Cities Near Washington, DC: 8 Towns & Cities Closest to The Capital

Where to Live Near Washington D.C.

If you're looking to explore beyond Washington, D.C., you might be surprised to learn that there are over a dozen cities within a reasonable commuting distance. Some are just a stone's throw away, offering historical charm, outdoor adventures, and vibrant communities to discover.

There are over 60 towns and cities near D.C., so we won’t cover them all here, but these cities in the DMV area are our top picks if you want to be close to the nation’s capital.

Virginia Cities Near D.C.

Explore the vibrant Virginia cities just a short drive from Washington, D.C. Each of these cities close to D.C. offers unique attractions, rich history, and a welcoming community. Discover what makes these cities across the river special and why they are ideal for both visitors and residents.

Arlington, VA

Located just five miles away from downtown Washington, D.C., Arlington, VA, is a vibrant city known for its iconic landmarks and diverse dining. One of the most notable landmarks in Arlington is the Arlington National Cemetery, a place of great reverence and historical significance. The cemetery serves as the final resting place for many of America's military heroes and offers visitors a chance to pay their respects.

When it comes to dining, Arlington boasts a thriving scene with a plethora of restaurants catering to various tastes, including Ruthie’s All-Day and Green Pig Bistro. From cozy cafes to upscale eateries, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, outdoor enthusiasts can explore the numerous outdoor trails in Arlington—perfect for hiking, biking, or simply taking a stroll through nature.

With its mix of historic charm and vibrant nightlife, Arlington appeals to a wide range of interests. The city's gorgeous architecture, many museums, and strong sense of community make it a truly dynamic place to live or visit.

Alexandria, VA

Alexandria is a Great City Close to Washington D.C.

Approximately seven miles from downtown Washington, D.C., Alexandria offers an enchanting environment with a host of amenities and attractions.

Alexandria is home to historic landmarks, such as Old Town Alexandria—a must-visit destination full of restaurants, boutiques, antique stores, and theaters. With 70 parks and green spaces, there are plenty of beautiful outdoor areas to enjoy. Make sure to visit Cameron Run Regional Park for miniature golf, batting cages, and a water park with a wave pool.

Another unique feature of Alexandria is its Potomac Water Taxi access, allowing convenient transportation to local attractions like the National Harbor, The Wharf, and Georgetown. This option enhances connectivity and offers a scenic way to travel around the area.

McLean, VA

Nestled only 10 miles from downtown Washington D.C., McLean offers upscale amenities and natural beauty. Known for its historic homes, McLean is one of the most expensive cities in Fairfax County and one of the top Virginia cities near the capital, making it an ideal choice for those seeking upscale suburbs.

Nature lovers will also appreciate the proximity to Great Falls Park, providing a scenic retreat sprawled out over 800 acres. There are countless opportunities for activities like biking, birding, hiking, kayaking, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking.

In addition to its natural attractions, McLean caters to those who enjoy upscale shopping experiences. The town is home to renowned shopping centers like Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria, offering a wide range of high-end stores and dining options.

Whether you're looking for a relaxing day in nature or a day of luxury shopping, McLean has something for everyone. With average rent for a one-bedroom apartment at around $2,000, and McLean homes for sale starting in the $200s for condos, this city presents a mix of convenience and comfort for its residents.

Reston, VA

Reston is a Great Virginia City Close to D.C.

Located in Fairfax County, Reston, VA, offers a tranquil suburban environment with a slew of housing options for its 63,000 residents. The city is known for its natural beauty and provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation and waterfront properties. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the picturesque Lake Anne and the prestigious Audubon-certified Reston National Golf Course.

If you're someone who appreciates a balance between nature and modern amenities, Reston might be the perfect place. Despite being around 22 miles from downtown Washington, D.C., Reston maintains its unique charm and sense of community. You can typically still drive to D.C. in about an hour at peak commute times.

When it comes to homes in Reston, this city has something for everyone, whether you prefer a cozy townhouse, a spacious single-family home, or a modern apartment. The suburban environment of Reston creates a peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it a desirable location for those looking to escape the urban chaos while still having access to essential conveniences.

Leesburg, VA

If you're looking for a town near Washington D.C. with historic appeal and a strong sense of community, the charming Leesburg—located approximately 40 miles northwest of downtown D.C.—could be just the place. With a population of around 50,000 residents, Leesburg is known for its historic downtown district filled with charming shops and restaurants.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Leesburg provides ample opportunities for recreational activities. Ida Lee Park is a popular spot offering various facilities for sports and leisure, including basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming, and gardening. The town is also located near the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, which has a 45-mile paved trail perfect for biking, walking, and enjoying the picturesque surroundings. Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club in Leesburg is counted among the best golf courses in Northern Virginia.

These outdoor spaces add to the quality of life in Leesburg, making it an ideal place for those who enjoy an active lifestyle amid natural beauty.

Maryland Cities Near D.C.

Discover the charming Washington, DC, suburbs that are located in Maryland. Each city boasts its own distinct character, historical significance, and inviting atmosphere. Learn about the attractions and amenities that make these cities perfect for both tourists and locals.

Silver Spring, MD

Just six miles away from downtown Washington, D.C., Silver Spring, MD, offers a vibrant community with diverse housing options. The downtown Silver Spring area is known for its bustling arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues to explore.

The city boasts a population of around 81,000 people and has a median home sale price of approximately $540,000, with single-family detached homes starting in the $400s, making it an attractive option for those looking to live near the nation's capital without the high costs of living in D.C. proper.

In Silver Spring, you'll find an array of parks and green spaces to enjoy outdoor activities or simply relax amidst nature. The cost of living in Silver Spring is reasonable compared to many other Maryland cities near D.C., striking a balance between urban amenities and affordability.

Whether you're interested in cultural events, shopping, or dining, downtown Silver Spring is worth visiting. If you appreciate a lively arts scene and a diverse community, Silver Spring could be the ideal place to live.

Bethesda, MD

Bethesda is a Great Maryland City Close to D.C.

Located approximately seven miles from downtown Washington, D.C., Bethesda, MD, is a thriving urban center. The median home sale price in this area is around $1.1 million, with homes starting in the $800s and $900s, reflecting the upscale nature of the community. For those looking to reside here without committing to a home purchase, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bethesda is around $2,600 to $2,700.

When it comes to amenities, downtown Bethesda provides a vibrant scene with a mix of retail outlets, dining options, and high-rise office buildings. Whether you're looking to shop at upscale boutiques or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants, downtown Bethesda offers an exciting range of activities.

Germantown, MD

Less than 30 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Germantown, MD, blends suburban and rural living. With a population of around 90,000 residents, Germantown has typical single-family homes in the $500s and $600s, making it a relatively affordable city near D.C.

Germantown is renowned for its lush greenery, providing residents with a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities whether it’s hiking, biking, or simply taking a stroll. The town boasts numerous nearby parks and facilities, including the BlackRock Center for the Arts, and hosts everything from sporting events to cultural festivals throughout the year.

Being part of Montgomery County, Germantown maintains a strong sense of community while still providing access to urban amenities. The town's strategic location allows for a peaceful lifestyle away from the bustling city, yet with convenient proximity to Washington, D.C.

Discover the Cities Around Washington, D.C.

As you begin exploring the many cities near Washington, D.C., remember that each one has a special blend of history, culture, and amenities that are worth experiencing in person. Whether you're drawn to the vibrant nightlife of Arlington, the historic charm of Alexandria, or the luxurious living of McLean and Bethesda, there's a city near D.C. awaiting your arrival. 

If Northern Virginia is where you're dreaming of living, call Your At Home Team at (703) 286-1333. Our local agents can help you find the perfect home in Northern Virginia.

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