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Discover The Real Washington, DC

18th March 2019

The US capital is well known for its monuments, museums and art galleries, many of which are free to explore. However, step off the well-trod tourist trail and you’ll uncover vibrant neighbourhoods, alive with culture, art and entertainment...this is the real DC.

Locals know the difference between Washington and DC. The latter is a city made up of neighbourhoods, where restaurants and pubs buzz and there are no politics or power plays. From history on Capitol Hill and the boutiques of Georgetown to performing arts in Penn Quarter and more, there’s much to love about DC’s neighbourhoods. Here are just some you might consider: 

Adams Morgan

Enjoy vibrant nightlife and an eclectic dining scene among the bars and restaurants dotting the 18th Street corridor.


Adams Morgan
This culturally diverse neighbourhood is known for its nightlife and dining scene.

Capitol Hill

Look past powerful institutions like the US Senate, Supreme Court and Library of Congress and you’ll find diverse attractions, such as the US Botanic Garden, Eastern Market and Folger Shakespeare Library.


Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is the seat of the US government, home to the domed United States Capitol.

Downtown, Penn Quarter & Chinatown

Home to museums like the National Portrait Gallery and Newseum, retail heaven at CityCenterDC, and basketball at the Capital One Arena, the downtown area is sure to be a hit.


Downtown DC
Downtown DC enjoys lose proximity to popular attractions and cultural activites.


Dupont Circle

Explore Dupont Circle and you’ll discover dozens of bistros, bars, boutiques and museums, a little something for everyone.


Dupont Circle, DC
The Dupont Circle Fountain is a commemorative work by Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon.


This tree-lined neighbourhood boasts cobblestone sidewalks bursting with boutiques, mixed with the peaceful C&O Canal and some of the tastiest restaurants and most luxurious hotels in the city.


Georgetown, DC
A favourite of tourists and locals alike, is DC's historic Georgetown neighbourhood.

“The cobbled laneways and quaint stores of Georgetown were a joy to explore, we discovered a cupcake store that was so popular it had a line outside and a farm-to-table restaurant where the food was divine.” 

- Kerrie Fellowes, Maria, Fellowes & Turner Travel Associates, NSW


National Mall

A must for all visitors and home to the US’s most visited national park. The National Mall hosts iconic sites, such as the Washington Monument, US Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial as well as the National Gallery of Art and 17 free Smithsonian museums.


Washington Monument
Washington Monument is one of the architectural gems sitting within the National Mall.


Set your tastebuds alight at Union Market, a restored grocery and specialty food hall that’s the epicentre of DC’s gourmet scene.


Union Market, DC
Union Market dishes up made-in-DC sausages, Chesapeake oysters and kitchenware boutiques

The Southwest Waterfront

Explore DC on the water as you discover the city’s newest neighbourhood. Enjoy 20 new restaurants and three concert halls before catching a water taxi to Georgetown, a boat cruise, kayak tour, or taking the short walk to the new International Spy Museum.



The Wharf brings together restaurants, shops, and beautiful waterfront views.

U Street

The most popular neighbourhood in Washington, DC, U Street is a must for music lovers. Birthplace of Go-Go music and enjoying a rich history in jazz, visitors and locals alike flock to the range of lively music venues. It also has an eclectic food scene, including traditional Ethiopian dishes and the famous Ben’s Chili Bow.


Bens Chili Bowl, DC
Ben's Chili Bowl is a landmark restaurant in DC.

Discover all the DC has on offer. Talk to a Travel Associates advisor about planning your next Washington holiday, and get more insights on the great free activities available.

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