Northwest DC’s Prettiest Streets

Given my thirst for traveling overseas, and to off-the-wall locations like coal mining country in West Virginia, it’s not often that I write a blog post about my own city: Washington, DC.

Swann St DC

Swann Street NW at 15th

I got inspired to write this post while walking down Swann Street NW one day. The street and sidewalk were blanketed in yellow leaves, and a ceiling of tree branches hung over the street between the multicolored row houses facing each other like soldiers on a parade field.

I don’t usually do “Top 5” or “Top 10” lists, but I felt that if I was going to do one, it might as well be on a topic I know well. You might be wondering what criteria I’m using to include a street among Northwest DC’s “prettiest”. There are a lot of nice commercial streets out there, like Barracks Row in SE DC, or M Street in Georgetown, but I’m only counting residential streets for this Top 5 list. My selections were not a science–how could they be?–but if the street is narrow and full of row houses, has cobblestones, little traffic, and tree cover, it’s prettiness factor goes up. So that’s my criteria.

My favorites (not in order):

Swann Street NW between 15th and 16th Street (U Street/Logan Circle)

One block from our apartment, this stretch of Swann Street is among the city’s most beautiful streets, in my opinion. I love how the row houses are all a different color and how the owners decorate with flowers.

Swann Street row houses

Swann Street between 15th and 16th St

P Street NW between 33rd and 32nd Street NW (Georgetown)

Georgetown is full of picture-perfect homes, some wooden and some brick, lit by gas lamps along cobblestoned streets. There are so many nice streets there\ that I could have chosen one by random and it would have qualified for this list, but I chose this particular block of P street not only for its row houses and tree cover but because of the long-unused streetcar tracks that run down it.

Georgetown streetcar tracks

P Street Georgetown street car tracks near 34th St

34th Street between P Street and Q Street (Georgetown)

This is basically the same area as the previous one but I spotted two great locations around Volta Park, a small park consisting of a baseball field.

Georgetown - DC- 34th Street between P Street and Q Street

34th Street between P Street and Q Street

34th Street, south of Volta Park, Georgetown

34th Street, south of Volta Park, Georgetown

25th Street NW between I Street and Snows Court (Foggy Bottom)

Much of Foggy Bottom in was bulldozed in the 1960s and 70s to rid the area of urban decay to make room for drab government buildings and dorms for George Washington University. Thankfully some of Foggy Bottom’s original row houses still remain clustered around I Street NW. There are a few nice streets in this area but I think this one is the best.

Foggy Bottom

Seaton St NW (Adams Morgan)

I walk down this quiet street almost every day on my way to the gym. It has a long line of colorful row houses set back from the street by only about 6 feet. Seaton Place barely gets any traffic and is usually very quiet. I guess the homeowners coordinate t the colors they use to paint their houses, making the street look like a rainbow.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Processed with Rookie Cam

Runner Up

Decatur Place NW between 22nd and Massachusetts Ave NW (Kalorama)

I picked this street not only because it has some nice rowhouses but because it’s so quiet and feels so secluded even though it’s only short walk to Dupont Circle. One side of the street is bounded by a wooded area so residents of this block must enjoy their peace and quiet. This block gets a bonus because it’s right next the beautiful Spanish Steps that I blogged about in my “Steps of NW DC” post.


Decatur Place NW

Did I miss any? Reply in the comment section with your favorite street!




Kevin is based in Washington, DC and writes about his travel adventures in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world. Through entertaining writing and eye-catching photography, he aims to provide readers with useful information as they plan their next trips.

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