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Things to do in U Street

Our most recommended things to do in U Street

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

1. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Travel back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement on an African American history tour of Washington DC. You will pass by the famous Emancipation Statue, the National Council of Negro Women, and more while learning about the history of the city from your guide.  Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Droit Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

U Street Neighborhood Food Tour

2. U Street Neighborhood Food Tour

The U Street neighborhood tour begins at Ben's Chili Bowl, directly across from the U Street metro. From there visit the other stops during a 3-hour long leisurely walking tour, that covers approximately 2 miles. During your tour, you will learn about several significant buildings and check out street art and murals that contribute to the story of U St. In addition to the stops at multiple restaurants, where you will enjoy a variety of carefully selected tastings, you will explore the history of the neighborhood. Stay for approximately 20 minutes at each stop and enjoy brief walks in-between. The tour will end close to the Shaw Metro stop at approximately 2:30 PM. A portion of each ticket is donated to Bread for the City, a charity that provides services to DC locals including providing food, clothing, and legal and medical services.

Washington, DC: African American Heritage Walking Tour

3. Washington, DC: African American Heritage Walking Tour

Explore the U Street Corridor, once known as "Black Broadway," with a local guide and learn about African American history and heritage in Washington, D.C. After meeting your guide, set off on your stroll through what was once the heart of Black culture in America, attracting locals and visitors for an unparalleled music and nightlife scene. During your tour, hear about jazz musician Duke Ellington, a celebrated D.C. hero whose birthplace was here, and admire a towering sculpture in reverence to him. Soak up a section of the city that was once home to the largest urban African American community in the United States, and which is still as vibrant as ever, The food in the area is also eclectic and exciting. From soul food to Italian to the world-famous Ben's Chili Bowl and, uniquely, on the eastern end, the area known as “Little Ethiopia” for its concentration of residents from that country, you're sure to find somewhere to stop to eat after your tour.

Washington, DC: 16th Street and Adams Morgan Tour

4. Washington, DC: 16th Street and Adams Morgan Tour

Experience another side of Washington, DC, as you explore the rich history and cultural diversity of U Street, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan. Less than two miles north of the White House, these DC neighborhoods feel a world away from government buildings, monuments, and memorials. Home to carefully designed parks, grand mansions, churches, and colorful row homes, these neighborhoods have hosted and housed every type of resident, from the working class to the social elite. Discover the hidden architectural gems of DC and see the design and architecture that make these neighborhoods stand out in DC history. Hear stories of movers and shakers, protests, disasters, social scandals, and more.

DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with Lunch or Dinner

5. DC: Guided Craft Brewery Tours with Lunch or Dinner

On this all-inclusive tour, taste the beer of the nation’s capital as you learn about beer history and the brewing process. Go behind the curtains where the brewmasters of Washington, DC, work their magic and enjoy scrumptious beer and food pairings for an unparalleled brew tour experience.   On this guided brew tour, visit 4 breweries in Washington, DC, which may include:   • Red Bear Brewing Co: Situated in downtown DC (NOMA), this brewery produces a variety of flavorful beers to sip on. You can enjoy your drink while watching one of their near-daily events.   • Right Proper Brewing Co: This company churns out some of the tastiest beers in the region, starting from a vision of heading to your local pub to grab a fresh glass of beer brewed on-site. • Brookland Pint: This characteristic spot offers a relaxing beer and meal pairing experience. At Brookland Pint, local ingredients are sourced to produce mouth-watering menu items.   • Port City Brewing: Tucked at the westernmost tip of Washington, DC, Port City Brewing is churning out some of the most incredible craft brews. They generously offer tour-goers special samples and beers that are exclusive to the brewery.

Washington DC: Harlem Renaissance Walking Tour

6. Washington DC: Harlem Renaissance Walking Tour

Discover stories about the writers and musicians associated with the Harlem Renaissance on a walking tour of Washington, DC. Learn about the area while exploring famous places like Bali Club, Bohemian Caverns, and more. Start your tour at Howard Theater, the first theater in Washington DC to host black audiences. It predates the Apollo Theater in New York by 16 years. You will also see the vibrant U Street Corridor, formerly known as Black Broadway. It was an African American community with Howard University as its crown. Visit the former home of famed opera singer Lilian Evanti and the late-night Crystal Caverns Club, which hosted Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, and others. Take a break at the famed Ben's Chili Bowl, visited by the Obamas, Mohammed Ali, Jimmy Fallon, and many other celebrities. Then continue to the sites where Black History Month was born, to the home of famous pianist Duke Ellington and writer Jessie Redmon Fauset. Finally, end your tour at the former home of Georgia Douglas Johnson, where the great writers of the day met every Saturday to compare their works.

Other Sightseeing Options in U Street

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What people are saying about U Street

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 189 reviews

Firstly the tour was on-time, vehicle was clean and warm. Our tour guide Dre was most amazing, just exceptional. He was informative, courteous, a wealth of knowledge flows from him a gentleman and offered very professional service. I would recommend him as a tour guide any day. It was our first time in Washington and both myself and my girlfriend had a wonderful time on this tour. I highly recommend, value for money, money well spent.

This tour was exceptional! If you want a most memorable and truth-provoking tour with an emphasis on the history, culture and the integration of the impact, hands and minds of African-Americans on America’s truth…BOOK NOW!

Excellent overview of African American history in D. C. Informative, relevant and immensely helped by Dre’s encyclopedic knowledge of people, places and events. He made it come alive.

The guide was extremely knowledgeable and the tour moved at a wonderful pace. The group that I was with all commented that we learned a lot and we really enjoyed our tour.

It was an informative and educational experience. This is my second time doing the tour and I learned something new from each experience.