Along with its adjacent sister communities to the north and east, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan long has been a gateway community for immigrants. Adams Morgan also has become a thriving spot for nightlife, with several bars and clubs featuring live music. Over 90 establishments possess liquor licenses, putting it on level with other popular nightlife areas like Georgetown and Dupont Circle. Nightlife establishments rapidly replaced local stores along 18th Street NW, leading the Alcohol Beverage Control Board to impose a moratorium on new liquor licenses in 2000 after successful lobbying by resident groups. The moratorium was renewed in 2004, but eased to allow new restaurant licenses. Despite the exodus of many immigrant, and also African-American, residents from Adams Morgan because of costlier housing, a nexus of long-time institutions, many established specifically to meet the needs of Latinos and other non-English-speaking residents, continues to serve as a magnet for immigrants and their families. Adjacent Mt. Pleasant also hosts a number of commercial enterprises, social service agencies and other institutions that help to anchor local immigrants to the area.
The District of Columbia Public Schools is the public school system. Oyster Adams Bilingual School, the neighborhood K-8 school, was formed in 2007 by the merger of John Quincy Adams Elementary School in Adams Morgan and James F. Oyster Bilingual Elementary School in Woodley Park. The Adams campus serves grades 4-8 and the Oyster campus serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through 3. The Marie Reed Elementary School, with its Learning Center, (built in 1977) was extensively remodeled and reopened in 2017. Also, H.D. Cooke Elementary School is located at 2525 17th Street; it was renovated in 2009 as an environmentally-smart "green" school. One section is zoned to Oyster-Adams K-8. Another section is zoned to Marie Reed Elementary and Columbia Heights Education Campus, and another is zoned to H.D. Cooke Elementary and Columbia Heights Education Campus. All sections are zoned to Woodrow Wilson High School