Suburbs Near DC
Explore the most popular places to live in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs surrounding Washington, DC. These beautiful suburbs near DC offer easy access to the nation's capital, a wide range of budgetary options, and a high quality of life.
Maryland Suburbs Near DC
Learn more about the great Maryland neighborhoods that make up the suburbs near DC.
Bethesda is a small and vibrant community full of art galleries, music venues and rare boutiques. It’s located just Northwest of Washington DC, in an unincorporated area named after a local church during the 1820’s. The name Bethesda comes from biblical nomenclature in Hebrew meaning “House of Kindness.” Bethesda bloomed at the turn of the 20th century, when suburban dreams were sold to city workers who wanted a tranquil home life away from the city.
Despite Bethesda’s rich history of entrepreneurial farmers and residents, today it’s a modern neighborhood full of luxury retail and restaurants. Grab a latte from Ceremony Coffee Roasters while you’re in town, and stop by the new Levain Bakery location on Bethesda Ave. Plant parents will gush over the American Plant Garden Center & Nursery.
Columbia, Maryland is a planned development of 10 communities located about 30 minutes Northeast of DC and just outside of Baltimore. Planned for community-oriented activities and to easily access nature, Columbia has been named the “Best Place to Live” by Money Magazine. There is even a smartphone App available for locals that helps to navigate over 100 miles of walkable and bikeable paths.
Columbia is the perfect community to connect with neighbors and spend quality time with family. There’s plenty of family-friendly options in the area, like bowling, arcades, playgrounds, and parks. There’s fun for the adults too– like concerts at the Merriweather Post Pavilion (which hosts some big names!) and cool breweries like Hysteria Brewing and Black Flag Brewing Company. If you like mid-century modern style, check out neighborhoods like Clemens Crossing, Hobbits Glen, and Thunder Hill.
Chevy Chase is both a town and an unincorporated area which borders one another. Just North of the nation’s capital, it provides many with well-deserved relief from the activity, traffic, and movement of the city. In Chevy Chase you can slow down among the quiet apartments and mid-century charm.
In Chevy Chase there is a tight knit community of family-owned diners and cafes. There is even a virtual “Town Crier” which provides residents with information on town meetings, events and more. Though removed from the high pace of the city, the town is home to a large convention center, many private and well-known clubs, and is adjacent to Friendship Heights, a popular shopping locality in DC. Check out Kobo for sushi and, if you’re feeling adventurous, visit the Chevy Chase Ballroom for dance lessons.
The town of Hyattsville is a Northeast neighbor to DC in Prince George County, where many families and young professionals settle in a variety of homes, from Victorian to post-war styles. Hyattsville inspires with its 25-acre Gateway Arts District– a treasure trove of many eclectic shops, galleries and restaurants.
In Hyattsville, Maryland community wellness is fundamental. A progressive urban suburb, it empowers its youth to get involved in the community through early voting initiatives and provides free transportation to seniors to local farmers markets. Check out Busboys and Poets while you’re in town– a DC area staple you can always count on for a cool vibe. Pizza Paradiso is another fan favorite.
Kensington is a largely historically preserved zone in Maryland, North of DC and next to Chevy Chase. It’s the DC area’s oldest antiquing district. Gaining its roots as an agricultural settlement, Kensington evolved into a vacation getaway for DC residents who increasingly put down their own roots.
Kensington’s name and parts of its historic design was inspired by the upscale neighborhood in London, famed for its Victorian influence. The vision of the town’s developer to create majestic architecture and a respectable community remains intact. The quaint and colorful town is a trip back in time. Kensington has many single family and Victorian era homes, but outside of the historically preserved zones there are developments in the works for condos and modernized townhomes.
Take a stroll down Antique Row, which offers an eclectic assortment of antique shops. While you’re at it, check out Le Gelatteria (mmm affogato), Java Nation, Frankly Pizza, and Growing Years (a kids’ consignment boutique).
Mount Rainier is a small town located just 4 miles Northeast of downtown DC in Prince George County, Maryland. It hosts plenty of people commuting into DC, though with less than 10,000 people the area has a small neighborhood feel. Mount Rainier’s downtown is a pedestrian-friendly energetic arts district. The town highly values artistic culture, ensuring zones with affordable housing are available for artists.
The exciting Annual Mount Rainier Day Festival gathers the entire city for one day of fun, art and music. The Mount Rainier community opens its doors to share local art, music, food and activities. In Mount Rainier residents enjoy more affordable housing options than in DC with many options of condos, single family houses and also townhomes.
Don’t miss the Mount Rainier Nature Center, which features hands-on exhibits, live animals, and rotating events. The area also offers easy access to the NW Branch Trail along the Anacostia River– perfect for a day of biking or walking along the water.
Potomac, Maryland is a highly coveted area within easy driving distance of DC and Arlington, Virginia. It’s a popular area for people who work in the district or one of Arlington’s sparkling high-rises. With its natural beauty and stunning homes, it’s also known to draw famous residents who hail from the arts, sports and political sphere.
The city gains its character from its deliberate and distinct separation of residential zones and commercial business– though there is fantastic shopping and fine dining to enjoy near home. A healthful community, it offers plenty of green space, boutique groceries– check out Potomac Grocery and Good Earth Garden Market– and is close to some of the region’s most popular hikes, including those at Great Falls Park.
Don’t call Rockville, Maryland just another DC suburb. The city is bursting with character, charm, and youthful energy. Take the Rockville Town Square– the neighborhood plaza and lawn for leisurely summer afternoons that morphs into ice-skating during the winter months. The area offers numerous options for housing, from luxury condos and spacious single-family homes to colorful row houses.
If you love nature you’ll love Rockville, which has plenty of flora and fauna including part of the 1,754-acre outdoor oasis known as Rock Creek Park. Literary buffs can also find a haven in Rockville, as it’s the final resting place of famed author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Rockville pays homage with intimate shows at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre.
For a fun outdoor outing, hike around Upper Watts Branch Park and then grab swirled custard and snow cones from Carmen’s Italian Ice five minutes away.
Silver Spring (Wheaton, Forest Glen, Woodside, Woodmore)
North of DC, located in Montgomery County, Maryland is the residential suburb of Silver Spring. Silver Spring is an unincorporated area, but home to many professionals who commute to DC or offices outside of the city. The spirited community is abundant in activities, from a self-guided arts walk full of contemporary sculptures, to the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.
Silver Spring is notable for its easy access to DC, parks, and cultural activities. Popular neighborhoods include Forest Glen, Woodside Forest, Woodmoor, and Sligo Park Hills. There is a wide-ranging blend of eateries, shops, entertainment, and many public parks like the popular Sligo Creek Park with miles of trails, picnic tables and recreational courts. While downtown Silver Spring provides the perfect peri-urban atmosphere and options for modern apartment buildings near the metro station, there are enclaves of single-family houses and developments.
When in Silver Spring, Stop in Filippo's Italian Specialties for amazing Chicken Parmesan, Denizens Brewing Co for craft beer, and Ghar-E-Kabab for amazing Indian food
Walk through neighborhoods in Takoma Park and you’ll notice plenty of well-adorned porches and lush, native gardens. An eco-conscious community, Takoma Park was Maryland’s first Certified Community Wildlife Habitat! This eclectic area with a slightly urban vibe also has plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and beautiful parks.
Takoma Park was planned to be a Victorian commuter town to DC, but progressed into so much more. A lively musical city that is home to many annual festivals and gardens overflowing with color. Nicknamed “Azalea City,” Takoma Park is known for its progressive political activism as a nuclear free zone, welcoming refugees and lowering the city’s voting age restriction to 16.
In the 1990s and 2000s Takoma Park initiated heavy development under new single-use zoning rules, leading to many recently renovated single-family homes. However, the majority of the diverse population in Takoma Park lives in a cluster of high and mid rises near downtown.
When in town, stop by Takoma Bev Co for coffee, Spring Mill Bread for baked goods and bread, Donut Run for, well, donuts, and Still Point for a fantastic massage.
Virginia Suburbs Near DC
Learn more about the great Virginia neighborhoods that make up the suburbs near DC.
Located just over the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. in Virginia, Arlington offers a little something for everyone from condos in Crystal City, Clarendon, and Shirlington to historic detached homes in Cherrydale and Penrose. With abundant riverfront views, parks and trails Arlington is much more than an urban lifestyle. Known in D.C. for its glitzy high rises in Rosslyn, the city levels out into a more suburban atmosphere, with countless activities like the Four Mile Run Park beginning in the heart of Arlington and ending at the river.
While not as famous as D.C., Arlington’s history is equally iconic. Home to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and countless memorials turning each commute into a rich sightseeing tour. Renowned restaurants, shopping and nightlife are also abundant, with fine and casual dining from around the world. Dancing into the night is always encouraged, but for those who prefer the early morning peace, there are countless local coffee shops and outdoor adventures waiting.
Just south of Washington D.C. on the Potomac River is Alexandria. Founded in 1749 it’s famous for its historic center Old Town and Del Ray neighborhoods. The city offers celebrated properties with easy access to trendy shopping and numerous restaurant options- some of the famous founding fathers loved to dine in Alexandria too! The beauty and charm are unmatchable, with preserved 18th century brick facades and roads that lead to the waterfront.
Alexandria’s waterfront parks are a popular weekend activity for families and friends to enjoy the fountains, volleyball nets and shaded green space. While Old Town is always worth a visit, part of Alexandria’s beauty is its diverse housing options, providing affordable suburban dreams just outside of the big city. Alexandria West’s botanical parks, shopping centers and restaurant options provide a little bit of everything.
A growing part of Fairfax County with ample options for outdoor recreation, and a favorite dining destination for authentic Korean food. The locals also cherish the Mason District Park, filled with live music, children’s programming in its amphitheater and draws nature lovers from all over. The Annandale Farmers Market is also every Thursday at the park.
Annandale is just west of Arlington and Alexandria and provides an easy commute to DC or Virginia’s finance district. The suburban escape is tangible in Annandale, dreamily manicured green lawns and flower beds are guaranteed to brighten the streets. With a more affordable, but wide range of housing options, from stately and historic single-family houses to condos and townhomes perfect for the young professionals.
Just south of Alexandria, Virginia hosts the predominantly residential Belle Haven and Fort Hunt. Located along the Potomac River, Belle Haven provides easy access to the scenic Mt Vernon Trail and a variety of styles of detached homes (including the MCM Goodman homes of Hollin Hills) nestled among large shady trees.
Belle Haven is home to a picturesque family run Marina and sailing school, where families and friends can spend a day hanging out on the water with a kayak, sailboat, or paddle board. The Belle Haven Country Club is another noteworthy landmark in the area that was built with the community in the 1920s. From Belle Haven’s origins on the famous Captain John Smith’s first American maps to serving as an outpost during the Civil War as part of a protection system for Washington D.C. Belle Haven is steeped in History, prestige and beauty.
Clarendon is an urbanite’s delight located in the heart of Arlington. With high and mid-rise apartments and condos it is the perfect area for those seeking an upper-class city experience. With endless options of classic dining and shopping experiences, Clarendon is well known for its robust social scene.
The easily accessible metro station allows for easy access to Washington D.C. or deeper into Virginia, allowing for professionals of all walks of public and private sectors to commingle. While Clarendon is composed of many young professionals, the area is also an ideal option for urban families who enjoy great walkability and easily accessible shopping and amenities.
Despite being nicknamed “the Little City” for its tiny expanse, Falls Church has a big appeal. The historic Falls Church takes its name from a small church that still holds service, built in 1762 and famed for one of its vestrymen, George Washington. The affluent community is located just 7 miles from Washington, D.C. and is also the ideal commute to surrounding Fairfax County business districts.
Well known for its substantial, year-round farmers market, Falls Church is chock full of outdoor activities, parks, and live music. A stroll down W Broad St is perfect for plentiful restaurants and shopping. The two metro stations in Falls Church are direct lines to D.C., driving nearby construction of apartments and condos. Further from these centers are spacious and elegant single-family homes, and colonial style houses.
Located just conveniently west of D.C. is Fairfax City. The historic town Fairfax is home to the oldest historic building in the county and underwent extensive redevelopment in 2005, adding a new library, shopping, restaurants, and town square with gardens and splash pad. The Old Town of Fairfax is a hub of events and festivals, which aim to celebrate the diverse community and bring each member together.
Fairfax city draws in many with lush, green parks and a beautifully manicured Army Navy Country Club and accompanying golf course. With many subdivisions, Fairfax City has a home for everyone. The colonial and post-war architecture is complemented by grand modern developments. The landscape is dominated by single family homes, but townhomes and condos are abundant for those who crave a tighter community atmosphere.
Named after a fort critical to the defense of Washington, D.C., Fort Hunt lies on the bank of the beautiful Potomac River. Fort Hunt is also home to a large and well-known public park of the same name. Fort Hunt shares a zip code with its northern neighbor, Alexandria and is celebrated as a tranquil reprise from the hubbub with scenic views of the Potomac.
After assisting the country during the Spanish War and World War II, the area around the fort began developing into a municipality and now serves as the center of shopping and community life. The historic town is now a well-off community, known for its large population of seniors. With many post-war style single family homes, there are also stately plantations, and modernized high to mid-rise options for the condo lovers.
Kingstowne is a beautifully planned neighborhood residing in the suburbs of Fairfax Virginia with numerous subdivisions and housing selections to choose from. With less than a 3-mile radius the center of Kingstowne is community and family. Construction of Kingstown began in the 1980s and continues expanding, granting a more modern suburb with newer homes.
While the neighborhood is tight knit, there are still plentiful shopping and dining opportunities at the Town Center which offers commercial space, offices, retail, and restaurants. With great public schools, abundant parks and limited traffic, Kingstown offers a wonderful place to grow a family or live away from the city lights and sights.
Settlement in Vienna, Virginia dates to the mid 16th century and is rife with activity and history. In recent years, Vienna has become acknowledged for its walkability and bikeable streets due to a redevelopment of the city’s transportation and streets to make it safe and easy for pedestrians of all ages, as well as to bring families and friends together. It’s easy to walk to Vienna’s booming downtown, popular for its distinguished restaurants, Oktoberfest, craft breweries and farmers markets.
The natural beauty is a standout feature in Vienna with botanical gardens and endless mountain views. The Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a 45-mile long, maintained asphalt trail for walking and biking, passes through Vienna providing a direct path to explore northern Virginia’s natural world. If nature isn’t enough of a draw for the families, the schools in the city draw great praise in the area with numerous options! The beautiful Vienna boasts 16 neighborhoods, courting future residents with an overabundance of housing options.
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