DELICIOUS D.C.: Farmers Fishers Bakers is one of two staples of the Georgetown dining scene.
Greg Powers

Sinful sweets, packed streets and sophisticated retreats make this Washington, D.C., destination A REAL SCREAM any time of year.

If You Go

Nick’s Riverside Grill
3050 K St. NW
(202) 342-3535

Farmers Fishers Bakers
3000 K St. NW
(202) 298-8783

3401 K St. NW
(202) 817-3340

Georgetown Cupcake
3301 M St. NW
(202) 333-8448

Drink Martin’s Tavern
1264 Wisconsin Ave. NW
(202) 333-7370

Blues Alley
1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW
(202) 337-4141

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
(202) 633-4888

Washington DC Ghost Tours
(888) 844-3999

Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown
1050 31st St. NW
(202) 617-2400

The Georgetown Inn
1310 Wisconsin Ave. NW
(202) 333-8900

Each year around Halloween, locals, tourists and the occasional celebrity flock to the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Georgetown — a bewitching phenomenon that residents of this affluent enclave don’t totally understand but welcome nonetheless. In all fairness, however, the area manages to cast its spell on visitors and locals year-round, thanks to a revitalized waterfront, nearby Georgetown University, trendy restaurant concepts and upscale shopping centers. Even internationally known and recognizable names such as Donald Trump and celebrity chef Fabio Trabocchi are, according to reports, looking at business opportunities in this precise area of the nation’s capital. A bustling and delectably mysterious destination, Georgetown makes a scary-good getaway in any season.

EAT: The Washington Harbour business community has proven quite resilient in the last few years, having stormed back from severe flooding­ to ­restore the waterfront’s status as one of the city’s most seductive tourist gems. Taste fine foods and catch sparkling vistas of the Potomac River and iconic D.C. landmarks at a suite of diverse establishments in the waterfront courtyard, including the indoor/outdoor stalwart Nick’s ­Riverside Grill and Farmers Fishers Bakers, which offers deliciously organic culinary options on its farm-inspired American menu. Just a fraction of a mile away, in the shadow of the Whitehurst Freeway, the scenic Georgetown Waterfront Park provides a picturesque backdrop for the cozy café and bar Malmaison. The former historic warehouse fuses traditional and contemporary French cuisine with gourmet pastry delights, courtesy of world-renowned chef Gerard Pangaud and pastry chef Serge Torres. For dessert, visit Georgetown Cupcake, established in 2008 by Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis Berman, stars of the reality TV show DC Cupcakes on TLC. There, you’ll find baked goods in seasonal flavors such as pumpkin cheesecake and Halloween-decorated cupcakes at the scary low price of just under $3 a pop.

DRINK: What would a trip to this storied sector be without a stop into Martin’s Tavern? Story goes: John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie in one of its booths, and nearly every sitting U.S. president since Harry S. Truman has frequented this 80-year-old, fourth-generation, family-owned pub.

DO: Chill at Blues Alley, the area’s premier supper club and listening room, where leading lights, legends and up-and-coming artists have been playing jazz for nearly 50 years. For more family-friendly entertainment, head into the heart of the city to discover loads of creepy-crawlies at
the Smithsonian National Zoological Park for its annual nocturnal tricks-and-treats event, Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 25-27). If paranormal activity is your bag, take the quarter-mile walking tour hosted by Washington DC Ghost Tours to uncover some of the capital’s most terrifying tales of centuries past.

STAY: The emergence of upscale boutique hotels in Georgetown is another outward sign of the area’s economic stability. Located along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, provides unparalleled guest amenities, including a personal assistant and privacy in abundance. On a budget? The Georgetown­ Inn is a stylish, affordable and attractive alternative within walking distance of the area’s major attractions.

Scream Scene: This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist, one of the most psychologically scarring fright flicks in the history of the silver screen. (Cue Mike Oldfield’s chilling “Tubular Bells.”) Numerous unforgettable interior and exterior scenes of this celluloid nightmare were shot in Georgetown, including the shocking desecration of Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Chapel and the smoky saloon sequence at nearby GU watering hole The Tombs, on Northwest 36th Street. The pièce de résistance? The foreboding “Exorcist Steps” (between Northwest M and Prospect streets), site of Father Damian Karras’ climactic tumble, which thrill-seekers climb (and descend) with caution when faced with the treacherous incline.