Georgetown DC Row Houses

8 Great Things To Do In Georgetown (Washington, DC)—Not Including Cupcakes

Many people know Georgetown as the home of Georgetown Cupcake, featured on a popular television show.

Oh, but there is so much more to Georgetown than sweets. Georgetown existed long before cupcakes and will continue to thrive after the fad passes (bold prediction).

Georgetown was founded as a tobacco port in 1751 and today is DC’s upscale neighborhood with many of DC’s most expensive properties. In fact, “George Town” existed 40 years before D.C. was created.

8 great things to do in Georgetown:

Visit Georgetown University. Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic college in the United States, founded in 1789. Prominent alumni include President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and countless heads of state, congressmen, and more. Like many universities around the world, the Georgetown campus is fantastic for walking and exploring. Besides, how many universities have their own on-campus graveyard?

Architecture and History. Georgetown is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Walking the cobblestone (and non-cobblestone streets) is a treat for the eyes. There are endless collections of row houses and some surviving pre-Revolution structures. Georgetown is the start of the C&O Canal National Historic Park. Right next to the Key Bridge, is a cute little green space officially known as Francis Scott Key Park. This is a very small sampling of the treasures in Georgetown.




things to do in Georgetown

Cobblestone Street in Georgetown



Stairs from “The Exorcist.” Perhaps climbing the stairs from the movie “The Exorcist” is not on everyone’s wish list but when I have visited this location I have seen people from all over the world.


quirky travel photos: Exorcist Stairs

Exorcist Stairs in Georgetown, Washington, DC

Waterfront and Nature. In addition to the Georgetown Waterfront Park, the Georgetown waterfront area includes the Washington Harbour. It is a great place to shop, eat, watch entertainment, or check out excellent views. The aforementioned C&O Canal path is a popular trail for runners (walkers and joggers) and bicyclists. Don’t count on finishing the entire trail as it is 185 miles! The Georgetown waterfront is a popular spot to catch scenic cruises, rent boats, or watch boat practices and races. For biking and hiking, Battery Kemble Park and Grover Archbold Park are excellent oases in the midst of the city. Montrose Park connects to Rock Creek park.


things to do in Georgetown

park in Georgetown, Washington, DC


Embassies. Foreign embassies host events and conferences and are located on some prime properties. Some of the embassies located in Georgetown include SwedenFrance, Cameroon, Ukraine, Thailand, and Mongolia. One time I was walking along R Street and several men with colorful outfits were talking on cell phones outside the Cameroon embassy.

Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks is a museum, library, and gardens on 53 acres in the middle of Georgetown. The research library is dedicated to pre-Columbian, Byzantine, and garden and landscape studies. The museum hosts Byzantine and pre-Columbian art and European masterpieces. The gardens are known as the best in DC (maybe America?) and a highlight for most visitors.

Shop and Eat. Most of Georgetown’s commerce is located along M Street and Wisconsin Avenue. There are over 500 stores, restaurants, and service places (according to Georgetown Business Improvement District). The bar scene is vibrant most nights with monumental traffic jams especially on Saturday nights. Besides, when celebrities visit Washington, DC, they are sure to be found in Georgetown. Perhaps even visiting Georgetown Cupcake.

Walk a Labyrinth. There are many labyrinths in Washington, DC and the surrounding area. The Georgetown Waterfront Park labyrinth can be considered lively and fun, compared to other sacred and contemplative versions. It often has kids running through it and bicycles zooming through the park. Quiet, no. Interesting (and free), yes.

Do you have other favorite things to do in Georgetown?

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12 Responses to “8 Great Things To Do In Georgetown (Washington, DC)—Not Including Cupcakes”

  1. Cathy Sweeney July 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    These are great ideas. I like walking by the embassies, too. My imagination runs wild with thoughts of international intrigue! I was in D.C. twice in the past year, but still haven’t climbed the Exorcist stairs. I’d like to do that sometime.

    • McCool Travel July 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you, Cathy. I am sure you will enjoy the climb (or descent, if you would rather).

  2. Katie E. July 24, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    There is also Mile Post 0 with the C&O Canal. You can find it by walking by the Thompsons Boat House (towards the Kennedy Center) on the riverside – walk over the foot bridge and the Mile Post is in the trees by the water.


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