Public Transportation: Bus & Rail
Walk Score: 59
Grocery Store(s): Whole Foods, Giant, Safeway, Trader Joe’s
Local High School: Blair, Einstein, Wheaton, Blake, Northwood, Paint Branch, John F. Kennedy, Springbrook, Bethesda Chevy Chase
The revitalization that started in downtown Silver Spring nearly a decade ago continues rapidly with a swell of new housing, restaurants, shops and entertainment. Silver Spring now attracts a variety of street festivals, concerts, and farmers and craft markets. A combination of great schools, convenient transportation, and relatively affordable housing for a DC suburb are bringing people to Silver Spring that may not have initially expected to be buying here. Another growing trend in the area is long time renters deciding to stay local, and buy. It is one of the few places in the DC area where there are currently a number of new developments within walking distance to a Metro stop.
Silver Spring’s name comes from a local spring that sparkled with specs of mica, but it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the neighborhood itself started to shine. In 1947, Hecht’s opened DC’s first suburban department store, and Sears, J.C. Penney and a number of other shops soon followed suit. Silver Spring’s growth continued with the opening of the Beltway in the 1960s and the Silver Spring Metro stop along the Red Line in 1978.
At the beginning of the new millennium, over $1 billion in public and private funds sparked even further development in Silver Spring, and arts and entertainment fueled its resurgence. The American Film Institute moved into the old Silver Theater movie palace and Discovery Communications relocated from Bethesda to its sleek new headquarters. Shortly after, new restaurants, Whole Foods, an open-air mall, a 20-screen movie theatre, Borders Books and Music, fine dining, and retail shops appeared throughout the area. All this development has enticed a number of new luxury condos and apartment buildings to Silver Spring, some with retail, restaurants, swimming pools and fitness centers.
Downtown Silver Spring is bordered by 16th Street and Eastern Avenue to the west, Spring Street and Cedar Street to the north, Grove and Fenton Streets to the east and King Street to the south. Sligo Creek Park to the east and Rock Creek Park to the west offer vast wooded expanses for biking, hiking, playgrounds and tennis courts, and their parkways provide good weekday thoroughfares for commutes north and south.