What Are The 7 Best Neighborhoods In DC For Young Professionals?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Washington DC is one of those places that can be one of the best places to live or one of the worst places to live. It’s a city that is filled with duality, which is why getting the right neighborhood is oh, so crucial to getting a good lifestyle. Figuring out the best neighborhoods in DC for young professionals and other categories isn’t always easy to do. Word of mouth only goes so far, so we decided to look into it.

The best neighborhoods in Washington DC for young professionals are Mount Vernon, Downtown DC, Chinatown, Logan Circle, and Foggy Bottom. These areas rank high for young professionals because of walkability, crime rates, rent, available entertainment, and job opportunities available. Other top DC neighborhoods for young professionals are Cleveland Park and Columbia Heights.

Getting a good spot in DC can feel like pulling a needle out of a haystack. Plus, if you’re a young professional seeking the best DC neighborhood to live in, it can get confusing. Thankfully, we made it doable through the use of our guide.

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Why Is Washington, DC A Great Place To Live?

Washington DC is one of those places that can be a dream come true, or your worst nightmare. It all depends on the neighborhood that you move to as well as what you find in the city. Everyone tends to agree that the mild weather, excellent museums, and amazing professional networking opportunities that the town offers. DC also has one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in the United States, so folks who love entertainment will fit in here.

This is one of the few cities that’s so diverse, you can always count on finding your clique within its borders. This makes it a great place to be if you want to create your own personal paradise. Of course, there are drawbacks—namely, the traffic and the crime around the dodgy parts. That’s why it’s important that you find a neighborhood that jives with you.

How Much Do You Need To Make To Live Comfortably In Washington, DC?

Honestly, it’s hard to tell. It depends on what you consider to be comfortable. If you want to have a nice lifestyle that’s considered to be standard among young professionals, it’ll be a hefty sum. You will have to earn at least $122,000 to make ends meet comfortably in Washington DC according to most studies, and that’s if you’re renting.

With that said, you can usually stretch your budget if you really try. So don’t be put off by everyone.

The Best Neighborhoods In DC For Young Professionals

Washington DC isn’t just our nation’s capital. It’s a place where young professionals can find their first home, and maybe even find their first love.

But, if you plan to call DC home, it’s understandable that you want to know the best neighborhoods for young professionals. These neighborhoods, in particular, are prime picks.

1. Best Neighborhood In DC For Young Professionals Who Need To Network: Mount Vernon

Known for being one of the best places for people who want to be neck-deep in the action of the city, Mount Vernon offers fast commutes and ample public transit. Excellent amenities, great restaurants, and tons of professional networking opportunities make this a world-class choice for anyone who wants to have the best of what DC has to offer. Mount Vernon acts as a major meetup hub for a lot of DC groups, so moving here will get you some of that action.

There are a bunch of attractions that you can enjoy here, including some world-famous parks and quick rides to the museums nearby.

  • Walkability Score: 10
  • Crime Score: 7
  • Transit Score: 10
  • Median Rent: $1,919

2. Best For City Lovers: Downtown

Right in the heart of DC is Downtown, the neighborhood where anything can happen. Bars, coffee shops, parks, and restaurants are around every corner here. Since it is a major tourist spot, there are tons of public transportation options here though traffic can be pretty rough throughout the day. Though the nightlife here is off the hook, the truth is that most people agree the schools here make it an ideal place for a young family too.

Downtown is remarkably resilient and diverse, so you never know who you will link up with here.

  • Walkability Score: 10
  • Crime Score: 7.2
  • Transit Score: 10
  • Median Rent: $2,422

3. Best For Foodies: Chinatown

Once the home to Washington DC’s Chinese immigrant population, Chinatown has become its own hotspot for people of all walks of life. High diversity, excellent public transit, and great schools make it a surprisingly popular place for both young professionals and established families alike. You’ll love the outdoor activities, not to mention the excellent food around every corner.

If you’re looking for Mr. Right, this is a good place to live. There are hot singles around every corner.

  • Walkability Score: 10
  • Crime Score: 7.5
  • Transit Score: 10
  • Median Rent: $2,325

4. Best For LGBTQIA+ Families: Logan Circle

Logan Circle is primarily known as one of the best places for young LGBTQIA+ professionals to move to. In fact, it’s actually famous for the gay bar scene, not to mention their all-out celebrations during their pride day. Professionals in the scene love it here, and it’s a remarkably safe neighborhood. Folks who love to be able to get a great drink around the corner from their place will enjoy this circle, as well as nearby Dupont Circle.

Logan Circle is one of the best places to go if you want to find an LGBTQ partner, especially when you’re seeking out a person who has their life in order.

  • Walkability Score: 10
  • Crime Score: 8
  • Transit Score: 9.5
  • Median Rent: $1,689

5. Best Neighborhood In DC For Young Professionals That Are Fresh College Grads: Foggy Bottom

If you’re a recent grad of George Washington University, then you already are very well-acquainted with this GWU territory. Foggy Bottom is actually where the GWU campus is, and also happens to be close to several other major educational institutions as well. This is actually one of the safest parts of DC to live in, despite being the “college town” part of the metro. Regardless, you can expect to see a lot of grads and “movers and shakers” within the neighborhood.

Foggy Bottom has its own unique culture that you’re going to love. You might have a hard time wanting to leave once you start moving on up.

  • Walkability Score: 10
  • Crime Score: 8.5
  • Transit Score: 10
  • Median Rent: $1,846

6. Best For Suburbanites: Cleveland Park

Most people who are young and ready to live in DC choose to go to an urban area, but don’t let that scare you off. If you want a more suburban feel, Cleveland Park is a great place to go. This has all the spaciousness of a suburb with a relatively quick commute to the heart of the city. With that said, transportation isn’t as good as it could be (a 10-minute drive to the station), but the safety is incredibly well-rated. Young pros with families should consider this area.

The keyword for Cleveland Park is quiet. It’s not the place where horns honk and you hear protests down the street. Most people love it for that.

  • Walkability Score: 7
  • Crime Score: 9.5
  • Transit Score: 8
  • Median Rent: $1,908

7. Best Neighborhood In DC For Young Professionals Looking For Convenience: Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights might not have the prestige that other neighborhoods we mentioned, but it’s really not that bad a place. It’s a good place to live in if you have a need for the basics like a CVS, supermarket, and fast public transit. The schools are decent, the neighborhood is safe, and it’s not too far away from the main part of the city. It’s not glam, but it gets the job done beautifully.

The big drawback that you may need to be aware of here is the public schools. They don’t rank too well among most studies, so if you want to have a family, investing in a private school is a smart move.

  • Walkability Score: 9
  • Crime Score: 7
  • Transit Score: 10
  • Median Rent: $1,559

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Other DC Neighborhoods That Are A Good Pick For Young Professionals

The areas on our list are our top DC neighborhoods for young professionals, but there are several other areas that certainly win the runner-up.

Adams Morgan is a great area for single young professionals thanks to its vibrant nightlife. It also features a super-short commute to downtown DC. The median rent is $1,803 a month and the average home price is $529,538. The area is also safer than about 68% of other DC neighborhoods.

For young professionals desiring to climb the political ladder, Capitol Hill is a good neighborhood to call home. The area is loaded with history but also abuzz with exciting entertainment opportunities. Capitol Hill is safer than roughly 21% of DC neighborhoods, has a median rent of $1,1615 a month, and a median home price of $587,596.

Related Questions

Is it cheaper to live in Washington, DC or Maryland?

Both Washington, DC and Maryland are considered to be above average when it comes to both the cost of living and the average home income. Though they’re both pricey, Washington DC is notably more expensive when it comes to living expenses. This is particularly true when it comes to the price of housing.If you want to save money on rent, it’s better to stay in Maryland. Many people also find that having taxes in Maryland is generally cheaper, though this tends to depend on your particular situation.

Which are the worst neighborhoods in Washington, DC?

There are several places where people are warned against going in Washington DC. The most dangerous neighborhoods include NoMA, Washington Heights, Bellevue, and the Deanwood Metro Station. All of these neighborhoods are famous for gang activity as well as a high rate of property crime.With that said, the overall crime rate in and around Washington DC has been slowly dropping over the years. It’s not as bad as it used to be!

Are DC taxes higher than Virginia’s?

Tiny as the city may be, Washington DC pays a very high tax rate. Along with unusually high property taxes, Washington DC also happens to have taxes that are unique to the city itself. These include a car tax as well as several others. This leads to a tax rate that can be as much as 33 percent higher than what you would pay in the nearby Virginia suburbs.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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