Your Trip to Washington, D.C.: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Public Transportation 48-Hour Itinerary Weekend Getaways The Best D.C. Tours Top Things to Do Free Things to Do Things to Do With Kids Where to Ski Near D.C. Beaches Near D.C. Camping Near D.C. Best Parks Top Museums Theater Guide Live Music Annual Events Best Restaurants Top Bars Nightlife Guide Best Time to Visit Weather & Climate Washington, D.C. Airports Best Hotels Neighborhoods to Know Your Trip to Washington, D.C.: The Complete Guide close Overview United States Washington, D.C. Get to Know Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods Written by Rachel Cooper Facebook Twitter Linkedin Rachel Cooper is a travel writer who has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 25 years. She is also the author of several books covering the capital and mid-Atlantic regions. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Rachel Cooper Updated 06/26/19 Share Pin Email aimintang/Getty Images The Washington, D.C. area has a wide diversity of neighborhoods - from urban communities bustling with activity to family-friendly suburban communities to quiet rural areas with lots of green space. This guide to the neighborhoods of the Washington, D.C. Capital Region provides information about demographics, public transportation, major attractions, annual events, community resources and much more. Washington, D.C. is not only the home to the federal government, but is also a vibrant city where people live, work and play. The city is known for its monuments and museums, national landmarks, cultural events, musical and theatrical entertainment and sporting events. The District of Columbia has a population of more than 600,000 however, with the surrounding suburbs the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 5.3 million making it the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Read more to learn about each of the largest and most popular neighborhoods in the capital region. 01 of 16 Capitol Hill: A Washington, D.C. Neighborhood Stefan Zaklin / Getty Images The neighborhood surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building is the largest residential historic district in Washington, D.C. with many 19th and 20th century row houses that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Capitol Hill is the most prestigious address in Washington, D.C. and the political center of the nation’s capitol. More Information Where is Capitol Hill? Capitol Hill Neighborhood Profile Exploring the National Mall Capitol Hill Photos 02 of 16 Georgetown: A Washington, D.C. Neighborhood TripSavvy / Victoria Chamberlain Georgetown served as a major port and commercial center during colonial times because of its prime location on the Potomac River. The neighborhood of restored row houses is a popular tourist destination because of its upscale shops, bars and restaurants. Georgetown University is located on the western edge of the neighborhood. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal begins in Georgetown and runs 184 miles to Cumberland, Maryland. More Information Georgetown Neighborhood Profile Top 10 Things to Do in Georgetown Georgetown Map Georgetown Photo Gallery 03 of 16 Dupont Circle / Embassy Row: Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods John Lovette/Getty Images This cosmopolitan neighborhood boasts some of Washington, D.C.'s finest museums, historic homes and foreign embassies as well as a variety of ethnic restaurants, bookstores, and private art galleries. It is also one of the most popular destinations for nightlife and the center of gay life in Washington, D.C. More Information Dupont Circle Neighborhood Profile Embassy Row Dupont Circle Map Dupont Circle Photo Gallery 04 of 16 Adams Morgan / U Street: Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods 12019 / Pixabay Adams Morgan is the center of Washington, D.C.'s liveliest nightlife and is popular with young professionals. The neighborhood has a wide variety of restaurants, nightclubs, coffee houses, bars, bookstores, art galleries and unique specialty shops. The nearby U Street Corridor is home to some of the city’s best nightclubs and theaters and is rapidly changing into an arts and entertainment district. More Information Adams Morgan Neighborhood Profile Adams Morgan Photo Gallery 6 Things to Do in the U Street Corridor Continue to 5 of 16 below. 05 of 16 Penn Quarter / Chinatown: Washington DC Neighborhoods Jeff Mcdougal / EyeEm / Getty Images In recent years, the neighborhood just north of Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, D.C. has been revitalized with world class museums, trendy restaurants, upscale hotels and nightclubs, contemporary art galleries and theaters. More Information Penn Quarter Neighborhood Profile Chinatown Capital One Arena Penn Quarter Map Penn Quarter Photo Gallery Gallery Place 06 of 16 Anacostia / Southwest Washington, D.C. Neighborhoods G Flume / Getty Images The neighborhoods along the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers are undergoing a massive transformation and are among DC’s fastest-growing areas of employment, entertainment and residential development. Construction of Nationals Park, the new baseball stadium, began the revitalization of a long neglected part of the city. The Southwest Waterfront with its prime location along the Potomac River is currently being transformed into a vibrant world class urban community. Look for these areas to continue to change a great deal in the coming years. More Information Anacostia Waterfront Southwest Waterfront The Wharf: Developing the DC Waterfront 07 of 16 Rockville / Bethesda / Chevy Chase: Maryland Neighborhoods Davel5957 / Getty Images Because of their close proximity to the nation’s capital, these neighborhoods in Montgomery County, Maryland are among the most affluent and highly educated in the country. Bethesda is home to important institutions including the National Institutes of Health, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division and the National Naval Medical Center. Rockville is the county seat and the second largest city in Maryland. Chevy Chase is primarily a residential suburb of Washington, D.C. More Information 10 Things to Do in Bethesda, MD Rockville Neighborhood Profile Bethesda Neighborhood Profile White Flint Development - Rockville Pike 08 of 16 National Harbor: A Maryland Neighborhood Courtesy of National Harbor The 300-acre waterfront community opened in the spring of 2008. Set along a prime spot on the Potomac River, National Harbor, includes hotels, restaurants, retail stores, condominiums, a full-service marina, a convention center, and commercial office space. Major attractions include an outlet shopping mall, a giant Ferris wheel and a Vegas-style casino. More Information National Harbor Waterfront Development National Harbor Map Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center MGM Casino at National Harbor National Harbor's Capital Observation Ferris Wheel Top 9 Things to Do at National Harbor Continue to 9 of 16 below. 09 of 16 Gaithersburg / Germantown: Maryland Neighborhoods Steve Lathrop / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0 Gaithersburg is a diverse community located in the center of Montgomery County, Maryland. It is the third largest incorporated city in the state of Maryland. It is comprised of a historic Old Town, multiple new urban communities, and many suburban subdivisions. Nearby, Germantown has experienced great growth since the 1980s, both in residential and commercial development. More Information Gaithersburg Neighborhood Profile Germantown Neighborhood Profile 10 of 16 Silver Spring / Kensington / Takoma Park: Maryland Neighborhoods Brian Keith Lorraine / Getty Images This part of Montgomery County, Maryland is just north of Washington, D.C. and has good access to I-495. The communities are residential with lots of shopping, restaurants and other amenities. More Information Silver Spring Neighborhood Profile West Howard Antique and Design District 11 of 16 College Park: Maryland Neighborhood Daniel Borman / Flickr As home to the main campus of the University of Maryland and with the close proximity to the Capital Beltway, I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, this area is among the busiest of Prince George's County, Maryland. Within the area there are a diverse variety of neighborhoods, each with their own character. Get to Know College Park, Maryland University of Maryland Photos 12 of 16 Alexandria: A Virginia Neighborhood Coyle/Getty Images Alexandria, Virginia is an independent city located along the Potomac River, six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C. The historic center of Alexandria, known as Old Town, is the third oldest historic district in the United States. The charming neighborhood contains more than 4,200 historic buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, including homes, churches, museums, shops, small businesses and restaurants. Top 10 Things to Do in Alexandria, VA Alexandria Neighborhood Profile Walking Tour of Old Town Alexandria Alexandria Map Continue to 13 of 16 below. 13 of 16 Fairfax: A Virginia Neighborhood Rachel Cooper The City of Fairfax is an independent city and the county seat of Fairfax County located in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. During the Colonial and Revolutionary periods, Historic Fairfax was frequented by George Washington, George Mason, and William Fairfax. Today, the region is known for its high ranking schools, a stable economy, a highly educated population and a good quality of life. 10 Things to Do in Fairfax 14 of 16 Arlington / Rosslyn / Crystal City: Virginia Neighborhoods Arlington County / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 Arlington, the county seat of Arlington County, Virginia, has been named (in a study by BizJournals) as the wealthiest and most highly educated community in the country. Although best known to visitors as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington is a residential community and an employment center. Rosslyn and Crystal City are urban communities just across the Potomac River from Downtown Washington, D.C. More Information Arlington Neighborhood Profile Rosslyn Neighborhood Profile Crystal City Neighborhood Profile Arlington National Cemetery Washington National Airport Top 10 Things to Do in Arlington, Virginia 15 of 16 McLean / Tysons Corner Courtesy of Visit Fairfax This part of Fairfax County, Virginia is located right off of I-495 with good access to Downtown Washington, D.C. A 40 development plans is underway to transform this part of Northern Virginia into a walkable downtown. Tysons Corner Center and the Tysons Galleria, the largest shopping malls in the Washington metropolitan area draw visitors from around the region. The area offers a variety of sports and recreational facilities, including major parks, recreation centers, and golf courses. McLean and Tysons Corner Neighborhood Profile Tysons Development Plans Great Falls Park Wolf Trap National Park Metro Silver Line 16 of 16 Reston / Centreville / Chantilly: Virginia Neighborhoods Skyhobo/Getty Images These Northern Virginia neighborhoods are located in the heart of the rapidly growing technology corridor near Dulles International Airport. Planned communities were built with a variety of restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers. Dulles International Airport Udvar Hazy Center (National Air & Space Museum) Top 12 Things to Do Near Reston Getting Around D.C. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit A Guide to Transportation in Washington, D.C. Seneca Creek State Park: The Complete Guide The 7 Best Washington, D.C., Hotels of 2021 Fun Free Things to Do in Washington, DC Learn About the Urban Development in Washington, D.C. 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