Sorry, We didn't find what you were looking for, but here are a few things you might like…

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase

by Amanda Abrams

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase: Figure 1
Tree-lined Chevy Chase street

Chevy Chase DC, the well-known suburb-in-the-city, is a place with gorgeous houses on well-appointed lawns, a strong community connection, and a large enough commercial stretch to make it feel relatively self-sufficient. But be careful not to mistake the far northwest DC neighborhood for Chevy Chase, Md. By and large, residents on the District side still see themselves as urban dwellers, like those who developed the area intended.

It Used To Be Farmland

Chevy Chase—both in DC and Maryland—was the product of a couple of foresighted developers in the late 1880s who bought farmland miles north of downtown DC, created Connecticut Avenue, and were instrumental in threading a streetcar all the way up to Montgomery County.

Chevy Chase DC, which formally opened in 1907, was one of the city’s first streetcar suburbs, allowing federal workers to toil in the city and then retire to a quiet, green neighborhood. The earliest tracts were clustered around Connecticut Avenue, but gradually the neighborhood moved east, with Rock Creek Park currently forming its eastern border.

Houses Across the Board—In Style, Not Price

While there’s a smattering of condo buildings along Connecticut Avenue, the vast majority of residential options in Chevy Chase DC are single-family homes. Most houses are relatively large, particularly by District standards, and just about all are fronted by well-groomed gardens and lawns of varying sizes.

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase: Figure 2
Home on Morrison Street

Home styles tend to reflect the area’s growth. The oldest houses—and some of the most sought after—are located in the blocks close to Connecticut Avenue and were built in styles popular in the early 20th century: bungalows, four squares, and the odd Victorian. The farther east one goes from the area's main strip, the more colonials, Tudors, and Cape Cods one can see; close to the park, the area is dotted with postwar homes. Keene Taylor, a realtor with Taylor Agostino Group, said that the variation in home styles is part of what makes the neighborhood so pleasant. “It’s more eclectic than similar neighborhoods, like American University Park,” he pointed out. “People value the architecture.” Unsurprisingly, those pleasing aesthetics don’t come cheap, though the area is less expensive than its Maryland counterpart. The average home, a four-bedroom with three baths, fetches somewhere in the high $800,000s, Taylor said. Condos, by contrast, might cost around $300,000 for a one-bedroom, or $400,000 for a two-bedroom unit, although when people hear "Chevy Chase," living along a busy avenue in a high-rise building is not what usually comes to mind.

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase: Figure 3
Another home in Chevy Chase

Almost All the Trappings of Suburban Living

True to its founders' vision, Chevy Chase DC feels like a suburban experience just within the city borders. The area is remarkably safe, streets are clean, quiet, and lined with tall hardwoods, and residents are primarily those who came to the neighborhood to raise a family or retire there once that portion of their life is over. Margaret Lidstone, 40, and her husband relocated to the area from Adams Morgan once they had children. “It’s crawling with other families, au pairs, grandparents, preschools,” said Lidstone. "It's wonderful." It is no secret that families with means tend to move out of DC once their children reach middle-school age, and Chevy Chase DC is one of the places they tend to move to, as the neighborhood's children are assigned to Lafayette and Murch, two of the top elementary schools in the city.

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase: Figure 4
The Avalon Theater

In addition to its stellar academic credentials, Lafayette, located in the center of the neighborhood, has a large park that boasts playgrounds, a tot lot, tennis courts, ball fields, and a small amphitheater. The neighborhood also has a branch library along Connecticut Avenue, a community center, and the active citizens association holds a number of annual events, including a Chevy Chase DC Day in September. Families, headed by one or two professionals (federal workers, lawyers, or writers, according to one resident) are probably the area’s biggest demographic, but a variety of groups are represented. “I like that it’s not just one age group,” said Wayne Page, who moved to the area four years ago. “There are parents, seniors, young adults, teenagers. That’s what makes it interesting, not monolithic.”

Two Commercial Avenues, But Only One Really Counts

When Chevy Chase residents praise their neighborhood’s accessibility and convenience, they aren’t necessarily talking about its proximity to the heart of the city. Running along Connecticut Avenue just south of Chevy Chase Circle is a three-block stretch of cafes, restaurants, and locally-owned businesses that are just a few minutes walk from many residents' homes. While not all the businesses are loved and there have been grumblings that options could be improved, establishments like Magruders supermarket, the Avalon Theater, the American City Diner, and Safeway have been there for decades.

Chevy Chase DC: Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase: Figure 5
Connecticut Avenue

Located just beyond the neighborhood’s western edge is the Friendship Heights commercial strip, which has in the last decade become one of the Washington area’s high-end shopping districts with stores like Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue opening up. The stretch also has two malls, a Whole Foods, as well as a number of chain restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s Little Italy. But many Chevy Chase residents say they much prefer their low-key, humble, barely-changed-since-the-’80s neighborhood gathering spots. “Friendship Heights doesn’t have a personality,” said Charles King, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 32 years. When asked if he shops at the Whole Foods, he shook his head. “Safeway’s good enough for me.”

A Straight Shot

While some Chevy Chase DC residents work in Bethesda or other suburban centers, most seem to be oriented towards DC. Luckily, so are transit options. The closest Metro station is in Friendship Heights on the Red Line with Metro Center a fifteen-minute ride away. Buses heading to the station run through Chevy Chase DC. For drivers, Connecticut Avenue is a straight shot to downtown and Rock Creek Parkway is close by and a good alternate route for those who want a ride to work with more foliage. The Beltway lies a few miles north along Connecticut Avenue, and extensions off of Western Avenue will eventually lead drivers to northern Virginia.

The Bottom Line

Those 19th century developers who envisioned a green oasis lying not too far north of the central city clearly had insight, which has paid off for over 100 years. Today, Chevy Chase DC is still a pleasant neighborhood where well-off (but not necessarily loaded) Washingtonians can find some peace and community, while remaining in (relatively) close touch with the rest of the city to the south. Amanda Abrams is a Washington, DC-based journalist who has written feature stories for The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington City Paper.

Real Estate Agents Serving Chevy Chase

The following real estate agents are active in Chevy Chase. Call or email them to get in touch.

Courtney Abrams

TTR Sotheby's International Realty

Phone: 202-253-0109
Website: View website

Matt McHugh and Heather Davenport

Washington Fine Properties

Phone: 202-821-3311
Website: View website
Listings: View listings

More Stuff about Chevy Chase

See other articles related to: hoods, chevy chase dc

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/chevy_chase_dc_not_to_be_confused/4004


  1. jackie said at 8:39 pm on Thursday August 18, 2011:
    It really is. And I agree about Friendship Heights..little personality.
  1. SRT said at 5:17 pm on Thursday August 18, 2011:
    Dead on description.
  1. Jim said at 8:24 pm on Wednesday November 16, 2011:
    Good description. I've lived in the neighborhood adjacent to Rock Creek Park for 30 years and raised a two children here. Buying here was one of the best decisions of my lifetime.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »