What You'll See!

Highlights of this part of DC include the National Zoo and the Washington National Cathedral. But there's much more to discover in the several neighborhoods located west of Rock Creek Park. Connecticut Avenue and its side streets are bursting with a wonderful variety of architectural styles, displayed in apartment buildings, single-family houses, rowhouses, embassies, and commercial buildings. When you need a break, both Connecticut Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue offer plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the eclectic mix of small restaurants, coffee houses, and one-of-a-kind shops.

Woodley Park

If you take the Red Line to the Woodley Park station, your tour starts in the Woodley Park Historic District. Here Marilyn Monroe greets you from her unique vantage point overlooking Rock Creek Park. In the urbane setting of this early 20th-century neighborhood, you'll find two of Washington's distinctive luxury hotels, the 1930 Shoreham and its older neighbor, the Wardman Park, along with some notable apartment houses. Note also the Taft Bridge, with its two pairs of regal lions and its eagle-topped lamp posts, and the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge, adorned with bas-reliefs celebrating various modes of travel.

A walk along Connecticut Avenue and up any of the side streets will treat you to blocks of stately two-and three-story brick rowhouses, largely in English styles. Take a break along the way at one of the area's ethnic eateries, outdoor cafés, or unusual boutiques.

Cleveland Park

Klingle Bridge, on Connecticut Avenue, defines the entrance to the handsome Cleveland Park Historic District and its much-admired residential architecture. Take time to explore this intact streetcar suburb, a favorite of the city's 19th-century elite. The hilly terrain of Newark Street and other side streets creates a storybook setting for the neighborhood's substantial homes. You'll want to tote your camera to record the many marvelous examples of Queen Anne, Shingle style, Classical Revival, and Mission style houses. The area also proudly claims the nation's first Park and Shop, between Ordway and Porter Streets, and the spacious, Art Moderne Uptown Theater, just south of Ordway.

The apartment buildings located intermittently along Connecticut Avenue – from the Art Deco Kennedy-Warren and the picturesque Broadmoor to Tilden Gardens in its five-acre, park-like setting -- parade the talents of many notable architects. Farther north you'll see contemporary contenders such as David Schwarz's Saratoga (4601 Connecticut).

Van Ness

Just north of Cleveland Park you'll encounter the striking INTELSAT Building, a space-age crystal palace and an outstanding, contemporary arrival along the Connecticut Avenue corridor. Just north of INTELSAT is the University of the District of Columbia [link to http://www.culturaltourismdc.org/things-do-see/university-district-columbia], and behind the campus is an enclave of embassies.

Drive east through the rolling terrain and beautifully landscaped Forest Hills neighborhood, on the western edge of Rock Creek Park, to Hillwood Museum, the spectacular former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Post-Toasties heiress.


Tenleytown's history dates to the late 1700s, when John Tennally opened a tavern where two roads crossed near the District's highest point, and a village grew up around that crossroads.

Don't miss the October 2010 launch of Top of the Town:Tenleytown Heritage Trail, the 11th of Cultural Tourism DC's Neighborhood Heritage Trails. Highlights of the tour will include:

> The highest elevation in the District of Columbia
> Grant Road, a winding byway that recalls the area's rural past
> The site of Reno City, a once-thriving, post-Civil War community of working class African American and white families
> The site of Fort Reno, one of the city's strongest Civil War defenses
> Towers that mark Tenleytown as an important communications center
> Stonework by some of Tenleytown's master stone mason families
> The studios where Kermit the Frog started his career
> The place where women of the U.S. Navy broke the Japanese code during World War II

Chevy Chase and Friendship Heights

Chevy Chase and Friendship Heights are Far Northwest neighborhoods that continue into Maryland. Chevy Chase's architectural forms run the gamut of revival styles popular in the 1920s: Tudor, Mission, Italian Renaissance, Colonial, and Craftsman. In Friendship Heights you'll find plenty to see and do in the popular restaurants, upscale stores, and small boutiques that line Wisconsin Avenue and some of its side streets.

For More Information

Check out our Calendar for up-to-date information on exhibitions, tours, lectures and other heritage happenings in the city.


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