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D.C. Neighborhood Guide: Navy Yard

Yvonne Boulay
Baseball fans wait in line to enter Nationals Park

Located in Southeast District of Columbia on the Anacostia River is the Navy Yard. Once a historic industrial area, Navy Yard has transformed into a trendy, bustling hub only 2 miles from Capitol Hill.

It’s easily accessible by the Ballpark Metro station on the Green Line and feels both residential and urban. If you're thinking about relocating to D.C. or simply visiting, there's no shortage of exciting activities to enjoy. 

Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie looking for a new favorite spot, Navy Yard has something to offer for everyone. We’ll share some of the best things to do in Navy Yard, from waterfront attractions to unique experiences and everything in between.

History and Location

What was once a shipyard in full operation until the end of WWII is now a coveted destination for living, leisure, and fun. Locals have always referred to the urban riverfront area as the Navy Yard, despite its new branded name: The Capitol Waterfront

Navy Yard first piqued the curiosity of local residents with the arrival of Nationals Park in 2008. Subsequently, a series of commercial and residential developments began popping up. Most notably, the project that has become a neighborhood staple is The Yards, a 42-acre mixed-use development.

Not only does The Yards tout itself as the home of the Washington Nationals baseball team, but it has been praised as one of the most thoughtfully planned, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in the Northeast.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

At the heart of the Navy Yard is the iconic Nationals Park, which has become a symbol of the neighborhood's revitalization. The beloved stadium of the Washington Nationals baseball team is a neighborhood staple that attracts people from around the country. 

You don’t need to be a sports fanatic to enjoy a ballgame. Experience the excitement by indulging in classic ballpark snacks and joining the crowd as they cheer on the home team. Plus, if you prefer the beautiful game over America’s pastime, D.C. United’s Audi Field is only a few blocks away.

The Great Outdoors

If you want to soak up the sunshine, Navy Yard is the perfect spot to indulge. You can pick up fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market, bike the Riverwalk Trail, watch an outdoor movie, or sign up for free fitness classes in the park.

The neighborhood has 10 acres of parks to explore, including Yards Park. This popular park is a serene urban oasis. This green space offers a variety of recreational activities, including fountains, a wading pool, a boardwalk, and plenty of seating areas. On the weekends you will see locals enjoying picnics and having a catch.

If you want to learn more about D.C.’s wildlife and the efforts to protect the river, Anacostia Riverkeeper provides FREE public boat tours. These hour-long excursions can be enjoyed from April through October.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, visit the Ballpark Boathouse for kayak and canoe rentals. And of course, if you’re not much of a seafarer, you can always just admire the boats at The Yards Marina.

Unique Experiences 

Everyone could use a self-care day every now and then. Indulge in some well-deserved pampering at Aura Spa, a boutique relaxation haven within Vida Fitness. With skilled therapists and reasonable prices, this discreetly tucked-away spa is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, the New York Trapeze School in Navy Yard offers an opportunity to train like a trapeze pro. Whether you're trying the flying trapeze, silks, static trapeze, or jumping on the trampoline, this unique attraction provides a thrilling way to spend an afternoon.

You can also embrace the neighborhood's history by exploring the U.S. Navy Museum. This small but well-curated attraction features exhibits on naval history, maritime heritage, and the evolution of the U.S. Navy. From ship models to historical artifacts, you'll gain fascinating insights into the nation's naval legacy. Plus, there’s no fee for admission!

And of Course, Food and Drink

With the Nationals right around the corner, it’s safe to say that there’s no lack of sports bars and beer gardens in the area. We recommend stopping by Walter’s Sports Bar and The Bullpen before you head into the stadium. If you prefer to avoid crowds and enjoy a nice coffee, Compass Coffee has great craft brews to try.

There is so much to see and do within walking distance, including visiting a variety of restaurants, microbreweries, and wineries. A popular destination is the District Winery. You can get a guided tour through every step of the blending and bottling processes, including a seated tasting of their 5 distinct blends. Did I mention it’s only $45 per person?

Have you noticed that we’ve left food until the end of this article? It’s almost impossible to narrow down recommendations – every cuisine you can think of is available within a few blocks from each other. To cover our bases, we recommend Side Door Pizza for takeout, TaKorean for amazing Korean and Mexican fusion, Rasa for Indian staples, and Osteria Morini for Italian fine dining.


Navy Yard has become a sought-after destination and gathering spot for residents and visitors alike. It’s a captivating district in the heart of Washington, D.C. where most residents rent their homes. The Navy Yard community is an active bunch, regularly hosting running clubs, trivia nights, and food festivals.

The best part? Ori Semi-Furnished apartments are at the heart of it. 

If you want to live in a front-row seat to the Ballpark District, West Half is hitting urban apartment living out of the park. If you prefer a waterfront property, Crossing upscale apartments include a rooftop infinity pool that looks over the Anacostia River. 

The next time you're in the heart of Washington, D.C., be sure to explore the Navy Yard. This ever-evolving neighborhood would be happy for you to call it home. 

Explore the newest way to live. Tour an available Ori Semi-Furnished apartment in D.C. now.