The Best Places to Live Near DC

Washington DC is a city with a lot of draw and amazing opportunities. It is a great area to grow and flourish for young professionals and more established individuals. But DC has an extremely high cost of living and population density, encouraging people to find more affordable suburbs to live in near DC. 

There are many beautiful and affordable neighborhoods in the DC area, each of which has unique offerings. Their proximity to the capital allows residents to have exciting careers in politics while still having a haven from work. This is a breakdown of why to consider living in different areas near the capital while commuting to DC.

Gaithersburg, MD

Gaithersburg lakefront

A refreshing, friendly town with plenty of activity but still calm enough to call home. This town has great public schools and safe neighborhoods. There are beautiful shopping centers such as RIO Washingtonian Center where you can grab lunch and do your shopping with an amazing lakeside view.

On top of everything else Gaithersburg offers, it’s a short 40-minute commute from DC that can easily be done by public transit.The cost of living in Gaithersburg is approximately 11% lower than in DC, with similar amenities but faster access to them due to the lower population.

Fairfax, VA

Fairfax County Courthouse, Virginia

Home to George Mason University, Fairfax is close to the open Virginia prairie. The trade-off is the long commute to DC: 1-2 hours by public transit and sometimes longer by car. Home to George Mason University, Fairfax is a college town with plenty of goings-on. Though the commute is considerable, so is the difference in cost of living: about 34% more affordable than DC. 

Fairfax is a gorgeous area at a lower price than DC or Gaithersburg, but the commute time to DC is substantial. People who choose to live in this fun college town should remember to bring a book for the ride to work.

Forestville, MD

Holy Spirit Forestville Maryland

For those who love suburban living, Forestville is likely the best fit within commuting distance of Washington, DC. The area is spacious, a break from all the hustle and bustle of the capital. This change also comes with a lower price tag: Forestville is approximately 25% cheaper to live in than DC. To be fully immersed in nature, Forestville is a short drive from Rosaryville S

While the cost of living is relatively low and the suburban air is appreciated by many, getting to work is a challenge. Public transport to DC requires at least one, sometimes two transfers depending on the time of day, no straight shot like with Gaithersburg or Fairfax. 

Our Top Pick

Gaithersburg will have to be our choice for the best place to live near Washington, DC. With a direct commute to the capital by car or public transport despite the relative distance, Gaithersburg makes commuting a breeze. In addition, Gaithersburg is a thriving and inviting community with plenty of restaurants and shopping. What sets Gaithersburg apart is the gorgeous waterfront and boardwalk eateries. 

Here’s hoping you have a good move and we all welcome you to the DC area.

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