Stretching along the Maryland shores of the Potomac River, Potomac is a bedroom community of Washington, DC located just outside of the beltway, stretching north for miles following the river. Potomac and its neighboring communities of Darnestown and North Potomac make up a significant portion of the area west of Interstate 270 between the highway and the river. These towns are defined by quiet, wooded lots with acres of land, mansions hidden behind gates, excellent schools, quiet town centers, and a groundbreaking master planned community that is highly sought after for its array of unique homes and walkability. Potomac and its surrounding environs are the perfect location for commuters looking for proximity to DC combined with ample space, peace, quiet, and access to outdoor activities.
Potomac, which stretches from just west of the beltway to about 10 miles up the Potomac River, is considered one of the most affluent towns in the United States with a median household income of nearly $200,000. This is largely due to its proximity to DC, its location next to the Potomac River, and the lack of major thoroughfares through the town, reducing traffic and development. Potomac is centered around Potomac Village, a small downtown area that consists of a couple of stoplights, a pair of shopping centers, several restaurants, and schools. The majority of Potomac consists of suburban and rural neighborhoods and is a quiet oasis in the DC region.
Part of the appeal of Potomac is it’s school system, considered among the very best in Maryland. Potomac is served by Walt Whitman High School (#2 in Maryland), Thomas Wootton High School (#3 in Maryland), and Winston Churchill High School (#4 in Maryland.) This trio of high schools is recognized for their strong teacher to student ratios, high graduation rates, and excellent college placement performance. For many parents, purchasing a home in Potomac is primarily driven by the goal to place their kids in these school districts.
Potomac is also highly convenient for commuters into DC and Northern Virginia. The Capital beltway is just five minutes from Potomac Village and downtown DC is a mere 25 minute drive via River Road and Canal Road. Major airports are also conveniently close, with Reagan National Airport being just 25 minutes away via the George Washington Parkway, Dulles International Airport is a 30 minute drive, and Baltimore Washington International Airport is 45 minutes away. Having so many airports close by is a huge convenience for work travel and family vacation planning.
Potomac has a wealth of activities available for sporting and outdoor enthusiasts. It is home to Great Falls, where hikers can access miles of trails including the infamous Billy Goat Trail and the scenic route out to see the falls on the Potomac River. Walkers and bikers can also access the C&O Canal and explore this route up the Potomac River and down towards Georgetown. There are also a huge number of golf courses including TPC Potomac and Congressional Country Club (one of the premier country clubs in the U.S.and future host of the Ryder Cup and US Open tournaments.)
Just to the northwest of Potomac further up River Road lies Darnestown. Darnestown is a small town with a rural character that is equidistant between Germantown and Potomac. It features horse farms, winding country roads, and quiet estates with acres of land and privacy. Darnestown is home to roughly 6,400 people and lies 25 miles north of DC. Darnestown, much like Potomac, is affluent and features a median household income of $228,000 per year. It is popular with commuters and families for its proximity to DC (via River Road) and ease of access to the Shady Grove Hospital area, NIST, and the numerous pharmaceutical companies located in nearby Gaithersburg.
Darnestown is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, as it lies far enough outside of DC to offer large lots with acres of land, access to the Potomac River, equestrian facilities, and access to numerous public trail systems. Bretton Woods Golf Course lies at the end of River Road, and hikers can access the Seneca Creek Greenway and Seneca Ridge trails as well as Muddy Branch Park, which offers 9 miles of natural surface trails through the woods around Muddy Branch Creek.
The majority of students in Darnestown attend Northwest High School, located in Germantown, which is ranked #26 in Maryland and receives an A+ rating on Niche, a school ranking website relying on reviews from parents and students. Some students also attend Quince Orchard High School in North Potomac, which is also highly ranked at #20 in Maryland. Both schools have high graduation rates, excellent sports teams, advanced classes, and strong college prep programs.
Just to the east of Darnestown is North Potomac, a small area nestled between Potomac, Darnestown, and the Kentlands neighborhood of Gaithersburg. North Potomac is a quiet suburban community with easy access to Interstate 270, the Intercounty Connector, and the Shady Grove Hospital and medical area. It is bisected by Muddy Branch Park, which offers natural surface trails that wind along the creek, providing a quiet respite for hikers, runners, bikers, and even horse riders.
North Potomac doesn’t have a town center, but because of its close location to several nearby town centers including Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Potomac, it never feels far from shopping, restaurants, or entertainment. Both North Potomac and Darnestown offer excellent access to DC and large employers, fantastic school systems, and a diverse range of outdoor and entertainment options for residents.
If you are interested in moving to the Potomac area, including Darnestown and North Potomac, Darin can help you list your current home and find a new home of your dreams. Darin has in-depth knowledge of housing market trends, the neighborhoods in the region, and how to get the best deal on your purchase. Reach out to Darin today and begin the search for your new home in Potomac.
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