Georgetown’s role in the larger story of Washington DC goes all the way back to the region’s colonial roots, when it was part of the province of Maryland.
You can still find evidence of the neighborhood’s roots today; the Old Stone House at 3051 M Street dates back to 1765. Purchased by the National Park Service, it’s open to visitors with no admission fee required.
Georgetown officially became incorporated into the District of Columbia as part of a 1791 land deal that transformed it into an independent municipal government within the nation’s capital (this designation would later be revoked in 1871).
The neighborhood’s economic importance in the subsequent centuries cannot be overstated. Georgetown was a central shipping location, and offered access to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company.
Georgetown University (formerly Georgetown College) was founded in 1789.
A NEXUS OF SHOPPING
Today’s Georgetown continues to be an economic boon—but more for shopping than shipping.
The intersection of Wisconsin Avenue NW and M Street NW has become the center of a world-famous shopping district and popular tourist destination. Shops ranging from Nike, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren to Apple, Dean & DeLuca, and Brooks Brothers offer enjoyment for fashionistas and window shoppers alike.
Recent years have seen a dramatic redevelopment of the land along the Potomac River, transforming the southern stretch of Georgetown into the perfect spot for al-fresco adventures. Kayak trips, grassy picnics, a splash park, or an afternoon glass of wine are just a few of the many options available.
Another benefit to life in Georgetown? Some of your famous neighbors. Former residents of Georgetown include Julia Child, John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, and Francis Scott Key. And don’t forget the infamous “Exorcist” steps at 36th Street NW.