Separated from most of D.C. by a spacious park and from Virginia by a wide river, Georgetown has a natural geographical exclusivity to it. And that charm helps create a beautiful, inviting neighborhood with plenty to do, from pleasant strolls to retail shopping to nature walks.
To best experience the neighborhood, one should begin outside of it. Park in Rosslyn, Virginia and walk across the Key Bridge, which rises 100 feet above the Potomac River. The height lends itself to fantastic vistas. On the right one can see the Washington Monument in its entirety, and straight ahead, you can see most of the gothic National Cathedral, cresting high above the horizon.
The bridge is illuminated with dozens of lamp posts, and in wintertime, each and every one is decorated with a holiday wreath: a seasonal, festive touch.
After walking across the bridge, your trip to Georgetown can take three divergent paths, each providing a uniquely different experience.
If it’s a relaxing stroll you prefer, head straight up 35th Street, a cobblestone path unchanged from when it was first built. From there, any of the side streets in the neighborhood will take you past aged row houses with beautiful, faded brick facades and solid oak doors. Brick sidewalks lend an elegant touch, and the neighborhood has a quaintness that belies the hustle and bustle just a few blocks below.
That energy comes from M Street, which can be reached by turning right after crossing the Key Bridge. M Street is perhaps the busiest corridor in the city, constantly packed with people shopping, eating and observing. Retail stores abound, with high-end shops from major brands.
But the area doesn’t cater exclusively to the upper crust. And shopping is far from the only thing to do on the street.
If hunger pangs strike, Georgetown has numerous options to satiate any stomach. The best place for a quick snack is Dean & DeLuca, at the corner of Potomac Street and M. The store and shop offer freshly prepared salads and sandwiches of the highest quality. And to top it off, some of the best coffee drinks in the area.
But if neither retail nor real estate is to your liking, there’s still a third option that Georgetown can offer, perfect for the nature lover in everyone.
Running just a block south of M Street, but what feels like a world away is the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. Alongside of it is a sandy dirt path, perfect for a soothing walk, even though you are still inside the hectic neighborhood. The canal is cut into the cliffs of Georgetown, and a twenty-five foot high stone wall keeps the area segregated and private from the fast-paced life above. The path runs the length of the neighborhood, and in fact, plenty farther—all the way to Northern Maryland.
So whether you enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors, the hectic life of city living, or want to wander one of the nicest neighborhood the city has to offer, Georgetown can satisfy anyone’s wishes.
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