Luke the Lion at the National Zoo
The neighborhoods of the Upper Northwest rank among the nation's most wealthy and privileged. There are big attractions, including the outstanding National Zoo, the massive National Cathedral, American University, upscale shopping in Friendship Heights (Chevy Chase), and several nice wining and dining strips, which serve as good alternatives to more frenzied and chaotic Adams Morgan and crowded and traffic-congested Georgetown.
Glover Park is the section of the Upper Northwest closest to downtown—just north of Georgetown, and has the bulk of the area's nightlife, which serves as a slightly older and less raucous complement to its collegiate neighbor to the south. Woodley Park has a strip with restaurants and bars and is also home to the big sights: the National Zoo and the National Cathedral.
Cleveland Park most notably, but also Van Ness and Tenleytown to the north along Wisconsin and Connecticut Ave have popular commercial strips with restaurants, bars, and small stores. And in the west of Tenleytown, you'll find big American University.
Further north is Friendship Heights, technically part of Chevy Chase, nationally famous for its wealthy and powerful residents, and locally famous for its high-end retailers on Wisconsin Ave, which spill north across the city border into Maryland.
Little known to travelers, and even most area residents, are the Palisades in the extreme west of the city, where you'll find some of the city's most expensive homes, the C&O Canal trail along the Potomac River, and a handful of fantastic, upscale restaurants.
The Metro Red Line runs through this part of the city, and it is pretty self explanatory, given that the stations are all named after the neighborhoods and their major attractions. Woodley Park/Zoo for Woodley Park and the National Zoo, Tenleytown/American University for Tenleytown and AU, etc. The National Cathedral, Glover Park, and the Palisades, like their southern neighbor Georgetown, are not served by Metro, and will require either a car/taxi or bus ride.
Driving is another option, though competition for parking spots can be fierce. You can usually find parking on side streets off of Connecticut and Wisconsin Ave, although you might have to walk a good ways from your car, and parking is usually limited to two hours in neighborhoods closer to downtown. The Palisades, along the extreme west of the city, are best visited by car, and it's quite easy to park there.
If driving in this part of the city, be aware that during weekday rush hours Canal Rd in the west becomes one-way and reverses directions during weekday rush hours (M-F 6:15AM-10AM inbound, 2:45PM-7:15PM outbound). Similarly, Connecticut's left lanes are reversible, so pay attention—you don't want to find yourself charging into oncoming traffic!
Taxis are generally not hard to catch along the main avenues (Wisconsin and Connecticut), but will be impossible to find elsewhere.
D.C.'s bus system is not always the fastest way to travel, but the network is extensive to the point that you can reach any destination even in this outer neighborhood without a car.
Routes #30-36 Template:Web all run between Georgetown and the Friendship Heights Metro station along Wisconsin Ave. On the weekends after midnight, the buses run once every hour until 2AM.
#L1, L2, and L4  run the length of Connecticut Ave 5:30AM-midnight daily. The L2 continues into Adams Morgan, while L1 and L4 head further south along Connecticut to Dupont Circle and then on to George Washington University.
Routes #N2-N6  all run along Massachusetts Ave from Dupont Circle to American University.
#D6  is the only reasonable way to reach the Kreeger Museum via public transport, which runs through Georgetown along Reservoir Rd, coming from the Dupont Circle metro station at P and 22nd St NW.
The Woodley Park/Zoo Metro stop is actually the closest stop to Adams Morgan. It's just a half mile walk over the Calvert St Bridge from the station to the heart of Adams Morgan.
The Zoo and the National Cathedral dwarf any other attractions here in both size and number of visitors by a long shot, but if you have a little extra time, the Hillwood Estate and Kreeger Museum are two of the city's greatest hidden gems.
- Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Rd NW (By public transport: take the D6 from Dupont Circle Metro at P & 22nd towards Sibley Hospital), ☎ +1 202 338-3552, . Tu-F 10:30AM,1:30PM (by reservations only on weekdays), Sa 10AM-4PM (open to public). Little known even to locals is this private house-museum with an impressive collection of paintings by the impressionist and early modern masters. The house itself is a work of art, designed by modernist architects Philip Johnson and Richard Foster. The ride out to the museum will take you through some of the country's wealthiest neighborhoods. $10.
- Hillwood Estate, 4155 Linnean Avenue NW (A little under a mile from the Van Ness-UDC station—about a fifteen minute's walk), ☎ +1 202 686-5807, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; tours: 11:30AM,1:30PM, garden tours: 10:30AM,12:30PM (Spring & Fall) cafe: 10AM-4PM, lunch: 11AM-2:30PM, tea: 2:30PM-3:30PM. A hidden gem of magnificent proportions, for only those in the know. Merriweather Post Hillwood, prominent businesswoman and heiress to the Post Cereal fortune, fashioned her estate next to Rock Creek Park to be an extraordinarily stately and luxurious site for entertaining guests, housing her impressive art collections, and with the intention of leaving it behind for the world to enjoy. The mansion is a treasure trove of French and Russian decorative arts, much of which she obtained from the USSR, whose government under Stalin was then auctioning off a good portion of its cultural heritage to finance its war efforts. Second in grandeur only to the art collection itself are the French and Japanese-style gardens—great places to linger long after the tour. Suggested donation: $12,$7/student,$5/child.
- National Cathedral (Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul), 3001 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 537-6200, . Visitor hours: M-F 10AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-4:30PM, Su 1PM-4PM; Tours: every half hour (Su: last tour at 2:30PM); Mass (Episcopalian): M-F noon, Sa 7:30AM,noon, Su 7:45AM,8:45AM,10AM (contemporary), 11:15AM; Evensong: usually M-F 5:30PM, Su 4PM; Organ demonstration: M,W 12:30PM-1PM. This is a huge attraction that should not be overlooked in your itinerary. There is a ton of stuff to see and do within the Gothic mammoth, and the impression of walking up to the world's sixth largest cathedral, a hulking mass cut over a period of 83 years of 150,000 tons of stone, is alone worth the trip. Tours are a must if you really want to see the cathedral, as towers and the crypt are off limits without a guide during the busy season. The organ demonstrations are spectacular (and loud). Check the website for events, as there is often children's programming as well as major concerts. Suggested donation: $5/3 (child).
- National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 633-4800, . Apr–Oct 10AM-6PM, Nov–March 10AM-5PM. This is one of the world's great zoos, with a collection of 400 species, 2,000 animals, all right in the center of the city (in Rock Creek Park). The National Zoo is quite large and filled with more animals and exhibits than one could see comfortably in one day without rushing, so be sure to get a map at the entrance, take your time, and be prepared to walk a great deal. Bring water—the concessions here are insultingly expensive. The most crowded exhibits are nearly always the Pandas and the Ape House. The former is an almost guaranteed letdown—the pandas are perhaps the zoo's shyest residents (the Ape House is fun no matter the crowds, though). Sleeper hits include the Seals & Sea Lions Exhibit, the Reptile House, the remarkable Aviary, and the irresistibly cute prairie dogs. Free.
- Rock Creek Horse Center, 5100 Glover Rd NW, ☎ +1 202 362-0117, . Tu-F noon-6PM, Sa-Su 9AM-5PM. If you have found that visiting the city was a mistake, and wish you had opted for a country vacation instead, it's not too hard to make believe in Rock Creek Park. The horse center offers trail rides, horseback riding lessons (group and private), and pony rides throughout the summer months. The trail rides are very popular, and reservations often run out more than a month in advance. The pony rides and lessons also require RSVP, but are much easier to get. For those visiting on a whim, and not interested in paying these large sums, you can just stop by and pet and feed the horses for free. If you traveled to the city on horseback, they offer full-service public stables for $600/month. Trail rides: $38/1 hour; pony rides: $20/10–15 minutes; lessons (1 hour): $50 group, $90 private.
- Turtle Park (Friendship Park), 4500 Van Ness St NW, ☎ +1 202 282-2198. Rec center: M-F 2:30PM-9PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. Turtle Park has the coolest playground in town. The centerpiece is an enormous sandbox littered with eminently climbable turtle sculptures and plastic shovels and buckets. In the summer, you can get the sand off your kids away without a trip to the bathrooms at the "sprayground." The park is fenced in and has plenty of shade, as well as four baseball fields, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, and a rec center.
- Uptown Theatre (AMC Loews Uptown), 3426 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 966-8805, . This movie theater is a historic landmark, hosting many premieres throughout its history. With few exceptions, it shows epic franchise films that can make good use of its large screen (70 ft long by 40 ft wide) and great number of seats. If there is a film playing there that appeals to you, it's worth the trip. $7-10.
The Japanese Garden at the Hillwood Estate
Friendship Heights is high-end luxury department store central. You'll find on Wisconsin Ave: TJ Maxx (5252 Wisconsin Ave NW), Loehmann's (5333), J Crew (5335), Neiman-Marcus (5300), Ann Taylor (5300,5335), Filene's Basement (5300), Brooks Brothers (5504, Chevy Chase), Bloomingdale's (5400, Chevy Chase), Saks Fifth Ave (5555, Chevy Chase), Mervis Diamond (5480, Chevy Chase), etc.
The shopping district spills across the city boundary into Friendship Village, Maryland, where you'll find:
- The Collection at Chevy Chase, 5471-5481 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, ☎ +1 301 654-2292, . A huge collection of luxury fashion retailers all on one city block, and with plenty of pay-lot parking. Jimmy Choo, Bvlgari, Dior, Tiffany & Co, Barney's New York CO-OP, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, & Cartier.
Although the focus here is on major global retailers, there are a couple non-chain stores of note:
- World Market, 5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 244-8720, . An odd large store which is a ton of fun to browse, offering all things international, from offbeat home decor, wines, teas, toys, and candies!
- Carbon, 2643 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 232-6645, . M-Sa noon-7:30PM, Su noon-5PM. One of the city's best bets for very stylish but understated shoewear (women's and men's), with a selection unusually large for a local boutique.
- Catch Can, 5516 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 686-5316, . M-W,F 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. A local women's clothing boutique specializing in natural fibers. They also have a range of other good gift buys like bath products, home decor, jewelry, etc. It's pricey, but the quality is very high.
- Full of Beans, 5502 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202-8566. M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 11AM-3PM. Upscale baby boutique with tiny clothes, toys, and accessories.
- Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 364-1919, . M-Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-8PM. This is a quite possibly the city's favorite independent bookstore, with a non-exclusive focus on politics, and frequent, excellent lectures. It is far off the beaten path, about a mile north of the Van Ness-UDC Metro Station, but it's a rewarding destination.
- Tempo Bookstore, 4905 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 363-6683, . M-Sa 10AM-7PM. This is a bookstore wholly dedicated to language resources: language learning books, software, linguistics texts, teaching tools, etc. A great place for philology nerds.
- Transcendence-Perfection-Bliss of the Beyond, 3428 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 363-4797. A toy store with a selection of unique items, and quite the wild name.
The Washington National Cathedral
- 2 Amys, 3715 Macomb St NW, ☎ +1 202 885-5700, . M 5PM-10PM, T-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A gourmet Italian restaurant with a big focus on Neapolitan style pizza. With popular food and top-notch service, the waits can be long, but make no mistake, this is D.C.'s most popular pizzeria for a reason. If the noise bothers you, request a table in the upstairs dining room. $11-18.
- Rockland's Barbeque, 2418 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 333-2558, . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Voted best BBQ in the city numerous times. Traditional pit BBQ. Offers many traditional southern sides like homemade style mac and cheese and collard greens. Also offered grilled vegetarian options. Wide selection of small production hot sauces and BBQ sauces. The signature dish is the pulled pork. $5-25.
- Steak 'n Egg, 4700 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 686-1201, . 24 hours daily. The quintessential greasy spoon (which can be hard to find in the D.C. area), serving eggs, steak, hash browns, bacon, and of course the local "delicacy" scrapple to a crowd of locals and AU students 'round the clock in a small diner. Serves by day a peaceful handful of diner patrons, by (late) night a packed, intoxicated crowd. Patio seating. $3-17.
- Vace's Pizza, 3315 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 363-1999, . M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Another contender for D.C.'s best pizza is this New York style Italian deli. The pizza is 100% authentic New York style and done well (the subs are great too. No tables or delivery—carry out only. Whole pizza or by the slice. (There's another location in Bethesda too.) $8-12.
- Cafe Olé, 4000 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 244-1330, . Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Here's a great gem in an unlikely location! Tapas are a fixture in D.C. ever since José Andrés came to town, and the Greek/Mediterranean places have taken note, calling their mezzes tapas. The focus on mezzes is welcome, though, as a large bunch of them almost always will be more satisfying than the standard, heavy Greek entrees. The brunch here is very popular, as are the panini at lunch time. $10-35.
- Indique Heights, 2 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, ☎ +1 301 656-4822, . Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, Sa-Su noon-3PM; dinner: Su-Th 5:30PM-10:30PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Indique Heights specializes in southern Indian cuisine, usually crafted into something just a little unique, and serves its customers in a really cool, attractive space (it's a great date restaurant). The cocktail lounge is also beautiful, and makes for a good date even if you aren't eating here. The bottom line is that this is the place to eat if you are in Friendship Heights. $15-35.
- Kotobuki, 4822 MacArthur Blvd NW (2nd floor above Makoto), ☎ +1 202 625-9080, . M-Th noon-2:30PM,5PM-9:30PM, F-Sa noon-2:30PM,5PM-10:30PM, Su 5PM-9:30PM. One roll of sushi costs $1.25-3, but it's actually good! There really isn't anything else you need to know, but the atmosphere, particularly for lunch, could well trick you into thinking you were in a little local dive in Osaka. $7-20.
- Lavandou, 3321 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 966-3003, . Tu-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa-M 5PM-10PM. Authentic Provençal cuisine in a very cute restaurant across the street from the Uptown Theater. $18-35.
- Murasaki, 4620 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 966-0023, . M-Th 11:30AM-2PM,5PM-10PM, F 11:30AM-2PM,5PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM. A popular sushi place both with American University students (who get a 10% discount) and the nearby Japanese Embassy. The designer rolls are great, as are the non-sushi items on the menu. The decor is pretty different from what you'd expect at a sushi place—there's nothing fashionable about it, it's just a comfortable neighborhood eatery. $15-30.
- Old Europe, 2434 Wisconsin Ave, ☎ +1 202 333-7600, . Tu-Th 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM; F-Sa 11:30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM; Su 1PM-3:30PM, 4PM-8PM. A traditional German restaurant not far from the Embassy, serving the best German food you will find in the D.C. metro area. Schnitzel is the specialty! $10-25.
- Petits Plats, 2653 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 518-0018, . Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; brunch: Sa-Su 11:30AM-4:30PM; dinner: Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. A French-American bistro in a city short on bistro cuisine is a nice find. The service is incredibly friendly, and the familiar bistro favorites are quite good, from the french onion soup to Boeuf Bourguignon, braised veal, pastas, and salads. At lunch they also offer inexpensive wood-fired pizzas from next-door Pizze. In a pretty old townhouse, it's equally amenable to a romantic dinner or a casual lunch. $15-35.
- BlackSalt, 4883 MacArthur Blvd NW, ☎ +1 202 342-9101, . Lunch/brunch: M-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, Su 11AM-2PM; dinner: M-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F 5:30PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-9PM. This is the one restaurant in the Palisades neighborhood that is truly famous throughout the city. Cuisine is New American seafood (although there are some great non-seafood entries as well). The seafood is incredibly fresh, and the dishes are inventive (like an arctic char with green mole, plantains and "citrus braised pork belly." The adjoining seafood market has some of the highest quality fish in the city. $35-60; tasting menus: $74/five course, $89/seven course.
- Et Voila!, 5120 MacArthur Blvd NW, ☎ +1 202 237-2300, . Lunch/brunch: Tu-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, Su 11AM-3PM; dinner: M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9:30PM. Washingtonians like their Belgian mussels and pomme frite, and this particular restaurant serves them well, particularly those fries. $18-32, prix fixe: $20-35.
- Makoto, 4822 MacArthur Blvd NW, ☎ +1 202 298-6866. Tu-Sa noon-2PM,6PM-10PM, Su 6PM-10PM. Makoto is an experience. It's a tiny, very classy Japanese restaurant, with a strict set of rules designed to combat the general breakdown of Western societal mores: conservative dress code (think non-casual business attire), shoes off at the door, no cell phones. The food and attentive service are outstanding, with attention to detail befitting a great Japanese restaurant. $60 ten course tasting menu.
- New Heights, 2317 Calvert St NW, ☎ +1 202 234-4110, . M-F 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM. New Heights is a great place for a night of complex, inventive American cuisine. Don't skip dessert. The bar has an excellent selection of gins, which is refreshing, given the number of establishments around the city with great menus of cocktails or whiskies. $25-50, three course prix-fixe: $35.
- Palena, 3529 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 537-9250, . Tu-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. Head chef, owner, and OCD perfectionist Frank Ruta (formerly head chef at the White House) serves New American cuisine boasting simple design and high quality ingredients. Palena is hardly the only restaurant around with such a formula, but the execution here is exceptional. If you are feeling scared away by the big price tags on the main dining room's tasting menu, visit for a night at the front cafe/bar, where Ruta has turned a routine bar menu into delightful haute cuisine. The roast chicken ($13) and hamburgers ($10) (with a bit of Kobe beef and a truffled mayonaisse) are great deals despite their modest size, and are famous in the city, as is the fries platter, which includes the ever-intriguing fried lemon wedges. And all tasting menus can be ordered a la carte from the cafe as well. $58 three courses, $67 four, $76 five; cafe menu: $15-35.
- Town Hall, 2218 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 333-5641, . Su-Th 5PM-10:30PM, F 5PM-11PM, Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 11:30AM-10:30PM; bar open Su-Th until 2AM, F-Sa until 3AM. A new arrival and something of an instant hit, this restaurant just north of Georgetown serves high-end southern cuisine, and is also a great place to relax and socialize at the bar, or privately with friends. By D.C. standards, the clientele is wildly conservative! $30-40.
The Upper Northwest is not the nightlife capital of the city, by a long stretch. It is, however, a much more friendly and comfortable option if you don't want to be surrounded by trying-too-hard, trendy twenty-somethings. Gin lovers must check out the bar at New Heights (above).
- Atomic Billiards, 3427 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 363-7665, . Su-Th 4PM-2AM, F-Sa 4PM-3AM. Cleveland Park's pool hall has weird futuristic decor, a few good microbrews on tap, and pool, shuffleboard, and darts. The pool tables are a bit expensive, and there is no kitchen if you are hungry, but it's a good option for a fun night nonetheless. Pool: $12-20/hour per table.
- Bourbon, 2348 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 625-7770, . Su-Th 5PM-1:30AM, F-Sa 5PM-2:30AM. As Brickskellars is to beer, Bourbon is to... bourbon. In most respects, Bourbon is just a nice neighborhood bar, in a nice neighborhood, but the 50+ list of fine bourbons draws crowds from all over the D.C. area.
- Breadsoda, 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 333-7445, . Kitchen: noon-11PM daily; bar: Su-Th noon-1:30AM, F-Sa noon-2:30AM. It has all you could want of a basement-level dive bar: pool, ping pong, good sandwiches, relaxed and friendly atmosphere—except it's clean and attractive. Happy hour: 4PM-7PM daily. Sandwiches: $4-6.
- Chadwicks, 5247 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 362-8040, . M-Th 11:30AM-2AM, F-Sa 11:30AM-3AM, Su 10AM-2AM. Friendship Height's is a rather parched part of town, but Chadwick's, a local area chainlet, is always a good bet for a drink in a traditional American environment. And nothing goes better with your beer than one of their great hamburgers.
- Irelands Four Fields, 3412 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 244-0860, . M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Sa 4PM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Just across the street from that other Irish Pub, Nanny O'Briens, is a Cleveland Park fixture for over thirty years. Live music F-Sa. Trivia quiz W 8:30PM.
- Nanny O'Brien's Irish Pub, 3319 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 686-9189, . Su-Th noon-2AM, F-Sa noon-3AM. Whether to go to Irelands Four Fields or to Nanny O'Brien's is a matter of taste. The former is very crowded, a little rowdy, and noisy, while this one is more laid back. But perhaps the main reason to choose O'Brien's is for the excellent beers on tap. Monday night Irish jam sessions.
- Zoo Bar, 3000 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 232-4225, . Su-Th 10AM-2AM, F-Sa 10AM-3AM. Right across the street from the Zoo, amazingly, is a great dive bar (really, there is a dive bar across from the Zoo) with live blues Th-Sa (Th is the big, open blues jam session). It really should be emphasized, given just how yuppie and touristy this part of town is, it's a real dive bar—dirty, down-to-earth, unpretentious, and very neighborhoody.
- Days Inn Connecticut Avenue, 4400 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 244-5600, . A standard chain hotel with what you would expect (cable, WiFi, etc.). Located about one block from the red line Van Ness/UDC metro, this is a pretty ideal, if boring, low-budget option for D.C. visitors. $85-100.
- Kalorama Guest House Woodley Park, 2700 Cathedral Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 328-0860, . Less than a block from the zoo, this is definitely the only hotel in the D.C. area where you can open your windows in the morning and hear monkeys howling in the distance. It's also a magnificent bargain for the location, although that low price means no amenities—the rooms don't even have phones (there's one downstairs). $90-120.
- Woodley Park Guest House, 2647 Woodley Rd NW, ☎ +1 202 667-0218 (toll free: +1 866 667-0218, [email protected]), . One of Washington D.C.'s loveliest B&B's set in a peaceful, safe & historic neighborhood. An excellent value steps to the Metro, Adam's Morgan & the National Zoo. Fodor's Choice since 2004. $145-$260.
- Embassy Suites Hotel at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW, ☎ +1 202 362-9300, . An upscale extended stay hotel in the middle of D.C.'s most upscale shopping strip, and a block away from the Friendship Heights Metro stop. $270-550.
- Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, ☎ +1 202 328-2000, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: noon. A city unto itself, this hotel covers sixteen acres. It has hosted a long list of U.S. presidents, dignitaries and other VIPs. It's a very easy walk to both the metro, the National Zoo, and the Woodley Park dining strip. Outdoor heated pool. $170-250.
- Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St NW, ☎ +1 202 234-0700, . A grand old hotel in leafy Rock Creek Park, near the National Zoo, that once was a premier destination for visiting dignitaries and celebrities, from the Beatles to Emperor Selassie. Free WiFi, resort-style outdoor heated pool, fitness center, and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel was built in 1930 and has hosted several Presidential Inaugural Balls. $170-240.
- Savoy Suites Hotel, 2505 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 337-9700, . This is an all-suites local boutique hotel, albeit a big one. Ignore the hotel's claims to be in Georgetown—it is about a mile and a half to the north, in a perfectly lovely and very safe neighborhood. Since it's up the hill, the top floor rooms facing south and east have spectacular views. $220-280.
It's not at all hard to get a free internet connection in the Upper Northwest: Politics & Prose above has free internet, as do a bunch of cafes, and of course all the public libraries.
- Epicurean and Co., 4250 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 237-7711. 6:30AM-11:30PM. A huge, bizarre Chinese buffet, ice cream parlor, sushi bar, convenience store, cafe, full bar, occasional jazz club, and all around popular lounging spot for UDC students and faculty, with free WiFi.
- Firehook Bakery, 3411 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 362-2253. M-F 6:30AM-8PM, Sa-Su 8AM-8PM. A great place to check emails, this overpriced bakery has free WiFi and a beautiful hidden courtyard & fountain in the back.
- OpenCity, 2331 Calvert St NW, ☎ +1 202 332-2331. Su-Th 6AM-midnight, F-Sa 6AM-1AM. Late night "diner" (more of a large cafe) with free WiFi, good tea, booze, and vegan friendly to boot!
- Whole Foods, 4530 40th St NW, ☎ +1 202 237-5800. M-Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 8AM-9PM. The giant Whole Foods supermarket just north of the Tenleytown/AU metro station has free WiFi on the second floor.
Free WiFi and public terminals:
- Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 282-3080. M,W,F-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Tu,Th 1PM-9PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Palisades Library, 4901 V St NW, ☎ +1 202 282-3139. M,W,F-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Tu,Th 1PM-9PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Tenley/Friendship Library, 4200 Wisconsin Ave NW, ☎ +1 202 244-3212. M,W 1PM-9PM, Tu-W,Th-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
Aside from the obvious neighbors to the south, Georgetown and Adams Morgan, Bethesda up Wisconsin Ave (and on the Metro's Red Line) across the Maryland border has a vibrant dining scene, and more nightlife than the whole Upper Northwest put together.
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