Washington DC Neighborhood Guide: Thomas Circle

Thomas Circle Neighborhood Guide 6

Welcome to Thomas Circle, DC

Welcome to Washington, DC, and more importantly welcome to Thomas Circle. Conveniently located between Logan and Dupont Circles, Thomas Circle is a desirable neighborhood mostly attracting single and married professionals for its trendy feel, access to premium retail and dining, and wealth of entertainment, social and cultural activities.

Named for Civil War Union Army General, George Henry Thomas, Thomas Circle is within walking distance from numerous historical monuments and sites. In addition to being one of the most prominent U.S. cities for history buffs, this spectacular section of DC is home to premium retail, fine dining, and a variety of social activities to feed everyone’s interests. 

Downtown DC, just south of Thomas Circle, is a thriving area for both independent businesses and nationally recognized chains. When it comes to dining, entertainment, art, shopping, or just about any service or amenity you can think of, this neighborhood offers an absolute wealth of options!

An Overview of
Living in Thomas Circle

You could say that living in Thomas Circle is all about the lifestyle. Rivaled only by nearby Dupont Circle, the area around this traffic circle offers a lifestyle that the nation’s capital alone can provide.

Logan Circle has a near-perfect Walkscore of 96, meaning you can complete all daily errands without a vehicle. But these day-to-day chores aren’t the only reason you’ll love walking around downtown. As home to many of DC’s most beloved attractions, venues, and storefronts, you’ll never lack a reason to get out and walk the neighborhood.

In addition to walking, Downtown 14th St. is also considered a “biker’s paradise.” Thanks to the incredibly bike-friendly roads and access to the Capital Bikeshare program, many people in the neighborhood love to go for a ride. A significant number even commute to work daily by bike.

This area is home to the most exceptional shopping DC has to offer. Specifically, the 14th St. Corridor provides just about any goods or services you can imagine needing within walking distance.

Both big-name retailers and independent boutiques thrive in the corridor, giving shoppers a variety of options in everything from kitchen and home decor to hardware and home improvement.

For people who want to get out and experience an eventful social life, Downtown 14th St. and Thomas Circle is the place to be. With a plethora of restaurants, music venues, art galleries, and nightlife, residents are never left with a lack of things to do.

The neighborhood also hosts frequent social events and gatherings giving you a chance to be a part of the active community and get to know your neighbors.

Thomas Circle Neighborhood Guide 7

Live like the locals do - explore

Thomas Circle brings you elements of nature mixed with knowledge, history, and good fashioned fun. As you set out to explore all the exciting things to do in this city, here are a few of the highlights you can check out.

Two stellar museums

1. National Geographic Museum (4-minute drive/9-minute walk from the Phoenix Apartments) – Get your thinking caps on at the National Geographic Museum located just blocks away on 17th St NW. Spend your time moving between the rotating exhibits and photographs on display, as well as documentation of historical scientific expeditions and explorations. 

2. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (10-minute drive/35-minute walk) – Established in 1946, the Smithsonian was rated the 5th most viewed museum in 2018. As you venture through the doors, take in the Apollo 11 command module, Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise, and many other real and fictional memorabilia. 

Celebrate People

For a unique experience in Thomas Circle, the National Museum of Women in the Arts is a must-see. This museum holds all kinds of events during the day and night, experience the history of women who took flight in the arts.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts holds all kinds of Gallery Talks and free events that you won’t want to miss. They hold free community days on the first Sunday of every month where you can tour the entire collection free of charge and experience the magnetic energy that surrounds women in the arts. The museum is located a hop and a skip away from the West Wing Cafe at Thomas Circle on 1250 New York Ave NW.

celebrate the women in your life
Thomas Circle Neighborhood Guide 8

Nature's calling to say hello

Spend some time outdoors and embrace nature’s serenity at local parks like Tregaron Conservatory (13-minute drive) or Franklin Square (3-minute drive/11-minute walk), which is reported to be named after Benjamin Franklin. Franklin Square is located closer to Downtown and offers park-like vibes while keeping you close enough to grab a fresh cup of coffee or a quick brunch should you be hungry after your mini-adventure. Tregaron offers more natural views, allowing you to fully immerse in nature and surround yourself with greenery. 

Sip and much

Wine and dine at Le Diplomate (2-minute drive/9-minute walk), a classic French bistro that brings you modern-day France mixed with high ceilings and antique decor. The food is scrumptious and the bustling atmosphere makes it feel as if you’ve taken a quick trip around the world.

For light snacks, the Commissary (3-minute drive/7-minute walk) brings you a casual place to seat yourself and enjoy. Relax in armchairs on the patio and take in the views of the city as you sip your drink.

For more delicate tastes from around the world, pick your flavor at delicious restaurants like Btoo (1-minutes drive/4-minute walk) for Belgium delights or one of the many other luxurious options around the city. Each location details a little history mixed with loads of fun and a casual atmosphere to ensure you can relax while living in a seemingly enchanted corner of Washington. 

extracurricular

Looking for a way to relax and let go? Living Room DC (3-minute drive/6-minute walk) is Thomas Circle’s resident nightlife club, bringing the hottest DJ’s and Great Gatsby’s styling to life. Step foot into a world of fun as you dance the night away and enjoy luxurious service to celebrate yourself. 

Need a laugh after a long day? The DC Improv Comedy Club (5-minute drive/12-minute walk) is only minutes away and is sure to leave you wanting more. From local on-the-rise talent to some of the most well-known names, each night brings you a new reason to laugh.

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coffee in thomas circle

Visit a Coffee Shop in Thomas Circle

Touring the big City definitely entails a coffee break at a lovely cafe. Grab some breakfast and coffee at the West Wing Cafe where you started your city tour or take a walk back in time to the Crown and Crow a Victorian-era restaurant inspired by the 1900s.

Daro's main logo
Daro's main logo

Why Thomas Circle?

Not only will you find a surplus of incredible places to spend your free time, but Thomas Circle offers convenient transportation to the Northwest Quadrant neighborhoods as well as other areas in DC. While most places are located within close proximity and you can easily walk to them, the Downtown area is known as a biker’s paradise. It is home to the Capital Bikeshare Program, making traveling around town even more fun. 

For days when you need to run errands and get a little shopping done, the 14th St. Corridor provides all of your essential goods and services as well as some pretty unique shops. You can find almost anything you need without spending the entire day traveling from location to location. 

All in all, Thomas Circle is the intersection for exploring many other great parts of historical Washington. You can leave stress at your front door and hop on one of the many guided signature tours for the city, which start at Thomas Circle’s West Wing Cafe, and spend your days uncovering all of the hidden treasures across the DC area. 

From history to the dreamlike vibrant city life, Thomas Circle is home to it all. If you or a friend are looking for a place to call home in the NorthWest DC area, contact us to schedule a time to view our open apartment options. We’ll help you pick out the perfect place and provide you with even more of the best local hotspots all across town. Feel free to check out any of our city guides or other blog posts to familiarize yourself with the ‘must-experience’ places throughout Washington. 

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take a walking tour or a city tour

Take A Thomas Circle Tour

If you are in the mood for a guided walk through of your Nation’s Capital sights Thomas Circle is the right place to be. These guided tours take you to all the action in DC that you will want to see!

Signature Tours of Washington DC has been guiding adventures around the city for over 20 years and will take its guests on an exploration and historical invitation to the Washington Monument, The Jefferson Memorial, war memorials and more. They even offer to pick up right from your hotel, that is convenience at its finest.

For an exciting view of the city, you can also explore through DC Landmark Tours and Custom Tours of DC. Both will pick you up by the West Wing Cafe located in Thomas Circle! So go out and adventure around the Nation’s capital while relaxing and listening to the rich history which surrounds our nation!

Daro's main logo
Daro's main logo

Listen To Stand Up Comedy

DraftHouse Comedy is Washington DC’s laugh haven. If you are looking for a hilarious night out, this place is highly recommended. It showcases comedians from today’s most popular TV channels and shows like HBO, TBS, WILD N OUT, Comedy Central, Netflix and more! So if you are looking to find some celebrity action and laugh your tonsils out, head to the Draft House. The Draft House is located on 13th street NW just a 5 minute walk from Thomas Circle!

comedy night in thomas circle

Grab a drink at one of our favorite Thomas Circle bars!

Donovan's Rooftop Bar
Climb to the top of the city for drinks, small plates, and amazing views. They offer a variety of cocktails, bottle service, and vegan options for all the herbivores out there.
visit the kimpton hotel's rooftop bar
The Post Pub
The Post has been a local tradition for over six decades in the Washington DC area! This local pub was built in the late 1860s and even survived The Great Depression as the Cornwell Cafeteria for a time.
the post is a great hangout spot in the city
Agora
For cocktail lovers, Agora is the place to go. Grab one of their fruity, summer drinks, or opt for the classic whiskey on the rocks.
swing by happy hour at Agora

More Information on the Thomas Circle Neighborhood:

Schools Near Thomas Circle

Some of the most desirable schools in the DC Public School System serve the Thomas Circle area.

Area Culture & Community

Thomas Circle is an incredibly multicultural and active community. Residents can explore a variety of other cultures and be a part of a thriving and vibrant neighborhood community.

People of all ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds work, dine, and live in the area making it a great community for those wanting to immerse themselves in these cultures and find new and thrilling experiences on every corner.

The bustling city center is so full of events and activities that the neighborhood feels delightfully engaging, warm, and welcoming.

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Local Transportation

One of Thomas Circle’s most appealing features is the flexibility it affords its residents in where they work. The area is made up of professionals in virtually all fields. From government workers, diplomats, lawyers, finance, emerging markets, and more, the variety of professionals who live and work in this area is unmatched, and the area is sure to serve you no matter what your career.

One of the main reasons you can find such professional diversity in Thomas Circle is its convenient centralized location and the seamless metro access. The area is situated between Dupont Circle, Logan Circle and Downtown DC, all hubs of professional offices, retail, and entertainment

The area is served by three nearby metro stations, making getting to and from any place in DC a breeze. McPherson Square Station, Mt Vernon Square Station, and Farragut North Station are all within blocks of the circle.

Groceries

Streets Market – Grocery store located on Massachusetts Ave.

Whole Foods Market – Supermarket specializing in natural and organic foods.

Metro Supermarket – Supermarket on the west side of Dupont Circle.

Retail Shopping in Thomas Circle

Nordstrom Rack Downtown DC – Nationally recognized clothing retailer.

CityCenterDC – One of the nation’s most prestigious shopping malls.

Ann Taylor – Women’s clothing, accessory, and shoe retailer.

Potomac River Running – Sportswear and shoe store.

Arts and Education

National Museum of Women in the Arts – A museum displaying over 3,000 works by female artists across nations and cultures.

National Geographic Museum – Museum with rotating travel-related exhibits.

Charles Krause/Reporting Fine Art – Art gallery located just south of Logan Circle.

Nightlife in Thomas Circle

Off the Record – Discreet cocktail bar located in the Hay-Adams Hotel on 16th St.

DNV Rooftop – Rooftop lounge serving poolside cocktails.

Eden Lounge DC – Four-floor lounge and nightclub.

The Park at 14th – Nightclub and restaurant.

Eighteenth St. Cocktails – A townhouse converted into a cocktail bar.

The Bottom Line – Basement bar and late-night American & Mexican pub food.

Public Bar – Four-floor sports bar and dance club with rooftop deck.

Health and Fitness

Washington Hospital Center – Nearby gynecologic and oncology center.

George Washington University Hospital – Hospital and 24-hour emergency room.

Gold’s Gym – Gym and fitness center on 14th St.

Equinox Sports Club – Luxury fitness center with indoor pool, sports courts, and boxing.

Foer’s Pharmacy – Pharmacy and drug store on 18th St.

Tschiffely Pharmacy – K Street pharmacy and drug store.

GNC – Vitamin and nutritional supplements retailer with several locations downtown.

Sports & Outdoors

McPherson Square – Urban Park with seating near the metro station.

Franklin Square – A shady urban park.

Farragut Square – Compact park with seating areas.

Shaw Skate Park – Outdoor concrete skateboard park and basketball courts.

Monroe Basketball Court – A 24-hour public basketball court.

Dining

The Bombay Club – Luxurious dining with an Indian food specialty.

Brasserie Beck – Belgian beer and dining on K St.

Old Ebbitt Grill – Fine dining with a rich history in DC.

Rasika West End – Cosmopolitan spot specializing in Indian cuisine.

The Pig – A rustic-themed restaurant specializing in “creative pork cooking.”

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Elegant steakhouse and seafood chain.

Gas & Convenience

BP – Gas and convenience on 13th St NW & 9th St. NW.

Exxon – Gas and Convenience on M St. NW

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