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D.C.’s 5 hippest neighborhoods for college students

From Dupont Circle to Georgetown

What makes a neighborhood hip and perfect for college students? According to Rachel Cooper,’s Washington D.C. expert and contributor, those in their early 20s look for walkability, good access to restaurants, bars, and entertainment, and a variety of transportation options.

As we get closer to the school season, Cooper was able to uncover which areas are worth renting. From U Street Corridor to Penn Quarter, learn about five neighborhoods worth becoming your next home sweet home.

U Street Corridor

U Street Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Aude

This area of Washington, D.C. is considered the city’s “Black Broadway,” named so because of its history of influencing African-American artists like Duke Ellington. Cooper praised this area not only for its history, but because of its variety of restaurants and bars.

Navy Yard

Navy Yard Photo via Wikimedia Commons/DoDMedia

This Southeast neighborhood houses Nationals Park, the city’s ballpark, as well as an abundance of restaurants and bars. Cooper further described the neighborhood has having an abundance of newly built housing.

Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle Fountain Photo via Wikimedia Commons/AgnosticPreachersKid

If you want a fun place to hang out, Cooper recommends the ever-popular Dupont Circle neighborhood. This area offers a a variety of fast casual restaurants for hanging out as well as great architecture. There are also many embassies nearby definitely worth touring.


Photo via Shutterstock/DiegoMariottini

“[This] prime neighborhood [comes] with a location right on the Potomac River,” says Cooper. Because of its proximity to the water, Georgetown offers kayaking as well as great views from the Georgetown Waterfront Park. To get a bite of something to eat, the best restaurants can be found on M Street NW and Wisconsin Avenue NW. Those who are more active can also bike on the Capital Crescent Trail.

Penn Quarter

Photo via Ken Lund

Penn Quarter is located near Downtown and beside Chinatown. Here, residents have walkable access to the Verizon Center, National Mall, and Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There is no shortage of restaurants or bars here.