Have you been dreaming about living in historic Dupont Circle? Do you love its urban, tree-lined streets, Revolution-era mansions, upscale shopping, and thriving art culture? If this idyllic corner of Washington DC has been calling to you, then you’ll love discovering its plentiful points of interest. We understand that the area you choose is more than the local economy or a swanky zip code — it’s an enormous part of your life and happiness! Here’s a brief list of our favorite places and fun things to do in Dupont Circle to keep your days dazzling and your nights sizzling.
- Iconic Marble Fountain
- Stead Park
- S Street Dog Park
- Lafayette Square
- FreshFarm Farmer’s Market
- Anderson House
- Heurich House
- The Board Room
- Bistrot Du Coin
- Hank’s Oyster Bar
- Komi Restaurant
- The Admiral
- Kramerbooks & Afterwords
Circling Through History
Although it’s commonly believed that Dupont Circle was named after its well-known landmark, the traffic circle, this is only partially true. In 1871 when the Army Corps of Engineers began building it, the rotary was indeed a part of the design layout, but the neighborhood was originally called Pacific Circle. Eleven years later, in 1882, the name was changed to Dupont Circle to honor the Civil War Admiral Samuel Francis du Pont.
A bronze statue was erected in 1884 to honor this admiral’s wartime achievements. Unfortunately, it turned out that his family (and other people) didn’t exactly love it. So, it was replaced in 1921 by the stunning, two-tiered marble fountain that is so iconic of this neighborhood today. The fountain was sculpted to more fittingly symbolize the admiral’s maritime heroism. It features two female figures and one male that personify the sea, stars, and wind, respectively. Surrounding the fountain is a sitting area and small, well-kept park from where you can survey the confluence of ten streets at the traffic circle itself.
City Parks With a Sense of Style
Just because Dupont Circle is a densely urban area doesn’t mean it lacks in green getaways. Besides the park within the traffic circle, you’ll find an array of public spaces in which to escape when you need a break from the non-stop hustle of city life.
Tall buildings may surround Stead Park, but it’s got a little of everything and an area of choice for everyone. This gem features a baseball diamond, basketball court, a playground, a fountain area where you can cool off, splash, or wade, and a lush grassy tract with shade umbrellas. Stead Park has a no-pets policy, which makes for fresh air and no surprises while you’re strolling along.
If you and your canine friend are looking for things to do in Dupont Circle, S Street Dog Park is the place to go. There’s plenty of wide-open space and artificial turf.
Lafayette Square is an oasis within the more extensive President’s Park. Enjoy great views of the White House, historical statues, plenty of shade beneath sprawling trees, and large fountains.
Maybe you’d like to do a bit more exploring to get your full dose of fresh air and sunshine? Check out our compilation of the best parks in Washington DC.
Intriguing Landmarks and Cultural Hotspots
Every Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., you can take advantage of Washington DC’s largest farmers’ market. Located at 1614 20th St. NW, FreshFarm merchants sell everything from organic fruits and veggies to artisan cheeses and locally roasted coffee.
Take a tour of the Anderson House, an historic, fifty-room mansion that must be experienced in all its opulent glory to be appreciated. Travel back in time in its extraordinary museum and browse the estate’s library.
The Heurich House Museum is another of Dupont Circle’s must-see landmarks. Richardsonian Romanesque architecture adorns the exterior, and its renowned interior will take your breath away. Only here can you sample the DC favorite of the 1890s: Heurich’s Lager. It made a comeback after the original recipe was discovered!
Chat with friends (or make new ones), try a distinctive adult beverage, and play board games at The Board Room. You can take your pick from over 50 exciting games, and their selection changes every week.
Live Well and Eat Even Better in Dupont Circle
For one of the best culinary things to do in Dupont Circle, treat yourself to decadent brunch, lunch, or dinner at Bistrot Du Coin. Their motto is “French, fun, and friendly,” and they pride themselves on serving incredible cuisine at fair prices. With dishes like monkfish medallions, steak tartar, and ravioli with seafood, mushrooms, and lobster sauce, your taste buds will sing.
If you’re in the mood for mouth-watering seafood, get your fix at Hank’s Oyster Bar. You’ll love their straightforward menu and sustainably-sourced fish and seafood. Try a shrimp po’ boy with cayenne remoulade, seared sea scallops, or perhaps a crab cake dinner!
How about some incredible Greek food with fantastic service? Komi Restaurant is one of the best-rated Greek restaurants in the area. You’ll think you’ve teleported to the Mediterranean after eating blue crab meat with kohlrabi and brioche with caviar — and their wine list is heavenly.
Here are 12 more delicious ways to catch a bite in Dupont Circle. Or, if you’re just craving a great cup of coffee, we’ve compiled a Coffee Shop Crawl guide to lead you straight to the perfect cup of Joe.
Upscale, Urban Entertainment
The Admiral is a new, high-energy bar, lounge, and events venue located right across from the Dupont traffic circle. Enjoy half-price oysters from 4:00 to 7:00, hang out on their large patio, watch the game, or order dinner from the kitchen. Their happy hour runs every day to keep you smiling, seven days a week.
Wander into Kramerbooks & Afterwords, and you won’t want to wander back out of this cozy retreat for book lovers. You can read an unputdownable novel by your favorite author and grab some comfort food in the café. And “afterwords” (there it is) enjoy a cocktail!
To find more fun things to do in Dupont Circle, head over to our blog.
Our ApartmentsProvide: A Vibrant Living Experience in Dupont Circle
If you’ve decided it’s time to make this trendy part of Washington DC your home, let our team welcome you! With apartments perfect for young professionals who are just relocating to Dupont Circle, you’ll be minutes from exciting things to do and great venues. Our elegant apartment homes are designed with the art lover in mind and feature first-rate amenities. We also have pet-friendly options and plenty of storage for your bike and other outdoor gear. Reach out to our staff to take a tour of our available apartments and get a taste of the new life that awaits you!