Friday, 09, February 2024
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- The Dupont Circle
Washington, D.C. Neighborhood Guide: Dupont Circle
Our guide to the District
When you think of Washington, D.C., you likely imagine grand monuments and political landmarks, all of which are instantly recognizable. But there’s much more to the district – a bustling city filled with distinct neighborhoods and enclaves, all with their own personality and spirit.
In the first of our Washington Neighborhoods series, we look at Dupont Circle, the namesake and home of The Dupont Circle hotel.
Discover Dupont Circle
Explore Dupont Circle and you’ll discover dozens of bistros, bars, boutiques and museums. Every day of the year, laid-back locals and savvy visitors flock to the Dupont Circle fountain to read, people-watch and meet up with others. The Dupont Circle fountain is one of D.C.’s most iconic landmarks outside of the National Mall, and was built by sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon (of Lincoln Memorial fame).
Art lovers can gallery hop on the first Friday of every month during ArtWalk Dupont or experience America’s first museum of modern art, The Phillips Collection. This ticketed museum offers new perspectives on the works of modern artists, from Renoir to Rothko. As the heart of Washington, D.C.’s thriving art scene, Dupont Circle boasts an array of galleries and activations awaiting your exploration. Whether you're drawn to contemporary creations or timeless classics, this neighborhood promises an artistic adventure like no other.
If your curiosity extends beyond art, Dupont Circle boasts a number of unique museum experiences. Venture into the realm of exploration at the National Geographic Museum, where immersive exhibits unveil the wonders of our planet. Alternatively, uncover the secrets of the Mansion on O Street, a hidden treasure trove filled with eccentric collections and mysterious passages waiting to be explored.
Tour President Woodrow Wilson's final, Georgian revival home, which looks the same today as it did when Wilson lived here in the 1920s. The historic site also hosts exciting events, from vintage game nights to garden parties in spring. Alternatively, delve into the opulent legacy of the Gilded Age at the Heurich House, also known as the Brewmaster's Castle. Built in the late 19th century by German immigrant and local brewer Christian Heurich, this architectural marvel is open to the public for tours and the castle’s garden operates as a biergarten in the warmer months.
Embassy Row, a quintessential component of the neighborhood, offers a glimpse into the world's diplomatic tapestry. Beginning on Massachusetts Avenue and cutting through the circle, this iconic stretch is a testament to Washington, D.C.'s global significance and is an enriching experience for history and architecture lovers alike. Embark on a leisurely stroll to marvel at the splendor of the numerous embassies and historic mansions that line the avenue.
Complete your Dupont Circle exploration by indulging in local fare at the popular year-round farmers' market, held every Sunday morning. From fresh produce to artisanal goods, soak in the vibrant atmosphere as you explore bustling stalls in front of the Metro station entrance on Q and 20th streets.
Indulge in a Cutting-Edge Culinary Scene
When lunch or dinner time rolls around, Dupont has something for every appetite. From casual bites to gourmet experiences, there's something to satisfy every craving and you don’t need to wander too far from The Dupont Circle, either. Start your day at The Pembroke with a delectable breakfast spread, featuring favorites like fluffy pancakes and hearty omelets. For lunch, linger over libations and light plates, or treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner showcasing seasonal menus and an extensive wine program. And don't miss The Pembroke’s incredibly popular weekend brunch, where mouthwatering dishes and mimosas await.
If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, head up Connecticut Avenue to La Tomate bistro for authentic fare and alfresco dining on warmer days. Alternatively, for elevated Chinese options, try Chang Chang or Astoria for revered Sichuan menus.
For lunch or casual dining, be sure to visit local favorite Compliments Only for one of their original sandwiches. This playful neighborhood gem also offers a daily Diet Coke happy hour, mini cannoli dipped in bright Fruity Pebbles, and picnic kits. Mere steps from The Dupont Circle, seafood lovers will find expertly crafted sushi at Rakuya, making it the perfect option for a midday meal.
Shop Until You Drop
Add some style to your stay at The Dupont Circle by exploring the neighborhood’s diverse offering of retailers. Bookworms will enjoy browsing the shelves at Kramer's and Second Story Books for literary treasures. Jenni Bick offers beautifully crafted custom journals for those seeking unique stationery. Gentlemen can elevate their wardrobe at well-known retailers like Brooks Brothers and Jos. A. Bank, while ladies can find fashionable apparel at H&M. For those in search of the perfect accessory, Proper Topper boasts an unmatched selection of hats. And for luxury goods that exude sophistication, Quavaro awaits with its exquisite leather offerings.
Get Down on the Dance Floor
As the sun sets over Dupont Circle, the neighborhood's vibrant nightlife comes alive, offering an eclectic array of options to suit every taste and mood. Larry’s Lounge stands as a beloved gathering spot, renowned among the thriving LGBT community for its welcoming atmosphere, generous pours, and inviting outdoor patio. If you’re looking to dance the night away, Dupont Circle has you covered with nightclub options like St. Yves and Heist. For those yearning for a spicier dance experience, try Café Citron for salsa dancing (lessons are offered, too). At Sauf Haus Bier Hall, an authentic German biergarten, you’ll find live bands on their enclosed rooftop each weekend. And if laughter is what you seek, head to DC Improv Comedy Club for a night of hilarity that will leave you in stitches.
There are some fantastic events in the area all throughout the year. Here are some of the best…
- Passport D.C. Embassy Events (May 4th and May 11th this year)
- Washington, D.C. Pride Parade (June 8th this year)
- Artwalk Dupont (the first Friday of every month)
- Fresh Farmers Market (every Sunday)
Do you have a favorite spot in Dupont Circle? Let us know on Instagram @dupontcirclehotel!