Washington D.C. is often simply seen as a political capital with very little character. This was my exact thought before I got to know the city a little better.
Despite being the political capital of US, the city has a lot of other things to see besides National Monument, The White House, and other main tourist attractions.
During the weekends, I like to get on a bike and cruise around the city. Washington D.C. is perfect for bike riding as distances between neighborhoods are short and most of them are conveniently connected with bike lanes.
City Full of Beautiful Murals
Murals and street art might not be on top of your list when planning a trip to DC, but if you feel like getting out of the crowded tourist attractions and experience something a little different make sure to check out at least these spots for beautiful murals…..
The Watermelon House
Located just few blocks from Logan Circle, The Watermelon House is probably one of the best known murals of the city. Painted as a sliced watermelon, the house is really hard to miss with its’ brightly colored walls.
Blagden Alley is full of cool murals making it a perfect spot for photographers and anyone interested in exploring the hidden history of DC. Walk down the alley and enjoy beautiful murals created by various different artists.
The alley has many popular restaurants and bars. Coffee lovers must stop by La Colombe Coffee Roasters to enjoy some freshly brewed coffee!
Tiger Fork restaurant is a Hong Kong style restaurant in the middle of Baldgen Alley. The restaurant is hard to miss with its’ gorgeous entrance!
You will notice that many murals in DC are inspired by political leaders. Some of the stories behind those street murals are very interesting with hidden political statements. This Presidential mural below created by Karla Rodas features eleven US presidents from Eisenhower to Obama.
The Coolest Neighborhoods in Washington DC
While the city has so many sights, museums, and attractions to choose from, you might end up struggling to plan your stay in a way that you can make sure you get the most out of DC while seeing as much as possible.
If you want to experience DC besides just political sights and museums, make sure you visit at least these three neighborhoods which all have an interesting story to tell..
I remember coming to Adams Morgan for the first time after people had convinced me to check out the coolest neighborhood in DC. The colorful houses, ethnic restaurants, artisan cafes and cool hippie shops are something I never thought I would discover in DC.
Whether you come here during the day or at night, there are definitely something for everyone. Walk along the main street to shop, dine and discover cool murals.
If you come here at night, head to Madam’s Organ for drinks and some live music. It gets very busy during the weekends so expect long lines most of the time.
With its historic architecture, designer boutiques, amazing restaurants and cobbled streets one of my favourite places in Washington DC is Georgetown.
Around 10 mins drive to the west of downtown DC located on the Potomac River is the neighbourhood of Georgetown which has arguably the most beautiful architecture in all of DC.
High-end fashion stores, countless restaurants, cute cafes and bars are all squeezed into a few square blocks which back onto the gorgeous promenade.
If you’re sick of the mall experience, but still want all the shops you love then the neighbourhood of Georgetown is the place to go. With its narrow sidewalks Georgetown can get very crowded on the weekend, especially on M Street NW and around the famous Georgetown Cupcakes so be prepared to wait your turn.
If crowds aren’t your thing head up Wisconsin Avenue NW until you reach P Street where you will find a beautiful cobbled street and mural, with some cafes and ice-cream bars nearby.
There are some fantastic restaurants all over Georgetown but if you want a view then head down to the promenade on the water, where there are a range of quality restaurants for all tastes.
Georgetown is also home to a wonderful bunch of bars from small intimate settings to modern multi storey affairs. The Sovereign is like stepping back in time with an extensive Belgian style beer selection and delicious menu in an atmospheric pre pre-war fit out.
East of downtown Washington D.C. you will find a small China Town that was once home to thousands of Chinese immigrants. Past the beautiful Friendship Arch you will find authentic Asian restaurants serving dim sum, noodles, and more.
We finished our touring at Bar Deco‘s rooftop bar. A perfect way to end the day exploring the city! Bar Deco is just around the corner from Chinatown and they serve fancy cocktails, draft beer and snacks for every taste.
Washington DC has really surprised me with its’ cool neighbourhoods, street art, and more. I can’t wait to get back there to find out the rest that the city has to offer!
What are your favorite spots and hidden gems in Washington DC?