Public Transportation: Bus & Rail
Walk Score: 47
Grocery Store(s): Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Giant, Balducci’s, Safeway, Harris Teeter
Local High School: Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walt Whitman, Walter Johnson
Bethesda, MD is a thriving urban district, brimming with over 250 restaurants, two live theatres, 20 art galleries, and some of the best shopping in the Washington, DC Metro Area. The district has ample parking, and is accessible by the Metro Red Line. Bethesda is also one of the most affluent and highly educated communities in the United States, placing first in Forbes list of America’s most educated small towns, and first on CNNMoney.com’s list of top-earning American towns in 2012. In April 2009, Forbes ranked Bethesda second on its list of “America’s Most Livable Cities.”
The area commonly known as “Downtown Bethesda” is centered at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, Old Georgetown Road and East-West Highway. Other focal points of downtown Bethesda include the Woodmont Triangle, bordered by Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenues, and the Bethesda Row, centered at the intersection of Woodmont Avenue and Bethesda Avenue.
The National Institutes of Health main campus and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center are located in Bethesda, as are a number of other corporate and government headquarters. The growing number of government contractors, medical professionals, and other businesses in the area, has caused Bethesda to become the major urban core and employment center of southwestern Montgomery County. Three of the area’s business innovation centers are within six miles of Downtown Bethesda. Not only can tech startups rent space and share facilities, the county will provide legal counsel through lawyers at the University of Maryland and fiscal advice from local financial services companies. The county eases the process of opening new businesses with tax credits for creating jobs, expanding, and – if you’re an artist – simply living and working in Bethesda.
The Bethesda Lane development opened in 2008. This extension of the Bethesda Row development, located near the corner of Bethesda Avenue and Arlington Road, includes many new retail shops and restaurants underneath luxury apartments. Other new development projects in the area include The Darcy and The Lauren, which will also feature modern luxury condos, are scheduled to open in the near future.
The area is also a foodie hub, with over 250 restaurants. Every year, thousands of guests attend the annual Taste of Bethesda festival, where they’re treated to dishes from dozens of local restaurants and music performances on four stages. Bethesda has two farmers markets, the Montgomery Farm Woman’s Cooperative Market and the Bethesda Farmer’s Market.
Bethesda is the home of Congressional Country Club, which is recognized as one of the most prestigious country clubs in the world. Congressional has hosted four major golf championships, including the U.S. Open and the AT&T National. Bethesda is also home of the exclusive Burning Tree Club and the Bethesda Country Club.
Washington Metro’s Red Line services two primary locations in Bethesda: the downtown area at the Bethesda, and the area near the National Institutes of Health and the Walter Reed Medical Center at the Medical Center Washington Metro stations. The Montgomery County Ride On bus system also has several routes through Bethesda. A free loop bus, called the Bethesda Circulator, operates daily and covers most of downtown Bethesda.