DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C., has something for everyone, with numerous bars, restaurants and shops catering to a variety of tastes. The neighborhood is home to plenty of apartments and row houses, but it’s also a very happening place until the small hours of the morning.
The area has become quite a bit more gentrified in recent years and it’s known as a center for entertainment and business life. From politicians, to young professionals to LGBTQ business owners who have been part of the scenery for decades, everyone cohabitates harmoniously, and the diversity adds to the ever-present vibes and energy.
Where is DuPont Circle?
This neighborhood is home to a number of embassies and is a brisk walk away from the White House in one direction and Georgetown, with its great night life in the other. Don’t be surprised if you run into local politicians even in a small café. Many live in the area.
Connecticut Avenue is bustling with commerce – from coffee shops and bookstores to upscale restaurants and bistros to piano bars or dive bars, it’s all there.
Venture over a few streets to Massachusetts Avenue, where Embassy row begins. There is a plethora of art galleries, both private and public. A favorite of the locals and tourists alike is the Phillips Collection which has an impressive collection of works from the Impressionist period.
Dupont Circle itself was constructed to honor Rear Admiral Samuel Francis DuPont for his service in the Civil War. The surrounding neighborhood immediately began to draw affluent individuals, and the many row houses reflect various styles adding to the unique character of the area.
What to Do
Dupont Circle is built around a rotary with a huge marble fountain. Many locals and tourists enjoy playing chess or cards in the park on the circle while people-watching and enjoying a nice day. It’s also a spot for rallies and other local events.
If you’d rather play board games indoors, the Board Room on Connecticut Avenue is a favorite of young professionals who gather for Jenga and spirits.
On the first Friday of every month, all of the local art galleries stay open very late, with many offering wine and other refreshments to visitors.
If you’re into American history, check out Woodrow Wilson’s House on S Street. The tours are a bit long but very interesting. Also, if you are looking for unusual gifts, there are a lot of unusual items at the National Geographic Museum so make sure to add it to your list.
Where to Eat and Drink
Dupont Circle has more than a few top-notch restaurants such as Sushi Taro featuring Japanese Chef Nobu Yamazaki’s amazing creations.
There are so many casual bistros and mom and pop restaurants, alongside more upscale options. La Tomate, owned and operated by a local family, has been a favorite for decades featuring authentic Italian cuisine.
Moving to DuPont Circle
Real Estate Snapshot
Dupont Circle has a population of about 10,000 people and although the population is mostly transient, there are some locals who have been in the area for decades if not longer. Many are originally from somewhere else, and many are only in the city temporarily – often on government contracts.
Apartments for rent in DuPont Circle usually average at $2,224 per month but there are affordable apartments as well, depending on the type of building.
The neighborhood is walking distance to many other great areas such as Georgetown and Adams Morgan. It would take about 30 minutes to reach the White House on foot, while enjoying the beautiful architecture.
Dupont Circle has a metro station which bears its name serving the Red Line. There are many bus routes, and the Capital Bike Share is a great option, especially considering that Rock Creek Park runs through the neighborhood with some of the best bike trails in the city, but be careful late at night.
Schools & Employment
Dupont Circle has a number of schools in the neighborhood, but a few stand out. School for Friends is an exceptional preschool which accepts children as early as 18 months. It is run by the Quaker Church.
Emerson Preparatory School is a small co-ed college preparatory school which is highly regarded. Another great private school is the School for Ethics and Global Leadership which runs semester-long programs for gifted high school juniors who are selected from around the country.
Although it is no longer in operation, the neighborhood is home to the Charles Sumner School which was established in the 1870s as one of the first schools for African Americans in the district. It is worth visiting.
If you take a stroll down Q Street, you will end up in Georgetown and a few blocks off of Q Street you will find the well-known Georgetown University. GW or George Washington University is located on the outskirts of Georgetown and Foggy Bottom – also within walking distance.
There are plenty of not-for-profit organizations and think tanks just off the circle, as well as embassies.