Neighborhood guide: DC’s waterfront

[A guide for my houseguests, which others might find useful.]

There are four major commercial areas within walking distance; they’re also all connected via the DC Circulator’s L’Enfant Plaza – Eastern Market bus route. The table below is roughly arranged from nearest to furthest.

WS – Waterfront Station; has most necessities
W – District Wharf; entertainment and retail destination, see wharfdc.com
LP – L’Enfant Plaza, 1+ km northwest near 10th & D St. SW; office area and major public transit hub
YThe Yards, 2 km east near 2nd & M SE; entertainment and retail surrounding baseball stadium

Essentials and shopping

  • Safeway supermarket (5 AM-midnight) – WS
  • Public library (9:30 AM–9 PM, except 5 PM close Fri-Sun, 1 PM open Sun & Thu) – WS
  • CVS pharmacy – WS, W, LP
  • Senate Dry Cleaners (tailor) – WS
  • Enterprise rent-a-car – WS
  • Post office (24 hours) – LP
  • District Hardware & Bike – W
  • Politics & Prose books – W
  • Anchor Ship Store (beer, sundries) – W
  • Cordial (wine/liquor) – W
  • M Street Yoga – WS

Dining highlights, updated 6/2018

  • Masala Art (Indian, jazz Wed/Fri) – WS
  • All About Burger – WS
  • Velo Cafe (coffee) – W
  • Canopy Central (spacious hotel bar) – W
  • Hank’s Oyster Bar (seafood) – W
  • Jenny’s (Chinese) – W
  • Union Stage Tap (local beer, pizza) – W
  • Requin (French) – W
  • Del Mar (elegant Spanish, reserve) – W
  • Dolcezza (ice cream, coffee, breakfast) – W
  • Due South (Southern) – Y
  • Agua 301 (Mexican) – Y
  • All-Purpose (pizza) – Y
  • Bluejacket (brewery) – Y
  • Chloe (global) – Y
  • District Winery – Y
  • Lot 38 (coffee) – Y
  • Salt Line (seafood) – Y

Attractions

  • Arena Stage theaters, half-price tickets at 7 PM – 6th & Maine, between WS & W
  • Anthem, Pearl Street Warehouse, Union Stage concerts – W
  • Riverwalk, seasonal boat rental and ice skating, summer Wednesday free concerts – W
  • Fish Market, cooked blue crabs & fresh fish – W
  • Washington Nationals baseball stadium – Y
  • Farmers’ market on Sunday midday, spring-fall – Y
  • Yards Park waterfall/splash park, summer Friday free concerts – Y
  • East Potomac Park golf, mini-golf, tennis, outdoor pool – W, free shuttle boat from 7th St. pier
  • Tidal Basin, cherry trees, memorials – 6.5km round-trip walk through W

Getting around

  • Metro Green Line – WS, LP
  • Metro Yellow, Blue, Orange, Silver Lines – LP
  • Capital Bikeshare – WS, W, Y, LP
  • Southwest Shuttle to National Mall (free) – W (by CVS), LP
  • DC Circulator ($1) runs between LP, W, WS, Y, and Eastern Market, via 7th St SW & M St.
  • Water taxis to Alexandria, Georgetown/Kennedy Center ($20 roundtrip) – W

Beyond the neighborhood — by foot, Metro, or bikeshare

  • National Mall: 1.5km north (along 4th or 7th St.); my favorites are the Air & Space Museum with its giant IMAX cinema, African-American Museum, American History Museum, Botanic Garden, Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hirshhorn, Freer, and Sackler Galleries, and National Gallery of Art.
  • Downtown DC/Gallery Place/Chinatown: 2.3km north (just beyond the Mall), particularly along 7th St., F St., H St., and I St. (NW), is the busiest retail, dining, and entertainment area in the city. The American Art Museum, Building Museum, and Renwick Gallery are excellent and compact.
  • Capitol Hill: 2.5+ km northeast, home to the Capitol and Library of Congress, plus shops and dining around Eastern Market (7th & C St. SE, additional vendors on weekends) and along H St. NE.
  • 14th & U St. and Shaw are two of the city’s liveliest nightlife areas, just up Metro’s Green Line. For a more hipster vibe, try 11th St. in Columbia Heights and Georgia & Upshur St. in Petworth.

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