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A Local’s Guide to Uncovering Hidden Gems in DC

A Local’s Guide to Uncovering Hidden Gems in DC

Washington, DC — a city brimming with historical significance — offers much more than the commonly known landmarks like the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. As locals, we’ve explored the lesser-known but equally fascinating historical sites in Washington, DC. This guide will take you through these hidden gems, where history and charm converge.

Neighborhoods With a Story

1. Georgetown

Beyond its bustling shopping streets, Georgetown is a treasure trove of history. Its cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings whisper tales of the past.

2. Capitol Hill

Not just the home of the U.S. Congress, Capitol Hill’s historic row houses and quaint alleys hold stories of political intrigues and historic events.

3. Anacostia

Anacostia — with its rich African American heritage — features the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, preserving the legacy of the famed abolitionist.

Historic Buildings and Homes

1. Heurich House Museum

This Victorian-era mansion — also known as the Brewmaster’s Castle — is one of the best-hidden gems in the DC area, showcasing intricate architecture and a glimpse into 19th-century life.

2. The Octagon House

A unique architectural marvel, The Octagon House is known for its role during the War of 1812 and its rumored ghost stories.

3. Dumbarton Oaks

This historic estate in Georgetown offers a mix of art, history, and beautifully landscaped gardens, making it one of the must-see hidden DC gems.

Historical Areas Worth Exploring

1. U Street Corridor

Once known as “Black Broadway,” this area’s jazz clubs and historical theaters are a testament to its vibrant past.

2. Adams Morgan

Known for its multicultural vibe today, Adams Morgan’s rich history is evident in its historic buildings and diverse cultural influences.

3. Thompson-Markward Hall

Nestled in the heart of Capitol Hill, Thompson-Markward Hall stands as a piece of history. This women’s residence — located in a historical district in DC — is not just a building but a testament to the city’s evolving narrative. The hall has housed many women who have contributed to the city’s political and social life, making it a living piece of history. Learn more about this area and its significance at “The Best Areas to Live or Stay in Washington, DC”.

Tips for Uncovering These Hidden Gems in Washington DC

  • Take a walking tour of these neighborhoods to truly absorb their historical essence.
  • Visit local cafes and shops; often, they are housed in buildings with historical significance.
  • Engage with locals and ask for stories about the area — you’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

Washington, DC, is a city of layers, each revealing a different part of its rich history. From the storied walls of Georgetown to the vibrant streets of U Street, the hidden gems of Washington, DC, offer a unique perspective into the nation’s capital. For those looking to explore more, consider learning about the colleges and universities in the Washington, DC, area, or dive into the city’s vibrant cultural scene. And don’t miss the annual community events and festivals in Washington, DC, to experience the city’s history in a lively, communal setting.In discovering these Washington, DC, historical sites, you’ll find that the city’s true charm lies not just in its monumental landmarks, but in its quieter, less-trodden paths that hold stories waiting to be uncovered.


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.