Cathedral Heights Neighborhood Guide

Discover Cathedral Heights

Cathedral Heights Weather
Wednesday 53 °F Thursday 61 °F

Located just West of the National Cathedral, Cathedral Heights offers DC residents a quiet and suburban neighborhood character without straying too far from the amenities and convenience of urban living.

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.

The Cathedral
Spring time in washington, dc

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?

Coming and Going

The neighborhood is situated outside of the majority of the city’s hustle and bustle, but not at too great an expense. You can achieve most daily errands on foot, and the neighborhood is incredibly accessible by bike. However, the majority of residents do own a car.

Check Out The Restaurants in Cathedral Heights!

Check out our in-depth guide for dining in Cathedral Heights, which lets you know about all of the top-rated, delicious options available to you.

Explore Your Neighborhood and Discover 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? We’ve got you covered.

Keep reading for a list of what makes this community so special!

Cathedral Heights’ Nature Spots

Nature Trails

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.  

The Bishop’s Garden

If you’re in the area anyway, go ahead and take advantage of the Cathedral! Not just the interior, but the 59 acres surrounding it as well. There is 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!)

Shopping in Cathedral Heights

Blue Mercury

This cosmetics, skincare, and spa chain isn’t exactly one of a kind (they have 30 locations in the US) but it is the only one on the East Coast.

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.


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.

Community Focus: Cathedral Heights

Newark St. Community Garden

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.

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.

American University Museum at the Katzen

This museum highlights the work of American University art students but also hosts well-curated

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!

Get Fit in Cathedral Heights!

Sutton Racquet Club

It’s not just for racquetball! You can also play tennis here.

If you live at Sutton Towers or Sutton Place then you get a membership discount, but even non-residents can become members of the club and make use of the facilities anytime they’d like.

Interested in becoming a member? Check out their website here.

Pure Barre

Considering putting yourself through some of the training that ballerinas go through? Maybe you’ve heard of barre classes and want to give it a try?

Well, the rumors you heard are true. These workouts can be brutal. 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.

In all seriousness, they don’t just have you doing ballet exercises here. They incorporate weights and isometric movements as well. For a look at their schedule click here.


This is one of the toughest workouts you can do in Cathedral Heights, and that is saying something. Solidcore focuses on slow, painstaking resistance training and hardcore pilates. Their whole workout philosophy is: keep it high intensity, low impact, and stick to slow and controlled movements.

Interested in trying out a class? Here is a list of their pricing and membership options.

Zengo Cycle

You read that right. Cathedral Heights has its own cycling gym. The idea behind a Zengo workout is to keep all parts of your body in motion. They play awesome playlists so that your upper body is engaged and dancing (yes, actively dancing) while your lower body is cycling and pushing itself hard.

They certainly are highly rated online! Check them out here.

There are so many exciting things to do in Cathedral Heights that there’s bound to be something for everybody. Move to a Cathedral Heights neighborhood at one of our beautiful DARO Apartments!

Commuters walking in Cathedral Heights, Washington, DC
Run daily errands within walking distance in Cathedral Heights.

Quiet, But Not Boring

Wisconsin Ave on the neighborhood’s East Side is home to a variety of dining, bars, and entertainment options, providing access to the city’s activity without being right in the middle of it.

In addition to the amenities on Wisconsin Ave, residents can transit seamlessly by metro to Downtown DC, Adams Morgan, and Georgetown where some of the most beloved nightlife and dining are found.

Cathedral Heights Schools

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

John Eaton Elementary

A diverse DC Public Elementary serving local students in grades PK-5.

Horace Mann Elementary

A recently renovated DC Public Elementary serving grades PK-5.

Stoddert Elementary

A PK-5 DC Public Elementary with high academic performance compared to state averages.

Alice Deal Middle School

A diverse grade 6-8 middle school with above average academics.

Hardy Middle School

A middle school serving grades 6-8 with above average academics.

Woodrow Wilson High School

A Grades 9-12 high school with high test scores and college readiness programs.

Culture and 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.


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.

Cathedral Heights Neighborhood Guide


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.

Health and 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.


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.

The Grilled Oyster Company – Restaurant specializing in American cuisine and seafood.


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.


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.

Gas and 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.

Sports and 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.

Arts and 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.