The Top 10 Things To Do in Logan Circle, Washington DC

Jonathan Stern

One of Washington’s most historically rich neighborhoods, Logan Circle has seen much change. During the Civil War, it became known as an executioner’s square, where spies and deserters were hanged. At the turn of the 20th century, it became the social and artistic center for African Americans in Washington. Today, Logan Circle is an arts, entertainment and dining destination that has retained much of its historic charm. Here’s a list of the top 10 things to do and see between its streets.

Above Logan Circle

Check out Logan Circle Park

During the Civil War, Logan Circle Park was the site of a refugee camp for freed slaves from Virginia and Maryland. Today, the site’s history is marked by an equestrian statue of John A. Logan: a Union Army general during the war; he later served as a U.S. Senator. Come to admire the imposing 25-foot monument, complete with two reliefs depicting events from Logan’s life. It was dedicated by President William WcKinley in 1901. On a nice day, bring a book and grab a spot on one of the park’s many benches.

Studio Theatre

2. Visit Gallery Plan B

Visit Gallery Plan B

Gallery Plan B is a venue where established and emerging artists display and sell their latest work. The casual gallery space includes a mix of artwork that appeals to a diverse audience. Visit the gallery to check out a show, whether you are interested in painting, photography, drawing, or sculpture. And if something really catches your eye, you can always choose to buy! Gallery Plan B, 1530 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 234 2711

3. Dine at Le Diplomate

Bar, Bistro, Cafe, Restaurant, American, French, Tea , Seafood

Signature dish
© David Reamer/Courtesy of Le Pigeon
Enjoy an authentic French dining experience at Le Diplomate, which has quickly become one of Washington’s top restaurants since opening in 2013. The joint has a spacious sidewalk seating area that recreates the atmosphere of a café in Paris. Here you can savor French delicacies such as country duck terrine, steak frites and escargot.

Admire the architecture

After the Civil War, Logan Circle became one of Washington’s most appealing residential neighborhoods. Developers built a number of grand houses in the Gothic Victorian, Second Empire and Romanesque Revival styles. Admirers of architecture and design will enjoy a stroll through the neighborhood’s streets to take in the interesting details of these homes, like the grand bay windows and the wrought-iron banisters.

Mary McLeod Bethune Council Home

4. Visit the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House

Memorial, Museum

Visit the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House

This Victorian town house was the residence of Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. Bethune was one of the country’s most influential black women and in this house, she received heads of state, government officials and leaders from all around the world. Today the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and the National Archives for Black Women’s History are located here. 1318 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 673 2402

Black Cat, Washington DCBlack Cat, Washington DC | © IntangibleArts/Flickr

5. Attend a concert at Black Cat

Bar

Attend a concert at Black Cat

The Black Cat has been one of the best places to listen to live, independent music in DC since it opened in 1993. A venue for local and national performers alike, Black Cat has two stages, a bar and a café. Many notable performers have played here, including Arcade Fire, The White Stripes, Foo Fighters and Modest Mouse, amongst many others. Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 667 4490

6. Wine tasting at Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar

Bar, Charcuterie, Restaurant, Wine Bar

Wine tasting at Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar

Wind down and relax with a glass of wine at Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar, which offers at least 50 different wines by the glass and 160 bottles from small producers from all around the globe. Discover and learn about new wines during one of the bi-monthly wine tastings, or order a small plate of cheese or charcuterie to pair with a wine of choice. Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1720 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 265 2675

Logan Circle Row Houses | © AgnosticPreachersKid/WikiCommonsLogan Circle Row Houses | © AgnosticPreachersKid/WikiCommons

Take the Logan Circle House Tour

For the past 36 years, the Logan Circle Community Association has hosted an annual house tour that takes guests through some of the neighborhood’s most awe-inspiring homes. Though the exact date isn’t regular, the tour typically takes place in December. In the past, musicians and singers have been posted at many of the homes to encourage guests to get into the holiday spirit.

Logan Circle Heritage Trail

Walk the Logan Circle Heritage Trail

History buffs will enjoy the Logan Circle Heritage Trail, a series of 15 signs scattered throughout the neighborhood that provide information about the area’s social and cultural heritage. This 1.5-mile walk is the best way to appreciate Logan Circle’s dynamic history, from its beginnings as open farmland to its status today as one of DC’s most vibrant arts and entertainment districts. By Jonathan Stern

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