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South West, D.C.

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The Southwest D.C. neighborhood is for those that love being by the water. Sprawling from the National Mall down to the Potomac River, Southwest boasts the Jefferson and Roosevelt Memorials, and of course, the famous cherry blossom trees that spring to life every March.

Also known as the Wharf neighborhood, the Southwest quadrant is an area with tons of local history centered on the Tidal Basin. It is home to the nation’s longest continuously operating open-air fish market, plenty of waterfront dining, and on-the-water activities. Considered an oasis in the middle of a bustling city, the Wharf is also where you can find the largest population of “liveaboards,” residents who choose to live aboard houseboats all year long. You can catch them docked at the Gangplank Marina, right next to some tourist cruise boats such as the Hornblower Cruises.

It’s an understatement to say that there are plenty of things to do in the Wharf, in both warm and cold seasons. When the weather is nice out, you can catch free outdoor movies and workout programs right next to the river and soak in the river breeze while sipping a coffee from one of the many outdoor cafes and restaurants. Once the weather gets colder, the waterfront attracts tons of brightly illuminated boats during the Parade of Lighted Boats, which is guaranteed to get you right in the holiday spirit.

It only makes sense that an area as vibrant as the Southwest boasts some gorgeous neighborhood architecture. Families will find an eclectic mix of house styles here, from buildings in the 18th-century Federal-style to Mid-Century Modern. All in all, you’ll find a close- knit community here, making the Southwest perfect for those looking for an authentic Washington D.C. experience.

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