Ultimate (You Need To Know) Guide To Navy Yard DC

Navy Yard is one of Washington DC’s most transformed neighborhoods. When Nationals Ballpark opened for fans in 2008, local fandom drew large crowds to cheer on DC’s MLB baseball team.

Projects continued to break ground, introducing new restaurants, hotels, and shops to the already established celebratory atmosphere.

Today, Navy Yard strikes the perfect balance of waterfront views, hip breweries, and fabulous outdoor park space for strolling and pre-game picnics.

The Yards neighborhood sign in Washington DC

Why Visit Navy Yard

From a baseball point-of-view, Navy Yard is THE place to be. But this ever-evolving neighborhood offers so much more than extra innings.

Bordered by the Anacostia River to the south and Capitol Hill to the north, Navy Yard is the perfect DC nook with plenty of green space, waterfront views, and delicious food. One of DC’s more child-friendly neighborhoods, Navy Yard has ample space to run around, kid-friendly dining options, and a large outdoor water pool at The Yards Park.

The largest concentration of industrial architecture in DC is easily apparent, with hip restaurants and breweries, rooftop views, and big Ballpark energy complimenting the gritty history.

Navy Yard DC metro station

How to Get to Navy Yard

Navy Yard Metro stops

Navy Yard-Ballpark (Two entrances: M street & New Jersey Avenue)

Bus stops

The Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard neighborhood has a total of 19 bus stops.

  • Half & M Street SE (Closest to Nationals Ballpark)
  • Local Bus routes: P6 & V1
  • Circulator Bus Routes: Blue Route
  • Virginia Commuter Bus Routes: D300
  • M Street & New Jersey Ave South SE (Capitol Waterfront neighborhood)
  • Local Bus routes: A9, P6, V1, V4
  • Circulator Bus Routes: Blue Route
  • Virginia Commuter Bus Routes: D300
  • Maryland Commuter Bus Routes: 315, 735, 850

Capital Bikeshare

Nine stations throughout the Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

Thompson Washington DC Hotel
credit Thompson Washington DC

Navy Yard Hotels

Thompson Washington DC by Hyatt

Located just steps from the waterfront, The Yards Park, and the Navy Yard’s top restaurants. Excellent in-house dining options include Roman-trattoria-style Maialino Mare, farm-to-table inspired Anchovy Social, and The Thompson Bar Room for happy hour cocktails. Pets allowed.

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Courtyard by Marriott Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard

Fifteen minute walk from Nationals Ballpark and across the street from the kid-friendly Washington Canal Park. Amenities include access to an indoor pool, express check-in and check-out, and in-house dining options. Pets allowed.

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Hampton Inn & Suites

Centrally located with rooftop views of Nationals Ballpark from the outdoor rooftop terrace. Complimentary breakfast available.

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Homewood Suites

Kiddy corner from the energetic, post-baseball’s ‘Half Street’. Amenities include an indoor pool, complimentary breakfast, and guest room kitchenettes. Pets allowed.

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Residence Inn by Marriott

An ‘all-suite hotel’ with kitchens, pullout sofa beds, and separate bathrooms in every suite. Complimentary breakfast available.

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Callisto at Capitol Riverfront

More intimate hotel space with 32 rooms all featuring in-room kitchens. Specific rooms offer full-size bathtubs and outdoor access. Located at 816 Potomac Avenue SE.

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Navy Yard street shot

Navy Yard History

Early renditions of Washington DC’s Navy Yard district took shape in 1799 when the first ever US naval yard was constructed to ensure a nation-wide, long-lasting military presence.

According to DC Historic Sites, the Navy Yard site played a critical role in ‘expanding nationalism’, serving as a naval weapon manufacturing site leading up to World War I and II. Proving indispensable to America’s military standing, Navy Yard still shows historic remnants of 19th century ingenuity and invention.

Old industrial buildings—once used to manufacture ordnance technology and naval guns—now play house for modern-day business store-fronts and restaurants.

Boilermaker Shops

The Boiler Shops are the heart of Navy Yard’s industrial architecture and  history, once serving as critical manufacturing space during World War I and II. Today, the historic boiler shops house Bluejacket Brewery, Steadfast Supply DC, and Pacers Running Store among others.

Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge

A newly renovated addition to Navy Yard, the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge serves both as a functional Navy Yard and Anacostia go-between and a tribute to the tireless abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

The original bridge was built in 1950, but when wear-and-tear caused safety concerns, city-wide enthusiasm pushed for a newly renovated bridge that would safely serve 77,000 daily D.C. commuters.

The new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge opened in 2021 and drives car traffic and foot traffic from one corner of the District to the other.

Fort McNair

Strategically located between the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, Fort McNair was built in 1791. Aligned with the overall Navy Yard defense strategy, Fort McNair served as a site of power and protection.

Although British troops brought destruction to the fort in the late 18th century, commitment to the rebuild was a no-brainer. The fort continued to gain acreage, adding a prison and hospital in the 19th century.

After World War II, the fort was renamed after Lesley J. McNair who served as division commander and died in France in 1944 while serving on ‘Operation Cobra’.

Today, the National Defense University and Military District of Washington Headquarters operate within Fort McNair walls.

Yellow Cafe, part of Albi, in the Yards Washington DC - Navy Yard Restaurants

A day at the Navy Yard: Self-guided tour

10:00am: Grab a coffee and a bite of breakfast at Philz Coffee, Yellow, Toastique, or La Famosa.

Yards Park wading pool in Washington DC

11:00am: Stroll down Tingey Street towards The Yards Park, making sure to admire the Walking Museum of Transportation. Once you arrive at Yards Park, you’ll be greeted with ample green space and a playful water area for kids.

12:30pm: Walk across Yard Park Bridge and snap some great photos! Then stop by Due South’s ‘Dockside’ waterfront dining patio for nibbles and refreshing drinks (weather permitting).

Yards Park Bridge in Navy Yard Washington DC

1:30pm: Enjoy lunch at Yellow, The Salt Line, ABC Pony, All-purpose or Bluejacket Distillery.

3:00pm: Grab an ice cream cone from Ice Cream Jubilee and sit on the nearby lawn. The ‘cookies and cookie dough’ is superb.

Recharge/nap time!

Dacha Beer Garden in the Yards Washington DC

4:30pm: Walk the Anacostia RiverWalk Trail towards Dacha Beer Garden or Bardo and grab a drink before heading to an evening Nationals baseball game.

5:30pm: Before game time, make one more pitstop for self-pour drafts and nibbles at Walter’s Sports Bar. The outdoor seating is lovely, with plenty of TVs to keep sports fans up to date on the latest and greatest sports news.

Nationals Baseball stadium in Navy Yard Washington DC

6:30-6:45pm: Get your tickets ready and head into Nationals Ballpark for a 7:05pm game. Root, root, root for the home team!

Postgame: Exit the stadium and walk down Half Street for live music and other baseball fandom festivities. Pop into Atlas Brew Works for pizza, beer growlers, and high pint energy.

Albi in the Yards Washington DC Restaurants

Alternative to an evening baseball game: Make a dinner reservation at Albi, Chloe, or Hatoba. After dinner, stop by District Winery for after dinner drinks in the lovely outdoor patio. Then, take an evening stroll to see the glowing waterfront lights.

Navy Yard Nightlife and Culture

Walking Museum of Transportation

Addrress: 1200 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC 20590

The Walking Museum of Transportation is the perfect stroll for kids and history buffs alike in need of exploration and movement. Life-size transportation parts and descriptive signs engage all ages under a green-tree canopy above the walkway.

Sandlot Southeast

Tucked between Nationals Ballpark and the Anacostia River, Sandlot Southeast features a 5,000 square foot outdoor hang-out space with a modern container bar, food trucks, live music events, and pop-up shops.

Fun fact: Sandlot Southeast founders and DC natives Ian Callender and Kevin Hallums named this event space after their favorite movie ‘The Sandlot’ in 2018 to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary.

Up Top Acres

Up Top Acres reimagines underutilized green space, sporting a colorful rooftop garden, monthly happy hours, comedy shows, workout classes, and an epic view of Washington DC. Check out the Up Top Acres website for an updated events calendar.

NOTE For DC residents: Up Top Acres has a 9 week Capital Riverfront Farm Membership/CSA featuring 6-7 items from the rooftop garden.

Capital Turnaround

Once a historic 19th century car barn, Capital Turnaround now serves as a hip event and performance space. Recently renovated, the large brick warehouse tastefully incorporates a rustic and modern aesthetic—perfect for social and corporate events.

Capital Turnaround is scheduled to sell tickets to live events starting in September 2021. If you don’t attend any indoor events, stop by to admire the old warehouse, and if possible, pop in to see the indoor space.

Tour at District Winery Navy Yard

If you fancy a 90-minute urban winery tour, buy a ticket for the District Winery wine tour and tasting. The tour covers everything from sourcing grapes to blending and bottling.

Tickets are $35 per person and include a 90-minute tour and seated wine tasting (featuring seven wines).

Check out the website for up-to-date events in the Navy Yard neighborhood.

Navy Yard Restaurants

Albi and Yellow

Levantine cooking is reaching new heights at Albi and sister cafe Yellow. Albi’s arabic translation (‘my heart’) does the coal-fired food and modern/coastal ambience justice.

The Eastern Mediterranean menu highlights a mix of Turkish, Lebanese, and Palestinian cuisine, with great wine pairings to round out the dining experience. For a quick and delicious lunch, stop by Yellow and order a wood-fired pita sandwich, mezze, and delicious coffee.

The Salt Line

For an elevated seafood and ale experience, make an outdoor patio dinner reservation at The Salt Line. The patio—dotted with freshly shucked oysters, New England classics, and Chesapeake Bay delicacies—faces an illuminated Anacostia River.

The airy marble decor, vast bar, and seafood towers are the perfect spot for any celebration dinner.


Neighbor to The Salt Line, All-Purpose is dishing up the best Italian-American deck-style pizza in the District.

Although All-Purpose has two DC locations, the indoor/outdoor Navy Yard restaurant is perfectly situated between DC United’s Audi Park, Nationals Ballpark, and the Anacostia River. Make sure to order the cheesy ‘sedgwick’ and ‘eggplant parm ‘Jersey-style’’.

ABC Pony

A summer afternoon of wandering can only be topped by one thing—burgers and pizza. The team at ABC Pony make the small menu count with two inspired burgers and ‘pinsa’, an under-the-radar Roman-style pizza. 

Dacha Beer Garden

Kid friendly, dog-friendly, and happy hour friendly, Dacha Beer Garden is the pre-game and post-game respite of choice for Nationals and DC United fans alike. The food is seasonal and the beers take cue from the US, Belgium, and Germany.


Cask conditioned ales are a rare find on this side of the pond. Luckily, local beer enthusiasts can order the dying breed at Navy Yard’s Bluejacket.

Built in 1919 as a ‘boiler shop’, the dining space perfectly compliments the neighborhood’s industrial modern vibes with tall wired ceilings, a long iron bar, and metal focal points. The menu offers classic American pub fare like tater tots, freshly baked pretzels with beer cheese, and satisfying burgers.

Chloe in The Yards in Washington DC


With a mix of Mediterranean flavors, Chloe is delivering an elegant and modern menu of inspired small bites.

James Beard nominated chef Haidar Karoum weaves his Lebanese roots and culinary experiences into Chloe’s dining experience, with rich bright flavors, nurtured fresh produce, and succulent meats. With lots to choose from and lots to share, Chloe is the perfect date night destination.


For the full ramen experience, look no further than Hatoba. Part of DC’s Daikaya Group, the Sapporo-style ramen menu sparks intrigue with Japanese inspired hot dogs, fish and chips, and French fries, only to fully deliver on rich and warm ramen bowls.

La Famosa

With the slogan ‘Born in Puerto Rico, Made in DC,’ La Famosa lures in playful eaters with a bright and lush dining room filled with Puerto Rican soul food. Tropical cocktails, richly seasoned mains, and Puerto Rican pastries are cause for celebration any day of the week.

NOTE: La Famosa serves breakfast every day from 8:00am to 11:00am.

Kayaks at the Yards in Washington DC

Navy Yard Off the Beaten Track

Ballpark Boathouse

To change up daily tourist activities, take to the Anacostia for boating and water fun.

Right outside Nationals Ballpark, Boating in DC offers Navy Yard boating to tour the city with a paddle in hand. Boats for rent include paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.

NOTE: You must reserve your boat/boats in advance at HERE.

Trapeze School

The New York Trapeze School has a DC location where locals and visitors can train like the trapeze pros. Sessions include flying trapeze, silks (aerial fabrics hanging from a single point), static trapeze (close to the ground), and trampoline practice.

NOTE: For ages 6 and up only.

Canal Park in the Yards Washington DC

Washington Canal Park

  • Address: off of 2nd and M street

This hidden treasure park features summertime child-friendly water fountain play, outdoor dining space at WiseGuy Pizza, and lush green space for running around.

The winter season invites a figure eight-shaped ice rink and hot cocoa for winter fun.

Washington DC The Yards Navy Yard

DC Water Headquarters

Environmental junkies will love learning about DCWater, DC’s world class water utility operation for District customers. In the words of DCWater, ‘Our mission is to exceed expectations by providing high quality water services in a safe, environmentally friendly, and efficient manner’.

DCWater pursues a city-wide effort to provide clean and low-cost drinking water, collect water and reduce waste overflow, and efficiently treat wastewater and stormwater.

NOTE: DCWater tours are currently suspended, however, DCWater is hoping to offer tours in the near future. The exterior of the Navy Yard DCWater building is remarkable in scoop, so definitely stop by to admire the design and read more about DCWater’s mission.

Steadfast Supply DC in Washington DC the Yards

Navy Yard Shopping

Steadfast Supply DC

For unique and quirky gifts, stop into Steadfast Supply DC on Tingey Street in one the old ‘boiler shop’ buildings. Time passes quickly while browsing the large selection of food gifts, cards and stationary, and home goods.

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