Thursday, September 25, 2014

Travel Thursday: Washington DC Neighborhoods

Hi, welcome to my first installment of Travel Thursday!  This week, I'm going somewhere I visited recently...Washington D.C!

When you think of visiting Washington D.C., what do you think of?  The museums?  The memorials?  The White House?

We were only at our nation's capital for four days, and we did hit up several museums, the Lincoln Memorial, and the reflecting pool, to name a few spots.  I'll probably talk about those places in a future post, but not today.  I mean, people always talk about these popular tourist spots, right?!

One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new place is to try and see where the locals hang out.  Of course, trying to figure out what neighborhoods to hit up when you're not familiar with the area can be a challenge.  I consulted a friend of mine who is originally from the area and she recommended several neighborhoods.  In the end, it came down to accessibility.

I'm a city girl.  I don't live in the city anymore, but when I lived in Boston and San Francisco, I took the train everywhere.  And if I had lived somewhere near a train station in L.A., San Diego, or Honolulu (other places I've lived), I'm sure I would have taken the train there, as well, but those cities just aren't the most well connected when it comes to a train system.

But back to the DC neighborhoods: because of their accessibility via the Metro, we decided to check out Woodley Park and Adams Morgan.

Woodley Park
We checked out Woodley Park on two different days: Friday night and Sunday morning.  The neighborhood is a nice mix of beautiful row houses (see below), apartment buildings, and tons of shops and restaurants (more restaurants than shops).  Woodley Park is bordered by the National Zoo.

On Friday night, this neighborhood was busy with locals coming home from work and others getting their Friday night started.  My son and I scoped out the restaurants before settling on a pizza place (my son's favorite meal).  If I had visited Woodley Park pre-kids, I would have probably chosen the Mediterranean restaurant (mezzes!) or the French restaurant (below).
We returned Sunday morning and the vibe was a little different (Sunday brunch!), but we didn't come for food, we came to visit the zoo:

Adams Morgan
Adams Morgan is also near the National Zoo, so we checked that neighborhood out on a Sunday afternoon after we had tired ourselves out at the zoo.  Not wanting to eat lunch at the zoo (done with burgers and hot dogs!), we headed over to Adams Morgan and walked up and down 18th Street, checking out the many, many restaurants:

Although I was armed with a few names of restaurants (and the coffee shop above, Tryst), we ended up settling on eating a late Sunday brunch at Mintwood Place on Columbia Road.  
The restaurant was packed with Sunday brunchers: groups of girlfriends (a la Sex and the City), couples, families with young kids catching up with other families.  It was a great place to really see the people of DC.  And the food?  We were not disappointed:
I had the best frisee salad since my trip to Paris in 2010 (above, left).  It was that perfect French composee salad: lardons, mushrooms, frisee, and don't forget the poached egg!  To the right is the Basque country-style pig hash with two eggs sunny side up.  Yum-ilicious.  And if I hadn't been pregnant, I would have ordered a mimosa... it was Sunday brunch, after all.

Both neighborhoods were very cool to visit, and I'm glad we hung out there during our trip.  I've been to other neighborhoods like Dupont Circle and Georgetown, so it was a nice change...

Are you familiar with neighborhoods in D.C.?  What would you recommend?

Do you have any neighborhoods (in any large metropolitan area) that you would recommend visiting?  (It doesn't have to be a metropolitan area near you!)


  1. I love how you go exploring that's really a great way to visit a place! It's looks like you had pretty nice weather, great pictures :) You have a unique experience to share living so many places and traveling so much :)

    1. Thanks! The weather was actually a bit hot & sticky for my taste (high 90s on Saturday, high 80s on Sunday), but it was definitely part of the DC experience!


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