The best way to experience all that Dupont Circle has to offer is to take a seat on one of the benches lining the circle. In addition to the hundreds of people pouring out from the Metro station below, you’ll see plenty of stylish residents, visiting ambassadors, and awestruck tourists. At any given moment, the Dupont Circle park may be home to a pop-up group exercise class, film festival, or classical music performance.
On Sunday mornings, you may want to bring a shopping bag and a blanket to fully enjoy the Dupont Circle farmer’s market. Over 50 vendors bring offerings ranging from the expected fresh vegetables and cage-free eggs to brunch-worthy breakfast and coffee options. Load up with plenty of treats to enjoy while people watching in the park (and maybe even some extra for the week’s meals!)
Of course, this is all just within the limits of the circle. To really see how much the neighborhood has to offer, you’ll have to explore all 10 spokes (5 major streets in both directions) that meet in the circle. Start walking up Massachussetts Ave. and you’ll find Queen Anne townhomes and international embassies—“Embassy Row” in Dupont Circle is home to over 50 of them. Walk down Connecticut Ave. and you’ll find modern restaurants, bars, and plenty of shopping. Dupont Circle has something for everyone, and at all hours of the day. To get a sense of this diversity, check out Kramerbooks just across from the metro station. Open daily from 7:30am to 1:00am (or later), it’s part indie bookstore and part café and bar. You’ll see a posh brunch crowd on weekend mornings and throngs of book lovers during weekday afternoons. Late night, there’s a lively bar scene with a mix of students and politicians enjoying wine, beer, and specialty cocktails.
This type of dichotomy exists in many places in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. You’ll see high-end retail next to an edgy consignment shop. Or authentic Peruvian cuisine across the street from a Shake Shack. The diverse offerings attract a mix of residents. But everyone comes together for community events like the annual Taste of Dupont Circle festival. The popular food festival features all of Dupont Circle’s restaurants and markets and typically sells out at least one month in advance. Neighbors also get together for First Friday art walks. Galleries stay open late once a month to entice locals and visitors to browse the area’s many galleries.
If First Friday inspires a craving for more art, be sure to visit The Phillips Collection. Opened in 1921, it was the first modern art museum in the nation. Today it still offers famous exhibits, art education programs, and a Sunday afternoon concert series. The Phillips Collection is a great option for families with children or couples on a first date. Of course, art comes in many forms. The folks at Dupont Festival work hard to offer a variety of year-round events in the circle. With past events like “Cinema in the Circle,” “Shakespeare in the Circle,” “Jazz in the Circle,” and even a World Cup watch party, you’re sure to meet a new set of neighbors at each event.
With all of this activity, it’s no surprise that Dupont Circle is a hot neighborhood for renters. DC apartment vacancies are filled quickly, so you’ll want to have your paperwork prepared and ready to go. Apartment hunting in winter can give you an advantage as many people don’t want to deal with walking through the snow to view a rental. If you’re ready to rent in a fun DC neighborhood that’s always evolving, check out Dupont Circle. It’s a great choice for young professionals who want the close-knit community experience but with round-the-clock entertainment and easy access to the rest of DC.