Observatory Park Real Estate
Guide to Observatory Park
Observatory Park is a small neighborhood in northwest Washington, D.C. There is plenty of green land surrounding the area as well as numerous night life options. The neighborhood offers plenty of distinctive housing and is affordable compared to all the action surrounding it.
North of Georgetown
Observatory Park is hugged by Dumbarton Oaks Park to the south, the Observatory Circle to the west and Fulton Street and Normanstone Drive to the northeast.
Georgetown neighbors Observatory Park to the south, Glover Park to the west, Kalorama to the east and Woodley Park to the north. Cathedral/Wesley Heights is also a short drive away.
The United States Naval Observatory
This astronomical observatory dominates most of the neighborhood and the Number One Observatory Circle, which is on the grounds, is home to the Vice President of the United States. The USNO is also on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places while being one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States. Its primary mission has been to produce positioning, navigation and timing for the United States Navy and the Department of Defense.
Just south of the USNO is the Dumbarton Oaks Park. This public park is also on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It’s perfect for hiking and dog walking, while also offering trails for runners and bicyclists. The park is tucked in between Rock Creek and Glover Archbold trail and is spacious enough for you to forget that you’re in the city.
Traveling Around the Area
Observatory Park is not very stocked when it comes public transportation so a car is beneficial for this neighborhood. The closest Metro station is the Woodley Park-Zoo station but there isn’t a direct route that can be taken with a Metrobus line. The upside to the neighborhood’s size though is the convenience of being able to travel to Georgetown and other bordering neighborhoods. The D1, D2, D6, N2, N3, N4, and N6 are bus lines that all go south towards Georgetown and Burleith.
Condos & Apartment Buildings
Just west of the USNO are some well stocked Mediterranean style homes. These beautiful homes feature handcrafted architectural details and vary from color and material to distinguish them from the others. However, most of the neighborhood’s housing stock is condos and apartment buildings. The great thing about the location of most of these condos and apartment buildings is that it’s conveniently located on the outskirts of Georgetown and great shopping areas including Whole Foods. The Skyline Towers is also a nearby apartment building.
Night Life on Wisconsin Avenue
Most of the major night life in this area runs down Wisconsin Avenue. Breadsoda is a unique seventies style bar with pool tables, shuffleboard, a Wii console, darts, and board games. This homey basement bar also has a great beer selection with a classic American menu that includes the namesake Breadsoda sandwich grilled on pumpernickel bread.
A more classic choice takes place up the street at Old Europe. This premier German restaurant is a cant miss with antique steins and oil paintings all around. It’s an old-world setting with classic German food and beer with an ambiance of live piano music. An even more relaxed restaurant can be found next door at Surfside. This Mexican spot serves build-your-own style tacos and margaritas all in a cafeteria-style atmosphere. If it’s warm out, check out the rooftop bar.
Dumbarton Oaks Museum is a famed library and museum for Byzantine and pre-Columbian studies just off of R Street. The museum is filled with beautiful artwork and a wonderful layout that will guarantee a great experience. Dumbarton Oaks Gardens is also within the vicinity and is covered by extensive gardens, fountains, and terraces. The museum and gardens are also opened to the public for important public lectures and concert series.
The Guy Mason Recreation Center is also a great facility of the neighborhood. This three-story building is equipped with specialized programs such as a ceramics studio, a co-op room, a pottery studio and a woodworking shop. All programs are facilitated by specialized contractors and staff members. It also has a playground, basketball court, baseball field, and a dog park.
The neighborhood is also home to Embassy Row, an informal name for a section of Massachusetts Avenue occupied by embassies and other diplomatic representations.
Overall Observatory Park is a small neighborhood tucked above Georgetown and a great alternative to its neighbor’s populated vibe. Affordable living along with peace and quiet gives this neighborhood a distinct advantage compared to all the action surrounding it.
Don't look up, look around
While many visitors to Observatory Park are sky gazers, the sidewalks are filled with people from all over the world. Look around, this is Embassy Row. There is a great time to visit. Many of Embassy Row's diplomatic buildings open to the public once a year in May, an initiative nicknamed Passport DC. Plan to come down and take part in a tour of the world, never leaving Massachusetts Avenue.