Georgetown

Where to shop, gallery hop, grab a bite and explore

Georgetown may be DC’s most historic neighborhood, but it’s also one of its most versatile. Consider: You can browse the racks and showrooms of prominent international shops, dig in to acclaimed international eats, dance your heart out on any given night and even find that killer #dccoolsunset pic for your Instagram.


(Source: Sam Kittner, courtesy of Georgetown BID)

The best ways to get there are to take the Georgetown-Union Station or Dupont Circle-Georgetown-Rosslyn DC Circulator bus routes, walking 10 minutes from the Foggy Bottom Metro or by taxi or Uber.

5 Things to Do By Day


(Source: Sam Kittner, courtesy of Georgetown BID)

1. Shopping (Check out our DC shopping guide for specifics)
Antiques, boutiques, big box stores, small indie shops – Georgetown has it all. In fact, more than 470 merchants are scattered throughout the 1.2-square-mile radius. You could spend an entire day on M Street, hunting for style-setting fashions from a boutique like Hu’s Wear or a respected retailer like J.Crew and Nike. Just south of M Street, between 33rd and 34th Streets NW, you’ll stumble upon Cady’s Alley, DC’s design district. Encounter more specialty shops, restaurants and galleries as you climb Wisconsin Avenue north toward Book Hill, a charm-filled microneighborhood whose eponymous park offers sweeping views of Georgetown.


(Source: Sam Kittner, courtesy of Georgetown BID)

2. Gallery Hop
Art galleries line Wisconsin Avenue in the charming Book Hill enclave, forming the Georgetown Galleries association. Artist’s Proof exhibits work from international emerging artists. Find European oil paintings dating back to the 1700s (and much more) at Susan Calloway Fine Arts. Located in the same building, Neptune Fine Art and Robert Brown Gallery each carry an impressive inventory from popular artists. Also be on the lookout for more galleries peppered throughout Georgetown, like DTR Modern.


(Source: Sam Kittner, courtesy of Georgetown BID)

3. Brunch spots/cafes/quick bites
If you want to grab a bite on the go, lounge on a sunny patio or fuel up on coffee ahead of a busy day, Georgetown has the full range of options. A popular morning stop for coffee and pastries is Baked & Wired, as well as Dog Tag Bakery, which employs disabled veterans. Savor a filling breakfast or lunch at respected restaurants like Leopold’s Kafe, Sequoia, Seasons and Pizzeria Paradiso. Meanwhile, quick options range from seasonal salads at Sweetgreen (founded by three Georgetown University grads), to authentic tacos from El Centro D.F. and seasonal taco takes at Chaia, opening in September.


(Source: facebook.com/KeyBridgeBoathouse)

4. Adventure
Established first as a bustling port city, Georgetown’s on-the-water status offers its own set of thrills. Board a Potomac Riverboat Cruise and take in sweeping views of the city or make a date with the Key Bridge Boathouse for a stand-up paddleboard yoga sesh or kayaking. Landlubbers can rent two wheels from Big Wheel Bikes and cruise around the neighborhood. You can also take to Pinstripes for bocce and bowling.


(Source: Tudor Place by Ron Blunt Photography)

5. Sights to See
Admire Georgetown’s early days and Federal-period architecture at estates like the Tudor Place and Dumbarton House. History buffs should also consider a self-guided Kennedy Homes Walking Tour (with 10 stops!). For picturesque views, walk along the C&O Canal, whose towpath serves as one of the city’s most popular bike trails.

5 Things to Do By Night


(Source: Sam Kittner, courtesy of Georgetown BID)

1. Sunset Sweet Spots
Find a seat at Georgetown Waterfront Park, where you’ll be spoiled with impressive views of Theodore Roosevelt Island, the Kennedy Center and the Key Bridge set against a setting sun. Another popular hub around dusk is The Washington Harbour, where seats are hard to come by at patio hot spots like Nick’s Riverside Grill, Farmers Fishers Bakers, Orange Anchor, Mama Rouge and Fiola Mare.


(Source: facebook.com/georgetowncupcake)

2. Sweet Treats
Stave off a midnight snack attack with G-town’s many purveyors who cater to one’s sweet tooth. After perfecting his craft for a decade in a macaronerie in France, Claude Michel opened up Olivia Macaron on M Street (open until 9 p.m. on weekends). Venture into the original Georgetown Cupcake for the decadent Chocolate2 and a chance encounter with a TLC TV show celebrity. Cuddles are on the menu (along with cookies and milkshakes) at DC’s first cat cafe (open until 10 p.m.). Fro-yo at Pinkberry (closes at 11 p.m. on weekends) and expertly crafted ice cream from Thomas Sweet (closes at midnight) round out the evening offerings.


(Source: facebook.com/bluesalley)

3. Live Music and Dancing
Part of the reason DC’s jazz scene has endured is thanks to nightclubs like Blue’s Alley, just off M Street. Add in more musical genres with a trip to Gypsy Sally’s, which hosts bluegrass, rock, folk and country music acts. Weekends at Malmaison usually involve a raucous, deejay-powered dance party. Check The Washington Harbour’s events, which include free Wednesday concerts on the plaza running through September.


(Source: facebook.com/CapellaWashingtonDC.Georgetown)

4. Drinks
If you come to Georgetown thirsty, you’re in luck. Oenophiles can’t say enough about ENO Wine Bar, where local Virginia varietals go toe to toe with French, Italian and Californian grapes. For an outdoor cocktail vibe, lively Tony and Joe’s goes strong until 1:30 a.m. For a quieter nightcap, consider the renowned barrel-aged manhattan at The Rye Bar at Capella (closes at midnight) or something from Bourbon Steak’s award-winning cocktail program (closes at 1 a.m. on weekends).


(Source: facebook.com/Filomena8800)

5. Crave-Worthy Eats
The dining landscape in Georgetown brims with top toques and up-and-comers. One of the most renowned spots is 1789, an upscale, New American eatery set in a Federalist house (men, jacket required). For a modern French dining experience in a more casual atmosphere, visit Chez Billy Sud. Famed for its house-made pastas, Filomena Ristorante offers a window into your soul-satisfying food dreams – literally, you’ll see from the street a cute Italian nonna in the front window hand rolling gnocchi, ravioli and other pastas. Neapolitan-style pizza at Il Canale and to-die-for crab cakes from Clyde’s of Georgetown are also must-orders.

Looking for even more? Check it out at GeorgetownDC.com.

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