The Washington, D.C. area is a vibrant, bustling region with a rich history and plenty of employment opportunities. With its diverse neighborhoods, cultural attractions, and thriving economy, it’s no wonder many people are looking to move to or near the nation’s capital. For those seeking the best places to live near D.C., it’s essential to consider factors such as accessibility, affordability, safety, and overall quality of life.

Best Places To Live Near DC For Families

If you are looking for a great suburban area to raise your children, then the suburbs of Washington DC have a lot to offer. From great schools to good public transit, you can easily live outside of Washington DC and still have access to the downtown District Of Columbia.

McLean, Virginia

Located in close proximity to the nation’s capital, McLean offers a high quality of life for families. With top-rated schools and a variety of recreational activities, this extremely affluent suburban community in Northern Virginia is a great place to live and raise your kids. Real estate here can be quite expensive because of the proximity to DC and the highly rated public school system.

The area is very close to the larger cities of Arlington and Alexandria as well so you do not always need to go to downtown DC for restaurants and activities. If you do want to go to Washington DC, McLean provides excellent access to the DC metro area via public transportation. If you are driving it can be very quick also depending on traffic. 

Potomac, Maryland

Potomac is an upscale suburb of Washington D.C. in Montgomery county and a very nice place to live. It has very highly regarded schools, ample green spaces, and an attractive family-oriented environment. With easy access to the DC neighborhoods, families residing in Potomac can conveniently enjoy the cultural and entertainment offerings of the capital city. 

Both Potomac Maryland and McLean Virginia have great neighborhoods to live in, but they are also some of the priciest places in the area. From elementary school to high school, the public school system in both of these cities is excellent. As expected, the most expensive cities within the DMV area come with higher costs, but also have access to excellent amenities, activities, schools, and a low crime rate. 

Rockville, Maryland

Rockville is also in Montgomery county. It is a popular place for families seeking a balance between urban amenities and suburban charm. Rockville is adjacent to Potomac and offers many of the things that Potomac does but without the exorbitant price tag. 

With its excellent public schools, multiple parks, and a bustling town center, it provides a comfortable and engaging atmosphere. Rockville’s location offers convenient access to downtown DC and the broader D.C. area as there are several metro stations here. 

Chevy Chase, Maryland

Located on the border of Washington D.C., Chevy Chase offers a calm and family-friendly environment. The area is known for its top-rated schools, tree-lined streets, and charming architecture. It also provides easy access to DC neighborhoods and the United States’ capital, making it an excellent choice for those working downtown.

Chevy Chase is definitely one of the best areas to live with your family in DC. If you want a huge yard and ample parking, however, then this area may not be for you. Because of its close proximity to DC, the lots in Chevy Chase are naturally smaller. However, Chevy Chase has much more to offer in terms of coffee shops, restaurants and bars. There are also numerous classes that young adults can take both here and in nearby Bethesda. It is certainly one of the best cities that is also very close to Washington DC. 

Fairfax, Virginia 

Fairfax is a thriving community in the DC area that offers a blend of historic charm and modern amenities. With its highly ranked schools, public parks, and a variety of cultural offerings, it makes for an ideal place to raise a family. The city also provides excellent transportation options to downtown DC and the wider Washington D.C. metro area.

Fairfax also has its own downtown scene. Though nothing like a huge city, you can still find plenty of restaurants and activities in Fairfax. Located within Fairfax is the vibrant Mosaic District (2910 District Avenue, Fairfax, VA). 

The Mosaic District in Fairfax is home to the Angelika Film Center, an elegant and stylish eight-screen cinema. This area also has a unique shopping and dining experience. You can ‘Sip & Stroll’ throughout here, which allows guests to enjoy their favorite beverages while shopping. For those seeking a place to work or meet, the Mosaic Niche provides a unique meeting and co-working space.

Fairfax is a great mix between suburban and urban. It has a great school system and is close to DC but without the price tag of places like Potomac and McLean. 

Falls Church, Virginia

Falls Church is a small, independent city located just outside of Washington D.C. Renowned for its top-rated schools, this walkable community provides a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. 

The picturesque downtown area offers numerous shopping and dining options, while the city’s close proximity to the nation’s capital enables families to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Silver Spring, Maryland

Silver Spring, located just north of Washington D.C., is an increasingly popular destination for families due to its diverse community and thriving downtown area. With excellent public transportation options, residents enjoy easy access to DC neighborhoods and the broader D.C. metro area.

It offers various housing options, developed parks, and a rich cultural scene. The quality of restaurants here is quite underrated and many people don’t realize that Silver Spring has its own fun scene when it comes to dining and recreation.

Bowie, Maryland

Bowie is a growing city known for its excellent schools, green spaces, and community-oriented atmosphere. The city offers a range of housing options, catering to different family sizes and budgets. 

Bowie has many single family homes as well as townhouses. Its convenient location allows residents to easily access Washington D.C. and the downtown DC area. You will get more square footage here than in other parts of the DMV area.

Best Places To Live Near DC For Young Professionals

If you are a young professional looking for more activity, then there are plenty of places both in DC and near DC that are a great option to live in. 

Navy Yard

Navy Yard is a vibrant neighborhood located near downtown DC, boasting a lively atmosphere perfect for young professionals. With its waterfront location, modern apartments, and a bustling dining scene, Navy Yard offers a balanced mix of work and play opportunities. 

The accessibility to both the Nationals Park and the nearby Capitol Riverfront Park make this area even more attractive for those who enjoy the outdoors.

14th Street DC

If you really want to be in the middle of it all, then think about living on 14th street. This very busy area of DC is well known for its thriving restaurant and bar scene. You will have no problem finding a great happy hour on 14th street DC or an amazing meal. 

From Michelin star restaurants to trendy bars 14th street DC has it all. There are high rise buildings along 14th street that are popular amongst recent graduates and young professionals. If you prefer a quiet night, then avoid this area as it can be loud into the evenings especially on the weekends. 


Georgetown is a historic neighborhood that seamlessly blends modern amenities with old-world charm. Known for its picturesque cobblestone streets, cute coffee shops, amazing Italian restaurants, and diverse shopping options, Georgetown is a great neighborhood for young professionals who appreciate history and luxury. This is one of the more expensive areas to live in in DC, and is catered towards individuals in their 30s and 40s. 

The area also offers easy access to downtown DC and a variety of dining options, making it a perfect neighborhood for those who want to stay connected to the city while enjoying a quieter, residential atmosphere.

Union Market

Union Market is an up-and-coming diverse neighborhood that boasts a thriving food scene and unique shopping experiences. Young professionals are drawn to the area’s trendy retail and dining options at Union Market itself, as well as its proximity to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro Station. 

With a mix of luxury apartments and more affordable housing options, Union Market is positioning itself as a best place to live for young professionals looking to immerse themselves in a rapidly evolving community. This area as seen an explosion in the restaurant scene and it continues to expand.

H Street

The H Street Corridor is a vibrant neighborhood that offers young professionals a mix of cultural experiences, dining options, and nightlife entertainment. Known for its streetcar line and annual H Street Festival, this neighborhood is an exciting option for those seeking an energetic urban environment. 

This is a growing part of DC where you will find new restaurants as well as newer buildings. H Street’s eclectic mix of businesses and shops provides a unique living experience. This area is also very close to Union Station making commuting out of DC easy.


Arlington, VA is consistently ranked as one of the best places for young professionals due to its proximity to Washington, DC. With a high percentage of residents holding professional occupations and boasting a strong job market, Arlington is both a lively and convenient option for those working in the nation’s capital. 

Its diverse range of neighborhoods offers a variety of lifestyle options, whether looking for a walkable downtown area in Clarendon or a quieter residential experience in Ballston.


Alexandria, VA is another popular choice for young professionals seeking a balance between historic charm and modern amenities. The city’s Old Town district boasts a picturesque waterfront and cobblestone streets, while its proximity to the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and downtown DC make it an attractive option for those who want an easy commute. 

Alexandria also has its own dining and bar scene. From high quality restaurants to fun rooftop venues, Alexandria provides young professionals with a great neighborhood for living and working.


Bethesda, MD is a well-established community that offers young professionals a high quality of life with a thriving job market, and tons of opportunities for recreation. Known for its excellent public transportation options and walkable downtown area, 

Bethesda is one of the best neighborhoods for those who want to live near DC while enjoying the benefits of suburban living. With its mix of luxury high rise apartments and charming single-family homes, Bethesda has something for everyone. There are also families that live here as it also has a good school system. 

Best Places To Live Near DC: Choosing The Right Place

The Washington, D.C. area has plenty of great places to offer, but finding the right one ultimately comes down to personal preferences and priorities. When looking for the best places to live near Washington, D.C., be sure to consider your individual needs. Some young professionals and families might gravitate towards city life, while others may want a small-town feel. 

The perfect place for easy access to D.C. include Silver Spring, Arlington, Alexandria, Chevy Chase, and Bethesda. For those seeking a quieter place to live, check out Potomac, McLean and Fairfax. Rockville provides a good mix of being a busy city itself with easy transport down to DC.

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