clock menu more-arrow no yes

Who Needs a Map? D.C.'s Inaccurately Named Businesses

View as Map

D.C. real estate always seems to bend the boundaries of neighborhoods in our fair city: there are plenty of ads for places like "north Georgetown," "Capitol Hill East" or "Dupont East" that are either in other neighborhoods altogether or nowhere near those 'hoods. That toponym-stretching also extends to some businesses in the city, with names that don't match their locations. Here are six of the most egregious (or in some cases, most educational) examples.
Andrew Wiseman

Read More

1. BEST WESTERN PLUS Georgetown Hotel & Suites

Copy Link
1121 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 457-0565
Visit Website

The Best Western Georgetown is maybe the worst offender on the list. While some of the places on our list are simply named for some other part of D.C., this one actually purports to be somewhere else entirely. Located on New Hampshire Avenue NW near 21st and L, the Best Western is actually on the same block as the much more accurately-named Renaissance Washington Dupont Circle Hotel. Tough break for tourists who think they're staying in Georgetown, then have to walk about 8 blocks to get to very edge of the neighborhood and farther to actually get to the good stuff.

2. Boundary Stone Public House

Copy Link
116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 621-6635
Visit Website

Boundary Stone is named for the surveyors' monuments that delineated the original shape of the District of Columbia, specified in the Constitution to not exceed "10 Miles Square," that is, a square 10 miles on each side. In 1791, Andrew Ellicott (one of the namesakes for Ellicott City) hired African-American mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker to mark the location of the first stone, at Jones Point in Alexandria. (Alexandria at the time was within the District; the Virginia part of the square was retroceded in 1846.) Ellicott then surveyed his way around the District and stones were placed every mile. Most of the stones are still there, with a few replaced by a plaque or sign. Boundary Stone isn't really near a boundary stone, however -- the nearest one is a few miles away in Fort Lincoln Cemetery. Photo by Tom Bridge.

3. The Westin Georgetown, Washington D.C.

Copy Link
2350 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 429-0100
Visit Website

Another hotel claiming to be in Georgetown, at least this one is a little closer, located on M Street between 23rd and 24th. They do say it's in the West End on their website, and the Westin West End would be a pretty awkward construction, so maybe we can give them a pass for this sneakiness.

4. Boundary Road Restaurant

Copy Link
414 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002-4336
(202) 450-3265
Visit Website

Boundary Road was an actual road in the city. We know it today as Florida Avenue. The street formed the northern border of the original City of Washington and of the L'Enfant Plan, and its curving shape has a practical reason: it's the end of the flat land of the Coastal Plain. North of Florida Avenue, the land quickly slopes upwards, making it inconvenient for horse and foot travel. However, by 1890 the city had outgrown its old border and the street was renamed. The restaurant is pretty far from Florida Avenue, but is actually within the old Washington City. Photo by Jim Malone.

5. Residence Inn National Harbor Washington, DC

Copy Link
192 Waterfront St
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
(301) 749-4755
Visit Website

While it does have National Harbor in the name, it also has the name of our fair city — let's hope that folks who stay there don't actually think they're going to be in D.C., or they're in for quite a hike. At least they're near the Peeps Store. That's got to be worth something.

6. Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station

Copy Link
2660 Woodley Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

What would a list of inaccurate place names be without this one? While some Metro station names are debatable, like the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro maybe not actually being in Petworth, this one is indisputable. It's more than a half mile from the center of Adams Morgan (and only slightly closer than the Columbia Heights Metro), and the Cleveland Park Metro is just as close to the Zoo.

Loading comments...

1. BEST WESTERN PLUS Georgetown Hotel & Suites

1121 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037

The Best Western Georgetown is maybe the worst offender on the list. While some of the places on our list are simply named for some other part of D.C., this one actually purports to be somewhere else entirely. Located on New Hampshire Avenue NW near 21st and L, the Best Western is actually on the same block as the much more accurately-named Renaissance Washington Dupont Circle Hotel. Tough break for tourists who think they're staying in Georgetown, then have to walk about 8 blocks to get to very edge of the neighborhood and farther to actually get to the good stuff.

1121 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037

2. Boundary Stone Public House

116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Boundary Stone is named for the surveyors' monuments that delineated the original shape of the District of Columbia, specified in the Constitution to not exceed "10 Miles Square," that is, a square 10 miles on each side. In 1791, Andrew Ellicott (one of the namesakes for Ellicott City) hired African-American mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker to mark the location of the first stone, at Jones Point in Alexandria. (Alexandria at the time was within the District; the Virginia part of the square was retroceded in 1846.) Ellicott then surveyed his way around the District and stones were placed every mile. Most of the stones are still there, with a few replaced by a plaque or sign. Boundary Stone isn't really near a boundary stone, however -- the nearest one is a few miles away in Fort Lincoln Cemetery. Photo by Tom Bridge.

116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. The Westin Georgetown, Washington D.C.

2350 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Another hotel claiming to be in Georgetown, at least this one is a little closer, located on M Street between 23rd and 24th. They do say it's in the West End on their website, and the Westin West End would be a pretty awkward construction, so maybe we can give them a pass for this sneakiness.

2350 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037

4. Boundary Road Restaurant

414 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4336

Boundary Road was an actual road in the city. We know it today as Florida Avenue. The street formed the northern border of the original City of Washington and of the L'Enfant Plan, and its curving shape has a practical reason: it's the end of the flat land of the Coastal Plain. North of Florida Avenue, the land quickly slopes upwards, making it inconvenient for horse and foot travel. However, by 1890 the city had outgrown its old border and the street was renamed. The restaurant is pretty far from Florida Avenue, but is actually within the old Washington City. Photo by Jim Malone.

414 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002-4336

5. Residence Inn National Harbor Washington, DC

192 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD 20745

While it does have National Harbor in the name, it also has the name of our fair city — let's hope that folks who stay there don't actually think they're going to be in D.C., or they're in for quite a hike. At least they're near the Peeps Store. That's got to be worth something.

192 Waterfront St
Oxon Hill, MD 20745

6. Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station

2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

What would a list of inaccurate place names be without this one? While some Metro station names are debatable, like the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro maybe not actually being in Petworth, this one is indisputable. It's more than a half mile from the center of Adams Morgan (and only slightly closer than the Columbia Heights Metro), and the Cleveland Park Metro is just as close to the Zoo.

2660 Woodley Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009