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Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Bethesda

Are you considering the prospect of living in one of the friendliest areas of the DMV area? Bethesda, situated just northwest of Washington, D.C., is widely considered one of the liveliest and most accessible places to live in Maryland. The original 3000 acres of land comprising today’s city of Bethesda was awarded as the “Friendship” land grant to Thomas Addison and James Stoddert on December 1, 1711 (which may explain the name of the adjacent neighborhood and shopping district called “Friendship Heights.”) Today, the town of over 65,000 offers an urban feel, even though most locals own their own homes. It’s a unique residential setup among cities on the Eastern Seaboard.

Those looking to put down roots in the DMV area should strongly consider Bethesda.

With a wealth of amenities, restaurants, and shops, multiple school options, and a thriving cultural scene, Bethesda captivates newcomers and longtime residents. Join the Jeanne Phil Meg Team and delve into the unique charm of Bethesda, Md., to discover why so many love living there.

A glimpse into Bethesda's history

If you’re interested in American history, you’ll find plenty of intrigue in Bethesda. Its unique past tells the story of a tobacco-farming town that grew into a city thanks to its strategic location near the current nation’s capital. In the early 19th century, the town was a rural way station on the Washington and Rockville Turnpike. Local subdivisions began to appear in the late 19th century, becoming the neighborhoods of Drummond, Woodmont, Edgemoor, and Battery Park.

The Washington, D.C., area is filled with history, and Bethesda is no exception. Today, you can see evidence of Bethesda’s storied past in its historic buildings, landmarks, and charming neighborhoods. If you’re visiting Bethesda and interested in the town’s character, make time to stop in at the historic Bethesda Meeting House and the Bethesda Trolley Trail.

Housing options to suit every lifestyle

The city’s residential landscape is diverse, featuring a mix of refurbished older homes and newly constructed modern residences. You can find newly built luxurious condominiums that complement the existing stock of downtown apartments, historic single-family bungalows, cottages, and colonials with yards, modern condos with city views, or something in between. Bethesda has it all.

Distinct residential neighborhoods

Another highlight of living in Bethesda is its coveted neighborhoods. If you like tree-lined streets, historic homes, and proximity to the amenities of downtown Bethesda, ask your agent about houses in Chevy Chase (but be sure to distinguish whether you mean Chevy Chase DC at the border of DC of Maryland, or Chevy Chase, Maryland, slightly north of that, bordering Bethesda!)  A few miles southwest, Bradley Hills offers spacious lots, grand estates, and a serene, suburban atmosphere perfect for families.

Meanwhile, Kenwood is known for its luxurious homes, manicured lawns, and prestigious addresses. Westmoreland Hills exudes elegance with its stately homes, lush landscaping, and proximity to parks and schools. You might also investigate Battery Park, originally intended as a private community for WWI military personnel, now a charming enclave featuring cozy cottages, walkable streets, and a strong sense of community.

Cultural delights

With varied cultural activities year-round, Bethesda promises an enriching experience for residents and visitors alike. Art lovers will love galleries like Gallery B and Waverly Street Gallery. You can catch live performances at Bethesda Theater, jog the Capital Crescent Trail, and go for a hike at Cabin John Regional Park. Annual events like the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival and Taste of Bethesda highlight local talent and cuisine, while festivals such as the Bethesda Literary Festival and Bethesda Film Festival celebrate arts and literature.

Culinary adventures in Bethesda

Bethesda’s restaurants are concentrated around the north-south Woodmont Ave. and east-west Bethesda Ave. Toward the northern end of Woodmont Ave., Woodmont Grill has classic American cuisine with an extensive menu of steaks, seafood, and comfort food favorites. Gringos & Mariachis is in the same area and is known for its creative cocktails and authentic Mexican fare inspired by street food. Up the street, you’ll find Olazzo, a cozy Italian restaurant serving homestyle Italian cuisine.

The Bethesda Ave. district also has several excellent options for eating out. Check out PLANTA (vegan), AP Pizza Shop, Poke Dojo, or Tatte Bakery & Cafe next time you’re in the neighborhood.

Parks and recreation galore

Nature lovers will feel right at home in Bethesda, where parks and green spaces abound. As mentioned, Cabin John Regional Park and the Capital Crescent Trail are two of the area’s most beautiful green spaces. The Bethesda Trolley Trail is another path for those who enjoy strolls through the city.

Just across the DC border, stroll through the serene gardens at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, marveling at the stunning blooms and architectural beauty. For a different perspective, paddle along the Potomac River on a kayak or canoe, enjoying breathtaking views and spotting local wildlife. And if you prefer land-based exploration, hike and bike the scenic trails at Great Falls Park just outside the city for a refreshing dose of nature and fresh air.

Local transportation options

Bethesda's location makes transportation convenient for residents. The Metro Red Line and Metrobus lines provide easy access to downtown D.C. and surrounding areas, making commuting a breeze. The city's walkable neighborhoods and bike-friendly streets also contribute to a lifestyle prioritizing health and sustainability. Downtown Bethesda, Bethesda Row, and Friendship Heights, just inside the DC line, are a few of the city’s most walkable areas.

Community engagement

Bethesda prides itself on its strong sense of community. For instance, Bethesda Central Farm Market bursts with local flavor under the Maryland sun. Every Sunday (weather permitting), over 100 vendors offer farm-fresh produce, artisan breads, delicious prepared foods, and handcrafted goods. Enjoy live music, chef demos, and kids' activities while soaking in the community spirit. This vibrant market is a must-visit for foodies and anyone seeking a taste of authentic Bethesda.

Enjoy four seasons

Maryland experiences all four seasons, and Bethesda is no exception. From the beauty of cherry blossoms in spring to the vibrant foliage in autumn, each season brings Bethesda a different feel. Be prepared for snowy winters and warm summers, allowing you to fully appreciate the changing landscape and engage in various outdoor activities year-round.

Convenient shopping

From high-end luxury to quirky boutiques, Bethesda caters to every shopper. Downtown boasts national brands and upscale stores, and Bethesda Row offers trendy apparel and home decor.  Don't miss the open-air vibe of Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, which has diverse restaurants and shops, or the farmers market for fresh produce and artisan goods. Whether splurging or searching for treasures, Bethesda's diverse shopping scene has something for you.

Reach Out to the Jeanne Phil Meg Team

If you’re ready to make Bethesda their home, the Jeanne Phil Meg Team is here to guide you through the real estate process. With a commitment to personalized service and a deep understanding of the local market, they can help you find the perfect home tailored to your lifestyle. Reach out today and let them turn your Bethesda dream into a reality.

*Header photo courtesy of Jeanne Phil Meg

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