The nation's capital city boasts one of the best employment rates in the United States due to the many opportunities and well-paying jobs located in and around the District. With a better employment rate than the U.S. average, people come from near and far to fill these jobs, often involving a move to unfamiliar territory.
Are you new to the Washington, DC, area, working in the Northwest quadrant and looking for a place to live? One great benefit to working in NW DC is that it borders both Maryland and Virginia, opening up many living options. Whether you want to experience the perks that come with city life or escape after work to the slower pace of suburban life, here are some top picks (in no particular order):
1. Woodley Park
Woodley Park is located between Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo, making it a popular area for families. If small-town feel is what you're looking for, this is it. Known for its open spaces, this area feels more like suburban, rather than city living. Yet, those conveniences are literally around the corner. With its eclectic shops and eateries, small businesses have a strong presence along Woodley Park's tree-lined streets. The homes are primarily apartments, such as The Woodley and Calvert House, condos, and 20th-century row houses. The Metro's Red Line is conveniently located right in the neighborhood. Woodley's neighbor, Cleveland Park, is another nearby option when working in NW DC.
2. Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle converges at Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut Avenues. Built around a circle, this historic neighborhood is comprised of condos, apartments and row houses. The neighborhood is well-known for its diversity, along with its numerous restaurants, shops, urban parks, nightlife and art galleries. Metro's Red line has a stop in this neighborhood and there is bus service. Parking is not easy and many residents here don't have a car. It is considered a "walking" neighborhood.
3. Adams Morgan
Located at the intersection of Columbia Road and 18th Street, Adams Morgan is a diverse neighborhood comprised of charming 19th and 20th-century row houses, mixed with some modern structures, like this futuristic looking property called The Hepburn. The neighborhood is less than 5 square miles and is known for its restaurants and nightlife. There is no Metro station located in the neighborhood, but there are two stations within a 15-20 minute walk, along with several WMATA Metrobus stops that can get you to where you need to go.
A neighborhood that’s consistently included in many "best" lists, Georgetown is located along the waterfront at M Street and Wisconsin Avenue and stretches back to Reservoir Road. Known for its shopping, restaurants and lovely parks, this neighborhood is a perfect example of old meets new. Integrated with its modern conveniences, Georgetown is rich in history, holding the distinction of being the oldest settlement in DC. Living in the District is pricey, and Georgetown is one of the priciest. If it’s luxury you want, you'll find it here. None of the Metrorail lines run directly through this neighborhood (about a 25-minute walk), but the DC Circulator runs through Georgetown, along with Metro bus access.
5. Foggy Bottom
Foggy Bottom sits along the Potomac River and is popular with students and professionals. If you’re looking for a place to call home near George Washington University and several federal office buildings, check out Residences on The Avenue located right across the street from the Foggy Bottom - GWU Metro stop. There are other nearby stations as well, along with plenty of bus access too. Residents of Foggy Bottom are drawn to the neighborhood's conveniences. It has a history that dates back to the mid-18th century, and today it houses many restaurants, the famous Kennedy Center, and is also close to the tranquility of nature.
This trendy neighborhood is roughly found between the borders of 11 Street NW, Florida Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and M Street. Shaw has been creating a buzz the last couple of years and is described by many as an "up and coming" neighborhood. There are lots of eateries, shops and other public gathering places, along with the Watha T. Daniel Public Library, a dog park and a skate park. Two stations on Metro's Green and Yellow Lines run through the neighborhood and there are plenty of bus stops as well. Shaw is also considered to be a highly walkable neighborhood. It's also a hop, skip and a jump from Howard University and the historic and still happening U Street corridor. City Market at O is located in the center of the historic Shaw neighborhood and is a hip, modern apartment community you may want to consider for your next apartment home.
Located at the upper end of Northwest Washington, not too far from the Montgomery County, MD, border, is Tenleytown. One of DC's older neighborhoods, it’s attractive to families because of its family-friendly atmosphere and schools. Bordering nearby American University, there are many university-hosted events residents enjoy. The neighborhood is primarily comprised of students, alumni and families. The presence of big brands, such as Whole Foods and Best Buy, along with many small businesses found in the neighborhood’s commercial strip, adds an appealing convenience factor. Metro's Red Line runs through Tenleytown and there are plenty of bus services to get you back and forth to work.
8. U Street Corridor
Want to live in a neighborhood that has a strong historical connection, yet offers a hip lifestyle? Residents of the U Street Corridor enjoy the best of both worlds. The U Street Corridor is home to both residential buildings and commercial establishments. It also houses many shops, drug stores, and an organic market. For getting out, there are several nightclubs and eateries, including the long-time favorite and historic landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl. A prime location to call home is the District apartments, which is right across the street from the Black Cat and all the U Street happenings. There is also bus access and Metrorail's U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo runs the Green and Yellow Lines right in the neighborhood.
9. Alexandria, VA
History meets modern day in Alexandria, and there are some great neighborhoods that make for a relatively easy commute into the District. Living in Old Town, residents can walk the same quaint streets George Washington did strolling back in time, all while enjoying modern amenities. This section of town dates back to the 1660s, but was officially founded in 1749. Del Ray is an Alexandria neighborhood established in the late 19th century and today continues to thrive. With various shops, restaurants, farmers' markets and other amenities, it's a popular place to live for both singles and families. There's something for everyone, even Fido, as Alexandria is very dog-friendly. The Metro's Blue and Yellow lines run through Alexandria and will get you to downtown DC.
10. Fairfax County, VA
Living out in Fairfax County makes for a bit longer of a commute, but many people prefer living outside of the city for a variety of reasons. A large and diverse county, there are towns, large and small, throughout. From apartments to townhomes, you can find housing to suit just about any budget. The county's school district ranks as one of the top in the state, and many of its schools place well nationally too. The Metro's Orange and Silver Lines makes easy access to NW DC, plus transfers to other lines to get you anywhere else you need to go.
In addition to these communities, there are a number of other great neighborhoods to be found in NW DC. However, no matter where you ultimately choose to live in the DC region, you'll get to enjoy easy access to the rich culture, museums and history that the city has to offer. To find your next place to live with easy commuter access to NW DC, check out Apartment Showcase.