Dupont Circle

Photo of the fountain and plaza in Dupont Circle

Who was Dupont Circle named for?

Named for a scion of the prominent Delaware family, Dupont Circle evolved from a hardscrabble “wilderness” to become Washington’s most fashionable address at the close of the nineteenth-century.

Today it is one of D.C.’s most vibrant neighborhoods (Kramer Books stays open 24 hours a day on the weekend). It also plays a central role in any history of Washington’s LGBTQ+ community. Mansions and elegant row houses from the early 1900s remain, many serving as single-family residences; others functioning as museums, bed and breakfasts, embassies, or non-profit organizations.

Spendid mansions, people watching, and history

  • We’ll start with a look at a “brewmaster’s castle,” then it’s on to Dupont Circle itself, where people watching and chess matches are favorite pastimes.
  • Nearby is a former luxury apartment building that can claim a direct connection to the National Gallery of Art.
  • A church that rose from the ashes to become a beacon of social activism is next, followed by a block of stunning row houses designed by Thomas Franklin Schneider, one of D.C’s. most prolific architects. Two blocks away he developed the apartment tower that gave rise to the District’s building height limit.
  • The stroll back to the Dupont Circle Metro station travels along Corcoran Street, one of the neighborhood's most charming byways, lined with ginko trees and restored rowhouses, a few of the latter faced with sculpture created by a former Dupont resident.

Dupont Circle walking tour reviews

"Wonderful tour, with loads of cultural, political, and architectural history of the area. Just delightful!" TripAdvisor reviewer


More Washington D.C. walking tours you might like: Embassy Row and Logan Circle

Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Paul

PAUL is a journalist, history buff, actor, and former radio newscaster who has lived in the Washington area for 26 years and still discovers something new every week.

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Available for private tour bookings. Please email for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Available for private bookings.

Please email us for a private tour quote.

Embarks from outside Dupont Circle Metro station (Dupont South exit--by the entrance to Krispy Kreme on 19th Street, NW)
Questions? Answers here.

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