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Washington, D.C./Georgetown

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Washington, D.C. : Georgetown
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Washington, D.C./Georgetown

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Former Riggs Bank building at the corner of M St and Wisconsin Avenue in the heart of Georgetown

Georgetown is a district of Washington, D.C. to the south of Woodley Park and west of Dupont Circle across Rock Creek Park.


The neighborhood is situated on bluffs overlooking the Potomac River. As a result, there are some rather steep grades on streets running north-south, as well as some great views over the Potomac. The famous "Exorcist Steps" connecting M Street to Prospect Street were necessitated by the hilly terrain of the neighborhood. Any visitor to D.C. should plan to include Georgetown on the itinerary for its high end shopping, 18th century charm, and fine dining scene. The beautiful main quad at Georgetown University is another reason to pay a visit.

Georgetown predates Washington, D.C., as it was at the farthest navigable point on the Potomac River during colonial times. Later, a canal was built from the city out to Western Maryland. As a "port city" it was an important trading city. It then became an African-American neighborhood as the city of Washington grew, and the Anglo-elite moved to newer homes in the burgeoning city. For better or worse, Georgetown gentrified into something akin to Beverly Hills for the Capital Region. Today, Georgetown caters to a wealthy crowd, although the proximity of the university creates a unique mixture of college town and prosperous enclave.

Get in

Georgetown map.png

As mentioned above, there is no direct Metrorail connection to the popular neighborhood of Georgetown. However, the Georgetown Metro Connection [35] provides convenient bus service throughout Georgetown directly from the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle metro stations, in little blue buses. Fare is a flat $1.50 or, with a Metrorail transfer (obtained from the machine at the station where you ENTER the system), $0.35. Buses leave from the top of the escalators at the Rosslyn metro station every 10 minutes M-Th 7AM-midnight, F 7AM-2AM, Sa 8AM-2AM, Su 8AM-midnight.

If you choose to walk, Georgetown is an easy mile from either the Rosslyn or Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stations, and a mile and a half from Dupont Circle.

In addition, one of the D.C. Circulator [36] buses links downtown with Georgetown. This bus runs down Wisconsin to M St, and then into Downtown.

Route 38B Metrobuses also connect Georgetown to Farragut Square and Rosslyn Metrorail stations. See their website [37] for details.

Finally, Georgetown has plenty of taxicabs available round the clock. You'll have no trouble finding one on M Street or Wisconsin Avenue any time of the day.


Georgetown across the Key Bridge
  • Dumbarton Oaks. where the United Nations was outlined in 1944
  • The Old Stone House, [1]. built in 1765, located on M Street, is the oldest original structure in Washington, D.C.
  • Mount Zion Cemetery, [2]. which offered free burials for Washington's earlier African-American population.
  • Tudor Place, [3].
  • The Oak Hill Cemetery, [4]. a gift of William Wilson Corcoran, whose Gothic chapel and gates were designed by James Renwick, it was the original resting place of Abraham Lincoln's son, Willie before he was reintured with his father in Illinois, and other figures.
  • City Tavern Club, [5]. built in 1796, is the oldest commercial structure in Washington, D.C.
  • Exorcist Steps. Made famous by the movie, the "Exorcist Steps" run between Prospect and M Street just west of where the Key Bridge deposits people into D.C. In addition to banishing demons, the steps are popular among Georgetown students looking for a serious workout during their daily jog.
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, [6]. The Georgetown portion of this 184.5 mile park stretches through the heart of this historic manufacturing center of Georgetown, just south of M St. Restored and renovated buildings line the path, offering a wonderful walk through history. In addition, one can take a mule-pulled barge ride through some of the still-working locks. Finally, you can follow this towpath north through the edge of the District and north, eventually into Maryland.
  • House of Sweden, (off 29th and K Street (joined to the Washington Harbour)), [7]. Bills itself as the "crown jewel of the Swedish presence in the U.S." There is a museum, a consulate, striking modern public spaces and more.
  • Remains of the Washington streetcar system. Remnants are visible on P Street, as the facade of "The Shops of Georgetown Park," and at The Georgetown Car Barn (now an office for Georgetown University.) If driving on the insidious rails, aim to "ride the rails"—it's both a rather fun challenge and easier on your car.
  • Georgetown Waterfront Park, [8]. A 10-acre park that traces the path of the Potomac River from the Key Bridge to the Washington Harbor Complex. The park itself features an interactive fountain, water steps, lawns to relax upon, and walking/cycling paths. There are also scenic river overlooks and a labyrinth to explore. The Georgetown Waterfront Park creates a continuous promenade from the Key Bridge to the Kennedy Center. It also fills in the final parcel of a 225 mile stretch of parkland that reaches from Mt. Vernon, Virginia, to Cumberland, Maryland.

Georgetown also offers up a wealth of architecture in a traditional urban setting. Some of the interesting architectural variations in Georgetown include 19th century houses and rowhouses, restored 19th century factory complexes, and striking modern designs by the river itself. While all neighborhoods in D.C. have their own "feel" and "vibe," Georgetown truly feels like a separate city in many ways, from having its own grid of streets to the building style. It truly is one of the most beautiful areas, not only of D.C., but of the entire country, and it's best explored by foot.


Georgetown is a waterfront community and offers canoing and kayaking.

The C & O Canal[38] towpath runs 184.5 miles all the way up to Cumberland, Maryland.

The Washington Harbour, aside from hosting a variety of shopping, dining and museum opportunities, offers access to the river, where you can sail or kayak. You can also catch seasonal "water taxis" to points in Alexandria, Mount Vernon and the spectacular New Urban development: National Harbor.


The Shops at Georgetown Park, [39] an enclosed upscale boutique mall at the corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW, whose intersection may be considered its heart. Stores include typical upscale mall fare, like well as unique import/export stores. The mall has its own parking garage.

Georgetown is the place to shop in D.C. You'll find many local shops and boutiques, antique stores, as well as the District's largest collection of national and international chains. Retailers like The Gap, H&M, Sisley, Coach, Pottery Barn, J Crew, Lucky Brand Jeans, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Banana Republic, Co-Op by Barney's New York, United Colors of Benneton, True Religion, Ralph Lauren, Hilfiger and many more are all located either on M Street or Wisconsin Avenue.

There are many small, independent book and music stores, as well as a vast, three-story Barnes & Noble on M Street.

Georgetown has also become known as a center or modern interior design, with many stores and showrooms concentrated on the western edge of the neighborhood. Between 34th and 33rd Streets along M south to the canal, with others scattered throughout.

Unlike oher portions of D.C., you won't find a lot of Americana, tourist trap shops. There are a couple, but they mostly sell "Georgetown University" sweaters, T-shirts and other assorted nonsense. You will find a wide variety of upscale clothing boutiques, however.

Also, know that Georgetown is one of two, highly upscale shopping areas in the District (the other being centered around the Friendship Heights Metro station.) As such, you will not find discount stores, or even retailers like Old Navy in the neighborhood.

Finally, as traffic in Georgetown is nearly always bad, it's advisable to either catch the Georgetown Metro Connection, the D.C. Circulator, a cab, or walk to truly enjoy a shopping experience here. If you're looking for ample parking and climate control, go to a mall.


Georgetown has one of D.C.'s best dining scenes, with loads of options on M St. The university ensures that there are a few good budget options, but it is the high end where Georgetown excels—from stuffy and traditional to modern and chic.


  • Amma's Indian Vegetarian Kitchen, 3291 M St, NW, +1 202 625-6625. lunch: M-F 11:30AM-3:30PM, Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, Su noon-3:30PM; dinner: 5:30PM-10PM daily. Skip right over the flashy looking Indian restaurants right on M Street, designed to catch the tourist's eye. Amma's offers significantly better Indian cuisine at surprisingly low prices. It specializes in southern Indian cuisine, and particularly in wonderful dosai. The rest of the menu can be a little plain. $5-12.
  • Cafe La Ruche, 1039 31st St, NW, +1 202 965-2684, [9]. French cafe and restaurant. Authentic French food at a great price. Terrace seating when the weather permits is something hard to find in Georgetown at any price. Try the Tourte aux Courgettes, a flaky zucchini pie, a traditional quiche, salad or sandwich. Brunch on the weekends includes an entree, mimosa or OJ, and fresh French pastry for dessert. Great coffee any time.
  • Georgetown Cafe, 1623 Wisconsin Ave, NW, +1 202 333-0215. 24 hours daily. A standard diner (with a few random Middle Eastern offerings) catering to those who go to sleep in the morning. The food is a little overpriced, but it's Georgetown, and it's open all night. $6-10.
  • La Madeline, 3000 M St, NW, +1 202 337-6975, [10]. The D.C. location of this chain of French cafeteria-styled restaurants features a beautiful dining room in a restored, turn-of-the-century space. Decent food, great pricing and a stunning location.
  • Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory, +1 202 333-8040, [11]. The eatery boasts that it has best cheesesteak sandwiches south of South Street. You'll have to decide that for yourself, but it does fill a cheap greasy void in Georgetown.
  • Sweetgreen, 3333 M St, NW, +1 202 337-9338, [12]. The best and freshest salads you ever overpaid for. You must try the champagne dressing before you die.
  • Quick Pita, 1210 Potomac St, NW, +1 202 338-7482. Su-W 11:30AM-3AM, Th-Sa 11:30AM-4:30AM. The reigning champ in Georgetown's pita rivalry serves food into the late hours. Wash down a soujouk with an Ayran, or marvel at the Quick Pita special, stuffed with fries. It's busiest around 3-4AM—lunch can be more pleasant, if less interesting. $4-6.
  • Zenobia Cafe, 1025 31st St NW, +1 202 339-0555, [13]. M-Th 9AM-11PM; Fr-Sa 10AM-2AM; Su 10AM-11PM. A small Middle Eastern cafe and bookshop, serving Lebanese and Syrian specialties. In back, there is a patio/lounge where hookah is available. $5-10.


  • Bangkok Bistro, 3251 Prospect St NW, +1 202 337-2424, [14]. Excellent upscale Thai restaurant in a creative setting.
  • Leopold's Cafe, 3315 M St, NW (Cady's Alley), +1 202 965-6005, [15]. This amazing Austrian cafe features modern European cuisine, desserts, wine and atmosphere galore. Quite fond of the color orange, which lends the place a sleek but entirely unstuffy vibe.
  • Peacock Cafe, 3251 Prospect St, NW, +1 202 625-2740, [16]. An excellent upscale breakfast option, but make sure you have reservations for dinner, or you won't get in.
  • Vietnam Georgetown, 2934 M St, NW, +1 202 337-4536. lunch: M-Th 11AM-2PM, 3PM-11PM; F 11AM-2PM, 3PM-11:30PM; Sa 11AM-11:30PM, Su noon-11PM. A neighborhood establishment that punches way above its price range. The decor is nothing to write home about, but the crispy spring rolls and seafood dishes are. Skip the pho, though. $8-14.
  • Zed's Ethiopian Restaurant, 1201 28th St, NW, +1 202 333-4710, [17]. An attractive dining room, with solid Ethiopian dining (if disappointing compared to the offerings in Little Ethiopia).


  • 1789, 1226 36th St, NW, [18]. Elegant French-inflected American dining in what is easily one of D.C.'s finest restaurants, near Georgetown University. Jacket & tie required for men, ask to be seated in the main dining room.
  • Citronelle, 3000 M St, NW, +1 202 625-2150, [19]. Another competitor for the title of best dining in D.C. is Michel Richard's world famous French-themed cuisine. Jacket required for dinner. Very expensive.
  • Sequoia, 3000 K St, NW (in Washington Harbor), [20]. Spectacular views of the Potomac and the Kennedy Center, with outdoor seating. People come here for the scene (especially in the summer), not for the overpriced, mediocre food and sub-par service.
  • Sea Catch Restaurant, Canal Square, 1054 31st NW, 20007, 202-337-8855, [21]. Lovers of history and seafood can always find something to tempt the palette and curiosity at the Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar. As an easily accessible downtown Washington DC restaurant, Sea Catch offers fresh seafood "simply prepared" in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Situated in a restored building over 150years-old and just steps from the charming C & O Canal, this quaint restaurant offers a unique and delectable dining experience. Delight in the all this popular downtown DC restaurant has to offer in its comfortable and warm setting.


There are many, many places to drink in Georgetown, from upscale, exclusive bars to college joints. In addition, many places are restaurants-by-day and early evening, only to become bars-by-night. M Street is the main drag for drinking, and you won't have to walk far to stumble in and grab a beer. The nightlife in Georgetown is crowded and plentiful, but a good deal less trendy than in other less touristed neighborhoods in the city, such as the U Street corridor and Adams Morgan.

  • Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave, NW (in the alley), +1 202 337-4141, [22]. 1.5-2 hour sets at 8PM & 10PM daily. One of the world's great jazz clubs, playing host nightly to mostly national and international acts. The atmosphere is wonderful, in a brick building off Wisconsin in an an actual "Blues Alley." The venue is tiny and packed full; patrons are respectful and do not talk during performances (if you want conversation, go elsewhere). The range of music, however, is a little greater than jazz purists would like—check the website calendar to make sure you'll hear music to your liking. cover: $20-40, drink minimum: $10.
  • Clyde's, 3236 M St, NW, +1 202 333-9180, [23]. Casual, popular place to grab a burger and kick back a beer while watching the Georgetown throngs scurry by.
  • Blue Gin, 1206 Wisconsin Ave, NW, +1 202 965-5555, [24]. Once the toughest lounge to get into in D.C., Blue Gin has settled into a more relaxed, yet still upscale atmosphere. Dress to impress and expect the crowd to start arriving around midnight.
  • The Tombs, 1226 36th St, NW, +1 202 337-6668, [25]. Appropriately named for being in the tomb-like basement of 1789, the Tombs is the unofficial Georgetown University watering hole. Popular with students and faculty alike, but perhaps not with those who would prefer a less collegiate atmosphere. Th-Sa nights are extremely crowded, and the bartenders might ignore you. Opt for a weeknight or better yet a Sunday brunch instead.
  • J. Paul's, 3218 M St, NW, +1 202 333-3450, [26]. Only a run of the mill Georgetown bar—large, noisy, homogeneous clientele—except for the fact that it has a very impressive, oyster-heavy raw bar.


  • Park Hyatt Washington, 24 & M Streets, NW, [27].
  • Best Western Georgetown Hotel & Suites, 1121 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, [28].


  • Best Western Georgetown Hotel & Suites, 1121 New Hampshire Avenue, NW (Washington, DC 20037), 202-457-0565 (fax: "".), [29].
    * <sleep name="Georgetown Inn" alt="" address="1310 Wisconsin Ave, NW" directions="Washington DC 20007" phone="888-587-2388" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">96 newly renovated guestrooms and suites. Only minutes from shops and restaurants.
  • Georgetown Suites Hotel, 1000 29th St, NW & 1111 30th St, NW, [30]. Studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, and two-story townhomes located in an upscale neighborhood with private entrances, and penthouses with outdoor terraces. Suites are individually designed and decorated with elegant, contemporary home furnishings and a fully equipped kitchen.
  • Hotel Monticello, 1075 Thomas Jefferson St, NW, +1 202 337-0900, [31]. An all suite hotel, featuring a business center, meeting facilities, and concierge services.
  • The Latham Hotel, 3000 M Street NW, 20007, (202) 726-5000, [32]. The Latham Hotel places you in the heart of Georgetown- convenient to a stellar roster of businesses, restaurants, and European boutiques. But perhaps even more impressive than our bustling address are the personalized services at this historic Washington DC boutique hotel. Unwind in one of our 133 sophisticated and stylish accommodations - a splendid retreat after a day of shopping and sightseeing in the nation's capital. Maintain your workout regimen in our onsite fitness center. Lounge in Georgetown's only outdoor rooftop pool, complete with a sundeck and reception area.


  • Four Seasons Washington D.C., 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., [33].
  • Ritz Carlton Georgetown, 3100 South St, NW, [34]. Luxurious, convenient, short walk to Washington Harbor restaurants.


Get out

Since Georgetown is, in fact, older than the rest of the district (and since its history, either as an African-American or exclusive enclave denotes separation by its very nature,) Georgetown feels very separate from the rest of D.C. In effect, staying in Georgetown makes Washington a destination, and vice-versa. To put it another way, you know when you've left Georgetown for D.C. proper, and you know when you're entering back into Georgetown. This contrasts to the rest of the neighborhoods in D.C., which tend to bleed into one another as one progresses from center to fringe to new center.

The [[* <see name="Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">The Georgetown portion of this 184.5 mile C&O towpath and park offer a near-escape from city life itself. A few minutes into your walk or bicycle ride, you are in the middle of a green and verdant linear park. As freeways and highways in the area aren't allowed to have billboards, you won't experience visual pollution as you traverse (although you will see and hear cars and planes). Nonetheless, much like Rock Creek, it's a great walk alongside nature.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!