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Embassy Row in Dupont Circle

Washington D.C.’s recent renaissance probably doesn’t include the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Dupont has been an attractive place to live since the 1970s, when the neighborhood (in decline after World War II and the 1968 riots) was revitalized by gay and lesbian urban pioneers. Along with other neighborhoods like West Hollywood, Chicago’s Boystown, and Greenwich Village, Dupont Circle became nationally known as a gay neighborhood, in large part defining gay identity and culture in America. Today, gentrification has made the neighborhood more mainstream, and you’re more likely to find a pour-over coffee shop or yoga studio in Dupont Circle than a gay bar.

According to Zillow, rents in Dupont are slightly over the median for the city, and housing values, while high, lag those of hotter neighborhoods like U Street and Logan Circle. MWCOG’s Activity Centers project determined that Dupont Circle is the most walkable neighborhood in D.C. (and WalkScore concurs). Dupont’s terrific walkability is not only because the neighborhood is mixed-use, but also because the numerous transportation options — Metro, Capital Bikeshare, and Circulator, among them — make owning a car unnecessary.

Photo of the Dupont Circle neighborhood by Paul Goddin.

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