The District is full of great neighborhoods, but it is easy to get used to just visiting the same areas if you are unfamiliar with some of the newer neighborhoods. Here is a breakdown of some of the lesser-known neighborhoods, complete with information on activities, events and establishments that make these neighborhoods unique to the D.C. area. If you haven’t been to these areas, hopefully your interest will be piqued and you will make it a point to check out these neighborhoods right away. And if you have been to these areas, maybe you will learn something new about one of them that will lead you to revisit again soon.
This area has grown considerably in the last five years, making it one of the trendiest neighborhoods to hang out in. Named after Union Army Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, a civil war hero, and home to civil rights activism in the 1960s, the neighborhood is historically significant as well. Popular eating and drinking spots in the neighborhood include Mockingbird Hill, which is a sherry bar, and Thai X-ing, an authentic Thai restaurant that only offers a tasting menu. The neighborhood has its own metro stop on the green line, so it is easily accessible by public transportation.
This historic neighborhood has undergone major gentrification in the last decade, and as a result has become a popular neighborhood for new residents and new establishments. Head over to have a rustic Italian dinner at the Red Hen, or grab a cup of coffee at the Big Bear Café. On Sundays, the neighborhood has a great Farmers Market. Feel free to stop by just to stroll through the neighborhood; the Victorian-style homes are there to be admired.
Takoma lies partially in DC and partially in Maryland, but while the Maryland side is mostly residential, the DC side is full of restaurants and activities. An annual beerfest is one of the fun community activities, as is the energetic jazzfest. Takoma also features Food Truck Fridays, weekly musical acts at local hotspot Republic, and a bustling farmers’ market on Sundays. See the Takoma Park website for details on these events, as well as information on popular local restaurants such as Everlasting Life Café and Dolci Gelati.
Named after its location, North of Massachusetts, NoMa is near Union Station and is another rapidly growing neighborhood in the city. Head over to check out Noma summer screen, an outdoor movie event complete with music and a BBQ. Remember to bring something to sit on, as the event is held on a grassy lot. The area also has numerous concerts, a 4th of July party and is home to Union Market. Union Market is a fabulous venue with shops, food vendors, pop-up artisans and more.
Located just north of Georgetown, which is one of DC’s oldest and best known neighborhoods, Glover Park also has much to offer. Numerous embassies and the Naval Observatory are in or near Glover Park. It has one of the lowest crime rates in DC, and is known to be especially family friendly. The area has a series of neighborhood activities such as Glover Park Day which features local food, crafts and music, as well as an annual holiday party. The neighborhood also has two community gardens, a flea market, and a Saturday farmers’ market.
Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.