By Rebekah Troutman

Washington D.C. is a travel hotspot come summertime and the Fourth of July, and brings to mind incredible museums and monuments in our country’s capital. The city comes alive in the summer with festivals that celebrate music, food, and film, as well as celebrations that obviously can’t be rivaled on Independence Day. If you’re looking to explore the city beyond its usual appeal, here are three neighborhoods that you simply cannot skip:

Downtown Washington D.C. is known for it’s shopping! The area is mostly commercial, and there are a wide variety of stores from H&M and Urban Outfitters to Macy’s, Burberry, and Zara, as well as local shops. Dining options are seemingly limitless but some local favorites are White Apron for a quick bite, and Bobby Van’s Steakhouse or Plume at the Jefferson Hotel if a sit-down dinner is more on the agenda. E Street Cinema, is a must for any film enthusiast; this theatre shows everything from documentaries and small films to blockbusters and classics such as Monte Carlo and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Downtown DC is perfect for a family shopping spree or girl’s night out, and certainly offers something for everyone.

Georgetown brings to mind the university, the stores, and yes, the cupcakes! This area teems with shops that offer anything from designer boutiques, clothing and food to unique gifts, antiques, and home décor. I recommend walking along the Georgetown Water Front to take in D.C.’s beautiful surroundings, which includes a stunning view of the Potomac Rover and the Kennedy Center. DC Cupcakes, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Baked and Wired (another cupcake shop) are located within walking distance of each other and all of them boast delectable desserts.

Barracks Row is another quaint area with shops and boutiques, located a short walk from the capital building near the Eastern Market metro stop. Its main attraction is Eastern Market – a farmers market of sorts, where you can find a little bit of everything on weekends. Fresh produce and flowers are available there year round, and several vendors sell jewelry, including vintage and hand-made finds. Others offer hand made or foreign goods and artwork. The neighborhood has a wide variety of restaurants and specialties, and some of the best macarons in the city can tasted at Sweet Lobby!

In a city as large and teeming with history and culture as Washington DC, it can be difficult to narrow down the sites to see. If you find yourself looking for a new area to explore, and one that’s a favorite with the locals, then Downtown DC, Georgetown, and Barracks Row should be on your short list!

Originally published July 2013
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