Bethesda, along with Silver Spring, is the urban heart of Montgomery County. It’s the downtown core, filled with skyscrapers, luxury condos, restaurants, and high-end storefronts such as Apple, Lululemon, and Williams-Sonoma is located just blocks from the DC line. This sprawling area that generally is considered to be just east of Wisconsin Avenue all the way to the Potomac River, is highly sought after for its incredible schools, quiet, leafy streets, stunning homes, and proximity to the city. It is a highly-educated and affluent city, home to eight Pulitzer Prize winners among it’s roughly 64,000 residents.
Bethesda is ideally located for many federal and private employees. It is home to the headquarters of Marriott International, which is relocating to downtown Bethesda from its current location across the beltway from the Westfield Montgomery Mall. Additionally, Bethesda is home to the headquarters of Lockheed Martin and Ritz Carlton. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is located along Wisconsin Avenue (Route 355) which runs through the heart of downtown, under the beltway, and into Rockville. Across the street from Walter Reed is the huge facility for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which advances many medical discoveries through trials and health services offered.
Because Bethesda is bisected by Wisconsin Avenue, access to downtown DC couldn’t be simpler. On the weekend’s residents can take Wisconsin Avenue directly into Georgetown in just minutes. They can also easily access Connecticut Avenue for a direct route to Cleveland Park and the National Zoo, Adams Morgan and its thriving bar and restaurant scene, and Dupont Circle with its abundance of food and entertainment options. Bethesda is also served by several Red Line Metro stops, making it easy to take the train into the city for commuting and weekend adventures. Going to a Caps game is as easy as taking the red line fifteen minutes to Gallery Place and walking up the escalator into Capital One Arena.
Average commute times from downtown Bethesda to areas in the DC region include 20-30 minutes to downtown by car and a similar amount by Metro, 25-35 minutes to Rosslyn/Arlington via car, and 15-25 minutes to Tysons Corner via car.
Both Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport are easily accessible from Bethesda, with Reagan National being located just 25 minutes away and Dulles 30 to 40 minutes by car.
Bethesda’s downtown core features an abundance of local and chain restaurants including Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Paul Bakery, Luke’s Lobster, Jaleo, Villain & Saint, Mon Ami Gabi, St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar, and an offshoot of the famed Georgetown Cupcakes, which often has a line out the door. There is truly something for everyone, from sophisticated dinners to families with young kids and everything in between. Date night or family night out can both be found without having to stray far from home.
Bethesda frequently hosts unique, fun community events such as the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, an annual spectacle that spreads artists across the streets of downtown with their own
small stands where you can peruse and purchase art of all styles from photography to paintings to sculptures and everything in between.
Bethesda also features a variety of natural features for outdoor enthusiasts, allowing for biking, hiking, running, and sports activities. The Capital Crescent Trail, which follows the path of an abandoned railway, provides a paved surface trail that runs 11 miles from Georgetown to Silver Spring and cuts right through the heart of Bethesda, offering a great long-distance or short-distance option for runners, hikers, and bikers. If you’re especially active, this offers a car-free route to get to the shops in Georgetown as well as to the C&O Canal trails. There is also access to the Cabin John trail, a natural surface trail that winds through the woods along Cabin John Creek.
Just up the road from Bethesda is Great Falls, where you can park your car, access the C&O Canal, and walk down short pathways to view the spectacular sight of the famed falls on the Potomac River as they roar. This location is especially beautiful in the fall when foliage is at its peak and is most awe-inspiring after heavy rain has passed through the area and water moves at a rapid pace. It is highly recommended to stop at The Old Angler’s Inn, right next to Great Falls, for a great post-hike meal in a beautiful setting.
For golf enthusiasts, Bethesda is ideally located as it is home to several golf courses including Congressional Country Club, which frequently hosts PGA events and is considered one of the premier private golf courses in the world. Bethesda also has an abundance of tennis courts and is in close proximity to Cabin John Ice Rink, home to youth and adult hockey leagues and figure skating training.
Bethesda is attractive for families because of its incredible school systems, both public and private. Among public options are Walt Whitman High School (US News #2 in Maryland), Walter Johnson High School (US News #6 in Maryland), and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (US News #13 in Maryland.) The private school options include the prestigious Holton-Arms School, an all-female private school serving grades 3-12, Landon School, and the French-language Rochambeau French International School.
Bethesda’s neighborhoods are well established and as a result, feature large trees that provide lots of quiet canopies above the streets and houses. Many of the homes feature beautiful colonial and federal facades that were built years ago, with updated interiors and spacious backyards that provide an area for kids to play in, to place a pool, or to just find respite from a long work week. While many of the homes have been upgraded, it is possible to find a more affordable gem that you can shape to match your vision.
Darin has a wealth of knowledge about Bethesda and its neighboring towns. He can help you find the perfect home, whether you are looking for a move-in ready place or a fixer-upper. Contact Darin today to get started on your search for a home in Bethesda!
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