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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Travel Guide

Capitol Hill Summary


  • Easy access to Union Station for Amtrak trains -- most hotels are mere blocks or a five-minute taxi ride away
  • Walking distance to some D.C.'s most famous attractions like the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court
  • Next to the eastern end of the Mall, a gateway to all the top cultural offerings and especially close to the National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the Newseum
  • Close to the area's major sports and entertainment arenas, including the Verizon Center, RFK Stadium, FedEx Field, and a dozen state and city parks
  • Capitol Hill's historic Barracks Row and Eastern Market offer a vibrant place to dine and shop.


  • Restaurants close and the entire neighborhood tends to clear out at night and on the weekend
  • Virtually no nightlife
  • Large homeless population in many parts of the area, particularly near Union Station

What it's Like

Characterized as the area surrounding the iconic building for which it's named, Capitol Hill, the heart of D.C., is bursting with power, ambition -- and plenty of tourists. Countless visitors head up the Hill each year on a patriotic pilgrimage, to tour the lush grounds and historic buildings of Congress, stand on the steps of the mighty Supreme Court, and marvel at the opulent Jefferson Building, which houses the Library of Congress. Beyond the high profile sites, this neighborhood is situated for easy access to the National Mall (and especially within walking distance to the Air and Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art, two perennial favorites), as well as the Beaux-Arts-style Union Station, the city's main transportation hub.

The area has experienced a resurgence since its hardscrabble days of the 1980s and is now home to both business and residential life. On the Hill itself, and just off of commercial Pennsylvania Avenue, lie charming treelined blocks with brick sidewalks and stately row houses (home to many lawmakers). At the Eastern Market, Hillies gather for Sunday brunch, pick through local produce and crafts, and exchange a bit of hot political gossip. But after dark, Capitol Hill can feel virtually empty.

Where To Stay

Balancing business and pleasure, the Hotel George and Liaison Capitol Hill are Capitol Hill's most notable hotels. With its funky Warhol-esque art gracing the lobby, the Hotel George -- just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol and two blocks from Union Station -- has the pride of place as the first chic boutique to set up shop on the Hill. Around the corner, across from the Hyatt Regency, there's the equally hip Liaison Capitol Hill hotel, with its fedora-wearing bellmen, Oprah-approved restaurant, and a swank rooftop pool.

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