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Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Travel Guide

Georgetown Summary


  • Some of the city's best shopping along M and Wisconsin Streets
  • Georgetown's cobblestone side streets, filled with charm and historical significance
  • Abundant bars and restaurants
  • Close to the jogging trails in Rock Creek Park, the towpath along the C&O Canal, and the path along the Potomac River


  • Relatively far from prime tourist attractions in and around the National Mall
  • Metro system doesn't stop in Georgetown; nearest stop is GWU/Foggy Bottom, which can be a 10- to 20-minute walk from Georgetown.
  • Maddening and expensive parking

What It's Like

With its cobblestone streets, two- and three-story brightly colored brick rowhouses, and historic, treelined C&O Canal, Georgetown is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in the city -- and has a history as rich as that of the Old Stone House on M Street, built in 1765, the oldest structure in the city. Once a shipping hub along the Potomac and C&O Canal, the area has since traded shipping for shopping and epicurean appeal. Come the weekend, sidewalks are jammed with people ducking into stores like Barney's Co-Op, Anthropologie, and Dean & Deluca, which line M and Wisconsin, the two main drags through Georgetown.

Some of the Hill's most famous power players have called Georgetown home for two centuries: Former residents include Thomas Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, J.F.K., and Jackie O. Current residents include Madeline Albright and John Kerry -- and 15,000 students from the heralded Georgetown University, known for churning out basketball players, presidents (Bill Clinton), Supreme Court justices (Scalia and former chief justice Edward Douglass White), and heads of State (current president of the Philippines and the prime minister of Lebanon), among others. Other highlights of the area include the 2,000-acre Rock Creek Park, a great place for a long, meandering run (as is true along the sandy C&O Canal towpath), the 75-step staircase known as the Exorcist Steps, Dumbarton Oaks museum and research library, and fishing farther upriver in Fletcher's Cove.

Somewhat isolated geographically from the rest of the city, Georgetown isn't connected via the Metro subway system, only taxi, buses, or the convenient DC Circulator, which means a 10- to 20-minute walk to the GWU/Foggy Bottom stop, depending on where you're located.

Where To Stay

Two of the city's most expensive hotels -- the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton -- are located in Georgetown. For a slightly more affordable yet still charming alternative, consider the Hotel Monticello.

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