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A Brief Guide to the Best Places to Live in Washington DC

Are you searching for the best places to live in Washington DC? Regardless of whether you’re moving to DC to work for the federal government, to be reunited with your loved one, or to raise a family, it can be challenging to find the right area that satisfies all criteria. From the historic Capitol Hill and the high-end Georgetown to peaceful suburbs perfect for families, the US capital has something for everyone. You just have to know where to look.

Finding a place to settle down is an important task.

With a lively social scene in specific neighborhoods such as Adams Morgan, which is one of the most lively ones, and Dupont Circle, with its international vibe and cultural institutions, bistros, and bars, DC is very appealing to younger generations, especially millennials and prospective career-chasers.

However, there are several quiet Washington DC neighborhoods on the outskirts, such as Arlington, Silver Spring, and Bethesda, which draw the older population and families with children, as well. The diversity of DC is reflected in its residential areas, which make it a suitable place for people of all ages, tastes, and interests.

What to Look for in the Best Places to Live in Washington DC?

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the US capital is the Lincoln Memorial, but this metropolis is much more than historic monuments and high politics. So what do you need to pay attention to when searching for your perfect home?

If you’re looking for a place to live, you have 21 neighborhoods to choose from, including some in the nearby states of Virginia and Maryland.  Also, the structure of homes is diverse, so whether you’re looking to move into a smaller home or a large house with a backyard, you can find it all here. The cost of living in Washington DC is considered to be high, but it depends mostly on the area you pick. Depending on the location you choose, rent can amount to around $2,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, so that’s something to consider when moving to another state alone. On the other hand, DC also has some of the highest incomes in the nation to offset the somewhat higher housing and utility prices.

If you want to commute, it takes around 40 to 50 minutes on average to get anywhere in the city by public transport or metro. You can drive, but you should know that traffic can be extreme, especially during rush hour. The metropolis also has the highest taxi-to-person ratio in the entire country.

Living in a Neighborhood in One of the Most Popular Cities in the US

Even though moving to a big city can seem scary, Washington DC is considered the best place to live based on the quality of life and the number of job opportunities. It has all the characteristics of an urban metro area, with an extensive public transit system, a plethora of restaurants and entertainment venues, cultural sites, and parks. But it has also kept a residential atmosphere in its neighborhoods where locals gather for parties in the blocks, walk dogs together, and enjoy all the perks of living in small communities.

The federal and state governments employ a considerable number of residents here, but there are opportunities in education and health services, as well as hospitality. DC has 198 public schools, 618 private schools, and 22 colleges/universities, all with excellent ranking and statistics.

The climate is another acquired habit, since the humidity is high, especially during the summer. Springtime is lovely, as well as the beginning of fall, when temperatures are still pleasant. However, winters tend to be snowy.

DC has an extensive public transit network featuring buses and Metrorail, but those living in the suburbs still tend to drive. That is partially the reason why it ranks among the top congested cities, with 155 hours lost during the rush hours annually, and an average commute time of 43 minutes one way.

If you're looking for one of the best cities to start your new life - The Federal City is the place for you.

Quiet and Friendly Places With a Park

Residents love outdoor entertainment and have spaces available all around. But one of the most popular parks is the National Mall, visited mostly by tourists because this is where the past and the present come together with the future. The Yards Park is a premier waterfront destination along the Anacostia River, offering a beautiful view of the river and boardwalk for strolling. In the Columbia Heights neighborhood, there is an urban Meridian Hill Park with amazing architecture and serene scenery. Fans of outdoor activities might enjoy living in Forest Hills. You can enjoy running, biking, and hiking, as well as take in the diversity that Forest Hills offers.

NeighborhoodBike ScoreWalk Score
Adams Morgan9095
Columbia Heights8894
Downtown8897
Dupont Circle9298
Logan Circle9396
Mount Pleasant7990
Mount Vernon Square8997
U-Street9397
Most people look for cities that have great parks and nature spots.

Safe Areas To Live In

If you want to combine safety and housing costs to find a nice place to live in, you can start with Adams Morgan in the northwest part of the city, just 1.5 miles from the White House. It is still close to Brookland, the cultural center, as well as The Catholic University of America and Trinity Washington University, which makes it ideal for college students and university staff.

For singles and young professionals, Foggy Bottom is the right choice. Logan Circle, with two historic districts, is also a spot for trendy individuals who appreciate lots of pubs and boutiques. Cathedral Heights is a residential section close to the city center, populated by professionals who prefer a calm and safe vibe.

Bethesda is home to the DC elite, so it’s pretty safe. Alexandria, with its cobblestone streets and some of the oldest houses in the country, has the residential feeling but is still close to where all the action is. If you’re not sure if the home you’ve found is in a safe spot, there are different tools that you can use to check if your neighborhood is safe.

Pentagon City – Safe Place for Art and Entertainment Lovers

Pentagon City is all about safety, and it is highly monitored due to the proximity to the DEA, Pentagon, and FBI facilities. It is populated to a great extent by government personnel and can get pretty busy and noisy in each street. However, it is attractive to those who have a family and therefore wish to avoid the city bustle but stay close to the downtown area.

There are plenty of safe areas across the city.

You Might Enjoy the Suburbs

Moving to the suburbs may not seem like a great idea at first – but it’s definitely worth entertaining. Because property prices are rising due to an urban revival, suburbs are becoming very competitive cost-wise, but are still a better option for people who want a house with a yard at reasonable prices. There’s plenty of things to do in Washington DC, and even the proverbially tranquil suburbs have something to offer to their residents. From the proximity to cultural venues to the outdoor suburban atmosphere, there are plenty of things to choose from – depending on what you are interested in.

Stone Ridge

With its highly rated public schools and a suburban feel, this neighborhood in Loudoun County is rather popular for families and young professionals. The cost of living is very high, but Stone Ridge is a beautiful neighborhood that is close to multiple shops and restaurants and community-accessible public facilities.

Friendship Village

Known for its shopping opportunities, Friendship Village has a suburban feel and low prices compared to other parts of the town. Located near the DC/MD border, it is relatively close to the center, but it also has two malls and lots of restaurants, making it a great place for young individuals. Of course, the name itself implies that making new friendships will be a piece of cake, so you can forget about getting relocation depression around here.

The suburbs are becoming more and more popular for living.

Best Places to Raise a Family

This choice mainly depends on what your preferences are, but generally, some neighborhoods are rightfully called the best ones to raise a family in.

Glover Park is a diverse neighborhood that is becoming more and more popular among couples with children because it combines a quiet life with commercial amenities. There are four Washington DC public schools here, but there is no metro stop, so walking or driving is a must.

Capitol Hill has been the home of many families for generations. Located next to the Eastern Market, this remarkable neighborhood has many memorable structures, including Union Station and the Supreme Court. Capitol Hill is a safe and quiet spot filled with young families, good metro access, and some of the best restaurants in Washington DC. Apart from being easy to commute, Capitol Hill is also an incredibly charming and fun residential spot that you might enjoy.

Friendship Heights is a quiet neighborhood with spacious homes, and Spring Valley is for those who can afford high prices and want to be in the company of celebrities.

Georgetown

Judging by the sales prices here, which reflect the high living standard and good location, Georgetown is an excellent option for families and young couples. It has 11 schools and is situated just outside the downtown area, so close enough, but far enough as well.

The Palisades

Running along the Potomac River, this neighborhood displays smaller, historical houses, which are very expensive. The median real estate sale price is $996,500. People tend to stay here for generations without moving elsewhere. There are five public schools, among which is one of the best public schools in DC, the Francis Scott Key Elementary School. The neighborhood has easy access to the urban area, but it is rather safe. In the Palisades, you won’t have to worry about safety on the street.

Places like Friendship Heights, Capitol Hill, and Glover Park are great neighborhoods to raise a family.

Find Your Place in The Federal City

If you are not blessed with a substantial monthly income, then the first step in finding the right spot is reducing the choice to the neighborhoods you can afford and creating a moving budget. That means Metro areas will probably be low on the list, and one of the suburbs will be your likely option. Find your perfect spot, get in touch with DC movers with professional moving services, or find the cheapest way to move out of state and start your relocation today. If you choose to get auto transport services, it would be good to know how car shipping works. And don’t forget to change your address when you move.