Explore DC with Me ! - Your 5 Essential Favourite Neighbourhoods



Having lived in DC for around 3 weeks, I want to showcase my favourite neighbourhoods with the passing of time. Surprised with the humidity when I first came here, I can still say that I am not used to the humidity, coming from Canada. Hopefully the fall season is more pleasant as we head into October. There is always an adjustment period when you move/travel to a new place, as you learn to accept the little nuisances in culture and climate of your new city. In my brief 2 weeks here, I can say that there are a couple neighbourhoods that we should all explore if we only have a few days/weeks or years here in this city.


People have told me that DC is constantly reinventing itself, with a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, and various activities for people to explore. The strongest cities are always constantly thinking of bringing the best and most vibrant options from around the world to their city, and I believe that DC is one of them. I remember when I first came to DC, I never ventured out of the city, and just sticked to exploring museums on the national mall. Living in downtown, transportation is one of the toughest and most expensive options to get around, however there are a number of options accessible besides cars such as scooters, bikes and ride share options.


I can't believe that almost 3 weeks have passed since I moved here and I feel that the days are passing by so quickly as the city really picks up momentum after the pandemic. I can sense the energy and vibrancy of DC and am so excited that I have the opportunity to rediscover this city through the passing of time.


My favourite places in DC so far are :


1.Georgetown

The neighbourhood of Georgetown is home to the undergraduate home of the Hoya undergraduates, but also contains a bustling shopping district with international and local boutiques. The waterfront area is not far from campus, and also is home to salsa dancers as well as many people-watchers. You can view people stand-up paddle boarding on the Potomac river, or simply take in the aesthetic of neighbourhood while walking. Take a couple of hours from your daily routine and try either paddle boarding, or if you are not in the mood, sail to a couple nearby islands and venture across to the Georgetown waterfront. The area is one of the most historic areas in DC and retains its cultural charm with small boutiques and riverside promendade.




2.The Capital District and the US Botanic Garden

I stumbled upon the Capital District and the US Botanic Garden both together uncoincidentally on Labor Day. Originally with the intention of heading primarily to the Botanic Garden, I realized that the district in which they were both located are very close.Both are very convenient walking distances from the Metro Station named Federal Center SW. Currently, the indoor conservatory is closed because of Covid restrictions, but the outdoor area is open to vistors. The US Capital Building was built with a neoclassical architectural theme in mind and is located in the area of several other monuments as well. As a symbol of representative democracy in America, millions come to see the place where laws are encated. This area of DC is known for open streets and wide neoclassical design, and is definitely a great place to check out.






3.Lincoln Memorial and National Mall

Lincoln Memorial and the area of the National Mall surrounding the National World War 2 Memorial is great for jogging and exploring. From the downtown area, it is fairly accessible and a fairly convenient walking distance (20 minutes) to the heart of the National Mall. Many of the Smithsonian Musueums are also located within walking distance of the National Mall, so be sure to wear proper walking shoes if spending a day in this area. The Lincoln Memorial and monument is one of the highlights of the area, because it is symbolic of the greater representation of the ideals of freedom and the dignity of all people. Most people remember Lincoln for defeating the Confederates during the American Civil War and for abolishing slavery during time of critical divide between the North and South, but I believe that one of his greatest legacies was inspiring the notion of the ability for every person to live their lives without the corruption of society and that everybody has potential to live out their dreams.





4.The Wharf

The Wharf is a exciting new district located around 10 minutes driving from downtown and contains many rooftop bars and exiting food options. There is a nice waterfront area for strolling after work. La Vie is a popular rooftop bar here, and has excellent views of the DC skyline. A great place to explore new up and coming restaurants, as well to people watch and take in live concerts, the Wharf should always be on your DC bucket list.





5.Logan Circle/Downtown

This is the neighbourhood that I live in currently, and is home to numerous vibrant restaurants and bars. Le Diplomate is one of the highly regarded restaurants here, as well as the rooftop and bar at the Eaton Hotel. This area is home to many international hotels and renowned restaurants that each have their own flavour of culinary delight. The brunch at the Greenhouse at the Jefferson Hotel is highly recommended for its aesthetic detail of design and brunch meals. There are so many exciting culinary options for everyone in Logan circle, whether that is upscale or grab-and go fast food. One of my favourite cheap eats here is actually on M street, a small DC based boutique pizza places. I discovered this place actually while walking back 50 minutes from DC, so it was definetly a spontaneous find.


One of my favourite museums is actually located close to here : The Chinese American Museum, which is located just next to the Jefferson Hotel. It is the first of its kind in DC, and shows the contribution that the Chinese played in shaping America's history, especially during the construction of the Transcontinental railroad early on is the 1800s. As an Asian-Canadian, I am always nostalgic when it comes been reflective of the history that my ancestors played in contributing to the history of a nation. Everyday day, I recognize that we must be fortunate for the lives that we are living, and live to the fullest everyday.




Hidden Secrets:

The National Arboretum

If you love archetiture and interesting pieces of structure, then be sure to check out the National Aboretum, located in NorthEast Washington. There are 22 columns and various Bonsai gardens located there. Established in 1927 by an Act of Congress, The Arboretum aims to increase the aesthetic and appreciation of modern plants. It reminds me of the Acropolis of Rhodes and similar structures in Europe and is definitely a place you want to check out if you are in DC.




Chelsea Reviews So Far: 4/5 : DC is a great little cosmopolitan city that attracts the best talent from around the world. It is a international little city with a big heart and I am excited to continue exploring the various districts. As I am fairly new to the city, my review is constantly changing as I explore new places and meet new people that constantly change my perceptions. I am still rediscovering DC everyday, so tune into my blog in a couple months for more places to explore as the season changes.

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