Neighborhood Spotlight: Bethesda

Situated just northwest of DC, Bethesda is an upscale urban community in Montgomery County. The area features an assortment of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues as well as exceptional outdoor spaces. The greater DC metro area is conveniently within reach thanks to a Red Line Metro station in the heart of Bethesda as well as many other commuting options.

Although Bethesda is a cosmopolitan area today, its history is rooted in agriculture. In the 1700s, tobacco farming was the top source of industry. The development of the Washington and Rockville Turnpike transformed Bethesda into a way station in 1805 through which tobacco and other products were transported to Rockville, Georgetown, and Frederick. Named after Bethesda Meeting House, a local church constructed in 1820, the settlement would see little expansion until the turn of the 19th century. Today, it is home to multiple medical institutions including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health campus.

A wide array of architecture can be found throughout Bethesda, from stately Tudors and pre-war Colonials to contemporary condominiums. Enclaves of unique mid-century modern housing can be found in the neighborhoods of Tulip Hill and Carderock. Bethesda offers luxury condos and quiet neighborhoods alike, making it one of the most highly sought-after areas in the DC region.

Those living in Bethesda have many options when it comes to commuting around the DC metro area. Numerous bus and Metro stations are nearby, including Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Medical Center, and Grosvenor-Strathmore. Bethesda also sits at the crossroads of the Capital Beltway and 270 and provides easy access to Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Connecticut Avenues. Once complete, the Purple Line light rail will connect the Bethesda with Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton.

The intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, Old Georgetown Road, and East-West Highway is at the center of what is considered Downtown Bethesda. Bethesda Row offers dozens of boutiques, a wide range of restaurants, and a Landmark Theatre. For music, art, and theater, residents can visit Strathmore – with three venues on sixteen acres, it is a staple for the arts community.

Parks, paths, and outdoor spaces can also be found throughout Bethesda. Stretching from Georgetown to Silver Spring, the Capital Crescent Trail is popular for cyclists and commuters. When cherry blossoms are in season, the cherry tree-lined neighborhood of Kenwood offers a peaceful alternative to DC’s Tidal Basin. Norwood park has a range of outdoor activities, with tennis courts, playgrounds, and a soccer field.

Stats (by niche):

  • Population: 63,168
  • Homeowners: 67%
  • Age 45 – 54: 15%
  • Median Income: $154,559
  • Master Degree +: 56%
  • Public Schools: 29