What does the Southwest Waterfront have to offer? Fine dining, jogging and biking paths, concert halls, great shopping, proximity to some of DC’s best museums, public parks with water views…the list goes on! Just south of downtown DC, this neighborhood has really blossomed in the past several years with the opening of The Wharf, a riverside development packed with restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and even an ice rink open for winter months! Read on for reasons to visit and live in this neighborhood, including the best shopping, dining, and activities that the waterfront has to offer.

Things to Do

There is an exhaustive list of things to do in the SW Waterfront, so in the interest of time we’ll dig into a few highlights. The Municipal Fish Market, the country’s oldest open-air fish market (17 years older than Fulton Fish Market in NYC), is certainly worth exploring for any seafood lover. Municipal offers a wide variety of fresh and cooked seafood, including oysters, blue crabs, clams, and shrimp–grab lunch before strolling the stalls. 

Moving from day to night, the waterfront has plenty of bars, entertainment venues, and restaurants to choose from, but likely the most well known spot is The Anthem–a concert hall with excellent acoustics that holds 6,000 and books some of the country’s hottest musical acts. Another spot worth checking out is Pearl Street Warehouse. This concept restaurant features classic American fare with an extensive beer list and live music on a nightly basis, with an emphasis on rock, country, folk, and bluegrass acts. 

Finally, one fun and unique feature of the Southwest Waterfront is the commute–how many neighborhoods can you say that about? Water taxis run daily to and from Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, and National Harbor (closed only for the months of January and February.) Skip the traffic and arrive by boat–this mode of transport is sure to be a crowd pleaser! 


The Southwest Waterfront does not lack for restaurants. While not all are created equal, we’ll recommend a few that have been vetted (by our discerning palettes!) Officina features a delicious menu of Southern Italian food, a third story rooftop bar, and a lovely Italian artisanal market on the ground floor. For something a little different, check out Kith and Kin for excellent Afro-Carribean fare (you won’t find this kind of food often in DC) and hand-crafted cocktails inspired by the chef’s cultural roots in Nigeria, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Finally, Grazie Grazie is an Italian deli that prepares sandwiches, salads, and appetizers from scratch using high quality ingredients, and boasts a mouthwatering menu including risotto balls and fried mozzarella cubes! 


Don’t miss the second location of DC institution Politics & Prose–an independent bookstore with an impressive selection of books on every topic imaginable. P&P also hosts authors and classes on a regular basis for those who want to expand their minds! Another place to visit is Shop Made in DC, particularly if you like the idea of supporting small local businesses. This store features clothing, jewelry, furniture, home decor, stationary, and more–all made by DC locals in an effort to support Washington’s creative community. 

If all of this has you dreaming of a move to one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, click here to browse homes for sale in the Southwest Waterfront! 

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