Washington D.C.’s Georgetown

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The U.S. Capitol building on a clear day.

Capital Action

Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown is a neighborhood in motion.

A bird's-eye view of this charming D.C. neighborhood.
Stroll through Georgetown's historical district of preserved mansions.

By Larry Olmsted

Experience urban escapism in a village within the city. Home to the capital’s best restaurants and shopping, Georgetown is bounded by water, including the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, popular for outdoor recreation. Automated bike dispensers and the Georgetown Waterfront Park are the newest additions to a neighborhood that loves being outside.

Il Canale
(1063 31st Street NW), overlooking the canal with sidewalk seating and a rooftop terrace, imports a taste of Naples via brick-oven pizzas certified by Italy’s food police, the Verace Pizza Napoletana association. Patrons love decades-old icon Bistro Français (3124 M Street NW) for its steak tartare and Parisian flair. Celebratory diners can book a table (well in advance) at Citronelle, the flagship of D.C. superstar chef Michel Richard (3000 M Street NW). Courses from its Promenade Gourmande menu depart the exhibition kitchen with (or without) paired wines.

Clyde’s of Georgetown
(3236 M Street NW), J.Paul’s (3218 M Street NW), and The Tombs (1226 36th Street NW) are classic upscale collegiate pubs. Access the latter via the famous Exorcist stairs from the 1973 horror classic, filmed and set here. Low-profile revelers gravitate to the bar in Morton’s The Steakhouse (3251 Prospect Street NW).

With its easy access to parks, water, and biking and running trails, Georgetown attracts active retailers: The Running Company, The Walking Company, City Sports, Revolution Cycles, and Bicycle Pro Shop are spread among five blocks along M Street. Most retail therapy is within a ten-minute walk, including high-end dress shop Hu’s Wear on one side of M and Hu’s Shoes on the other. The two blocks of M Street west of the Rock Creek bridge feature high-end antiques. 

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, September 2012.

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