Content Produced in Partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Few neighborhoods in the United States can compete with Georgetown’s assets. Known as one of the most beloved neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., its centuries-old mansions line the cobblestoned streets and thriving independent and national stores make it a premier shopping destination. On warm days and summer nights, tourists and locals alike are frequently seen dining with a view of the Potomac at Washington Harbour, where visitors can also catch a boat ride touring the monuments. And, in a city full of politicians that seem to rarely agree, there's a universal consensus from all that Georgetown's dining scene is truly top-notch. It's high-end spots are favored by politicos, while the casual bistros and taverns are frequented by young professionals and Georgetown University students. Though its accolades are numerous, many tourists tend to overlook this historic, charming neighborhood — and that's a shame. Here's a quick look at what to do, where to eat, and how to sightsee an area of DC that will quickly become one of the highlights of your trip.
Several tour companies offer guided tours through the Georgetown neighborhood by foot, bike or boat. History and architecture buffs will want to sign up for a free tour with DC By Foot as the two-hour guided tours provide an overview of some of the area’s most important buildings, including its historic churches and homes once occupied by members of the Kennedy family. Afterward, enjoy a stroll along the historic C&O Canal and continue the journey to Prospect and 36th Streets, where you'll see the steep stone steps featured in the 1973 blockbuster hit The Exorcist.
Of course, you can't visit Washington, D.C. without seeing one of the capital's monuments and museums. While it's tempting to visit in the afternoon, we recommend beating the crowds and taking in the monuments during sunset or when they're fully illuminated at night with a 50-minute tour through DC Cruises. Particularly great for couples, all of the boats in the DC Cruises fleet offer indoor and outdoor seating, which means you can score the best shots for the 'gram. Meanwhile, families will want to opt in on "walking the plank" with the mateys aboard the Boomerang Pirate Ship.
More than just a tasty sweet spot, M Street is Georgetown’s Fifth Avenue. Here, visitors will find familiar shops such as H&M and Aldo Shoes, plus more exclusive brands, women’s boutique Alice + Olivia and jewelry maker Alex and Ani. For a more unique souvenir, Georgetown is also home to numerous art galleries, antique shops and home good stores, including Susan Calloway Fine Arts or the eponymous shop from modern housewares designer Jonathan Adler.
To celebrate a shopping day well spent, relax and unwind listening to rock and bluegrass music at Gypsy Sally’s or travel back in time to a bygone era at Blues Alley. Set in an 18th century carriage house, the 1920s-style supper club has hosted Sara Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie and remains one of the best places to see a live show in the area. For a laid-back listening experience, go to Georgetown Piano Bar or the chic L2 Lounge.
Eat & Drink
Georgetown is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., attracting numerous chefs from across the country as a result. If that's enough to convince you to dine here, maybe walking past Julia Child's former home will. The famous celebrity chef tested recipes later used in her world-famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking inside the yellow home on Olive Street. Though the home is not open to visitors, celebrities can also be spotted dining at the swanky Italian eatery Fiola Mare and feasting on fresh fish at Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place.
Meanwhile, 1789, one of DC's most storied restaurants, delivers a treasure trove of paintings, antiques and early maps that belonged to founder Richard J. McCooey alongside a dynamic menu. After dinner at 1789, be sure to head down the way to to grab a beer at the local university drinking institution, The Tombs. For a more intimate evening, head to the Fairmont’s Juniper Restaurant, which specializes in local ingredients and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. On warmer days, you'll want to book ahead and snag a spot in the relaxing courtyard or reserve a special seat for the Fairmont Washington D.C.'s famous afternoon tea spread (you'll thank us later for that one!). Of course, you can always try a little bit of everything by joining DC Metro Food Tours’ Georgetown Food Tour, which highlights French, Italian, Korean and Mediterranean cuisine.
Conveniently located at the corners of the West End and Georgetown neighborhoods, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. - Georgetown is one of the trendiest hotels in the entire capital city. The hotel has played host to dignitaries and politicians here at home and across the world and specializes in providing guests with modern, one-of-a-kind experiences. Whether you're dreaming of a spa day or an award-winning meal, a stay at The Fairmont Washington, D.C. is sure to make your Washington, D.C. getaway in Georgetown one to remember. Click here to begin planning your stay.