Washington DC, District of Columbia

Where Urban Edginess Meets Southern Charm

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Cyclists in front of Capitol
Cyclists in front of Capitol
Cherry Blossoms frame the Monument
Cherry Blossoms frame the Monument
Washington DC Streets
Washington DC Streets



Sunny Days: 203
62100 Affordability
80100 Schools
55100 Diversity
56100 Safety

Washington isn't a city, it's an abstraction. -Dylan Thomas

The Best Thing About D.C.?


We get that looking backwards doesn’t fit our go-go culture but it is impossible when you drive into DC not to have your breath taken away by the historical buildings constantly within your view. There is more history here, in one small city, than most of the rest combined. New York’s skyline is impressive, and San Francisco’s views are stunning but between the obvious historical buildings: the Capitol, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, and the less obvious: The Basilica, the National Cathedral, the National Portrait Gallery and the Library of Congress, there is nothing like it and it makes one proud to live here.

**Here's a transplanter on what they like about DC: **
At least in my case, it was VERY important to be near the seat of power. Many of the things I did had national or even global effect. It was quite satisfying to know that I had such impact.

It’s a well maintained compared to many cities. Lots of parks, flowers along the highways, monuments big and small dot the landscape making it attractive to look at. Many attractions. Many are “free” because we pay for them in taxes, but you pay the same amount whether to live in DC or Alaska. Whatever…the city is filled with things to do that have no admission charge. And then there all of the ones that DO charge admission. You’d better like history and museums, however.

For more reviews of what living in D.C. is like from locals check out: The Reviews

The Worst Thing About D.C.?

The Weather

If you didn’t know, D.C. used to be a swamp. Which means it is stupidly humid and when summer hits you will be unhappy. It gets cold in the winter by southern standards although there’s very little snow. D.C. is notoriously amateurish at dealing with the light dustings of powder that fall in January and schools will close for even an inch of snow.

Here's a transplanters view of the weather here:
Oddly enough, I find the dreariest time of year to actually be the summer here given the haze and humidity that can set in and dull the sky for days at a time. Winter is pretty nice here unless you really like snow (we don't get much of it), spring can be cloudy/rainy but is usually nice otherwise after a couple days of gloom, and fall usually brings sunny days for long stretches.

For more reviews of what living in D.C. is like from locals check out: The Reviews

LIfestyle In D.C.

The lifestyle in D.C. can be deeply intertwined with the worklife. People seriously work hard here and they often mix work with socializing. Going out for a quick drink after a long day of grind is a pretty common night in D.C. for young (and older) professionals.

Setting aside the work/play intertwining culture, there are a few really powerful lifestyle influences in D.C. The first is free access to the most amazing museum/cultural attractions on the planet. If you’re into museum/culture experiences D.C. is going to be your city. The second most powerful influence is the diversity of the population that may or may not affect your social circle, but which absolutely drives the multitudes of ethnic foods/restaurants available throughout the city.

Overall the vibe of D.C. tends to just be how much there is to do, at ALL TIMES. Galleries, museums, tons of sports team, speeches (political/social/environmental etc.), cultural events, parties, restaurant openings, outdoor concerts, it seriously never feels like it ends in this city. That social energy combined with the sheer political energy, means it just feels like this is where the action is.

To see what's happening throughout the year in D.C check out the calendar of events.

Worklife in D.C.

Not terribly surprising, but the work culture in the city is dominated by the government. That can make the city feel incredibly transient, given some of the people coming in for government work may only last two years. However, there are also plenty of “lifers” who are lifetime government workers or who work in cottage industries of politics, like lobbying or research etc. So some of your neighbors may be around for good.
One nice thing if you move here and work in the city is an excellent public transport system. Perhaps not on NYC’s level but still the Metro gets most people around so you don’t have to drive if you live here. The intensity of political/government work + the potential for that work to be temporary means there is frantic nature to the workstyle culture in D.C. People are not here to screw around. They work hard, they work for long hours, and they are smart and intense about delivering while they are here. If that intensity sounds exciting then D.C. might be your city.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

It’s D.C.

For most cities we focus on what’s happening right now for this recommendation - great economy, or cheap housing, etc. Washington D.C. is different. It’s timeless and one of those places that if you can find a way to live here you should. There’s lots we could say about funky neighborhoods or how cool it is to be on the east coast near other great cities, but in the end the reason to move here is because it is our nation’s capital. You will constantly see and feel that importance if you choose to move here and that’s important.

Neighborhoods in Washington DC

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College Students

So Georgetown is the most obvious starting point for the collegiates to check out. Tons of nightlife, centrally located to activities, and even the Potomac River if you’re feeling like getting out on the river and doing some paddling. The downside? It’s freaking pricey. If you’re looking to be closer to George Washington U then check out Dupont Circle or West End. Both have tons of bars and restaurants, cheaper housing than Georgetown, and are less than a mile from GWU. The city has a lot of different neighborhoods that are less than or just over a mile from the big campuses but these are some of the biggies.

  • Georgetown
  • Dupont Circle
  • West End
  • Foggy Bottom

Adams Morgan

Young Professionals

D.C. neighborhoods have gone through more changes than perhaps any city in the country outside of Brooklyn. Gentrification, the good and the bad of that trend, have brought wealthy young professionals into neighborhoods long dominated by working class communities of color. Adams Morgan is kind of the poster child for this type of change and it remains one of the cities most jumping neighborhoods. The main commercial corridor is 18th Street, which is lined with restaurants, bars and music venues. The weekend nightlife here is not kidding around. There are also tons of classic rowhouses and apartment buildings for those who don’t need a ton of room but want the emphasis on good walkscore social opportunities.
The newest “Adams Morgans” to receive the growth experience are the U Street Corridor or Columbia Heights. As with Adams Morgan they have lively social scenes and plenty of new and classic housing for the youngsters.

Dupont Circle


Dupont Circle is the historical LGBTQ+ neighborhood in D.C. It still has a good mix of bars, restaurants, and other businesses supporting the community on 17th Street. It is also the meeting point each June for Capital Pride, an annual GLBT pride festival that bills itself as the nation’s fourth-largest event of its kind. More recently though Logan Circle has emerged as the most popular neighborhood with some of the city's best LGBTQ+ bars and nightlife.

Glover Park

Young Families

Glover Park is one of the fastest growing family neighborhoods in the city. It’s a short walk to Georgetown for city experiences but also has great homes, a booming food scene, tons of baseball/softballs fields, incredible community support systems and perhaps most importantly, the highest rated elementary school in the city (Stoddert Elementary). The Palisades is another great option. It’s extremely quiet filled with single-family homes with tons of community activities, and has some of the top ranked elementary, middle and high schools in the city.

  • Glover Park
  • The Palisades
  • Friendship Heights

Chevy Chase

Established Families

There is no neighborhood in D.C. more “famous” than Georgetown. It’s beautiful, expensive and has some of the best elementary and secondary schools in the city, many of which have academic ties to Georgetown University and George Washington University. The row houses aren’t big by suburban standards but if you can cough up the coin, Georgetown offers an amazing experience for the kiddos. Other neighborhoods, like Chevy Chase and Spring Valley are more quiet than Georgetown and give you a more suburban vibe in the city.

  • Georgetown
  • Chevy Chase (the neighborhood in D.C. not the suburb in Maryland)
  • Spring Valley