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Living in Washington D.C.

Washington DC's Metro (WMATA) service goes out to the Beltway and beyond, meaning you can live in Alexandria, Arlington, or Bethesda and still work in central DC. Dupont Circle is the heart of the transit system with transit lines to the city’s famous monuments — the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Mall, and the White House.

The Capital Bikeshare program is great, with miles of bike routes, and the city’s topography is bicycle friendly. DC has a wealth of walkable neighborhoods with classic row houses and nearly endless attractions.

Nearby Apartments

76 Walk Score of Washington D.C., DC

Washington D.C. is Very Walkable

Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Photo of National Cathedral School in Washington D.C.

National Cathedral School

Photo of Logan Circle in Washington D.C.

Logan Circle

Washington D.C. is the 7th most walkable large city in the US with 601,723 residents.

Washington D.C. has excellent public transportation and is somewhat bikeable.

Find apartments in Washington D.C.'s most walkable neighborhoods: U-Street, Dupont Circle and Mount Vernon Square.

Washington D.C. Apartments for Rent

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods

Rank

#

Name

Walk Score

Transit Score

Bike Score

Population

1 U-Street 98 85 96 11,427
2 Dupont Circle 98 89 95 17,057
3 Mount Vernon Square 97 100 92 6,494
4 Logan Circle - Shaw 97 90 95 21,218
5 Foggy Bottom - GWU - West End 95 91 80 16,281
6 Adams Morgan 95 81 88 15,639
7 H Street-NoMa 95 80 95 8,315
8 Columbia Heights 94 82 90 35,322
9 Downtown-Penn Quarter-Chinatown 93 100 92 7,570
10 LeDroit Park - Bloomingdale 89 77 80 8,739
11 Mount Pleasant 89 79 81 10,443
12 SW Ballpark - Navy Yard 89 84 87 4,091
13 Howard University 87 76 82 1,101
14 Kalorama 87 75 82 2,587
15 Capitol Hill 86 81 92 38,802
16 Eckington 85 73 90 3,492
17 Petworth 85 72 80 20,979
18 Trinidad - Langston 82 59 68 14,495
19 Southwest - Waterfront 82 78 89 11,444
20 16th Street Heights - Crestwood - Brightwood Park 80 64 71 17,694
21 Kingman Park 80 69 93 6,604
22 Georgetown 79 61 71 16,704
23 AU Park - Friendship Heights - Tenley 79 64 68 9,341
24 Brightwood - Manor Park 77 66 65 16,676
25 Cleveland Park 75 65 64 6,594
26 Woodley Park 74 67 72 6,751
27 Brookland 74 69 74 18,794
28 Cathedral - Wesley Heights - McLean Gardens 73 54 55 11,780
29 Glover Park 73 51 54 8,455
30 Brentwood - Langdon 71 61 57 7,660
31 McMillan Reservoir 70 70 71 776
32 Van Ness - Forest Hills 69 62 52 13,738
33 Colonial Village - Shepherd Park 67 72 52 4,038
34 Fort Totten - Riggs Park 67 74 55 10,960
35 Benning 64 77 55 8,599
36 Anacostia 61 67 44 22,990
37 Marshall Heights - Lincoln Heights 61 68 44 14,944
38 Congress Heights 59 62 38 38,816
39 Randle Heights 57 62 43 9,851
40 Woodridge - Fort Lincoln 57 52 46 6,004
41 Chevy Chase-DC 57 51 53 14,994
42 Spring Valley 57 42 47 5,554
43 Hillcrest - Fairfax Village 54 57 40 3,724
44 Fort Dupont 53 59 44 19,875
45 Foxhall-Palisades 52 39 53 8,437
46 Michigan Park 51 67 57 7,574
47 Deanwood 50 69 52 8,813
48 River Terrace - Lily Ponds - Mayfair 48 72 67 4,814
49 Potomac Yard - Potomac Greens 30 45 18 826

Average Home Features

According to HomeAdvisor Data, these characteristics make up the average home in Washington D.C.

Average square footage 2300
Homeowners have 3.5 bedrooms
Homeowners have 2.7 bathrooms
Age of home 35 years
Average time living in home 12 years

Check out HomeAdvisor’s Washington D.C. Home Happiness Survey.

Eating & Drinking

There are about 2,941 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Washington D.C..

People in Washington D.C. can walk to an average of 9 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Photo of Heller's Bakery in Washington D.C.

Heller's Bakery

Photo of Wonderland Bar and Grill in Washington D.C.

Wonderland Bar and Grill

Restaurant Choices Map

= More Choices

thumbnail for National Cathedral SchoolThis iconic place should not be missed by any visitor to DC. Regardless of religion, you'll fall in love with the architecture... #cathedralheights

Erik Metzroth
on National Cathedral School

71 Transit Score of Washington D.C., DC

Washington D.C. has Excellent Transit

Transit is convenient for most trips. Find Washington D.C. apartments for rent near public transit.

Public Transit Routes

Washington D.C. has excellent public transportation and about 145 bus, 2 rail and 6 subway lines.

Transit Time

The map above shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes from Washington D.C. on public transit.

Neighborhood Guides

Thinking of renting an apartment or buying in Washington D.C.? Ask our neighborhood guides a question.

WC Smith

WC Smith is a Washington, DC-based multidisciplinary real estate firm. The company has provided integrated real estate services to the Washington metropolitan area and beyond for 45 years.

Ask WC about Washington D.C.

http://wcsmith.com/DC-Apartments »

Photo of NoMa Summer Screen in Washington D.C.

NoMa Summer Screen

Photo of Canal Park Ice Rink in Washington D.C.

Canal Park Ice Rink

Photo of Park Tavern in Washington D.C.

Park Tavern

Photo of Buddhist center in Washington D.C.

Buddhist center

Photo of Church on 16th Street in Washington D.C.

Church on 16th Street

Photo of Lafayette Farmer market in Washington D.C.

Lafayette Farmer market

69 Bike Score of Washington D.C., DC

Washington D.C. is Bikeable

Some bike infrastructure.

25
100
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What's It Like to Live in Washington D.C.?

Photo of Bartholdi Fountain in Washington D.C.

Bartholdi Fountain

Photo of Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

Lincoln Memorial

Photo of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C.

Duke Ellington School of the Arts

Photo of Harriet Tubman Elementary School In Washington DC in Washington D.C.

Harriet Tubman Elementary School In Washington DC

Overview

Diverse, with a thriving local economy and an endless array of things to do – a lot of them free! – and a central location that serves as a hub not just for East coast travel, but as a launching point across the Atlantic…these are just a starting point of what’s great about living in Washington DC.

Much of the work in DC is either directly for or in some way related to the government – legal and financial services, lobbyists, think tanks, and policy related NGOs. Hotel giant Marriott is based in Washington DC, while Capitol One, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and dozens of other defense, research, and finance companies have their headquarters in the greater metropolitan area.

DC is home to one of the largest student populations in the nation; there are 19 colleges and universities in the district – Georgetown, George Washington, Gallaudet, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design along with a handful of religious and political institutions.

Washington DC is located in a region that gets four distinct seasons; it’s famous for the beautiful spring cherry blossoms which cover extensive government building green spaces with a carpet of flower petals, but the change of color in fall is striking and lovely as well. Winters can bring snow storms, but it is the summer heat that challenges the residents – the muggy humid days take some getting used to.

Nearly 20% of the city is dedicated to public parks. That doesn’t include the spectacular array of museums – the Smithsonian, the National Museum of Air and Space, the National Portrait Gallery, the International Spy Museum, and dozens of other cultural institutions. Combine all that culture with a great restaurant scene that’s ethnically diverse, an extensive transit system, international tourist and travelers, and a metro area that’s comprised of interesting neighborhoods and you have a great place to live.

Photo of NoMa Summer Screen in Washington D.C.

NoMa Summer Screen

Photo of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.

Gallaudet University

Getting Around

Residents commonly complain about the lack of parking and about the region’s terrible traffic. Thankfully, you really don’t need a car in DC, in fact, you are probably better off without one. Washington DC’s extensive subway system – Metro – services the entire DC area, reaching out to Alexandria, Arlington, Bethesda as well as many satellite communities. The DC subway also connects to Reagan National Airport. The Washington Flyer connects Metro to Dulles Airport.

Metro also operates the bus service that fills the gaps on the surface streets – and they run a series of limited stop express lines. The DC Circulator runs regular service on very popular routes and there’s a streetcar in the works. MARC and VRE run the commuter rail lines from Maryland and Virginia, into Washington DC.

Capital Bikeshare has a staggering network of bike share stations, not just in DC proper, but in Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda, Montgomery County – allowing many DC residents to pass on bike ownership and rely exclusively on the Bikeshare program for their fair weather transportation. There are miles of cycle-friendly mixed use trails. Bikestation operates a secure bike parking facility near Union Station; it’s popular with rail commuters that live outside the city but want to do their in-city commuting by bike.

DC has car-sharing services including ZipCar, Hertz on Demand, and Enterprise Car Share, so if you find you need a car for short errands. DC also has a terrific central website (GoDCGo.com) to help you find information about any of your transportation questions.

thumbnail for Logan CircleLogan Circle. A beautiful park surrounded by historic houses with amazing architecture.

loganxart .
on Logan Circle

Neighborhoods

Dupont Circle is a walker’s paradise and is arguably DC’s most walkable neighborhood and is situated over a major transportation hub. Oddball fun fact? The subway station here is home to one of the longest escalators in the world. At street level, the neighborhood is comprised of a mix of historic row houses and some elegant embassy mansions. Dupont Circle is where DC has its annual gay pride parade and is home to a large LGBT population. The ubiquitous row houses occasionally come up for rent, but mostly you’ll be looking at newer high rise buildings, studios and up to two bedroom apartments.

You’d have to try hard to be more than five minutes away from a bus or subway station, a good restaurant or café, or a supermarket – everything is outside your door if you choose to live in Dupont Circle.

The nearby West End has a few supermarkets, is crisscrossed by major bus routes, and is walking distance to the Metro station. Apartments and condos are primarily in larger complexes – so you can find a place with an outdoor pool, a gym, and a gourmet kitchen and roomier living spaces with up to three bedrooms.

Photo of 8th & Elder St NW, Washington DC in Washington D.C.

8th & Elder St NW, Washington DC

Photo of Malolo Bed and Breakfast in Washington D.C.

Malolo Bed and Breakfast

Photo of Canal Park in Washington D.C.

Canal Park

Photo of Canal Park in Washington D.C.

Canal Park

Across the Potomac in Arlington, there are several very walkable neighborhoods. Ballston-Virginia and Clarendon-Courthouse both have direct Metro service into DC on the Orange line. The Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters are in Ballston. There’s a well known food festival here, the Taste of Arlington. Most rentals here are in large apartment buildings though you can find units with up to four bedrooms. There’s a lot of newer construction here compared to some of the in-city neighborhoods, so if you’re looking for modern buildings with amenities, these are good neighborhoods to research.

Single family homes are harder to find in the immediate DC area, you’ll need to look at little further out – Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase are both still on the Metro line. You’ll have to compromise a little bit on walkability, but you’ll be able to park your car and you can find a historic home with a yard and a garage.

Silver Spring, Maryland, has a revitalized urban downtown with a mix of new and older apartment buildings.

To live and work in our nation's capitol, Washington D.C. you can find the perfect Washington D.C. studio where you can stroll tree-lined streets and bike to work on the city's boulevards. Prices are a little lower outside the immediate metropolitan area so if you’re open to a rail commute, it’s worth looking in Maryland, at cities that are on the MARC rail line, or south in Virginia at neighborhoods with stations on the VRE.

55% of people in the DC area currently rent their homes. Walk Score helps you find a two bedroom condo in Georgetown, family rental homes in Tyson's Corner, or a studio apartment in Dupont Circle. Discover places to live by square footage, condos with a view of the National Monument, or near the best DC coffee shops and restaurants.

thumbnail for Bartholdi FountainThe fountain is was designed for gas lamps and is beautiful at night.

John Allread
on Bartholdi Fountain

Washington D.C. is Talking About...

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Photo of Meridian Hill Park in Washington D.C.

Meridian Hill Park

Photo of Garfield Park in Washington D.C.

Garfield Park

thumbnail for Lincoln MemorialIt's stunning anytime of day, but if you have time, visit just before sunset...it's glorious.

Holli Beckman
on Lincoln Memorial

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