From picking the right neighborhood to avoiding the pitfalls of leasing, The Hatchet has got the guide to help students find the perfect place for off-campus living.

The Good: Close to campus

The Bad: Limited housing options

Known for its excellent shopping and restaurants as well as its rich sense of history, Georgetown is just one mile west of GW’s Foggy Bottom campus. Also home to Georgetown University, the neighborhood has long been associated with the Washington elite.

Upscale clothing stores dot M Street all the way from Rock Creek Park to the Car Barn at the intersection with 36th Street. Most are chain stores such as United Colors of Benetton and Juicy Couture, although specialty shops are mixed in along with the occasional casual clothing store such as Urban Outfitters.

A trek up the hill on Wisconsin Avenue brings students to Energie, the Italian fashion retailer, as well as Puma and several more boutique stores. Further up the thoroughfare is Glover Park, a small residential neighborhood home to many newly christened young professionals.

In terms of food, the options are not nearly as diverse as those of U Street, but the quality is reasonably high enough to satisfy most tastes. The area is dominated by American-style fare, found at places such as Billy Martin’s Tavern (1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW), where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie O. The Tombs (1226 36th St. NW), frequented by Georgetown students, was a favorite haunt of former President Bill Clinton.

Still, there are restaurants that will challenge many western palettes. Zed’s Ethiopian Cuisine (1201 28th St. NW) is certain to be an unconventional offering, and Bangkok Joe’s (3000 K St. NW) has excellent Thai dishes.

If those are too exotic, Filomena (1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW) is a local favorite for Italian cuisine, and La Madeleine (3000 M St. NW) offers patrons bistro-style French food in a more casual café setting.

Georgetown is one of the oldest parts of Washington – and it has the look to prove it. Cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks prove unwelcoming to high heels, but they don’t stop students from flocking here on the weekends. Rugby, Third Edition, The Guards, and Rhino Bar are all popular establishments, and the scene is generally preppy.

Those looking for places to rent will most likely find them in the townhouses that line the streets – apartment complexes are not common in this area. However, there are a few scattered along the neighborhood’s perimeter. Alban Towers (3700 Massachusetts Ave. NW) is particularly attractive, with its Gothic Revival architecture and long list of amenities. A one-bedroom unit here goes for just under $2,000. For students on a budget, a cheaper option is Tunlaw Gardens (3903 Davis Pl. NW), an art deco building in Glover Park where rent for a one-bedroom starts at $1,555.

Safety is not much of a concern in Georgetown, but pickpocketing is a problem, especially along M Street.

A significant drawback is the lack of a Metro stop. However, students can make use of the frequent Metrobus and Circulator services, with the latter costing only $1 per ride. And there is always walking – Georgetown is very conveniently located near GW’s campus, and the trek takes about 20 minutes on foot.

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