Downtown

  • Sophisticated
  • Busy
  • Historic
  • Walkable
  • Fashionable

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Downtown DC is considered the center of the nation’s capital because of its close proximity to popular attractions, a wide range of cultural experiences, national retail chains and noteworthy dining options.

DC’s cosmopolitan downtown neighborhood offers a mix of in-demand restaurant options, high-end shopping and plenty of must-see museums. The city’s most famous address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is nestled on the border of downtown DC, giving this chic neighborhood an air of importance and sophistication.

Downtown is a bustling center for business, dining, shopping and nightlife. Every day and night of the week, locals and visitors alike fill the neighborhood’s popular restaurants, shop the luxe labels at the new retail destination, CityCenterDC, and explore some of the city’s most famous museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. The walkable neighborhood is adjacent to popular Penn Quarter and most locals consider the two areas some of the best bets for meeting up with friends for happy hour or dinner.

City Center

Fashionistas will find themselves in retails heaven at CityCenterDC. The brand new retail destination lets you create a movie montage shopping spree fantasy with label after label—including Christian Dior, Gucci, Boss and Hermès – lining the airy avenues.

For foodies looking for a special night out, restaurants like Plume, Decanter and Zentan offer decadent dishes and distinguished wine lists. Post-dinner, locals love to sip cocktails at POV in the W Hotel. The year-round rooftop lounge boasts the best view in town of The White House. If it's brunch you fancy, head to Georgia Brown's for a Sunday jazz brunch that won't disappoint (there's a reason they were named one of Open Table's 100 best brunch restaurants).

For culture vultures, start with a selfie in front of The White House before heading to check out the east and west wings of The National Gallery of Art, which houses one of the most expansive and impressive collections of art in the world.

Locals Love

Brushing elbows with politicos at Off the Record bar, Old Ebbitt Grill's two-a-day oyster happy hours, food trucks on weekdays outside Macy's, McPherson Square or Farragut Square.

Getting There

There are several Metro stops that will put you in the heart of downtown, including McPherson Square, Farragut North and Farragut West (all Orange and Blue line). The DC Circulator’s Georgetown-Union Station route has several downtown stops along Pennsylvania Avenue. In the warmer months, Capital Bikeshare is also a great option for zipping around and between downtown and Penn Quarter.