The Potomac River flows from the Potomac Highlands in West Virginia, flowing about 405 miles into the Chesapeake Bay between Virginia and Maryland. Many people who work in Washington, D.C. live in neighborhoods that are close to the river but within commuting distance to the capital city. If you’re thinking about doing the same, you’ll want to get familiar with some of the top spots.
These neighborhoods can be found everywhere from the District of Columbia itself to Virginia, providing great options for everyone from singles to families.
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Best known for its namesake university today, Georgetown began as a port in the 18th-century, when furs and various other goods were traded there. With residents dedicated to preserving its history, it has an incredibly charming feel, complete with cobbled streets and some of the oldest homes in the area, many of which date back at least 200 years. There are over 500 fresh markets, shops, and galleries to discover in just one square mile, for outstanding walkability too.
If you can swing it, living in Georgetown can offer a high-quality lifestyle, but it comes with a high price tag with the median price of homes at more than $1.3 million, according to Redfin. The better news is that the average household income is high too, so if you’ve landed that dream job, it might be doable.
Just 20 minutes north of D.C., median home values in Alexandria are about half that of Georgetown’s, yet it’s less than nine miles south. An early colonial city, today it’s known for its art, with the popular Art on the Avenue festival drawing some 50,000 visitors to check out the works by 300 artists every year in early October.
Old Town Alexandria is a favorite neighborhood here, known for its historic architecture, brick-lined streets, and cobblestone alleyways. There’s even a free trolley that will take you around the area. When searching through the Alexandria houses for sale, you’re likely to find properties with a Potomac River view.
Just five miles west of the nation’s capital across the Potomac River, Arlington is home to the Pentagon, the Arlington National Cemetery, and many historical sites. The schools here are rated A+, making it especially ideal for families with children.
Arlington Ridge is a great neighborhood in this city, offering picturesque views of the river as well as hosting two Civil War forts. It’s home to Prospect Hill Park, and it’s one of the closest neighborhoods to Washington, D.C., making it easy to reach a wide range of cultural attractions and special events.
National Harbor, Maryland
Singles and retirees who want to be right on the waterfront might want to consider National Harbor. It’s located right on the shores of the Potomac River. Residents enjoy a walkable community with a marina, restaurants, retail stores, and buzzing nightlife. Plus, there are water taxis that will take you right to the National Mall.
The National Harbor waterfront condos are particularly appealing for those looking for a low-maintenance, luxury lifestyle with balconies and spectacular views overlooking the river.