Here’s what to do in Georgetown, DC.
Love lives in cupcakes. When I first take a bite into the thick ice-cream scoop of peanut butter frosting, I’m convinced of this. Like Cinderella, I have found my Prince Charming. Forget all the other light-lit bakeries I’ve ever walked into. This is the real deal.
Five minutes later, I’m at a cotton candy pink cupcakery and the same thought pops into my head fully-formed.
I guess love lives in all Georgetown cupcakes.
Things To Do In Georgetown DC
Georgetown, a cobbled street neighborhood in Washington D.C., shifts with the seasons. In the spring, blooms plump up pastel homes and sun-buttered shops. Summer brings a salty lakefront breeze. Autumn’s arrival is a performance – reds and yellows shimmying down the C & O Canal.
And now, I’m here in the winter when lines for hot drinks stretch past closed doors and upscale indoor boutiques are bustling.
Here are our top 10 things to do in Georgetown DC.
Visit The Old Stone House
Even amongst the faded buildings and ash roofs, you’ll recognize the Old Stone House. It’s a little more aged, a little more worn.
Built in 1766, the Old Stone House is one of the oldest homes in D.C. It’s history and preservation lies in a story of mistaken identity, George Washington, and two John Suters.
Drive Past Historic Homes
But The Old Stone House is only one of many historic buildings in Georgetown. As you stroll along the tree-shaded promenade and open sidewalks, you’ll pass many more homes with big backstories.
Some houses to keep a lookout for are:
- Julia Child’s Home: A run-down, dilapidated, once sunflower yellow property on Olive Street. The door and window sills are rotten dark but the memory of the woman who once lived in this “little jewel” is fresh in our minds. Julia Child wrote “Mastering The Art Of French Cooking” here and if you’re a fan, you’ll want to swing by.
- Kennedy’s Home: Located on 3260 N Street, this black-shuttered home was rented out by JFK while he ran for senate. It’s also where he met Jackie.
Spend An Afternoon In A Museum
Some of the D.C. area old-homes have since taken up the title of museum.
Notable Georgetown highlights include:
- Dumbarton House: A big Federal-style home less than a minute away from Oak Hill Cemetery (where Lincoln In The Bardo takes place). The house spans seven rooms. Go if there is a docent-guided tour available.
- Dumbarton Oaks: Exquisite gardens and art museum known for its gold-tinted Music Room.
Go Book Shopping At Bridge Street Books
Bridge Street Books deserves the title of a museum. It’s the oldest independent bookstore in D.C. (dating back to the 1980s).
The stalwart store doesn’t carry many fiction titles (which forced me to go out of my comfort zone and find a book I wasn’t expecting to hit me as much as it did). Under a bright skylight, you’ll find liberal-leaning political memoirs, philosophy bestsellers, and debut poetry.
Then Shop Some More
There are only a handful of Billy Reid stores across the country. It’s a luxury retailer but you’ll want to walk into it nonetheless. The interior resembles a chic antique store.
Rent The Runway
RTR is an online clothing shop where you can rent designer dresses for a fraction of the cost. But in Georgetown, you’ll find a unicorn-rare brick-and-mortar location.
A cluster of high-end decor shops in the heart of Georgetown’s Design District, Cady’s Alley is a small cobblestone path that feels like an area of its own (not quite DC).
Stroll Along The Waterfront
For the views alone, you’ll want to visit the Georgetown Waterfront. Whilst home to many a seafood restaurant (Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place, Farmers Fishers Bakers), the best way to enjoy the views is to amble along the curve of the lake, taking in the D.C. cityscape peeking above a tree-fronted horizon.
P.S. In the summertime, there’s a free sunset concert series. 😉
Skate At Washington Harbour Ice Rink
The best entrance to the waterfront is the metropolitan’s largest ice-rink. Skating season is mid-fall to early-spring (as weather here tends towards cool).
If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Georgetown D.C., sneak in a date night on a Tuesday evening (when admission for two is offered at the price of one).
Bike Capital Crescent Trail
This former rail-trail now bike-trail stretches from Georgetown to Bethesda, Maryland. On the weekends, the path gets crowded quickly (you’ll want to arrive early in the morning), but after a few minutes in, it’s easy to see why.
Capital Crescent Trail offers some of the best views of the Potomac River. The full trek of eleven miles also passes a few historic sites.
Check Out C & O Canal
The Chesapeake And Ohio (C & O) canal, sometimes called the Grand Old Ditch, follows the Potomac River past cloud-tall trees and lollipop colored homes.
In Georgetown, the C & O Canal is a waterfall-sliced urban esplanade that doubles up as the first mile of a popular National Historical Park.
Green water. Ivy-covered homes. Old boats. Big arches. It’s a great nook for a little sunset stroll.
Self-Guided Cupcake Tour
And the canal is right next to Baked & Wired, which is my favorite cupcakery in D.C.
Baked & Wired is one of three Georgetown area cupcake stops. Georgetown Cupcakes, which earned its fame from the hit TLC show DC Cupcakes, is by far the most popular. You’ll want to stalk their Twitter for the secret flavor of the day (which they dish out for free to the first 100 customers who order it).
Sprinkles is another cupcake-specialized bakery. But locals flock to Baked & Wired, a cheekier store that serves cakecups. Back when I lived near D.C., I made it my mission to try every flavor served at Baked & Wired and I can honestly say none of them disappoint.
My favorite flavors are:
- Pretty Bitchin’: chocolate cake with strong peanut butter sticky frosting. Recommended if you love peanut butter.
- Tasmanian Devil: this is my partner’s favorite. It’s a subtle lemon cake filled with a bread-jelly like raspberry jam and topped with buttercream frosting (infused with extra lemon to give it a slightly citrusy kick).
- Texas Sheetcake: cinnamon-peppered chocolate cake laced with chocolate pecan frosting (so good).
What can I say? Love lives in cupcakes.
Did you enjoy this guide to things to do in Georgetown, D.C.? What are your favorite things to do in Georgetown D.C.? Let me know in the comments below!