2017 Best Places to Live in Washington, D.C. Metro

Explore the best places to live in the U.S. based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities. Ranking based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other sources.

See how this ranking was calculated
  • National
  • By State
  • By Metro
Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    Arlington

    • City in Virginia
    • 45 reviews
    Current Resident:Arlington is a very beautiful area! So many national monuments near by to visit and admire. Lots of trails for exercising and health food stores for people who love to live that healthy lifestyle. Only down side would be the traffic, but it's not anything someone can't handle.
    More about Arlington
  2. 2

    Hawthorne

    • Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  3. 3

    Broadlands

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 14 reviews
    Current Resident:Broadlands is an incredible place to grow up. I have lived in Broadlands for 17 years couldn't imagine growing up in any other place. The schools are nationally ranked, the neighborhoods are beautiful, and location is perfect. Broadlands is located very close to attractions such as dozens of Vinyards, Dulles Airport, and beautiful shopping centers. Even after finishing college, I decided to come back to Broadlands because it's such an easy place to feel comfortable. My only complaint is the area is very populated which often means there is traffic.
    More about Broadlands
  4. 4

    North Potomac

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 67 reviews
    Current Resident:North Potomac is a great place for the whole family! There are excellent parks and playgrounds. North Potomac is situated in an area surrounded by various entertainment facilities such as movie theaters and bowling alleys. There are many great restaurants only a short walk or drive away. North Potomac is also close to two metro stations on the Red Line - perfect for commuting to Washington, D.C.
    More about North Potomac
  5. 5

    Brambleton

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 14 reviews
    Niche User:The area in which I live is often reffered to as NoVa (Northern Virginia) or the DMV area (DC-metro/Virginia or DC/Maryland/Virginia). This area is very interesting economically. In the past 10 years, Loudoun County's population has absolutely EXPLODED, which mandated conversion of the area from rural farmland and nothingness to a buzzing high-class suburb that is quickly filling with poeple. Loudoun County was found by the most recent US Census to be the county with the "Highest Income Per Capita" in the whole nation. Loudoun County's unemployment rate is 0.5%. A large amount of NoVa residents work for the government or are contracted by the government, and work in DC 30 minutes away. (I have Army retirees across the street, an IRS employee next door, an Oil Industry Lobbyist down the street, CIA employee down the street, DEA officer on the next street over, etc, etc. No joke!) The atmosphere in NoVa is very professional. The quality of life here is very high. Crime rates are low, the streets are clean and safe. Neighbors are friendly, well-educated, and involved in their communities.

    The quality weather in NoVa is up for interpretation. There is a lot of precipitation here, year-round. Summers can be very hot and winters can be very cold.

    I would choose to live here again if I could.

    I used to live in La Palma, CA, where the unemployment rate was very high, the streets were dirty and unsafe, and the general area felt poor. I would choose NoVa over SoCal any day.

    The future of this area is bright. I am a college student living in my parents' home here in VA, and I plan to purchase my own home in the area after grad school. I love this area.
    More about Brambleton
  6. 6

    North Bethesda

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 29 reviews
    Niche User:Ever since I moved here, I took notice of how everyone just tends to keep to themselves. When the snow storm occurred and there was no other choice but for everyone to come out of their apartments, I finally felt a sense of community. There were generous people who were offering to help others shovel their car(s) out of the snow, a nice lady was walking up and down the neighborhood handing out snacks and energy bars and water bottles, and everyone was joking about how awful the snow hit us. There was a humorous atmosphere, the sun was shining, and regardless of the cold, everyone was in a good mood. After that day, things went back to how they were.

    I'm not saying it's a bad neighborhood, things could definitely be a lot worse, but sometimes it'd be nice to see people using the grills and picnic tables set outside, or kids running outside in the playground. For all I know, I was the last person to go down the tiny green slides, but maybe things will change when the weather changes and it gets warmer out.
    More about North Bethesda
  7. 7

    Belmont

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 21 reviews
    Niche User:I grew up in this area, and have watched it developed from quiet, rural suburbia to progressively up-and-coming town. It'll be interesting to see how the Ashburn, Virginia, area ends up in 3-5 years.
    More about Belmont
  8. 8

    Potomac

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 38 reviews
    Current Resident:Living in Potomac has been great. When my family moved here from Gaithersburg 8 years ago I didn't know what to expect. The people here are great and there is no bad choice as far as high school goes. Public or private they are all great schools!
    More about Potomac
  9. 9

    Floris

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 22 reviews
    Niche User:Being so close to the District of Columbia, there are so many government contractors in the area. Everyone is busy, everyone needs to get somewhere. There's so much pressure to succeed, to land the next big contract, to hit the best college. The area is basically one big pressure cooker.

    There are upsides to this. This area has some of the smartest people in the country, and there are plenty of places for entertainment and education. The only downside is the enormous, constant pressure and horribly high cost of living.
    More about Floris
  10. 10

    Franklin Farm

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 11 reviews
    Niche User:There is rarely any crime nearby, and whenever there is, the police are on it and it is taken care of in a timely manner. Nothing serious has happened in a long time. My community also has neighborhood watch and is always on the look out for suspicious characters and will not hesitate to involve police if need be.
    More about Franklin Farm
  11. 11

    Darnestown

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 15 reviews
    Niche User:I love this area, and I couldn't think of a better place to live. Everyone is very neighborly, and extremely kind and generous. There is virtually no crime, great school systems, and overall a very high quality of lifestyle, while not being overly luxurious.
    More about Darnestown
  12. 12

    Merrifield

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 4 reviews
    Niche User:There are many stores and restaurants, even a movie theater, within walking distance. The biggest drawback is the cost of housing in this area. Also, my former residence had more green spaces nearby. However, if you want the convenience of metro access, and a wide variety of shopping and entertainment options super close by, this is a terrific area!
    More about Merrifield
  13. 13

    Bethesda

    • Town in Maryland
    • 41 reviews
    Current Resident:Bethesda is one of the most wonderful cities to live in in the Washington DC suburbs, it's very close to downtown D.C. Good public and private schools very diverse and open minded people!
    More about Bethesda
  14. 14

    Kensington

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 6 reviews
    Current Resident:Kensington is a small suburb about eight miles from the Capitol dome as a bird flies. It has lots of schools and churches etc., and most people are pretty well off (not everyone). It does not have a lot of diversity. And people can pretty much ignore what is going on in the world around them if they want to. There are parks and a pretty nice downtown you can walk to from most parts of town. (Finally got a Chipotle and Five Guys - now there are three places to hang out, including Continental PIzza - at least til 8 pm.) That 's one problem; no place to hang out unless you go down to Bethesda or out to one of the malls, and that means driving or getting a ride. I have good friends in Kensington, and I have had a good life there. I just wish it were more welcoming to more kinds of people. Maybe it is just time to move out of the little pond and into the big wide ocean!
    More about Kensington
  15. 15

    Travilah

    • Suburb in Maryland
    • 11 reviews
    Nearby Resident:Travilah is the classic American suburban neighborhood. The town is surrounded by some of the best learning centers in America, from John Hopkins University, which is down the street, from a combination of 13 top universities in Maryland molded together to become, The universities of Shady Grove.
    More about Travilah
  16. 16

    Rockville

    • Town in Maryland
    • 105 reviews
    Current Resident:I have been living in Rockville, MD for about 13 years. I love the area! It is a very safe and family friendly area but also accommodates young single adults. The cost of living for young adults is a bit on the higher side, but well worth the extra money because of all the conveniences in the area. It is a highly accessible area, with multiple stops along the red line metro, and many ride-on and metro busses that easily get you to and from where ever you need to go. If one is driving, Rockville, MD is easily accessible from I-270. If one is looking for entertainment, there is a lot to do in Rockville, including dinning at a variety of restaurants, hanging out with friends at bars, going ice skating, or even catching a movie at the remodeled Regal Cinema. Rockville is 10/10 in my opinion and I love living in this area.
    More about Rockville
  17. 17

    Somerset

    • Suburb in Maryland
  18. 18

    Oakton

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 37 reviews
    Niche User:Generally the area is very convenient, especially if you attend George Mason University. There's an iHop across the street and a 7-eleven in walking distance. The shuttle that goes straight to campus or the Vienna metro station is also across the street and it only take 10 minutes in either direction as the place is in between the school and the metro station. Overall, you can't beat the area especially if you attend the university.
    More about Oakton
  19. 19

    Lowes Island

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 3 reviews
    Parent:I love it here, most people are vey friendly
    More about Lowes Island
  20. 20

    South Riding

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 31 reviews
    Current Resident:I have lived my entire life in South Riding and overall I can say that it has given me a positive experience and helped build the right foundation for me as I more forward in life. Although this may seem odd, as South Riding is essentially a bubble, the diversity and experiences that I have had while going to school and living in this community have been overall beneficial to me.
    More about South Riding
  21. 21

    South Kensington

    • Suburb in Maryland
  22. 22

    Foxhall Crescents

    • Neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
    • 4 reviews
    Niche User:A great place to live but a little expensive
    More about Foxhall Crescents
  23. 23

    McNair

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 9 reviews
    Niche User:Ever since I moved here, I have stopped worrying about dangerous activities ensuing in the environment. The crime rate here is low an unfrequent. I moved from West Virginia, where drug activities are substantially higher. In Virginia, the police have a stronger authority and are generally more respected for doing their jobs properly. It is overall peaceful and more active, as the first thing I noticed was the amount of people jogging and playing outdoors. The citizens are friendly, and potential crime threats are minimum.
    More about McNair
  24. 24

    Chevy Chase Town

    • Suburb in Maryland
  25. 25

    Cascades

    • Suburb in Virginia
    • 12 reviews
    Niche User:Very safe neighborhood. Sometimes kid pranks, and possible crime related to addiction.
    More about Cascades