"Cool, hip and young" -- well, I think ambulance chaser has good advice. I live in DC, my wife and I having moved from the Bethesda, MD suburbs about 3 years ago. We live in the Palisades area of Northwest DC, which is all families with kids -- probably of no interest to you. -- Georgetown: I lived in Gtown when I was in high school and college. I loved living there, in large part due to the many students that come with the proximity to Georgetown University. Georgetown also has very easy access to the Potomac River and the jogging/biking trails along it. If you are into biking or rowing or fishing, or if you really want to be w/in walking distance to both Ralph Lauren and Dean & Deluca, definitely consider Gtown. Gtown is very expensive though. There are not many apt. buildings; however, there are a decent number of houses that have been turned into rentals or rental multi-units. Gtown has great shopping and restaurants w/in walking distance too. Downside - no subway unless you are close to Key Bridge (at 35th and M) and are willing to walk over the bridge to get to the Rosslyn, Virginia metro stop (though that might be the orange (or blue?) line). Gtown is "ritzy" and there's alot of money there. Adams Morgan: Meets your requirements pretty much to a "T." It is young and fun. It is pretty gentrified now and real estate prices are definitely going up. I haven't heard about a rat problem there; however, there are rats during the summer months in many parts of the city. It's not uncommon to see one scamper across the street downtown during the summertime at night. They are definitely in Dupont too. Lots of restaurants (many are "ethnic" but more and more are not) and lots of bars. Hard to find parking spaces; almost impossible on weekends from what I recall. Very few stores other than liquor stores. Good weekend farmers market. I went to AM constantly when I was in my mid to late 20s and early 30s -- I never go there any more. Capitol Hill: I've never been a fan of the Hill. Too much crime; too detached; not near enough to parks and the river for me. But, there is a subway (Eastern Market) there and lots of quaint streets with many, many young people living there - many of whom are interns who are in town for fun and a congressional internship for a couple years. A good number of restaurants and fun bars. Downtown: Worth consideration if you're willing to spend $$$. I'm talking about the area around Chinatown and the 7th/Pennsylvania area. Near the "new" MCI Center, etc. Lots of high end restaurants, clubs and a few stores. Metro is nearby too at Judiciary Square or Gallery Place (orange line). This area used to be crappy but has seen a huge, huge turnaround over the last 15 years. Now it's all high-end new apartment buildings and high-end restaurants. It's also nice that it is near the "mall" with the monuments, museums, etc. Most single people are probably lawyers in their 30s. Dupont: Dupont seems to contain two sets of people in my mind (stereotype) -- young male/female couples who like the promixity to the great area restaurants and their downtown law offices; and gay men. There are far more of the former though I'd guess. Dupont also has some older empty nest couples as well. My wife and I lived in a Dupont high-rise apt. on 17th street for a year before we got married and moved to the suburbs -- we loved being able to walk 15 minutes to the office and having great restaurants and food markets all around us; plus, it's nice to be within walking distance of Adams Morgan and all the monuments/museums of the mall (a long walk though). Dupont has a several metro stops, both red line and orange line. Cleveland Park/Woodley Park: I love these areas along Connecticut Avenue, NW -- nice houses and apartments, with great restaurants too, plus proximity to subways and to the awesome Rock Creek Park. But, they aren't known for being bastions of young partiers due at least in part to the areas being "nice" and hence expensive. But, before going to grad school I had several girlfriends who lived in both neighborhoods and after grad school I lived in an apt. in Cleveland Park. If I had to produce a stereotype, I'd say women in these neighborhoods are liberal, intellectual and athletic. Democrats. Virginia: Unless you're dead set on DC, you might want to consider VA as well. Clarendon is a good suggestion. There are lots of nice areas with lots of young people. I don't know VA very well though. I am reminded though of a friend who moved to the DC area who rented in a VA apt. building for a year while figuring out where he really wanted to live in the area. He would regularly tell me about all the gorgeous lonely single women in his building who were pretty much available for the taking. In the end, you may well find that alot of your Virginia co-workers live in VA and that's where they go out, socialize, etc. Whatever you do, if you choose Virginia, avoid the soulless townhouse communities that are stuck in random places between highway exits, etc. Good luck.