Just got back from my trip.
I really loved: Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, Woodley Park, Adams Morgan.
I also liked: Glover Park, Georgetown, Foggy Bottom but am iffy on the areas due to lack of red line metro/biking distance to GULC.
Capitol Hill south of H and west of 13th was cute, safe, and quiet. Maybe not the best place if you love nightlife, but I went at day and night - people walking around. I saw one sketchy person who grabbed half of a banana out of a garbage can and then proceeded to eat it. I went to see an apartment and then walked to GULC from there, which was nice. Seemed very bike friendly. East of 13th lost the cute Victorian charm and was kind of hit or miss.
Eastern Market around 7th and 8th. Some of the same housing as Capitol Hill but definitely felt younger and more diverse. I loved the flea market and farmer's market. However, no redline and a further bikeride/walk from GULC.
Logan Circle west of 12th was nice. I sat at Logan Circle for a while and read, and there were families picnicing, people studying for finals, and dogs playing. Nice vibe, seemed quiet and safe. I walked to the Shaw dog park at 11th and Q, and it seemed like the neighborhood started to get sketchy around there and lost a lot of its charm.
Dupont Circle was amazing and seemed really centrally located. Red line metro, close to U Street. Very busy at night, never once felt unsafe walking around alone late at night.
Woodley Park seemed really cute. I liked the shops and eateries, as well as the green space and red line metro. Very pricey, though.
Adams Morgan (closer to Woodley Park metro) was also nice. Seemed super crowded - lots of undergrads, no parking anywhere. However, I liked how close the nightlife was, but I probably wouldn't live here.
Glover Park felt like a completely different world. I took the Circulator here from GULC. About a 40 minute commute from GULC to the front steps of the apartment I looked at - not because of the traffic but because it stopped every block to pick people up. That was a pain. However, I loved the green feeling of it all, but too out there for me.
Georgetown was adorable - good shopping and eating. Same problem as Glover Park in regards to being too out there.
Foggy Bottom was so/so. I don't get the appeal. Maybe I didn't go to the right part of Foggy Bottom, but it seemed kind of boring to me.
Columbia Heights wasn't my scene. I went around 10pm. Maybe I didn't go to the right areas, but it seemed like a lot of big box retailers and chain fast food places. Plus it seemed like the entire local high school was hanging out by the Target on a Saturday night.
Atlas District also not my scene, mostly due to its close proximity to Trinidad. It seemed like things would be okay on one street, then I'd go one street over and it was like being in a different world. I wouldn't want to walk my dogs at night in that area. Also no metro.
Chinatown was weird. Not a good place for someone with dogs. Any neighboring park was overrun with bums. Maybe okay for people without pets who want to be close to GULC. Same goes with McPherson/Mount Vernon.