Washington DC Neighborhood Guide: Cathedral Heights

Cathedral Height view in spring

Welcome to Cathedral Heights

Do you live in Cathedral Heights? Looking to move there? Stopping by for lunch next weekend?

Cathedral Heights is the neighborhood to the east of the National Cathedral, a major landmark here in the nation’s capital. FYI: sometimes this neighborhood is also called “Cathedral Commons.”

It’s definitely one of those neighborhoods that people think fondly of but don’t speak of often. It’s true that it isn’t a party hotspot (there are other areas of the city that have that market cornered), but that doesn’t mean that the area is just empty!

Au contraire! Cathedral Heights is a thriving community with unique shops, gyms, restaurants, and fun things to do. The problem is that those who live in this idyllic neighborhood don’t want the secret to get out.

Here at DARO, though, we want you to be able to take advantage of everything Washington DC has to offer.

Looking to move to Cathedral Heights? Check out The Archer. And keep reading for a list of what makes this community so special!

An Overview of
Living in Cathedral Heights

Cathedral Heights is a residential area known for its quiet and suburban character. But what do you have to look forward to living in this peaceful getaway from the city?

Aesthetically, it features large shady trees and a more spread out architecture, perfect for those who dislike the tightly-packed row houses found in many other Northwest Quadrant neighborhoods.

The central location is ideal for residents who want to be able to enjoy the services in nearby Tenleytown, Georgetown, Cleveland Park, and Glover Park while having space to themselves for a suburban lifestyle.

Overall, the neighborhood is perfect residents seeking a quieter and more residential area of DC, those who long for a reprieve from the city at the end of a long day.

Spring time in washington, dc

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.

flowers in a garden

Explore The Beautiful Outdoors

Take a long walk through Glover Archibald Trail and the Massachusetts 39th Trail (they kind of feel like one long trail intersected by Massachusetts Avenue). These trails offer a refreshing escape from the city, with nice tall trees, clean air, and a bubble of peace and quiet.

Take advantage of the 59 acres surrounding the Cathedral as well! There’s a five-mile oak and beech forest and gorgeously landscaped gardens designed in 1916.The beautiful gardens require real work and planning, and they are free to the public, though you can also take tours (some of which include tea!)

Go On A Shopping Spree

Head over to Blue Mercury, a cosmetics store whose only East Coast location is right here in Cathedral Heights! They offer makeup and skincare brands that you won’t be able to find in other, more mainstream stores — and check out these spa services to see if you can justify fitting a visit into your Sunday errands.

Got pets? Kriser’s is an all natural pet supply store! The founders of Krisers are kind of obsessed with getting the best food possible to your pets for them to feel as good as possible. They have brands like

Krisers is also kind of like a spa for dogs — they offer vet services, training classes, doggy daycare, washes, and grooming. You can learn more and book their services here.

shop cathedral heights
Daro's main logo
Daro's main logo
cathedral heights has beautiful community gardens

Swing By The Community Gardens

Community Gardens are, unquestionably, one of the most wholesome things on earth.

This particular community garden, situated on four acres right next to the Newark St. Dog Park, was established back n 1975. They offer a lot to their members, including a garden specifically for children to take care of.

If you are interested in becoming a member, feel free to jump on the waiting list. Interested in the history of the garden? You can read all about it here.
Daro's main logo
Daro's main logo

Check Out A Book From The Free Little Library

Have you ever heard of the Free Little Library concept? The idea is that a small structure is erected that can keep its contents dry but still be accessible to children with a little glass door on the front.

The Free Little Libraries, of which there are thousands all over the world, are simply stuffed with books that you can take at any time; but you can also leave one at any time (make sure they are appropriate for children!).

See if you can find the one on 38th St. in Cathedral Heights! Interested in donating? Click here.

Books in Washington, DC
visit the university museum in cathedral heights

Take In Some Art At The American University Museum

This museum highlights the work of American University art students but also hosts well-curated art from all over the world.

They have family days, lectures from distinguished artists, workshops, weekend tours, and all kinds of interesting events. You can even listen in on MFA students presenting their thesis works!

Their exhibits range from stark and stunning photography collections to wild abstract visions in neon and black to soft observations on natural canvases made of orbs in acrylics.

You can check out their website for hours and information!

Daro's main logo
Daro's main logo

Get Fit In Cathedral Heights!

Consider taking a Pure Barre class and bring out the dancer in you! These classes are about 45 minutes of total-body-workout designed to make your muscles shake. Seriously. If you think ballet is just for dainty girls, you’ve got another think coming.

If that’s not your thing, Cathedral Heights has its own cycling gym. The idea behind a Zengo workout is to keep all parts of your body in motion. Try taking a spin at one of their classes!

try a spinning class in cathedral heights
Visit Cathedral Heights’ most talked about Restaurants!
Nanny O'Briens
This cool Irish Pub in Cleveland Park is known for its burgers, easygoing staff, and the extensive beer options. They are either always playing Gaelic music or hosting a cool local music act.
Cathedral Heights Neighborhood Guide 2
St. Arnold's Mussel Bar
20 types of mussels, 60 types of Belgian beers. That is St. Arnold’s claim to fame. They host a delicious brunch of Saturday and Sunday (the last Sunday of the month is always a Drag Brunch!)
Cathedral Heights Neighborhood Guide 3
Atomic Billiards
Looking for a place to relax, play darts, pool, or board games? Want a full bar to go with it? Check this one out. It’s a neighborhood favorite and has a crowd of regulars you just might fall in love with.
Cathedral Heights Neighborhood Guide 4

More Information on the Cathedral Heights Neighborhood:

Schools in Cathedral Heights, DC

Some of the most desirable schools in the DC Public School System serve Cathedral Heights.

Area Culture & Community

Cathedral Heights is home to a delightfully international population.

Popular among diplomats and Foreign Service Officers, this quiet community supports a vibrant cultural atmosphere and welcoming character.

The neighborhood attracts professionals of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds due to its reserved nature, and access to various professional hubs around the city.

Community events such as the weekly farmer’s market and occasional street fairs take place at the National Cathedral.

Though it lacks a citizens association, many residents describe the neighborhood as being active, friendly, and welcoming.

Check Out The Cathedral Heights Commuters Guide!

Check out our in-depth guide for commuting in and around Cathedral Heights.

Local Transportation

The Metro Station in Tenleytown services the area, which is about a 25-minute walk from the neighborhood’s center. While not as convenient as some other NW Quadrant neighborhoods, the people this community attracts consider it a worthwhile concession for living in this peaceful refuge from the city.

Various buses routes travel along Wisconsin Ave, making traveling to and from the Metro a bit easier.

The bike-friendly roads also make commuting by bike a breeze for cyclists, reducing a 25-minute walk to an 8-minute ride.

Groceries

Giant Food – Supermarket located just off Wisconsin Ave.

Berkshire Food and Drug – Supermarket and drug store on Massachusetts Ave.

Whole Foods Market – Wisconsin Ave supermarket specializing in natural and organic products.

Retail

4500 Wisconsin Ave Shopping Center – Shopping mall hosting big-box retailers.

The Shops at Wisconsin Place – Shopping center on Wisconsin Ave near Chevy Chase offering a variety of retail and dining options.

Chevy Chase Pavillion – Small retail space including national retailers including H & M, Pottery Barn, J Crew, Ann Taylor Loft, and more.

Arts & Education

The National Cathedral – The focal point of the neighborhood, the national cathedral features beautiful architecture and a rich history.

The Kreeger Museum – Museum featuring 19th-century art and gardens.

Saint Sophia Cathedral – Cathedral hosting an annual Greek festival.

The U.S. Naval Observatory – The observatory offers guided tours that show visitors the site and walk them through its history.

Nightlife

Breadsoda – Dining and bar with billiards, darts, and shuffleboard.

Bourbon – Cocktail bar offering over 300 varieties of bourbon, scotch, and whiskey.

Mason Inn – Sports bar with late-night dancing and live music.

Town Hall – Restaurant and bar with an outdoor courtyard.

Health & Fitness

Solidcore – Fitness center offering exercise classes.

Pure Barre – Gym and Fitness center with group classes and personal training.

Zengo Cycle Cathedral Commons – Cycling studio offering classes.

Georgetown University Hospital – 24-hour emergency room and hospital.

MedStar Medical Group – Primary care facility on New Mexico Ave.

Rite Aid – Pharmacy and drug store on New Mexico Ave.

CVS Pharmacy – Pharmacy and drug store on Newark St.

GNC – Vitamin and nutritional supplement retailer on Wisconsin Ave.

Sports & Outdoors

St. Albans Tennis Club – Tennis Facility on New Mexico Ave.

Rock Creek Park – A large urban park located north of the neighborhood, offering hiking trails, horseback riding, live music and entertainment, a planetarium, tennis, and golf.

Glover-Archbold Park – Park with sitting and picnic areas and walking trails.

Dining

Cafe Deluxe – A neighborhood favorite for comfort food and cocktails on Wisconsin Ave.

Al Dente – Italian Cuisine on New Mexico Ave.

Two Amys – Pizza place near the National Cathedral.

Barcelona Wine Bar – Wisconsin Ave restaurant and wine bar.

Heritage India – Wisconsin Ave restaurant specializing in Indian cuisine.

Gas & Convenience

Exxon – Gas and Convenience located on Wisconsin Ave.

Sunoco Gas Station – Gas and convenience on Wisconsin Ave.

Shell – Gas and Convenience on Wisconsin Ave.

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