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Living in Southwest Waterfront, D.C.

Like many other neighborhoods in this city of rapid change, Washington D.C.'s Southwest Waterfront neighborhood has transformed in the last few years. Once a forgotten corner of the city's smallest quadrant, today's Southwest Waterfront, D.C., neighborhood boasts a host of newly constructed residential and commercial projects. Despite the changes, the neighborhood still manages to maintain a laid-back vibe, as the presence of parks, yacht clubs, cafes, and markets show this area of the nation's capital still knows how to enjoy the simpler things.

Neighborhood Character

Part of original city planner Pierre L'Enfant's design, Southwest Waterfront, D.C., contains some of the city's oldest buildings, including the Wheat Row block of townhomes, which date back to 1793, as well as a 1791 U.S. military arsenal. The neighborhood is only one of two residential neighborhoods in the southwest section of Waterfront D.C. For decades, the Southwest Waterfront area felt isolated from the rest of the city, largely because of the busy southwest freeway between it and the National Mall. The neighborhood today is still rarely seen by the throngs of tourists flocking to the monuments. Pedestrian access, a Metro stop and an increasing number of for-hire bikes make access to other neighborhoods easier today, and an exploding number of new developments make living in Southwest Waterfront increasingly attractive and convenient.

The lifestyle of the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood is what makes it so popular. A stroll along the Washington Channel's banks takes visitors past marinas full of pleasure and houseboats, waterfront restaurants and even the U.S.S. Sequoia, the former U.S. presidential yacht. At the far-northern section of the waterfront sits the iconic wharf, full of bustling seafood stalls and restaurants. Enjoy clam chowder, fried shrimp and blue crabs fresh from Maryland. Just inland lies the residential areas and several massive new developments, like the Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, that have brought new activities to the neighborhood. Nationals Park—home of MLB's Washington Nationals—is located nearby in the Navy Yard neighborhood. The stadium is also a huge reason behind the Southwest Waterfront's revitalization.

Southwest Waterfront Real Estate

Southwest Waterfront, D.C., has one of the city's most dynamic real estate markets, with options to suit any home buyer or renter. Beginning in the 1950s, Southwest Waterfront was part of an urban renewal plan, where a number of large apartment buildings were built with most still standing today. New mixed-use developments have also brought on a number of glass-walled condo developments. These new constructions command a higher price tag, but often come equipped with a long list of amenities. Much like the rest of Washington, D.C., the neighborhood has plenty of quaint, old row houses along wide, leafy streets. Many of these have been recently renovated and some are broken up into apartments or have been converted to smaller condo developments.


Getting There & Around


What Locals Love

Don't Miss It

  • Snag some tickets and head to Nationals Park to watch the MLB’s Washington Nationals play against a visiting team.
  • Wander to the northern section of the waterfront to find seafood stands and restaurants serving fresh fish and Maryland blue crabs.
  • Attend a performance at Arena Stage at The Mead Center for American Theater or check out a concert at the Anthem, a $60 million concert venue that opened in October 2017.


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