Washington, D.C., is known mostly for the National Mall for the many tourists who come to this special place. But residents and locals know Washington, D.C., districts encompass a wide range of experiences. The National Mall - better known simply as the Mall, is home to many monuments and the museums of the Smithsonian. The Mall stretches two total miles.
For a look at the broader districts, a Washington, D.C., district map can be handy. Many visitors may not be aware of the D.C. districts, but it’s well worth learning about them and visiting them to fully experience this marvelous city of great diversity.
Downtown District - includes the National Mall, East End, West End and the Waterfront
Downtown is the real hub of action in Washington, D.C. As home to the Smithsonian and the National Mall, this is where most visitors come to enjoy the museums, monuments and spectacular views of the grand official buildings here. Downtown also is home to the Verizon Center, the Kennedy Center, George Washington University and includes the main theater district. Visitors also will find the White House and many parks in downtown, such as the West Potomac Park and the Nationals Park. Downtown also is home to loads of amazing restaurants, including fine dining. The Chinatown district of Washington, D.C., also is found in downtown.
North Central District - Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan-Columbia Heights and Shaw
Head to the North Central District if you are in the mood for a great nightlife scene. This is a highly diverse area filled with good place to catch live acts or go clubbing. Keep your appetite ready, too. This area is one with tons of great places to eat. You also can shop in local boutiques or check out the campus of the highly regarded Howard University, which is located here. Try some tasty Ethiopian food in Little Ethiopia or catch a live music show on U Street. There also many hotels in the North Central District. Dupont Circle itself is known for its great farmer’s market that takes place on Sunday mornings all year long. Dupont Circle is known for being the center for gay culture in this area.
West District - Upper Northwest and Georgetown
The West District of Washington, D.C., is known as the upscale part of the city. You can find amazing dining and shopping here. The West District is the spot where you’ll find Georgetown’s historic village, which was originally created in 1751. This historic village amazing architecture and is home to a number of embassies, including France and Sweden. One prime attraction in the West District and within Georgetown is the fine colonial architecture. The National Zoo also is located here - making it a great spot to come check out with children. Well-heeled shoppers will find most of the high-end shopping in this district. This district also is home to the American University.
East District - Capitol Hill, Anacostia and Northeast
The East District of Washington, D.C., includes a number of interesting spots. This area is home to the nation’s Capitol Building and to the Library of Congress. It also includes Union Station, and residents are familiar with the Capitol Hill neighborhood here. Catholic University calls this East District home. History buffs will enjoy the African-American Anacostia Community Museum, which is part of the Smithsonian’s collection of museums. The National Arboretum is located in this district along with the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Those looking for nightlife should check out the Atlas District, which is known for unique arts and entertainment venues.