U Street

Photo of Howard Theater, credit Ron Cogswell

Explore the neighborhood that was shared by African American intellectuals, business leaders, and families of all economic levels. The businesses they owned and the houses they lived in are featured on this walk. U Street was dubbed “Black Broadway” for the numerous movie theaters, nightclubs and ballrooms frequented by jazz musicians like Cab Calloway, Pearl Bailey, Jelly Roll Morton, and Duke Ellington himself. You’ll see a theater and club where these performances took place. The first full-service YMCA for African Americans; one of the few hotels that welcomed a black clientele; and the first memorial to African American soldiers who fought in the U.S. Civil War are on the walk route, as are homes occupied by the Ellington family as Duke grew up. You’ll stand on the corner where riots started on April 4, 1968, following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  That event may have extinguished the heyday of the area–but only temporarily.


Led by David


"U Street is really hopping now and this excellent exposure via WW made us want to return to experience the clubs, restaurants, and cultural events in the near future." - TripAdvisor reviewer


If you like this Washington walking tour, you might also like: Columbia Heights and Logan Circle


Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.


Also available for private and group tour bookings. Please email info@washingtonwalks.com for more information.


Approximately 2 hours
Reservations REQUIRED and limited to fifteen (15) participants on public tours.

$25 per person for public tours. 

Please email us for a private or group tour quote.

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Embarks from U Street/Cardozo Metro Station’s 13th Street exit.
Questions? Answers here.