Use Metrorail or Metrobus to get around the DC area. website: www.wmata.com
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A wide variety of housing options are available throughout the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Personal preference is generally the deciding factor in choosing a place to live. No matter what you decide, there are tradeoffs. If cost is a key issue, remember that generally the farther away from the center of the city, the less expensive the housing. If you rely on public transportation, keep in mind that living in the city requires less travel time. If you own a car, you should know that parking is generally difficult in the city, as street parking is scarce and garages often cost $20 per day or more. Listed below are brief descriptions of some neighborhoods in and around metropolitan Washington, DC.
Northwest (N.W.): The largest area of the District, it is composed of several contrasting neighborhoods, including older areas and those being modernized and renovated. Most neighborhoods within Northwest, DC are served by both Metrobuses and the Metrorail system. As neighborhoods do vary within the city, visitors are well advised to visit the prospective home. Commuting time varies throughout this area, but generally ranges from 10-40 minutes. The following are individual descriptions of neighborhoods in NW DC:
Adams Morgan: This is an urban area near Dupont Circle and Kalorama, centered around Columbia Roads & 18th St., NW. Adams Morgan has a diverse population - students, young families, diplomatic officials, recent immigrants & longtime residents of the District. The neighborhood is very culturally diverse with many international restaurants & markets, including the Latin Market on Sunday, plus many shops & free festivals. Adams Morgan is also referred to as Washington Heights, Dupont Circle North or Mount Pleasant. Housing options vary enormously. Adams Morgan is an easy walk from the Woodley Park stop on Metrorail's Red Line or the U Street-Cardozo stop on the Green Line.
Cleveland Park: Cleveland Park is a historic neighborhood of single-family houses and large apartment buildings. The Cleveland Park Metro stop is conveniently located in an attractive area of small stores, restaurants, and a classic movie theater.
Dupont Circle: The Circle is actually the entire area around the intersection of Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenues, surrounded by Foggy Bottom to the south, and Adams Morgan to the north. Dupont Circle is a busy office and shopping area, as well as an urban cultural center. The streets and avenues that radiate from Dupont Circle offer many types of accommodations, from older high-rises to smaller apartment buildings to basement apartments or private rooms in a home. The neighborhood is conveniently served by Metrorail's Dupont Circle stop on the Red Line.
Foggy Bottom: Foggy Bottom is George Washington University's campus and surrounding neighborhood. Housing is limited. Advantages to living in this area include a close proximity to the GW campus, The White House, The Kennedy Center, Watergate Hotel, Pennsylvania Avenue, museums, government agencies, and national associations. Housing options include high-rise apartments and townhouses. Dupont Circle West and the West End may also be considered part of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Metrorail's Orange and Blue Lines stop at Foggy Bottom.
Friendship Heights: The area located around upper Wisconsin Avenue, this neighborhood is located on the DC/Maryland border. This area contains high-rises, boutiques, restaurants, and two large shopping malls. Friendship Heights surrounds Wisconsin Avenue, with regular bus service and a Metrorail station on the Red Line.
Georgetown: The Georgetown shopping area caters to tourists, students and young adults. Occasionally townhouses are available to rent by several visitors who share the cost. Families sometimes rent individual rooms, or basement apartments in their private homes. This area can be reached by any bus on Pennsylvania Avenue, but is not directly served by Metrorail.
Glover Park: This neighborhood is a quiet, secluded area located just above Georgetown within walking distance of American University and the National Cathedral. The population of Glover Park consists of students, young professionals and families. Group houses abound in this area, along with smaller garden apartments. There are many restaurants and shops, and metrobus transportation is available. Glover Park may also be referred to as Cathedral, Observatory, and Upper Georgetown. It is served by the Wisconsin Avenue bus, but is a good walk from the nearest Metrorail station, at Cleveland Park.
Logan Circle: The area around this Circle, north of downtown and east of Dupont Circle, consists mainly of Victorian mansions, many of which are currently being renovated and revitalized. Due to its proximity to downtown DC, this area has a mixture of accommodations.
Woodley Park: Woodley Park is a comfortable neighborhood of town houses and large apartment buildings. It is north of Dupont Circle, south of Cleveland Park, and west of Adams-Morgan. Metrorail's Red Line station at Woodley Park is in the middle of a small but attractive shopping area.
Northeast (N.E.): This is the area around Catholic and Gallaudet Universities and Union Station, a large shopping and dining complex housing the Amtrak train terminal. Metrobuses travel regularly through all major arteries within Northeast, and the Green and Red Lines of Metrorail service neighborhoods of this area.
Southeast (S.E.): The neighborhood most famous in this area is "Capitol Hill", location of the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress and many other major government offices. Southeast is a very historic area, consisting of important federal buildings and residences representing diverse architectural styles. Public transportation via metro buses and the Metrorail system are available on a frequent basis with Orange/Blue Line stations at Capitol South and Eastern Market.
Southwest (S.W.): This is the downtown area near the Smithsonian museums on the Mall and Washington's waterfront. Public transportation exists in the way of metrobuses and the Metrorail system with a Green Line stop at Waterfront, Blue/Orange Line stops at Smithsonian, and Blue/Orange/Yellow/Green Line stops at L' Enfant Plaza.
Bethesda, Maryland: The downtown of Bethesda is rapidly being developed and has a very urban feeling. The Bethesda stop on Metro's Red Line is centrally located on Wisconsin Avenue. There are many large, new apartment buildings, some of which are rental. There are many restaurants in Bethesda, of all types and price ranges.
Silver Spring, Maryland: Located on the other end of the horseshoe loop of the Red Line on Metro from Bethesda, but not far geographically, is Silver Spring. Several large apartment buildings are convenient to the shopping district on Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue. Metro's Silver Spring stop is central to, and above it all here, where the subway is actually elevated.
Takoma Park, Maryland: Takoma Park is also on the Red Line of Metro, but farther to the east, across the border from the Northeast quadrant of DC. The Takoma Park Metro stop is near a small, low key central shopping area.
Alexandria, Virginia: Alexandria, an attractive historic city, offers a wide price range in housing and a wide variety in types of housing, although many landlords may not advertise in newspapers. The main thoroughfare from DC to Alexandria, Shirley Highway (Memorial and 14th St. Bridges) is very crowded during rush hour. Old Town Alexandria has a wide array of shops, restaurants, and other attractions. The Yellow and Blue Lines on Metrorail make three stops in the Alexandria area.
North Arlington, Virginia: Arlington is an inner suburb of Washington, immediately across the Potomac in Northern Virginia. There are many types of housing in North Arlington including townhouses, garden apartments, large high-rises, luxury apartments, duplexes, and individual homes. North Arlington is served by several stops on Metrorail's Orange Line.
South Arlington, Virginia: As in North Arlington, there are varied types of housing. Crystal City is a section of high-rises off of US Route 1 overlooking the Potomac River and accessible by Metrorail on both the Blue and Yellow Lines. A new development of apartment complexes has been built at Pentagon City, adjacent to the Fashion Centre shopping mall and also accessible on both the Blue and Yellow Lines.
Housing information, check the real estate rental listings in the local newspapers, or visit the following websites:
Also, visit the websites of these local universities: The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, Georgetown University, and The George Washington University; They offer summer dorm housing options.