5 Great Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Discover some of Washington D.C.'s best neighborhoods and decide which one is for you.

Washington, D.C., is an urban dweller's mecca with trendy neighborhoods like Adams Morgan and Georgetown. But if you venture outside the District, you'll also find peaceful communities in Maryland and Virginia.

Dupont Circle

In the District itself, Dupont Circle has always been a hot neighborhood, and it still is. Its location is prime. It's about as central as you can be in Washington’s Northwest quadrant. This truly urban area is filled with restaurants and a lively nightlife, but is still safe enough to walk home at night. Dupont Circle has a large gay community and is a stone’s throw from the ethnically diverse and hip neighborhood of Adams Morgan and the posh homes of Kalorama. Many people looking to live in this area are young, two-income couples.

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is quintessentially Washington, an old, historical neighborhood with tree-lined streets in the heart of the nation’s capital. When living on the Hill, there is no doubt which city you're in. Government buildings surround most of the neighborhood. A drive through the monuments at night is especially impressive. Having Eastern Market nearby is a definite bonus. Many politically involved people, attorneys and the like, and many dual-income couples live here. Capitol Hill shares its neighborhood with some sketchier streets, but because of the changes in the market, the better areas of Capitol Hill are now affordable.

Chevy Chase

Maryland still has many good neighborhoods with booming real estate. The adjustment in market prices in the last year has made houses more affordable in some affluent areas just outside the District, where people couldn’t consider them before. Chevy Chase, Md., including the bordering area of Chevy Chase, D.C., inside District lines, is an ideal combination of suburban tranquility. Its playgrounds and schools make it suitable for young families with young children. Its proximity to the natural beauty of Rock Creek Park is a plus as well. It is Metro accessible and near the shops of Friendship Heights.


Brookmont is a secluded neighborhood in Bethesda, Md., nestled between MacArthur Boulevard and Clara Barton Parkway. This distinctive community is made up of a particular mix of Washington’s who’s who, including artists, granola-types and outdoor enthusiasts, kayakers in particular. With easy access to the nearby Potomac River, boats are popular backyard fixtures. Brookmont does not get a lot of automobile traffic, so it's a good area for small children and dog owners. This is a neighborhood filled with actual neighbors, sharing community activities, block parties and parades. Located just across the D.C. line, the commute into the District is a breeze. For many it is the best of all worlds where they can enjoy country living in such close proximity to the big city.

Clarendon and Ballston

There is less going on, from a real estate point of view, in northern Virginia. Market values are not favorable here nowadays. However, for young single people, especially those new to the area, the Clarendon and Ballston neighborhoods of Arlington have many advantages, not the least of which is the abundance of other young people. Just over the bridge from the District, these areas have easy access to downtown D.C., while having all the necessary amenities within reach. The nearby bar and restaurant scene is definitely a young one, which is ideal for some, not so for others.

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