Believe it or not, Washington D.C. is more than a collection of official-looking, white-clad government buildings. The capital city is home to just under 700,000 people, and its neighborhoods are a shining example of why the United States is known as the "Melting Pot." Each of these unique quarters in D.C. displays the diverse cultures worth celebrating in America, and we're campaigning to let travelers know why they deserve attention.

8 Capitol Hill

Apologies for pointing out the obvious, but a trip to D.C. is incomplete without exploring Capitol Hill. The neighborhood is the seat of the U.S. government, and visitors can get up close and personal with history by strolling the grounds and admiring the architecture of the Capitol Building. The neighborhood is also home to the stunning Library of Congress, the biggest library in the world. After taking in some history, guests can head to the public Eastern Market (open every day except Monday) for some local fare and casual shopping.

Related: 10 Things You Need To See During Your Trip To Washington D.C.

7 Penn Quarter & Chinatown

D.C.'s Chinatown and Penn Quarter are an oasis for lovers of culture, top-notch cuisine, sports fans, and everyone in between. During the daytime, visitors can browse the art for free at Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum, grab an authentic lunch in Chinatown, and brush up on their maritime history at the Naval Heritage Center. By night, Chinatown and Penn Quarter are abuzz with tons of bars and restaurants. Capital One Arena hosts live music and sports, and the historic Ford Theater (where Lincoln was assassinated) regularly puts on performances.

6 Bloomingdale

A walk around the Bloomingdale neighborhood is an architecture lover's dream come true. At the turn of the 20th-century, the area underwent a residential building boom, and developers built many Richardson Romanesque homes. Stone engravings of flowers and vines decorate the houses, complemented by the abundant bushes and trees lining the sidewalks. Visitors will also notice the red brick buildings that Bloomingdale is known for.

Development during the early 2000s meant transforming many of these historical and abandoned structures into businesses that would bring money to the neighborhood, hence Bloomingdale's abundance of hip restaurants and markets worth checking out. The racially diverse, vibrant community is a perfect example of what makes D.C. great.

5 Georgetown

Georgetown is the neighborhood for an upscale, yet surprisingly laid-back experience of the District. Federalist architecture fills the community with character, the structures awash in an array of colorful pastels and impressive brick murals. The cobbled sidewalks only add to the charm. The neighborhood is also home to sprawling historical estates that will once again tickle the fancies of architecture buffs.

Guests can visit the proposal booth where JFK Jr. asked Jacqueline to be his wife, stop at the Blues Alley supper club where major artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett performed, and walk up the spooky alleyway staircase from The Exorcist. Georgetown's waterfront location on the historic C&O Canal made it the perfect place to set up shop for some of the city's most noteworthy dining establishments, which serve a diverse cuisine including (but not limited to) Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, and Persian.

Related: The 10 Best Steakhouses In Washington D.C.

4 Shaw

Shaw honors its past around every corner while working towards a positive and prosperous future, making it the ideal neighborhood to understand the vibrant character of the capital city. The area served as a meeting ground for notable Civil Rights Movement activists like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Shaw is home to the iconic U Street Corridor, known lovingly by locals as "Black Broadway." Visitors can check out a show at the famous Lincoln Theater, the stage for jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong. Hip rooftop bars are plentiful, and guests can grab an authentic bite in the neighborhood's "Little Ethiopia," home to the United States' largest Ethiopian population.

3 Foggy Bottom

What a name, right? Foggy Bottom perhaps got its name due to its location in low marshland, which attracts dense fog. During the springtime, the cherry blossom trees scattered throughout the neighborhood sprinkle pale pink petals on the sidewalks. Home of Rock Creek Park, Foggy Bottom is one of the best places in the city to relax while surrounded by nature.

Visitors to Foggy Bottom should probably check out that giant house that's white on Pennsylvania Avenue, the iconic one all the American presidents but George Washington called home. The neighborhood is also located near the National Mall, and guests can choose to walk or rent a bike to check out the numerous memorials located along the two-mile stretch.

2 H Street NE

D.C. visitors will feel at home at H Street NE, a neighborhood revered for its communal atmosphere, quirky-cool pop-up shops, and bustling nightlife. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is on the National Register of Historic Places and hosts thought-provoking, topical performances throughout the year. The sprawling Maketto marketplace is the prime spot to grab a cup of joe. If people happen to be there on a Sunday, they can watch the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at Sidamo Coffee and Tea. Visitors should stick around when the sun goes down to enjoy a fun night on the town.

1 Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle is a sight for sore eyes in every way. The neighborhood has a welcoming cosmopolitan vibe enhanced by the colorful and historic Victorian architecture. Guests should check out the Anderson House and the Heurich House Museum for a taste of history in a beautifully luxurious setting.

Along Embassy Row are memorials to diplomatic figureheads Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Masterpieces are on display at the country's first museum of modern art, The Phillips Collection. Tourists and locals congregate around the iconic water fountain statue in the center of the neighborhood to relish in the atmosphere, and shoppers spend hours browsing the stores along Connecticut Avenue.

Next: Richmond, Virginia: A Weekend Guide To This Historic City