Where To Stay In Washington DC: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
Washington DC covers a land area of over 60 square miles and has eight wards containing somewhere in the region of 130 neighborhoods. That doesn't make it easy to choose where to stay in Washington DC when you're heading there for a visit.
Deciding which neighborhood in Washington DC suits you best doesn't have to be like pinning the tail on the donkey. Read through this definitive guide to the best neighborhoods in the nation's capital and you won't need to make a random choice that could ruin your whole vacation. Instead, you'll be able to make an informed choice about where to stay in Washington DC, get to know what attractions, landmarks, and free museums are close by, and avoid the areas that will make your credit card cringe.
Regardless of where you stay when you're in Washington DC, there are moments, before you check-in or when you've checked out of your accommodation, that you'll be stuck with your baggage. One way to not let that spoil the time you have is to store your stuff in one of the Bounce luggage storage facilities in Washington DC.
You'll find Bounce luggage lockers in convenient locations throughout the city. The low-priced lockers are security tagged and insured so you can leave your belongings and go off with peace of mind to enjoy some of the major attractions or treat yourself to the best brunch in Washington DC.
Where To Stay In Washington DC
Downtown Washington DC
If you're worried about getting around in Washington DC you won't need to if you stay in Downtown. In Downtown Washington DC you'll have all the major attractions on your hotel doorstep or within a short walk, so you won't have to spend time riding public transport.
Downtown Washington DC is bordered to the south by Lafayette Square so within a stone's throw of the White House. The National Mall with all its free Smithsonian museums like theNational Gallery of Art and the National Air and Space Museum plus the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building are all within a reasonable walking distance. The Washington Convention Center is also in this area so Downtown is an ideal place to stay in Washington DC if you're attending an event there.
Hotels In Downtown DC
Some of the best luxury hotels in the city are in Downtown DC. The majority are large chain hotels belonging to companies like AC Hotels, the Hilton Group, and Marriot so they have all the amenities you could hope for including indoor pools and in-house spas. Consider the fact that just sometimes it's worth paying a little more for a luxury hotel that's in a convenient location. It can save you time and money in the long run.
The Penn Quarter partly borders Downtown DC and the National Mall so it's central and very convenient, especially if you want to catch a game or concert at the Capital One Arena. It's also within easy walking distance of the White House Visitor Center. But, all this convenience has a price, and the accommodation gets pricey.
The Penn Quarter is home to many of the city's main tourist attractions so if the National Portrait Gallery, the American Art Museum, the United States Navy Memorial, and Ford's Theatre are on your list of must-sees you won't have far to go to find them.
Hotels In The Penn Quarter
Most of the best hotels in the Penn Quarter are four stars plus so staying in this district doesn't come cheap. There are a few hotels with a lower star rating but because of their location, they're not far from being in the same price range. If you can afford to splash out on a deluxe hotel with a fitness center, free wi-fi, an on-site restaurant, and a rooftop bar then the Penn Quarter is where to stay in Washington DC.
Dupont Circle is a cosmopolitan neighborhood that borders Downtown DC to the west so it's a little further away from the major attractions. They're still easily accessible from Dupont Circle though as you can catch the metro into the city center at the Dupont Circle Station.
Dupont Circle is renowned for its gay-friendly atmosphere, its LGBTQ community, and its gay-owned bars and restaurants. Dupont Circle is where you'll find The Phillips Collection of modern art, but it's the Dupont Circle nightlife that most people go there for. The Eighteenth Street Lounge is a particular favorite. If you're not overly into the gay scene, you might want to skip staying in the Dupont Circle area.
Hotels In Dupont Circle
There's a good selection of luxury and mid-range hotels in the Dupont Circle neighborhood so finding one to suit your vacation budget shouldn't be too arduous. The lowest prices you're likely to find for accommodation in Dupont Circle will be around $100 a night. If you want budget accommodation less than that, the best place to look is in the neighboring district of Kalorama.
If you're happy to stay a little further away from Washington DC's main attractions, you may find Georgetown to be a good choice of where to stay in Washington DC especially if you're traveling with children.
Georgetown is a DC neighborhood that borders the Potomac River to the north of Theodore Roosevelt Island. It has some very family-friendly public green spaces like the Georgetown Waterfront Park and the Foundry Branch Valley Park where you can spend time with the kids.
If you'd like to stay in Washington DC somewhere that has a bit of a historic atmosphere, you'll love the cobbled streets, the section of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal that runs through the district, and the fact that Georgetown existed well before the rest of the capital city.
Georgetown was also home to the iconic Kennedy couple and has the oldest jazz club in the country, but before you get all excited and think, yes, Georgetown is for me, take the next fact into consideration. Georgetown University is also located here and that's a university with over 40,000 students so this district of Washington DC has a decidedly young vibe.
Hotels In Georgetown
Hotels in Georgetown are always in high demand simply because of the nature of the district. Visitors to Georgetown University flood in and out of the area faster than the Potomac River flows downstream. While some five-star hotels in Georgetown charge well over $1,000 a night, you can still, if you search hard enough, find a decent four-star with all the amenities for just over $100.
While the name of this Washington DC district, Foggy Bottom, doesn't in itself sound overly appealing, it would be a mistake to overlook it. Foggy Bottom didn't get its name out of the blue so expect to see some early morning mist on occasion. Does Foggy Bottom have more than fog to offer? It certainly does.
Foggy Bottom is bordered by Downtown DC, the National Mall, Georgetown, and the Potomac River so it's the ideal location to pick if you want to be close to the main sights. The Kennedy Center, the base for the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera, is also in Foggy Bottom so stay here and you'll have a hefty dose of cultural activities right on your doorstep plus the advantage of being close to Rock Creek Park for outdoor recreation.
Hotels In Foggy Bottom
Considering its excellent location and popularity, you'll find the hotels in Foggy Bottom are relatively low-priced in comparison to other central neighborhoods. Four is the most common star rating in Foggy Bottom, but you can find a mid-range hotel offering rooms for under $100 with breakfast and free wi-fi included, which is not a bad deal at all.
Logan Circle is the current on-trend district of Washington DC and is a favorite hangout for the city's young crowd both during the day and at night. If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Washington DC where there are things to do at night this neighborhood is worth considering as it has a great nighttime vibe.
Logan Circle has a unique atmosphere that's a hybrid cross between the old and the new. Bars, restaurants, and shops in Logan Circle are housed in renovated historic buildings in the fourteenth street historic district. Think more boutique-style rather than big-name chain stores and eateries. Other than the National Geographic Museum, there are no major attractions in Logan Circle, so a stay here will entail a short walking distance to the nearest metro station to go sightseeing.
Hotels In Logan Circle
The fact that Logan Circle is a fashionable district of Washington DC is reflected in the prices charged by the hotels. In Logan Circle, you'll struggle to find a room for less than $140 a night, but most hotels do have amenities like indoor or outdoor swimming pools and include breakfast and free wi-fi, which partially compensates for the expense.
Does the Capitol Hill district of Washington DC have more to offer than the chance to take a selfie in front of the United States Capitol Building or the Supreme Court? The answer is, yes, it does.
Capitol Hill is a historic neighborhood with interesting 19th-century architecture and an atmosphere to go with it. Wander around Capitol Hill and you'll come across old-world stores, oyster bars, and gourmet restaurants.
Capitol Hill is where the United States botanic garden is located and if you're into reading Shakespeare, you can get your fill at the Folger Shakespeare Library. One of Washington DC's best indoor markets, the Eastern Market, is in Capitol Hill too so if shopping is your thing you may want to contemplate staying here.
Hotels In Capitol Hill
There's a wide variety of hotels in Capitol Hill and considering that many of them have views of the Capitol Building, they're very reasonably priced. Capitol Hill is, in fact, one of the more economic districts to stay in where hotel room prices are concerned. If you're traveling on a budget, accommodation in Capitol Hill is well worth checking out as here you can find rooms for as low as $60 a night. They're not five-star, but still decent enough. If you're not on a budget, you'll find more upmarket hotels in Capitol Hill as well.
Washington DC is a fantastic place to visit. From Downtown DC with all its museums and monuments in the National Mall to Georgetown with its superb parks to Dupont Circle with its lively gay scene to Capitol Hill where all the nation's big decisions happen, each of its individual neighborhoods has something different to offer. Now you've had a chance to read through this article on where to stay in Washington DC you'll have a much better idea of which area suits you best. Now all you have to do is book your flight tickets, reserve your hotel, pack your bags, get there and have a great time visiting Washington DC.