This lively city neighborhood began as an elite suburb on the high ground overlooking Washington City. Follow Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Trail to experience both the old and new Columbia Heights with all its cultural and economic diversity.
You’ll find 19 poster-sized street signs combining storytelling with historic photographs and maps as you walk along. The first sign is at 14th and Irving streets, NW, across the street from the Columbia Heights station on Metro’s Green line, but feel free to start at any point along the trail.
The two-hour self-guided tour loops through Columbia Heights, ending at 14th Street and Columbia Road, NW.
As you explore, don’t miss the neighborhood’s businesses and restaurants, from national chains to one-of-a-kind establishments. Pick up a free trail guide from merchants along the way.
For more information, email us at Trail@CulturalTourismDC.org or call 202-661-7581.
Over time transportation innovations, starting with streetcars, transformed Columbia Heights from remote farmland to accessible suburb. Soon men and women of every background populated the neighborhood, people who changed our world with new technology, revolutionary ideas, literature, laws, and leadership.
From the low point of the civil disturbances of 1968, Columbia Heights turned to resident leaders and rose again. Metrorail’s arrival in 1999 provided a boost, reviving the historically important 14th Street commercial corridor.
Explore neighborhood highlights:
Today shoppers once again crowd 14th Street. A Metrorail station connects the neighborhood to the rest of the city. Newcomers join families of many generations here in the cultural convergence that marks today’s Columbia Heights. And the neighborhood still spreads over the hill, commanding the city below. Welcome to Columbia Heights!
Check out this interactive version of the trail route prepared by our friends at WAMU!
Trail booklets providing additional information are available for free at the following local merchants and organizations:
Cultural Tourism DC initiated the District of Columbia Neighborhood Heritage Trails program with two goals in mind: helping visitors find their way around Washington's historic neighborhoods and promoting community pride.
Each trail is conceived with the active involvement of neighborhood organizations and residents.
Cultural Convergence: Columbia Heights Heritage Trail is a project of Cultural Tourism DC in collaboration with the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail Working Group; Anne Theisen, Chair. Brian Kraft served as neighborhood historian. Design by sideview/Hannah Smotrich.
Funding was provided by the District Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
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