4 of the Best Neighborhoods in DC for Young Professionals

Posted on Dec 18, 2020


Washington DC has long been a top destination for young professionals thanks to its plentiful job opportunities, reliable public transportation, and lively nightlife scene. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked it as one of the best places to live for young professionals, coming in #6 for 2019.

Not surprisingly, many young people starting out in their careers are coming to Washington, DC from around the country - and they may not be that familiar with local neighborhood flavor. So: where should you aim for, if you’re apartment or home searching? Here’s our guide to the best neighborhoods in DC for young professionals right now.

Best DC Neighborhoods for Young Professionals: Foggy Bottom

From top-rated restaurants to beautiful riverside views, there’s a lot to love about Foggy Bottom. This neighborhood stretches from Georgetown’s western edge down to the Potomac River, and a quick 10 minute train ride connects residents of this unique neighborhood to downtown DC. It’s worth noting that, while the top-rated DC neighborhoods for young professionals tend to be more expensive, Foggy Bottom is typically 7% cheaper than the city average, according to Area Vibes’ data.

This historic neighborhood is home to George Washington University, which has likely helped propel it as a top neighborhood for young professionals. Bars and restaurants - including several options for the ever-popular Sunday brunch - are prolific here, especially where the neighborhood borders Georgetown. 

  • Average home price today: $450,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $407,000
  • Median age: 20.2
  • Walkability score: 95
  • Local bar: Hive Bar
  • Local restaurant: Founding Fathers DC
  • Local coffee spot: Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar
  • Fun Daytime Activity: US Department of the Interior Museum

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Image via OhanaSurf

Best DC Neighborhoods for Young Professionals: Navy Yard

Forbes recently named the Navy Yard one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. Most of the development in this area has been fairly recent, offering a slick contrast to the historical flavor of most DC neighborhoods. Its industrial roots give it edge, while still boasting 10-acres of public parks, allowing for an intriguing mix of urban living and green space. 

With over 50 restaurants in this neighborhood, you won’t run out of new dishes to sample anytime soon. Young professionals also love the proliferation of free activities here - from yoga to trivia nights, there’s plenty of ways to make use of the area’s parks and coffee shops. With so much going on, it’s easy to see why this is considered one of the best DC neighborhoods for young professionals.

  • Average home price today: $692,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $604,000
  • Median age: 33.9
  • Walkability score: 89
  • Local bar:The Brig
  • Local restaurant: Chloe
  • Local coffee spot: Hype Cafe
  • Fun Daytime Activity:Washington Canal Park

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The Brig beergarden

Best DC Neighborhoods for Young Professionals: DuPont Circle

DuPont Circle is a favorite among young professionals moving to DC, and it’s no surprise - this neighborhood packs in a lot of punch. Beautiful, old historic buildings lend this area an old-world charm, while a mix of up-and-coming restaurants, cafes, museums and art galleries infuse it with youthful energy.

It’s easy to get to downtown DC with a bike from DuPont Circle - an option many residents here choose to exercise (while simultaneously saving on metro fare). Sip a cup of coffee while enjoying the view from the Spanish Steps, then spend a night laughing at DC Improv, one of the city’s most popular comedy clubs. 

  • Average home price today: $482,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $444,000
  • Median age: 34
  • Walkability score: 98
  • Local bar: Hank’s Cocktail Bar
  • Local restaurant: Del Sur Cafe
  • Local coffee spot: Philz Coffee
  • Fun Daytime Activity: National Geographic Museum

Best DC Neighborhoods for Young Professionals: Adams Morgan

Vintage clothing stores, historic row homes and experimental menus define the unique culture of the Adams Morgan neighborhood. A 10-minute bus ride connects this eclectic neighborhood to downtown DC, making it a convenient location for daily commuters. The neighborhood rose to fame in the 1950s when local residents advocated for desegregation. Today, it’s known as a hip place to be - especially at night. 

There’s always something happening in Adams Morgan, so it’s no surprise that many young professionals moving to DC decide to call it home. The electric nighttime energy of 18th St is balanced out by calming tree-lined streets, old brick row homes and a convenient dog park.

  • Average home price today: $615,000
  • Average home price 5 years ago: $566,000
  • Median age: 35.7
  • Walkability score: 95
  • Local bar:Madam’s Organ
  • Local restaurant: Lapis
  • Local coffee spot: ThreeFifty Bakery and Coffee Bar
  • Fun Daytime Activity: Muzette Karaoke

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Photo via Ted Eytan

Tips for Saving Money in DC:

For those who start off renting, how can you keep rental costs manageable as you adjust to the city?

  • Group houses have been growing in popularity as a way to keep rent expenses down for young adults in DC. While this rarely is a long term option for most people, it can be a good way to save up money for a couple years while starting out.
  • DC is a very bike-friendly city, and investing in a set of wheels can make it a lot easier to get around if you opt for a more affordable neighborhood.
  • Avoid the summer rental market if you can: this tends to be the busiest and most competitive time of the year (in part due to returning students). If you can hold off your search for a longterm living situation until winter, you may have better luck. 

Additional DC Neighborhood Guides:

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