The National Capital Region portion of the Washington Metropolitan Area is also colloquially known by the acronym “DMV” which stands for the “District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia.” The region is one of the most affluent and well-educated metropolitan areas in the country. The following principal cities the DMV can be counted among the most interesting places to live not only in that area, but in the entire country.
1. Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is located just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House, which in turn took its name from Jerusalem’s Pool of Bethesda. The earliest settlers in the region were tobacco farmers. Houses and buildings started to emerge there in the early 1800s. Some fun things to do in Bethesda include visiting Bethesda Row, a one-stop shop for dining, bars, shopping and more, as well as visiting greenspace like Glen Echo Park and Cabin John Regional Park.
2. Arlington, Virginia
Arlington County is considered to be the second-largest “principal city” of the Washington metropolitan area, although Arlington County does not have the legal designation of independent city or incorporated town under Virginia state law. Arlington is home to the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport, and Arlington National Cemetery. In academia, the county contains Marymount University, George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, as well as satellite campuses of the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
3. Rockville, Maryland
Rockville is a Maryland city near Washington, D.C. Restaurants and shops are clustered around Rockville Town Square, with its lawn and seasonal ice-skating rink. The grounds of the early-1800s Beall-Dawson House include the Stonestreet Museum of 19th-Century Medicine. Civic Center Park has gardens and trails. Northeast, in Rock Creek Regional Park, Meadowside Nature Center has nature and culture exhibits.
4. Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia, is a city on the Potomac River, just south of Washington, DC. It’s known for its Old Town, with brick sidewalks and well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century buildings. King Street is lined with boutiques and specialty shops. Founding fathers dined at Gadsby’s Tavern, now a museum with period objects and photographs. Carlyle House Historic Park is a restored Georgian mansion with a garden.
5. Reston, Virginia
Reston is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia. Founded in 1964, Reston was influenced by the Garden City movement that emphasized planned, self-contained communities that intermingled green space, residential neighborhoods, and commercial development. Some highlights of the area include Lake Fairfax Park and the Van Gogh bridge.
6. Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Georgetown is a charming area with Federal-style architecture, cobblestone streets and fashion and design shops. The dining scene is defined by upmarket restaurants and waterfront seafood spots, while nightlife spans boisterous college bars, traditional taverns and intimate live music lounges. Georgetown Waterfront Park has a riverside promenade and gardens, and there’s a bike path along the C&O Canal. You’ll be pleased to discover that Georgetown apartments are pleasantly spacious and affordable, even if you have to split the rent with some roommates.