Georgetown was not originally part of Washington, D.C. It predates the nation’s capital by almost 100 years. The District incorporated the city into its borders in 1871. City planners renamed the streets in Georgetown to correspond with the designation system used within Washington. As a result, Bridge and High Streets became Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, N.W. The area went through many changes over the years until the 1950s. At that time, John F. Kennedy and his family moved to Georgetown when he became a U.S. Senator. The neighborhood’s growing reputation for upscale, exclusivity was solidified. In light of the neighborhood’s cachet, the District’s exclusive retailers moved to Georgetown with a concentration at the corner of M Street, N.W. and Wisconsin Avenue.
Today, Washington, D.C. has two upscale shopping districts. One is in the Friendship Heights neighborhood and the other is in Georgetown. The major thoroughfares of M Street, N.W. and Wisconsin Avenue comprise the primary commercial hubs of luxury boutiques, high-end local shops, trendy restaurants and clubs found within the neighborhood. This is also the location of the Shops at Georgetown Park, an enclosed shopping mall. It contains many of the country’s upscale clothing and jewelry retailers. Patrons can browse many exclusive import/export shops. Along M Street, visitors will find various interior design galleries and showrooms that provide a unique window shopping excursion.