riding buses in Washington DC, see Washington DC#Get_around.
X2 runs by along H St every 15 minutes during the day, but every 30 minutes after 10PM, all the way to the East End.
B2 runs up from the Stadium Armory Station on the Blue/Yellow lines to the Arboretum. Get off on Bladensburg Rd at Rand St (just past the Arboretum sign on the right), then walk one block south back to R St, turn left and walk five minutes east to the Arboretum entrance.
This section of town is less densely populated, less frequently visited, and expansive—a car is not necessary to visit these areas, but it is the most convenient option, provided you trust yourself to navigate all the treacherous twisting diagonals. There are numerous main roads, but Georgia Ave is one you should keep in mind—it's one of the city's main thoroughfares. Heading east out of the city towards the Beltway, routes US-1 and US-50 are both quick options.
Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, ☎ +1 202 651-5050, . Gallaudet is the nation's and the world's first university for the deaf, and remains the world's only university where all classes and services are tailored to the needs of the hearing-impaired. Aside from being the principal institution and center for American Sign Language, the university also comprises a National Historic District, a designation received for its several excellent examples of fanciful North American High Gothic architecture. The most famous of these is the campus' centerpiece, Chapel Hall.edit
National Arboretum, Entrances: 3501 New York Ave NE & 2400 R St NE, ☎ +1 202 245-2726, . 8AM-5PM daily. This is the biggest hidden gem of the city (quite literally). The park's sprawling acres of carefully manicured gardens, and its wide collection of trees from around the world are fantastic for getting away from the urban world, and for a picnic. There are several attractions within the park worth seeking out, including the original columns from the Capitol Building's first incarnation, now standing alone mimicking Roman ruins, a Japanese garden, and a great bonsai collection. This is without question the best place in the city to enjoy the cherry blossom season—you can stroll serenely through them, while inwardly chuckling at the uninformed hordes sweating it out at the sardined Tidal Basin.Free. edit
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-7993, . Art gallery: Tu-Su noon-6PM. "The People's Kennedy Center." The Atlas Theatre was an old 1930s movie palace, and reopened several years ago after extensive renovations turning it into an arts center and performance venue on two big stages. Those performances run throughout the whole year, running the gamut from drama to musical to cabaret to dance. The building also houses an art gallery open throughout the week.edit
H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 396-2125, . A 100-seat theater.edit
Langston Golf Course, 26th St & Benning Rd NE, ☎ +1 202 397-8638, . Given its obscure location, you might assume this would be an uncrowded 18 holes, but you'd be wrong—it may be a local secret, but it's no secret to the locals. Langston's public course offers the most challenging and interesting 18 inside the Beltway, including an infamous shot 200 yards out to an island on the Anacostia River. It opened up in 1939 as an African-American golf club, which has since attracted a good amount of African-American celebrities for a round—Joe Louis was a big fan and booster. If you hear about the other golf course in the area, Rock Creek Golf Course, skip it—the fairways look like a cow's been chewing on them.Weekdays: $15/nine, $22/eighteen; weekends: $20/nine, $30/eighteen. edit
George's Place, 1001 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-4113. M-Th 9:30AM-6:30PM, F-Sa 9:30AM-7PM. An upscale men's clothing store that's been here for over 40 years, serving local professionals. While they have clothes for all sizes, they have a particularly good selection of extra-size suits, and of dress shoes in exotic leathers.edit
Dangerously Delicious P, 1339 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 398-7437.. M-Th 11AM-midnight, F 11AM-3:30AM, Sa 9AM-3:30AM, Su 9AM-10PM. Dinner and dessert pies!Slice: $4.50-6, whole pies: $30-35. edit
Ethiopic, 401 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 675-2066, . Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Su noon-10PM. Despite its borderline-nowhere location, this brand new restaurant almost immediately gained the reputation of "best Ethiopian restaurant in D.C.," which is extremely high praise. The interior is stylish and relatively small—as they do not accept reservations, you are likely to encounter a wait on a Friday or Sunday night during primetime. Just about everything is well done here (save the ever questionable Ethiopian wines), bu the more adventurous foodies should not pass up the raw kitfo.$12-20. edit
Granville Moore's, 1238 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-2546, . Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. The gastropub fare here is great (seafood, salads, sandwiches), but the showstopper is the Belgian mussels and fries, and even more so the 50 Belgian beers chalked in on the board.$15-25 (Belgian beers $8+). edit
Horace & Dickie's Seafood, 809 12th St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-6040. M-Sa 10AM-2AM, Su 10AM-9PM. Fish fry. When a neighborhood starts booming, usually at least one of the old businesses finds itself awash in late night revelers—on H St this is that place. It's hard to miss when the patrons line out the door to get the one dish this little take-out joint does quite well: fried whitefish sandwich (it does some others less well). It would be heretical to dispute H&D as the king of after-bar eating in the Atlas District.$4-7. edit
Mr P's Ribs, 514 Rhode Island Ave NE. F-Su 11AM-7PM. The should-be-legendary BBQ master of the D.C. area serves the best damn Carolina style full rack of pork ribs you'll find anywhere this far north. And he serves it out of a school bus, in a big parking lot off Rhode Island Ave (home to the now closed Safeway). Get your sauce on the side, and don't pass up fresh sweet potato pie.$5-20. edit
Sticky Rice, 1224 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-7655, . Su-Th 11:30AM-2AM, F 11:30AM-3AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. A stylish sushi restaurant by day and crowded H St bar by night, the biggest draw here is the sushi. The rolls are big, inventive, and jaunty—and reasonably priced. If you are here for a couple beers, definitely order a bucket of tater tots. Tuesday nights are karaoke, while F-Sa nights see DJs.$8-22. edit
Toki Underground, 1234 H St NE (2nd floor, with the door marked only by a symbol just left of The Pug's entrance),, ☎ +1 202 388-3086, . M-W,Su 5PM-10PM, Th 5PM-midnight, F-Sa 5PM-2AM. One of the most popular places in the area, this is a Taiwanese-style ramen house run by culinary ninja Erik Bruner-Yang.edit
The Atlas District has been going strong for several years now, despite the fact that most Washingtonians remain afraid of the neighborhood, and offers D.C.'s most eclectic, most unique, most off-beat nightlife. This isn't simply a strip full of hipsters lounging in dives—the different venues, bars, and lounges all have a very strong sense of individual character. Since they're pretty much all lined up on the 1200 and 1300 blocks, you can have a very fulfilling one-night crawl! Below is only a sampling, new places open regularly in the neighborhood, and most of the restaurants become bars later on in the night as well.
Biergarten Haus, 1355 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 388-4053, . M-F 5PM-1AM, Sa-Su 10AM-1AM. The outdoor courtyard is an enormous draw on H St, as is the great selection of German draughts served in huge mugs, meaning this is one crowded hotspot in good weather. If you can get past the bartenders to that courtyard, by all means spend the night here, but otherwise the indoor section is more than a fine spot for a pint. The food is not up to par with the rest of what is on offer, but even low quality German food will go well with some good beer and F-Sa live polka bands.edit
H Street Country Club, 1335 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-4722, . Su-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 5PM-3AM. H St's take on Dave & Busters is possibly aiming to steal the title of the street's most eclectic venue: upscale Mexican cuisine in the dining room via a nationally acclaimed chef, an impressive cocktail menu via a nationally acclaimed mixologist, and then an outrageous mini-golf course, along with pool tables, shuffleboard, skee-ball, etc. The golf course is a work of art, full of random Washingtonian references and inside jokes (like Marion Barry's Awakening on hole eight). It can also be extremely crowded, and best played on a weeknight or otherwise very early in the evening. Alcohol is served on the course, so it's 21+. Golf: $7. edit
Red Palace, 1210 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-3201, . Su-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 5PM-3AM. D.C.'s carnie bar the Palace of Wonders and music club the Red and the Black have merged to form one big bar and music venue. Fans of the side show acts, fire dancers, and sword-swallowing bartenders rightly mourn the passing of the original Palace, but this remains a good spot for a show (and it's a whole lot easier to see the big stage post-remodel) and at least burlesque remains a frequent dish on the menu.Covers: free-$20. edit
Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St, NE, ☎ +1 202 388-7625, . Su-Th 7PM-2AM, F-Sa 7PM-3AM. Not a hotel, rather H Street's biggest performance venue/nightclub in a former funeral home. Regardless of whether anyone's playing downstairs (indie rock or DJs), the upstairs is a pretty terrific place to hang out, shoot some pool, get some drinks, or play that piano (if you can hear yourself over the blaring rock music). The atmosphere is a fun mix of metal and Western.Sometimes covers: $4-15. edit
SOVA Espresso & Wine, 1359 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-3080, . M 7AM-9PM, Tu-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-1AM, Sa 7:30AM-1AM, Su 8AM-8PM. SOVA fills two niches at once as the neighborhood's coffeeshop/WiFi hangout, and as the nightlife strip's wine bar in the evenings (second floor). The coffee and tea are top notch (Intelligentsia & loose leaf Rishi Teas). The wine bar/lounge, which also serves beer and cocktails, is beautiful, comfortable, and very romantic.edit
There are a handful of bland and relatively uninviting low end chain hotels along US-50/New York Avenue NE just north of Gallaudet University catering mostly to motorists. Be sure to check online reviews prior to booking as many are adjacent to the busy Amtrak Northeast Corridor rail line.
Motel 6 Washington DC, 1345 4th Street NE, . $100. edit