24 Best Things to Do in Georgetown Washington DC

Georgetown, Washington, D.C., is a vibrant and historic neighborhood that offers a plethora of activities and attractions for locals and tourists alike. With its charming cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and picturesque waterfront, Georgetown is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the nation’s capital. In this article, we will delve into the top 24 best things to do in Georgetown Washington DC., ensuring that your visit to this iconic neighborhood is filled with unforgettable experiences.

History of Georgetown

Georgetown is steeped in history, with its roots dating back to the 18th century. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., it played a significant role in the city’s early development. Walking through the streets of Georgetown feels like stepping back in time, with its well-preserved architecture and historical landmarks.

One of Georgetown’s most notable historical sites is the Old Stone House, built in 1765. It is the oldest unchanged building in Washington, D.C., and now serves as a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the past. Another must-visit landmark is Tudor Place, a historic house and garden showcasing the lifestyle of the Peter family, who lived there for six generations.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University, founded in 1789, is one of the top universities in the United States and a prominent institution in Georgetown. The university’s beautiful campus is worth exploring, with its stunning architecture and lush green spaces. Take a stroll through Healy Hall, the iconic centerpiece of the campus, or visit the university’s art galleries and museums, which house impressive collections of art and artifacts.

For sports enthusiasts, catching a Georgetown Hoyas basketball game at the Capital One Arena is a thrilling experience. The Hoyas have a rich basketball tradition, and watching a game in the heart of Georgetown is a must-do for any sports fan.

Wolfgang Puck’s CUT

Food lovers will delight in the culinary offerings of Georgetown, and one standout establishment is Wolfgang Puck’s CUT. Located on 31st Street, this upscale steakhouse offers a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that showcases the finest cuts of meat and innovative culinary creations. Indulge in a mouthwatering steak paired with a selection from their extensive wine list, and savor the flavors that make CUT a culinary gem in Georgetown.

Famed Georgetown Farmers’ Market

Visiting the famed Georgetown Farmers’ Market is a must for those seeking a true taste of Georgetown’s local flavors. Held on Saturdays from April through December, this vibrant market brings together local farmers, artisans, and food vendors, offering a wide array of fresh produce, artisanal products, and delicious street food.

Stroll through the market, sample the seasonal fruits and vegetables, and discover unique handcrafted goods. The Georgetown Farmers’ Market is a food lover’s paradise, from farm-fresh eggs to artisan cheeses.

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind at the Georgetown Waterfront Park. Located along the banks of the Potomac River, this picturesque park offers stunning views, tranquil green spaces, and a serene atmosphere. Take a leisurely walk along the riverfront, enjoy a picnic with friends, or simply sit back and admire the beauty of the surrounding nature.

The park is also home to the historic Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, which was crucial in transporting goods during the 19th century. Take a scenic boat ride along the canal or rent a bike to explore the towpath, immersing yourself in Georgetown’s rich history and natural beauty.

M Street

M Street is the heart and soul of Georgetown, lined with an eclectic mix of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Known for its vibrant atmosphere and lively street life, M Street offers something for everyone.

Shopaholics will be in heaven as they peruse the wide range of fashion boutiques, designer stores, and specialty shops that line the Street. From high-end fashion brands to unique local finds, M Street is a shopper’s paradise.

In addition to shopping, M Street boasts an impressive culinary scene. Whether you’re craving international cuisine, farm-to-table fare, or classic American dishes, you’ll find a restaurant to satisfy your taste buds. After a delicious meal, unwind at one of the many bars or lounges along M Street, where you can enjoy craft cocktails, live music, and vibrant nightlife.

Washington Harbour

Washington Harbour is a waterfront destination located along the Potomac River with spectacular views, dining options, and entertainment. Stroll along the promenade and marvel at the harbor’s stunning architecture and scenic beauty.

Indulge in a waterfront dining experience at one of the many restaurants that line Washington Harbour. From seafood delights to international cuisine, something suits every palate. After dinner, catch a live performance at the Kennedy Center, located just a short walk away, or simply relax and enjoy the ambiance of this vibrant waterfront destination.

Byzantine and Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks

Art enthusiasts will appreciate visiting Dumbarton Oaks, a historic estate that houses an impressive Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art collection. Explore the beautifully manicured gardens and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of this hidden gem in Georgetown.

The museum at Dumbarton Oaks showcases a diverse range of art and artifacts, providing a unique glimpse into different cultures and periods. From intricately designed Byzantine mosaics to ancient Pre-Columbian sculptures, the collection at Dumbarton Oaks is a testament to the beauty and creativity of human civilization.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, also known as the C&O Canal, is a historic waterway that stretches over 184 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland. Built in the early 19th century, the canal was vital in transporting goods between the eastern seaboard and the Midwest.

Today, the C&O Canal is a popular recreational destination, offering visitors the opportunity to hike, bike, and explore the surrounding area’s natural beauty. Walk along the towpath, rent a bike, or take a scenic boat ride, and immerse yourself in the history and tranquility of this historic canal.

Exorcist Steps

Film buffs and thrill-seekers will appreciate visiting the Exorcist Steps, made famous by the iconic horror movie “The Exorcist.” Located at the corner of Prospect Street and 36th Street, these 75 stone steps are an eerie reminder of the movie’s chilling scenes.

While climbing the steps, you can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and trepidation. Whether you’re a movie fan or simply seeking a unique experience, the Exorcist Steps offer a thrilling adventure in the heart of Georgetown.

House Hunting

Georgetown is renowned for its stunning architecture and historic houses. Stroll through the neighborhood and admire the beautifully preserved row houses, each with unique character and charm.

If you’re particularly interested in historic homes, consider taking a guided house tour to learn more about the architectural styles and historical significance of the houses in Georgetown. From Federal-style mansions to charming Victorian townhouses, Georgetown’s real estate is a testament to its rich history and architectural heritage.

Old Stone House

Step back in time and visit the Old Stone House, a historic landmark that offers a glimpse into colonial life in Georgetown. Built in 1765, this small but well-preserved house is a window to the past, showcasing the daily life of a typical colonial family.

Explore the various rooms of the house, furnished with period-appropriate furniture and artifacts. Learn about the house’s history through informative displays and guided tours, and gain a deeper understanding of Georgetown’s rich heritage.

Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate and garden that offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. Wander through the beautifully manicured gardens, designed by renowned landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, and marvel at the stunning array of flowers, plants, and sculptures.

The estate also houses a museum that showcases an impressive collection of art and artifacts, including Byzantine and Pre-Columbian masterpieces. Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Dumbarton Oaks and enjoy the serene ambiance of this hidden gem in Georgetown.

Martin’s Tavern

Martin’s Tavern is a legendary establishment that has been serving patrons in Georgetown since 1933. This iconic restaurant and bar have a rich history, hosting numerous politicians, celebrities, and even presidents.

Dine in the same booths where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier or enjoy a drink at the bar that Franklin D. Roosevelt frequented. The walls of Martin’s Tavern are adorned with photographs and memorabilia, providing a glimpse into the storied past of this beloved Georgetown institution.

Tudor Place

Tudor Place is a historic house and garden that offers a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle of a prominent Georgetown family. Built-in the early 19th century, this Federal-style mansion was home to six generations of the Peter family.

Explore the beautifully furnished rooms adorned with period antiques and artwork. Discover the meticulously manicured gardens featuring a variety of plants, flowers, and tranquil pathways. A visit to Tudor Place is a journey through time, allowing you to immerse yourself in the history and elegance of Georgetown’s past.

Oak Hill Cemetery

For those interested in history and the macabre, a visit to Oak Hill Cemetery is a unique experience. Established in 1849, this historic cemetery is the final resting place of many notable figures, including statesmen, military leaders, and artists.

Take a peaceful stroll through the cemetery and admire the elaborate tombstones and mausoleums. Discover the stories and legacies of the individuals buried here and better understand Georgetown’s rich history.

Dumbarton House

Dumbarton House is a Federal-style mansion that offers a glimpse into the lives of the early residents of Georgetown. Built in 1799, this historic house now serves as a museum, showcasing the lifestyle and decorative arts of the Federal period.

Explore the various rooms of the house, furnished with period-appropriate furniture and artifacts. Learn about the history of the house and its residents through informative displays and guided tours. Dumbarton House is a cultural gem in Georgetown, offering a fascinating insight into the past.

Dog Tag Bakery

Dog Tag Bakery is more than just a bakery; it is a social enterprise that empowers veterans and their families through employment and entrepreneurship. Located in the heart of Georgetown, this bakery serves delicious pastries, bread, and coffee, all prepared by veterans and military spouses.

Savor a freshly baked croissant or indulge in a decadent cupcake, knowing that your purchase supports a worthy cause. Dog Tag Bakery is a testament to the resilience and strength of the veteran community, and a visit to this heartwarming establishment is a must.

Georgetown Cupcakes

No visit to Georgetown is complete without a stop at Georgetown Cupcakes. This famous bakery, featured on the hit TV show “DC Cupcakes,” is known for its delectable and beautifully decorated cupcakes.

Choose from various flavors, from classic red velvet to innovative seasonal creations. Whether you’re a chocolate lover or a fan of fruity flavors, Georgetown Cupcakes is a treat for everyone. Indulge in a cupcake or two and experience the sweet delights that put Georgetown on the map.

The Escape Game

The Escape Game is a must-visit attraction if you’re looking for an exhilarating and immersive experience in Georgetown. As one of the top escape room experiences in the city, The Escape Game offers a variety of themed rooms that will test your problem-solving skills and teamwork abilities. Each room provides a unique and thrilling adventure, from solving a mystery in a 1950s detective’s office to breaking out of a prison.

Upon arrival at The Escape Game, you and your team will be briefed on the rules and backstory of your chosen room. Once inside, you’ll have enough time to find clues, solve puzzles, and unlock hidden secrets that will ultimately lead to your escape. The immersive nature of the rooms, coupled with the adrenaline rush of beating the clock, makes The Escape Game a must-try experience in Georgetown.

Trolley Tours

A trolley tour is one of the best ways to explore Georgetown and learn about its rich history. Hop aboard a vintage trolley and embark on a guided journey through the neighborhood’s charming streets and iconic landmarks. As you sit back and relax, a knowledgeable guide will provide insightful commentary, sharing fascinating stories and historical facts about Georgetown.

During the trolley tour, you’ll pass by notable sites such as the Old Stone House, the oldest unchanged building in Washington, D.C., and Dumbarton Oaks, a stunning mansion and gardens. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the historic C&O Canal and witness the beauty of the Potomac River. With various stops along the way, you can explore specific areas of interest before hopping back on the trolley to continue your adventure.

Hop-On-Off Bus Tour

For a comprehensive and convenient way to discover Georgetown and other prominent attractions in Washington, D.C., consider taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. These tours allow you to explore the city at your own pace, hopping on and off the bus at any designated stop. With multiple routes and frequent departures, you can easily customize your itinerary and visit the places that interest you the most.

As you ride the bus through Georgetown, you’ll have the opportunity to see famous landmarks like the Georgetown University campus and the historic neighborhood’s charming rowhouses. The hop-on-hop-off bus tour also provides access to other significant sites in the city, such as the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Smithsonian museums. This tour is ideal for those who want to make the most of their time in Washington, D.C., and experience the city’s highlights conveniently and flexibly.

Francis Scott Key Memorial

Located on the banks of the Potomac River, the Francis Scott Key Memorial pays tribute to the man who penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” As you visit this historic landmark, you’ll learn about Francis Scott Key’s role in the War of 1812 and the inspiration behind the national anthem. The memorial consists of a bronze statue of Key and panels depicting scenes from the battle.

Surrounded by lush greenery, the Francis Scott Key Memorial offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for reflection and appreciation of American history. Take a stroll along the riverfront and enjoy the scenic views while contemplating the significance of Key’s contribution to the nation.

JFK’s Footsteps

Georgetown holds a special place in American history, as it was once home to John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. Explore the neighborhood and follow in JFK’s footsteps as you visit the significant places in his life. Start your journey at the JFK Birthplace, a historic home where Kennedy was born in 1917. This beautifully preserved house offers a glimpse into the early years of JFK’s life and the time he spent in Georgetown.

Next, make your way to the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, a world-renowned cultural institution inaugurated as President Kennedy’s living memorial. Attend a performance or take a guided tour to admire the stunning architecture and learn about the center’s mission to honor JFK’s legacy through the arts.

Mount Zion Cemetery

Visiting Mount Zion Cemetery is a must for those interested in exploring Georgetown’s African-American history. This historic cemetery dates back to 1808 and is the final resting place for many influential African Americans, including members of the Georgetown community and notable figures from the Civil War era.

As you walk through the cemetery, you’ll come across beautifully crafted headstones and memorials that tell the stories of those who lived and made significant contributions to Georgetown’s vibrant history. Take a moment to honor their legacies and reflect on their important role in shaping the community.

How to Get in Georgetown

Georgetown is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, making it a convenient destination for visitors. If you’re coming from within Washington, D.C., you can take the Metro to the Foggy Bottom-GWU station, hop on a Circulator bus, or take a short walk to Georgetown.

If you prefer driving, several parking garages are available in the neighborhood, although parking can be limited during busy times. Additionally, Georgetown is well-served by rideshare services, allowing you to get to and from the area easily without worrying about parking.

Once you’re in Georgetown, the best way to explore the neighborhood is on foot. The streets are lined with unique shops, trendy boutiques, and a wide array of restaurants and cafes. Take your time to wander through the historic streets, discover hidden gems, and soak in the charm and character of Georgetown.

Georgetown, Washington, D.C., offers diverse activities and attractions catering to all interests. From the thrill of escape rooms to the tranquility of historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant neighborhood. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, explore the best things to do in Georgetown and create unforgettable memories.

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