Recommendations needed for the area around Bethesda, MD — The Bump
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Recommendations needed for the area around Bethesda, MD

My husband has been picked up for an assignment at Walter Reed.  We know nothing about the area.  We would love recommendations for areas with good schools, good neighborhoods and that fall with in his E-7 BAH.  We have four kids, so safety and quality of schools are the most important factors for us.  Like I said, we know nothing about the area.  I would appreciate any info or recs we can get. Also, if you have favorite restaurants or activity, throw those out there, too, please.  
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Re: Recommendations needed for the area around Bethesda, MD

  • Commute time will be a factor in my suggestions, so I may change some of this. I used to live right in Downtown Bethesda, and would 100% live there again if my DH gets a job in DC. It's pricey though, and traffic on 270 and that part of 495 (The Beltway) are disastrous. It's more affordable in Montgomery County--towns like Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown but most likely that will involve driving. There are definitely options close to the metro there, the red line Medical Center/NIH is right across the street. You pay for the convenience of walkability to a metro stop though. ....looking up BAH now.... I have been keeping a hypothetical eye on rentals right in the area and they're mostly above or right at his BAH. 

    As with anything, it's often case by case, and I don't have kids but from what former coworkers have said, there are some great schools in MoCo. Silver Spring is less wonderful in general, but again, there are exceptions. 

    The zoo is a few stops south on the Red Line, they have some fun stuff. I'm not sure how familiar you are with DC but the food is beyond amazing--I was always surprising myself and compared to Boston, we miss it terribly. That might be for another date-night post.

    As for right in Bethesda, the best pizza on. the. planet. is Vace Pizza--they only take out (it's a teeny Italian grocery and counter) and I swear their number is still in my cell for when (if) we get back there. The downtown is pretty cute, pricey shops (Lululemon, over priced but delicious bagels, etc), decent food (can't really go wrong with any of them). There is a fabulous paved walking/bike trail in the area too. 

    My first date with DH was in Bethesda, I have very fond memories of the area! If you start looking at places and have an area-specific question I'll do my best to answer (or hit up someone in the area that might know!)
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  • Follow up, because I'm obsessed with Zillow and just took a peek. There are a lot of townhouses in the area, not sure how you feel about that, but SF houses tend to be older and not built as often. Also, I didn't ask, but I assume you'll be renting? For instance: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/126-Calvert-Rd-Rockville-MD-20850/37104265_zpid/
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  • Thank you!  We will be renting.  We own our house here and don't want to have two mortgages.  
    We've been looking at the Montgomery County area, but one of the guys he works with is telling him it's better to head to VA.  He currently commutes about 30 min, so he doesn't mind a little bit of a drive or train ride.  
    We'd love to go up there for a weekend and look.  We, ironically, went to DC for summer vacation this past year.  I'm not sure we'll be able to get up there before it's time to go.  
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  • Metro from NOVA to NIH is going to run about an hour, but trains are pretty reliable. I would never drive from there, it's the worst traffic I've ever seen. I would check both areas out as far as what is available. VA definitely has more reliably "good" areas but I think you could find a great place either place. Franconia/Springfield is a nice area, friends of ours own a townhouse there. East/West Falls Church is good too. (Again, I don't know schools.)
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    iluvmytxrgr
  • ArmyWife114ArmyWife114
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    edited December 2013
    I went to high school in the NOVA area, the schools are pretty good, I'd stick in Fairfax County if you're going to live there.  Springfield has some good schools, so does Burke.  I don't know about Vienna schools, but there is a metro station there as well as in Springfield.  Burke doesn't have one, but there are plenty of metro bus stops to get to one of the stations from.  

    I don't know anything about living in Bethesda though, I can only try to help on the NOVA side of things.
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  • You have the option of staying on fort Meade base for housing and there are schools on base there. We just moved from there stayed 3-4years.
    Good area! Best city to live in is Columbia.
    Good luck on your move!
  • You have the option of staying on fort Meade base for housing and there are schools on base there. We just moved from there stayed 3-4years. Good area! Best city to live in is Columbia. Good luck on your move!
    And drive 45 minutes on a toll road. I did that trip to Gaithersburg for years. It sucks. 
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  • We've looked into the housing on Meade.  With 6 of us, 2 cats and a dog, it won't work.  
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  • We have lived here for 1.5 years and love it.  My Hubby works at Walter Reed.  We live in Rockville and they have excellent schools.  Gaithersburg is also good, and a little cheaper.  We first rented from the large apt complexes, and now live in a townhome that I found on militarybyowner.com.  Good luck
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  • I just want to say I'm EXCITED you will be so close!

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    CJ 05/29/2013

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