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Best Neighborhoods in Washington DC + Where to Live

You're trying to figure out where to live — let's help you figure out the best neighborhoods in Washington DC for you.

If you're looking for a weird (mostly useless) "Where should you live in Washington DC?" quiz that asks you what your favorite meal is and then gives you a neighborhood recommendation, then you're in the wrong place!

This article is designed to give you the information and resources you need to determine which neighborhoods might be a good fit for your move to DC.

Also keep in mind that this is the city with the most gentrification happening outside of Portland in the entire nation. That means the neighborhoods of Washington, DC, are rapidly changing, sometimes becoming much more expensive or wholly redeveloping in the span of a few years. Our local experts keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening in the city.

We hope you'll find this neighborhood guide useful for identifying which areas would be the best Washington, DC, neighborhoods to live in!

best neighborhoods in washington dc

Source: YouTube

Georgetown

best neighborhoods in washington dc

The area around the university is considered to be one of the nicest parts of the city. Unfortunately, Georgetown also features some of the most expensive average rent prices, costing $2,600 per month in 2015.

Want to get a feel for Georgetown? Check out this great article from Destination DC on 16 Things to See & Do in Georgetown!

Here's the Georgetown neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Georgetown neighborhood. Feel free to "walk" around!

Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights

If you want the calm glamour of suburbia within the city, this moderately expensive neighborhood is perfect for you. Besides the Palisades, these two areas are considered to be a couple of the best neighborhoods in Washington DC for families.

Here's the Chevy Chase neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Chevy Chase neighborhood.

H Street Corridor

best neighborhoods in washington dc

Rated one of the "hippest" neighborhoods by Lonely Planet.

"H" stands for "hipsters" in Washington, DC. Neighborhoods guide the feel of the whole city sometimes, and if this fast-changing area is a litmus test for the rest of the region, then one should expect the whole of the capital to be overrun with bars, coffee shops, and hot foodie spots.

Want to explore the H Street neighborhood? Check out Airbnb's neighborhood guide!

Here's the H Street Corridor neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the H Street Corridor neighborhood.

Columbia Heights/14th Street

best neighborhoods in washington dc

This may be considered to be a mid- or post-gentrification area; where H Street has hipsters, Columbia Heights has "yuppies." That being said, it's full of ethnic restaurants and shops along with the big retailers. With plenty of metro stops and a low average age of just above 30, this is a favorite choice for young renting singles and professionals.

Want to get a feel for Columbia Heights? Check out this great article from Destination DC on 8 Things to See & Do in Columbia Heights!

Here's the Columbia Heights neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Columbia Heights neighborhood.

Capitol Hill

best neighborhoods in washington dc

Famous for its period row houses, this historic area boasts a calm atmosphere.

Want to explore Capitol Hill? Check out Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!

Here's the Capitol Hill neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Dupont Circle

best neighborhoods in washington dc

This may be the most sought-after area of the capital. So much of the city's culture is packed in and around the circle, which is littered with different types of architecture and businesses. The energy here is electric; it feels much more like the city's central hub.

Here's the Dupont Circle neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Dupont Circle neighborhood.

West End

This older part of Washington, DC has gotten a few updates, with new luxury condos popping up recently. And when we say "luxury", we mean it! New properties offer many high-end amenities; think roof-top pools and high-end suites.

Here's the West End neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the West End neighborhood.

Logan Circle

best neighborhoods in washington dc

Mix modern style with old manners and you'll get the fashionable tastes of Logan Circle.

Want to explore Logan Circle? Check out Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!

Here's the Logan Circle neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Logan Circle neighborhood.

Adams Morgan

best neighborhoods in washington dc

This very small, very culturally diverse area is full of fun to be had. Adams-Morgan features an active nightlife, plenty of fusion restaurants, and fun things to do after dark.

Want to explore Adams Morgan? Check out this fantastic guide from Airbnb!

Here's the Adams Morgan neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

Arts District/U Street/Shaw

best neighborhoods in washington dc

Here, you'll find that the places and people are quintessentially cool. Within Shaw is the U Street Corridor, which is a buzzing nightlife area with a fascinating history. Called "Black Broadway" in the 1920s, riots later broke down this area. It reemerged in the 1990s as the jazzy center of style.

Want to explore U Street? You can thanks to Airbnb!

Here's the U Street neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the U Street neighborhood.

 

Downtown/Penn Quarter/Chinatown

best neighborhoods in washington dc

This is the central business district of the city.

Want to explore Downtown/Penn Quarter? Look no further than Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!

Here's the Downtown/Penn Quarter neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Downtown/Penn Quarter neighborhood.

North Massachusetts Avenue (NoMa)

best neighborhoods in washington dc

NoMa is an artistic, fun, walkable area that was once riddled with crime. After being revitalized in the 1990s, NoMa continues to invest in attracting smart people to the area.

Want to see more of NoMa? Destination has you covered with 7 Things to Do & See in NoMa!

Here's the NoMa neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the NoMa neighborhood.

Cleveland Park

best neighborhoods in washington dc

A residential neighborhood, this is a better area for older families, retirees, and young people looking for a calmer area to live in.

Here's the Cleveland Park neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Cleveland Park neighborhood.

Foggy Bottom

best neighborhoods in washington dc

This area is perfect for those who want to live both on the water and close to work. It is packed with government offices and major organizations, making the commute for those employees a breeze.

Here's the Foggy Bottom neighborhood on the map.

And here's a street-level view of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Heads up! There are plans to make Ivy City the next big thing.

Definitely a great neighborhood to consider and keep your eye on!

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