This McCool Travel list of what to do in Georgetown Washington DC includes seeing vibrant architecture, visiting DC embassies, and experiencing parks, shopping, and one of the most famous movie scenes in history.
There are many more things to do Georgetown in Washington DC besides eating sweets at Georgetown Cupcake. Georgetown existed long before cupcakes and will continue to thrive long 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 Washington DC.
8 Great Things To Do In Georgetown Washington DC
1. 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?
2. DC Architecture and DC History
Georgetown Washington DC 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.
3. Walk the 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.
4. Visit Georgetown 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.
5. Visit DC Embassies
Foreign embassies host events and conferences and are located on some prime properties. Some of the embassies located in Georgetown include Sweden, France, 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.
6. Dumbarton Oaks
Dumbarton Oaks is a museum, library, and gardens on 53 acres in the middle of Georgetown. The research library is focuses on pre-Columbian, Byzantine, and garden and landscape studies. The museum hosts Byzantine and pre-Columbian art and European masterpieces. Many consider the gardens the best in DC (maybe America?) and a highlight for most visitors.
7. Shop and Eat in Georgetown
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, celebrities visiting Washington DC love to be seen in Georgetown. Perhaps even visiting Georgetown Cupcake.
For more places to eat in DC, see 8 Great Washington DC Food Trucks
8. 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.
See also Ways to Have Fun in Washington DC
Do you have other favorite things to do in Georgetown?