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Guide to

Downtown / Penn Quarter / Chinatown

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What it's like

Museums, theaters and galleries share the streets with bustling restaurants, lounges and hotels. Downtown is full of must-see sights like the International Spy Museum, Newseum, Madame Tussauds Washington D.C., the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Crime Museum and Ford’s Theatre. Framed by the iconic, colorful Friendship Arch, DC’s Chinatown is the place to go for Chinese food and great shopping. Nearby you'll also find the Verizon Center, which hosts college and professional sports action and star-studded concerts year-round, and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Museums, theaters and galleries share the streets with bustling restaurants, lounges and hotels. Downtown is full of must-see sights like the International Spy Museum, Newseum, Madame Tussauds Washington D.C., the National Museum of Women in the...
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Where to find it

Downtown DC covers the area between the National Mall, White House, U.S. Capitol and Massachusetts Avenue. Chinatown runs along H Street NW as well as around cross streets, including 7th Street NW. The Penn Quarter overlaps Chinatown in some areas and stretches from Pennsylvania Avenue north to H Street between 5th and 10th Streets NW.

Downtown DC covers the area between the National Mall, White House, U.S. Capitol and Massachusetts Avenue. Chinatown runs along H Street NW as well as around cross streets, including 7th Street NW. The Penn Quarter overlaps Chinatown in some areas...
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What to do

By day, view a complete collection of presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and watch art preservationists at work in the Lunder Conservation Center. Or, try your hand at espionage in Operation Spy, an interactive experience at the International Spy Museum. Catch a midday production or lecture at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Center for the Arts.

By night, see what's doing at the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards and Capitals. The sports venue also includes the Regal Cinemas Gallery Place Stadium 14 Movie Theater; Lucky Strike Bowling; and restaurants, bars and shops. Walk along 7th Street or along F Street and enter a sea of dining and nightlife options. Celebrity chef José Andrés also has five nearby restaurants, all which will leave a good taste in your mouth.

By day, view a complete collection of presidential portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and watch art preservationists at work in the Lunder Conservation Center. Or, try your hand at espionage in Operation Spy, an interactive experience at...
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What's in a name
Downtown DC has come to signify urban revitalization and the rise of new districts like Penn Quarter, a dining and entertainment hotspot named for its proximity to Pennsylvania Avenue. In Chinatown, you'll notice the storefronts have their names...

Downtown DC has come to signify urban revitalization and the rise of new districts like Penn Quarter, a dining and entertainment hotspot named for its proximity to Pennsylvania Avenue. In Chinatown, you'll notice the storefronts have their names spelled out in Chinese characters, a requirement to do business in the neighbhorhood. Meanwhile, the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site will take you back to 1865 as the cobblestone street and building's facade are reminiscent of the past.

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How to get there
Take Metro to Gallery Pl-Chinatown, Metro Center, Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter or hop on the Georgetown–Union Station Circulator route or various Metrobuses, which runs through Downtown.

Take Metro to Gallery Pl-Chinatown, Metro Center, Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter or hop on the Georgetown–Union Station Circulator route or various Metrobuses, which runs through Downtown.

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DC Details
A crossroads of culture and entertainment, Downtown has served as the backdrop of pivotal moments in the history of the city and the U.S. Experience a picture-postcard moment in front of The White House at Lafayette Square.

A crossroads of culture and entertainment, Downtown has served as the backdrop of pivotal moments in the history of the city and the U.S. Experience a picture-postcard moment in front of The White House at Lafayette Square.

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