Downtown, Washington, DC.
Collapse map / See photo gallery

Although Downtown Washington, DC is an area whose boundaries are hard to define, it’s generally regarded as the fifteen block stretch extending west of I-395 to The White House and sandwiched between The National Mall to the south and M Street to the north.

Unlike in most major cities, Downtown DC isn’t a jungle of high rises, the result of a long-standing federal law on height restrictions originally passed to ensure no building could be taller than the Capitol. Since few buildings exceed twelve stories, the area has an open skyline, as well as rents on par with those in New York’s Manhattan.

Due to the prevalence of federal offices, the neighborhood fosters a busy lunch and Happy Hour scene, with politicos and pundits wining and dining at fat cat steak houses, interns and staffers crowding the few cheap bars, and lobbyists from nearby K Street – the epicenter of DC’s lobbying headquarters – smoking cigars and strategizing at lounges that have served as watering holes for generations.

Stern-looking suits from the FBI angle for tables alongside lawyers and workers from the enormous Federal Triangle, a seventy-acre stretch of important federal institutions including the Federal Trade Commission, the IRS, and the historic Old Post Office Pavilion.

Besides the historic Ford’s and National Theaters that cater to theater lovers, K Street between 13th and 22nd Streets has seen an upscale nightlife scene spring up, where bottle service, bouncers, and a strong showing of international jet-setters are par for the course on Friday and Saturday nights.

The most bustling scene, however, happens inside the Downtown enclaves of Penn Quarter and Chinatown, where dozens of restaurants and bars that opened after the 1997 completion of the Verizon Center keep the streets alive with barhoppers, sports fans, foodies, and the drinking delegates of DC.

More
Less

Top Upcoming Events in Downtown

April 2014

Apr 18 Fri
Keller Williams

Concert / Country / Jam Band / Pop / Rock

Add to Calendar
Apr 25 Fri
Brian Regan

Comedy Show / Comedy / Stand-Up Comedy

Add to Calendar
Apr 26 Sat
George Lopez

Comedy Show / Stand-Up Comedy / Comedy / Stand-Up Comedy

Add to Calendar

May 2014

May 1 Thu
Eddie Izzard

Comedy Show / Comedy / Stand-Up Comedy

Add to Calendar

Where to Go in Downtown

Want the inside scoop on all things to do in Washington, DC? Sign up for our weekly email and get in the know today!

Book Now and Save at Hotels.com

Are we missing a venue or event?
Find your scene