3 Best Commuter Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

3 Best Commuter Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

  • Lockard & Smith
  • 01/5/20


Washington, D.C. is a dynamic city to work and live in. The center of national politics. A vibrant art and cultural scene. An abundance of bars, restaurants, and entertainment districts. 

Of course, not everyone wants that hustle and bustle 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thankfully, the suburbs surrounding D.C. offer a wealth of lifestyle options. But the commutes from these outlying neighborhoods are not created equal. 

So, which communities are most attractive to commuters who want to work and play in D.C. but live where the pace is a little slower, and maybe even a bit less political? Let's explore the three best commuter neighborhoods around D.C.

Based solely on geography, few areas outside of D.C. can match the proximity of highly desirable Arlington, Virginia. Directly across the Potomac from the capital, the drive into D.C. from some of Arlington's best neighborhoods, such as Clarendon and Virginia Square, can be as little as 20 minutes. 

This city of nearly 250,000 residents features easy access to several metro lines, including the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines in the north, and the Blue and Yellow lines in the south. Arlington's location also affords some residents the opportunity to bike into D.C.—in particular, those coming from Ballston, Rosslyn, or Crystal City.

Arlington has an array of historical attractions, including Arlington National Cemetery and memorials paying tribute to U.S. marine corps, women in the military, and the 184 people who died during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Mount Vernon Trail is a draw for people who love the outdoors, and Signature Theatre is sure to please lovers of the arts. The area is served by the wonderful Arlington County Public School District, which includes Blue Ribbon Award winner Arlington Traditional. 

At first glance on a map, the vibrant suburbs of Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland north of D.C. seem anything but convenient to the core of the capital. But Bethesda, Silver Spring, and other communities in Montgomery County offer both a dynamic lifestyle and easy commute into D.C.

Although driving to D.C. is the most popular option, commutes range from 30 to 45 minutes at peak time. The Metro Red Line from Silver Spring ferries commuters into Union Station in about 20 minutes. For those who prefer to live further out, the Forest Glen Station adds 10 minutes to the journey. For those in Bethesda, a trip from Bethesda Station to Union Station takes 30 minutes.

Bethesda houses a multitude of cultural attractions, including Roundhouse Theatre and Strathmore, which is known for hosting stunning orchestral performances. For those who want to get outdoors and practice their swing, Burning Tree Country Club and Bethesda Country Club are golfers’ paradises. The area is served by the wonderful Montgomery County Public School District, which includes Blue Ribbon Award winner Bannockburn Elementary.

Though located directly south of D.C. just across the Potomac, historic Alexandria is not as convenient to the capital as Arlington or the cities in Montgomery County. It does, however, have a few advantages they don't. 

First, the city is in close proximity to Reagan National Airport—it is only a quick 10-minute jaunt from Alexandria's Historic District. The city also boasts two major Metro lines—the Blue and Yellow— which both tie directly into D.C.'s central business district. It’s a 20-minute ride from the King Street Station to Foggy Bottom along the Blue Line. King Street Station to L'Enfant Plaza is a similar distance on the Yellow line. And finally, for those that work in neighboring Crystal City, the commute is fewer than five miles via bicycle.

Alexandria is known for its excellent restaurant scene, particularly when it comes to global cuisine. From French dishes at Bastille to Belgian plates at BRABO to Japanese food at Nasime, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more diverse and prestigious dining landscape. The Alexandria City Public School District is home to many great public, private, and magnet schools alike. 

Are you ready to make a move and explore the Washington, D.C. real estate market? Please contact us today. We would love to be your guide to the capital region and help you secure your dream home.


With over three decades of combined experience, our team specializes in single-family homes and luxury condos, consistently ranking among the top 1% of agents in the DC metropolitan area. Contact us today and let us guide you to real estate success in the nation's capital.

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