A bright starburst from the traffic circle of the same name, the neighbourhood of Dupont Circle combines the best of Washington D.C.’s historic charm and modern nightlife. From shops and galleries to bars and cafes, the district is one of the U.S. capital’s trendiest.
While part of Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s original plans for Washington D.C., Dupont Circle didn’t take off until after the American Civil War and didn’t even begin to gain its current character until the 1970s when it became a bohemian haven for the LGBT community. Consider it the American capital’s answer to New York’s Greenwich Village or San Francisco’s Castro district. Today, it has been largely gentrified. Highlight attractions include the Phillips Collection of modern art, the Brewmaster’s Castle and the Nuns of Battlefield sculpture, as well as the area’s countless trendy watering holes.
The red line of the Washington Metro stops at Dupont Circle station beneath the neighbourhood’s central traffic circle. A ride from Metro Center near the White House takes less than ten minutes. The eponymous traffic circle serves the juncture of Connecticut Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, New Hampshire Avenue, P Street and 19th Street.
It may be better known for its LGBT history, but one of the most historic parts of Dupont Circle belongs to a different marginalised group. The Strivers’ Section, between Swann Street and Florida Avenue, was home to leaders of the African-American community. Frederick Douglass himself even owned a row of houses on 17th Street.