Petworth is home to the massive Armed Forces' Retirement Home, the site of President Abraham Lincoln's Cottage. It also has an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants.
Petworth was the name of the 205-acre country estate of Benjamin Ogle Tayloe that encompassed most of what is now the Petworth neighborhood. In 1887, the land was sold to developers for $107,000.
After the extension of the Washington streetcar system northward, the neighborhood experienced a building boom. Many beautiful row-houses were constructed in the 1920s, primarily by local developers Morris Cafritz and D.J. Dunigan Company. These houses originally cost between $7,000 and $12,000 each.
For more information on riding the Metrorail in Washington DC, see Washington DC#Get_around.
The Green and Yellow lines stop at Georgia Ave - Petworth.
The following are the main bus routes operating in this area, along with links to timetables and route maps. For more information on riding buses in Washington DC, see Washington DC#Get_around.
- 52 and 54 run down 14th Street from Takoma via Petworth, Columbia Heights, Shaw, and the East End all the way to the National Mall.
- 70 and 71 run almost 24 hours daily, with the only significant gap Su 1:30AM-4AM. They run almost the entire length of Georgia Avenue from Silver Spring, Maryland, down 7th Street, to the National Mall.
- H8 operates through Brookland to Metrorail stations in Petworth and Columbia Heights. It is useful for reaching both President Lincoln's Cottage and Rock Creek Cemetery.
- 1 President Lincoln's Cottage, Enter at Rock Creek Church Rd & Upshur St NW (on the Armed Forces' Retirement Home grounds), ☎ . Visitor Center: M-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11:30AM-5:30PM; tours: M-Sa 10AM-3PM, Su noon-4PM (tours start on the hour). President Lincoln and his family spent summers here from 1862 to 1864 to escape the awful climate (physical and political) by the White House. Here he penned the second draft of his Emancipation Proclamation. Recognizing that Lincoln's political acumen was rivaled by his taste in abodes, later presidents James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, and Chester A. Arthur all took up the cottage as a summer residence as well. In addition to simply looking lovely, the cottage today contains several exhibits, as well as a reproduction of the desk on which Lincoln wrote his Proclamation. $12, $5/child 6–12.
- 2 Rock Creek Cemetery, Rock Creek Church Rd & Webster St NW, ☎ . Dawn-dusk daily. Not as important as Congressional Cemetery or Arlington Cemetery but this is a beautiful 19th century cemetery, with an impressive and beautiful High Gothic statuary. The most famous statue/tomb here is known to Washingtonians as Grief, incorrectly, as the famous sculptor Saint-Gaudens gave it a less catchy title: The Mystery of the Hereafter and The Peace of God that Passeth Understanding. The cemetery is 86 acres in size, so it will pay off to get a map from the cemetery office if you plan to look for anything in particular (Grief is in Section E).
- 1 Carter Barron Amphiteatre, 4850 Colorado Ave NW, ☎ . Concerts/shows only late spring-early fall. A big open air amphitheater off in the woods. Past performers have included Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Louis Armstrong, Andy Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, the National Symphony Orchestra, Nat King Cole, Peter Paul & Mary, and Kool and the Gang. The amphitheater hosts several events such as jazz nights, reggae nights, free outdoor movies, and most notably the free annual DC Blues Festival. Free-$30.
Festivals and events
- 2 DC Blues Festival, Carter Barron Amphitheater - 16th Street and Colorado Avenue NW. Early September. This annual festival features performances by blues legends.
- 1 Petworth Community Market, 9th St & Upshur St. Saturdays May-November: 9AM-1PM. A farmer's market.
- 2 Fia's Fabulous Finds, 806 Upshur St NW, ☎ . A women's clothing store that is a cross between a thrift shop and a vintage shop.
- 3 Upshur Street Books, 827 Upshur St NW, ☎ . A well-decorated quirky bookstore with biweekly sing-a-longs.
- 1 Fish In the Hood, 3601 Georgia Ave NW, ☎ . A long-time no-frills fried/boiled seafood eatery. Pay by the weight. Also serves Southern food such as barbecue and fried chicken.
- 2 The Hitching Post, 200 Upshur St NW, ☎ . Tu-Sa 10:30AM-10PM. A comfortable, homey, friendly, old-time soul food diner off by the Armed Forces Home, serving some of the best fried chicken in the metro area, always cooked to order. The sides of slaw, mac 'n cheese, etc. also drive the locals into a foodie frenzy. The portions are enormous (it's not terribly clear how "half chicken dinner" translates into twelve pieces of bird). All in all, a great place to settle into a casual, drawn out meal of slow cooked food during a football game or over a good conversation. $6-15.
- 4 El Torogoz, 4231 9th St NW, ☎ . Good Central and South American food and drinks with karaoke nights.
- 1 The Airedale DC, 3605 14th St NW, ☎ . A soccer-themed European bar with a really nice outdoor deck and 15 beers on tap.
- 2 Looking Glass Lounge, 3634 Georgia Ave NW, ☎ . A bar with nice stained-glass windows. Features open mic nights and trivia nights.
- 4 Petworth Citizen & Reading Room, 829 Upshur St NW, ☎ . A cozy bar with a library that serves bar food and eclectic cocktails.
- 6 Red Derby, 3718 14th St NW, ☎ . A dive bar that serves beer in cans, but it is usually a fun time. Nice roof deck.
- 1 The Uptown House, 4907 14th St NW, ☎ . Bedandbreakfast.com chose this as the number one urban B&B in the country. It's a simply gorgeous turn-of-the-century 11-bedroom Victorian B&B in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood, with a famously hospitable owner, and a large, beautiful garden patio (a good place for one of Sandy's lemon drop martinis). The full hot breakfasts are on a level you won't likely find elsewhere (think crab quiche, belgian waffles, fresh fruit). The rates are affordable because it is far from the center (some Washingtonians like to check in here and consider it a vacation from the city), but the 52/53/54 bus has a stop right outside the front door, and runs all day straight south through Downtown to the National Mall. $140-225.
Most restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi.
Computer terminals are available for free use at the public libraries:
- 1 Petworth Neighborhood Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, ☎ . M,W 1PM-9PM, Tu,Th-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton) Library, 7420 Georgia Ave NW, ☎ . M,W 1PM-9PM, Tu,Th-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Columbia Heights is a short walk or bus ride away and has more shopping and nightlife options
- Shaw is only a few stops away on the Metrorail
|Routes through Petworth|
|Greenbelt ← Hyattsville ←||N S||→ Columbia Heights → East End|
|END ←||N S||→ Columbia Heights → East End|