In the fading summer sun, the charm of Georgetown’s historic brick facades really shines. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Among the less televised, but just as notable attractions: When President Obama got an ice-cream craving recently, he ducked into Thomas Sweet. When locals want a tiny overpriced cake, we skip the place with the line and a cop and have a “menage a trois” instead — the Baked & Wired cupcake, that is.

Find them both on our new neighborhood guide to Georgetown. Unlike our other guides, including H Street NE, Eastern Market/Barracks Row and 14th Street, this one isn’t a compass for what’s new and hot, but a little love letter to our go-to ice-cream shops, brunch spots, vintage stores and gardens — the places that have outlasted many a chain store on M Street. And we’ve thrown in a few newcomers, too: If you’re wondering what’s up with Thunder Burger, all I’ll say is, it’s wild.

Now, check out some of the vibrant Georgetown scenes.

Venture onto the back streets, and you’ll find scenes like this: A pedestrian crossing one of the many bridges over the canal at dusk. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

At Kafe Leopold in Cady’s Alley, Hannah Mikovich, 5, of Erie, Pa., and her little sister, Molly, 3, couldn’t take their eyes off the pastries. Neither can we. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The food at Kafe Leopold is also some of the finest in Georgetown; the Liptauer Crostini features Austrian cheese spread on toast points with peas, fava beans and shaved pecorino. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The Annie (Annie Lee) of Annie Creamcheese may have left to open another shop, but girls, including Andrea Filzen, 20, of Arlington, still flock to her namesake shop on M Street. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Annie Creamcheese is loaded with neo-kitsch; in addition to all the polyester vintage, cheeky flair under $20 can make your Halloween costume. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Thomas Sweet on Wisconsin lures locals, Georgetown students and a certain POTUS with basic, unfussy ice-cream and fudge. Dixcy Bosley-Smith, left, and her 13-year-old daughter, Colby, stopped in after a bike ride. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

Away from the crowds is quiet, flowering Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. From left, Kevin, Susan and Jerry Devine of Texas took one of the garden tours last week. (Lavanya Ramanathan/The Washington Post)

And finally, a parting shot: crowded M Street as night falls. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)