When choosing the best area to stay in Washington DC for nightlife, it depends on your vibe. Some neighborhoods are better for night clubs and dancing, and others are better for lively bars and cocktail lounges. From Dupont Circle to Georgetown, let’s take a look at all the different DC neighborhoods that have great nightlife options.

Best Area To Stay In DC For Nightlife: Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is close to Embassy Row and to the Adams Morgan part of DC. Dupont has a huge variety of options when it comes to nightlife, and if you want more low key bars you can easily get from here to Adams Morgan and Woodley Park which are quieter neighborhoods near Rock Creek Park.

Let’s take a look at the best ways to spend your time if you stay in Dupont Circle. The main attractions in this neighborhood are the restaurants, the nightclubs, as well as some of the many art galleries. 

Night Clubs In Dupont

Popular nightclubs in Dupont Circle are Rosebar Lounge, HEIST DC, Decades DC, and The Mayflower Club. These clubs are known for their vibrant atmospheres and diverse entertainment offerings, making them great choices for a night out in the area. 

Hotels In Dupont Circle

You will find some of the best hotels in Dupont Circle. 

  • Dupont Circle Hotel: If you are looking for luxury, check out the Dupont Circle Hotel. Right off the main traffic circle, this hotel is one of the most iconic places to stay in DC. 
  • AC Hotel 19th Street: A more affordable option that is very close to the clubs and bars in Dupont Circle is the AC Hotel on 19th Street. There are several AC Hotels in Washington DC, so be sure to book the one on 19th Street.
  • Yours Truly: Yours Truly has a buzzy lobby bar and restaurant. While it’s. not in the heart of Dupont like the Dupont Circle Hotel which is near the traffic circle, it’s a great option especially for large groups.
  • The Ven At Embassy Row: The Ven is a hotel that is right near Embassy Row and the Phillips Collection. It is not in the main part of Dupont but could be a good option depending on pricing for when you are visiting. 

Fun Restaurants In Dupont

  • The Tabard Inn: This historic hotel and restaurant offers a cozy and charming dining experience with a seasonal menu. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
  • Iron Gate: A popular restaurant with a beautiful outdoor garden and an inviting indoor dining space. The Mediterranean-inspired menu is ideal for a special night out.
  • Balos: Balos is a very popular Meditterean restaurant that is in the heart of the city. It has a DJ on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. You can start your night here and then walk over to Heist for late night dancing. 
  • The Lyle Hotel: The Lyle Hotel is located on a beautiful tree lined street in the residential area of Dupont Circle. It has a very popular boozy brunch with a DJ on the weekends.

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: Logan Circle

Logan Circle in Washington, D.C., is another vibrant and historic neighborhood with plenty of things to see and do. It is a short walk from Dupont Circle. 

There are not really many “clubs” here but still plenty of places that are open late. Here are some popular places for nightlife in Logan Circle where you can have the best time. 

Dining And Nightlife In Logan Circle

The most popular area of Logan Circle is 14th street. 14th street in the Northwest part of Washington DC has many great restaurants as well as happy hours. 

  • Le Diplomate: This is a popular French brasserie with classic French dishes in a charming, Parisian-style setting. It is always busy and weekend reservations can be difficult here. It is located in the heart of 14th street and is one of the best French restaurants in DC. 
  • Jane Jane: This cozy cocktail bar is known for its creative cocktails and buzzy atmosphere. It is a small space that is great for dates or intimate conversations
  • Barcelona Wine Bar: Barcelona is a lively tapas bar and restaurant with an extensive wine list and a cozy, inviting atmosphere. It’s another great 14th street restaurant for enjoying a glass of wine and some delicious food.

Hotels Near Logan Circle

Logan Circle has a variety of hotels to choose from. It is also a very safe area, but of course, you should take normal precautions as you would with any city.

  • Kimpton Banneker Hotel: This is a luxury boutique hotel in Logan Circle. It has a very good location and is walking distance to 14th street DC.
  • Viceroy Washington DC: This hotel not only has a great location, but also has a seasonal rooftop pool. So, if you are visiting during the hotter months, you can take advantage of this. 

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: Navy Yard

Navy Yard is one of the best places to stay if you are interested in a more laid back going out scene. It’s also a great place if you love having views of the water and the Potomac River. Navy Yard also has easy access to Downtown DC because there is a metro station right in the heart of Navy Yard. This metro station will get you access to all the major attractions in the nation’s capital.

Dining & Nightlife In Navy Yard

There are many restaurants and bars in the Navy Yard part of town. 

  • Chloe: Chloe at one point was one of the hottest reservations in Washington DC. It still has a great dinner vibe as well as bar scene. It is open until 11 PM on the weekends.
  • Albi: This restaurant has a Michelin star and is very popular. It is open til 10 PM on the weekends.
  • Bluejacket: Bluejacket is a popular sports bar for watching games and enjoying some beers. It is a great place to go either before or after visiting Nationals Park since it is a short walk away. This bar has prime location in the heart of Navy Yard with many other restaurants and bars near by. 
  • Thompson Rooftop: This luxury hotel rooftop has water views, cocktails and bites to enjoy. It stays open until midnight on the weekends.
  • Royal Sands: Royal Sands has the most club like experience in this part of town. It’s the perfect place for some late night shenanigans as it is open til 1 AM on Thursdays and 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.  They also have sushi specials late night as well. 

Hotels In Navy Yard

The Navy Yard area has seen a lot of growth in the last decade. There are many popular restaurants here as well as bars. 

  • Thompson Hotel: The most trendy hotel in this area is the Thompson Hotel, which has a ground floor restaurant and fun rooftop bar
  • AC Hotel Navy Yard / Capitol Hill: This Navy Yard hotel is part of the Marriott group. It is located where the Navy Yard neighborhood meets the Capitol Hill area. It is a good place to stay if you also want to check out some DC sites like the Supreme Court or the United States Capitol.

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: Georgetown

This historic neighborhood with its tree-lined streets is not only a very upscale neighborhood, but it also has some great options for nightlife. And when it comes to safe places to stay in DC, Georgetown is one of the best options. 

While people may think of college students when they think of Georgetown because of Georgetown University, there are also some distinct spots in Georgetown that cater to an older population. 

Dining And Nightlife In Georgetown

As you get older, you may crave a great location that is a little further away from the dance clubs and closer to the upscale cocktail bars. There are a couple vibrant neighborhoods in Washington DC where the nightlife caters more towards young professionals who are looking to mix and mingle with people in the same age group. 

  • L’Annexe: This cocktail bar is an offshot from L’Avant Garde which is one of the best French restaurants in Washington DC. It has a convenient location right off of M street in the heart of Georgetown.
  • The Fountain Inn: Tucked away on Wisconsin Avenue is The Fountain Inn. This sleek cocktail bar focuses on craft cocktails and a cozy vibe. It’s a great place for a date and small bites. 
  • Kyojin Sushi: This underground sushi restaurants is in a central location in Georgetown. The restaurant has a vibrant bar scene and if it’s your first time visiting, be sure to enjoy some of their sushi as well. The restaurant and bar stay open until 2 AM on the weekends. The last seating for food that is available to book online is at 11:30 PM
  • Fiola Mare: The bar at Fiola Mare definitely caters to people in their late 30s and 40s. 
  • Cafe Milano: For a fun weekday bar scene, check out Cafe Milano, which is just off of M Street. First-time visitors should definitely check out this iconic restaurant that is famous for being a meeting place for legislators, diplomatic staff, and others who are movers and shakers in Washington DC’s political scene. 
  • Bourban Steak: Bourbon Steak is a contemporary American steakhouse by celebrated chef Michael Mina. Located within the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel, this upscale restaurant offers a refined dining experience with a menu featuring prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood, and a curated selection of fine wines. The sleek and sophisticated bar is a perfect spot for enjoying expertly crafted cocktails.
  • Rooftop At The Graham Hotel: This is a lively spot that can get packed quickly. If the weather is nice, be sure to head to this place early and grab a table. 

Hotels In Georgetown

Because it is one of the best neighborhoods in Washington DC, Georgetown is limited when it comes to affordable hotels. Here are some of the places you can stay in Georgetown when visiting.

  • The Graham Hotel: The Graham is the most affordable hotel and that is usually around $400 to $500 for a night.
  • The Rosewood Hotel: The Rosewood has great views of the government buildings and the Kennedy Center. Since this is a luxury property in probably the safest area of DC, you should expect to spend around $700 a night for a room here.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel: The Four Seasons is an ultra luxury property and you may not be able to find a room here for less than $1000 a night. The bar at the Four Seasons is also quite lively so even if you are not staying here, you may want to swing by for a drink and their famous fries at Bourbon Steak restaurant. 
  • The Ritz Carlton: This is another luxury hotel that is very close to the Georgetown Waterfront Park. The Ritz has a great location but is similarly quite pricey in this urban area of town. There are more than one Ritz Carlton’s in the DC area so be sure that you are booking the one that is located in Georgetown and not the hotel that is closer to the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: West End

West End is a quieter neighborhood when compared to Georgetown, but it’s very close to Georgetown and also has its fair share of restaurants and bars.

Dining And Nightlife In West End

West End is a bit more spread out when it comes finding the best restaurants and bars. Here are some of the popular places to check out when you are in this part of Washington DC.

  • Casta’s Rum Bar: Casta’s Rum Bar is a Cuban restaurant, rum bar, and cigar lounge. This restaurant has an extensive menu of rums, including rhum agricole from Martinique. It is open until midnight.
  • Nobu: Nobu is a well known restaurant with many locations across the globe. The Washington DC location is in West End near where Pennsylvania Avenue meets M Street. It is a short walk from the Four Seasons Hotel. Most people don’t know that Nobu actually has a happy hour where you can get sushi and drinks at a discount. The restaurant is open until 10:15 PM on the weekends. 
  • Quadrant Bar & Lounge: This stylish cocktail bar by the Seven Reasons Group is located inside the Ritz Carlton Hotel’s West End location. It’s a good choice for an intimate date or a small party of 4 or 6 people. 

Hotels In West End

West End has some more affordable options when it comes to hotels. It is largely are residential neighborhood but there are some good options when it comes to hotels.

  • Park Hyatt Washington DC: The Park Hyatt Washington D.C., located in the West End neighborhood, offers a luxurious experience combining modern amenities with classic American style. Dining options at the Park Hyatt include the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern, known for its American cuisine with a focus on local ingredients. Additionally, the Tea Cellar offers rare and vintage tea selections, and the Blue Duck Lounge provides a sophisticated spot for dinner and cocktails.
  • Fairmont Washington, D.C.: The Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, also located in the West End, provides an elegant and comfortable stay with a touch of classic charm. Dining options include the Juniper Restaurant, offering farm-to-table American cuisine, and the Loggia Lounge, which serves light fare and cocktails. The hotel also offers a daily afternoon tea service.
  • Ritz Carlton West End: This luxury hotel houses the restaurant Saga as well as the popular cocktail bar Quadrant mentioned above. 

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: Penn Quarter

​Penn Quarter is mentioned last on this list because while it may not have a ton of going out options, it conveniently located in the downtown area and has easy access to many places. It is also great if you want to do some sigthseeing during the day. 

The National Portrait Gallery, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall are all easily accessible from here. If you need to get to the National Gallery Of Art of the Space Museum, that is not far either. Futhermore, this area is well connected with a metro line running right through it all the way to Union Station. 

Dining And Nightlife In Penn Quarter

You will find more dining options here rather than clubbing options. But, there is no shortage of places to check out and many have a rich history that show off the culture of Washington DC. 

  • Bar Mini: Bar Mini is well known as the top cocktail bar in Washington DC, and maybe even the east coast. You can opt to try their sister restaurant called Mini Bar which is by the Jose Andres group. Bar Mini serves cocktail flights that are well balanced and unique. Reservations are recommended well in advance.
  • Hamilton Live: Hamilton Live is a live music venue that also serves some great food as well as sushi. It is one of the more well known and popular music venues in this part of Downtown Washington DC. 
  • Silver Lyan: This cocktail lounge has a speakeasy vibe and it is located inside the Riggs Hotel, mentioned below. The cocktail bar was created by acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, also known as “Mr Lyan”. It is situated in the hotel’s historic bank vault on the lower level.
  • Rania: Rania is a trendy Michelin starred Indian restaurant located in the heart of Penn Quarter. It is the only Indian restaurant in the DMV area with a Michelin star.

Hotels In Penn Quarter

There are plenty of options for hotels in Penn Quarter. Listed below are some of the top options.

  • Conrad Hotel: The Conrad Hotel is a spacious luxury hotel that is located between Penn Quarter and the Convention Center. It sits adjacent to the high end shopping of City Center DC. This hotel has a buzzy bar as well as a rooftop that is lively during the warmer months.
  • Riggs Washington DC: If you are looking for a hotel with a historic vibe, head to the Riggs Hotel. This luxury hotel use to be an old bank and has since been converted to a luxury property. Don’t worry you still have all the modern amenities like a fitness center and wifi to make your stay easy and convenient. The hotel also has a cool speakeasy bar located on the lower level that is open until 1 AM on the weekends. 

Penn Quarter can be a good option that is centrally located. While it may not have many dance clubs, it is easy to move around with the vast amount of public transportation going through this area. 

So, if you want to visit other parts of DC in between your bar hopping like Eastern Market or Columbia Heights, you can take the subway to them. The yellow line on the DC metro runs right through Penn Quarter. This same line will also take you to DCA airport if you are flying into Washington DC. 

Best Area To Stay In Washington DC For Nightlife: Summary

When it comes to the best area to stay in Washington DC for nightlife, there are plenty of options. Whether you’re looking for lively nightclubs, cozy cocktail bars, or upscale dining experiences, there’s a neighborhood that suits your style. 

Dupont Circle is ideal for those who enjoy a mix of energetic nightclubs and sophisticated lounges, with the added bonus of nearby cultural attractions and a variety of hotels to suit different budgets.

Logan Circle and its vibrant 14th Street corridor has a huge range of dining and nightlife options, perfect for a more relaxed evening with excellent restaurants and intimate bars. For a laid-back yet trendy atmosphere, Navy Yard offers waterfront views, chic rooftop bars, and a blend of casual and upscale dining, making it a great choice for those who prefer a more relaxed nightlife experience.

Georgetown caters to an upscale crowd with its historic charm, high-end cocktail bars, and sophisticated dining, perfect for mature visitors seeking a refined night out. Adjacent to Georgetown is the West End part of DC. It is a quieter alternative, still close to the action with excellent dining and hotel options. 

If you want to combine sightseeing with nightlife, consider staying in Penn Quarter. This area has a central location with easy access to major attractions and a rich cultural history, and lots of good restaurants.

No matter where you choose to stay, Washington DC’s vibrant nightlife ensures an unforgettable experience in the nation’s capital.

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