1. Local

Neighborhoods of the Washington, DC Capital Region

By

The Washington, DC 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 DC Capital Region provides information about demographics, public transportation, major attractions, annual events, community resources and much more.
  1. Get to Know the DC Capital Region
  2. Capitol Hill
  3. Georgetown
  4. Dupont Circle / Embassy Row
  5. Adams Morgan / U Street
  6. Penn Quarter / Chinatown
  7. Anacostia / Southwest
  8. Rockville / Bethesda / Chevy Chase
  9. Gaithersburg / Germantown
  10. Silver Spring / Kensington / Takoma Park
  1. National Harbor
  2. College Park / Greenbelt / Laurel
  3. Alexandria
  4. Fairfax
  5. Arlington / Rosslyn / Crystal City
  6. McLean / Tysons Corner
  7. Reston / Centreville / Chantilly
  8. More DC Neighborhoods
  9. More Maryland Neighborhoods
  10. More Virginia Neighborhoods

Get to Know the DC Capital Region

Washington, DC 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 about 599,000 however, with the surrounding suburbs the metropolitan area has a population of more than 5.3 million making it the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country.

Capitol Hill

The neighborhood surrounding the U.S. Capitol Building is the largest residential historic district in Washington, DC 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, DC and the political center of the nation’s capitol.

Georgetown

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.

Dupont Circle / Embassy Row

This cosmopolitan neighborhood boasts some of Washington, DC'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, DC.

Adams Morgan / U Street

Adams Morgan is the center of Washington DC'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.

Penn Quarter / Chinatown

Over the past decade (since the building of the Verizon Center) the neighborhood just north of Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, DC has been revitalized with world class museums, trendy restaurants, upscale hotels and nightclubs, contemporary art galleries and theaters.

Anacostia / Southwest

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, has begun the revitalization of a long neglected part of the city. The Southwest Waterfront, home of the Gangplank and Washington Marinas, with its prime location along the Potomac River, also offers an ideal setting to be transformed into a vibrant world class urban community. Look for these areas to change a great deal in the coming years.

Rockville / Bethesda / Chevy Chase

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, DC.

Gaithersburg / Germantown

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.

Silver Spring / Kensington / Takoma Park

This part of Montgomery County, Maryland is just north of Washington, DC and has good access to I-495. The communities are residential with lots of shopping, restaurants and other amenities.

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. Additional development is expected to expand the community in the coming years.

College Park / Greenbelt / Laurel

The close proximity to the Capital Beltway, I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway makes these areas among the busiest of Prince George's County, Maryland. Within the communities there are a diverse variety of neighborhoods, each with their own character.

Alexandria

Alexandria, Virginia is an independent city located along the Potomac River, six miles south of downtown Washington, DC. 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.

Fairfax

The City of Fairfax is an independent city and the county seat of Fairfax County located in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. 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.

Arlington / Rosslyn / Crystal City

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, DC.

McLean / Tysons Corner

This part of Fairfax County, Virginia is located right off of I-495 with good access to Downtown Washington, DC. 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.

Reston / Centreville / Chantilly

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.

More DC Neighborhoods

Find information about additional Washington, DC neighborhoods including major attractions, photos, sightseeing tips, annual events, and community resources.

More Maryland Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods of Maryland that surround Washington, DC offer a variety of lifestyle choices and recreation opportunities. The suburbs include urban communities, small towns and quiet rural areas. Read more about Maryland neighborhoods in the Washington DC area.

More Virginia Neighborhoods

Read more about Virginia neighborhoods and find information about major attractions, annual events, community resources and more.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.