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Moving to the Washington, D.C., Area

Even though Washington, D.C., has already experienced vast growth over the past three decades, the area feels like it is just getting started. The federal dollars are flowing, and Amazon is moving into the area leading to one of the more robust job markets in the country.


What You Need to Know About Washington, D.C.


When considering a move to the Washington D.C. area, know that there are three different parts of the "DMV." There is Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C., itself. Each one of these has its own feel and vibe to it.


The cost of living in Washington, D.C., is not cheap, but there are many job opportunities throughout the region. The federal government is the largest employer in the area, but the large industry known as "Beltway Bandits" serves the government and hires even more workers. At the same time, the area is a growing technology hub, especially down the Dulles Corridor.


The city itself has a number of luxury housing developments that have been built this century. The ritzy areas are in Georgetown and Northwest D.C. There are also exclusive suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.


The Washington area is a great place for those who like to network. People move between the federal government and the private sector with regularity, and your job will open doors for you socially and professionally. While the D.C. area had a reputation in the past for being transient, it seems that people stay in one area much more frequently these days.


For those who value living in a metropolitan area with educated citizens, Washington is a great place. In fact, the region ranks as the second-most educated in the country. At the same time, Washington is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse areas in the country.


What to Do in Washington, D.C.


When it comes to attractions, the Washington area can keep you busy for years. There is no such thing as a conversation about Washington that does not begin with the museums. The Smithsonian Institution is both extensive and free with history and art museums that draw millions of visitors each year.


Beyond that, the Washington area is also home to a vibrant entertainment scene. Locals are familiar with Washington's very own go-go brand of music. Beyond that, you can find practically any type of music and area restaurants and bars on a weekend night.


In the city, there are many entertainment venues to see shows and concerts, including the Kennedy Center, Anthem, and Capital One Arena. Nearly every major show or concert act comes through the Washington area. In addition, there are entertainment venues in the suburbs, such as the Fillmore in Silver Spring.


The Washington area is also a place for foodies. The city has the fifth-highest per capita number of restaurants in the United States, including several restaurants with Michelin stars. One of the great things about the area is the diversity of the food scene.


In addition, both the Maryland and Virginia suburbs have extensive park systems with ample opportunities for hiking. You may not think of an urban area as a nature lover's paradise, but the Washington, D.C., area fits the bill.


Finally, Washington is also a great place for sports fans. Four of the five major teams in the area play in Washington, D.C., itself with the Redskins taking up residence in neighboring Prince George's County in Maryland. The city is the home of the World Series Champion Nationals.


Tips for Living in Washington, D.C.


Traffic in the area is known to be intense during rush hour. The area has an extensive mass transit network, which makes travel into the city easier. Many people try to purchase a home in relatively close proximity to one of the mass transit stations, and you should consider using the train or the express bus to commute to work if your job will be in D.C.


Of course, if you are riding on the Metro in D.C., the most important thing to remember is to stand on the right and to walk on the left. Washingtonians like to keep moving when they take their beloved Metro system.


In addition, while homes in D.C. itself and the immediate surrounding areas are expensive, there are better values to be had when you get away from the city. If you are willing to take on a longer commute, the metropolitan area extends pretty far into Maryland Virginia and even into West Virginia.


Make sure to pack your bike if you are moving to the area. D.C. itself has been ranked as the 13th best city for biking in the country with extensive bike trails in Rock Creek Park. The surrounding suburbs score equally high in these ratings.


As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to consider a move to Washington, D.C.


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