What Everyone Loves About Living In Chevy Chase, D.C.

Pam Wye on December 15, 2019


Nestled against Rock Creek Park on the east and separated from its Maryland counterpart by Western Avenue, Chevy Chase, D.C. was first born as a residential streetcar suburb of the nation’s capital. Since it was founded in 1890, the then-remote farmland slowly transformed into the bustling community it is today.

The community’s major commercial artery, Connecticut Avenue, has maintained its historic charm over the decades and is popular with residents despite (and perhaps because) of its lack of national chain stores and suburban malls. Instead, smaller, locally-owned shops flank its sidewalks, offering visitors and long-time community partners alike a different approach to doing business. These storefronts include Catch Can, Child’s Play, and Fishery Seafood.

There are also mainstays, such as Magruder’s Supermarket, a small boutique grocery store that was established in 1875, and the Avalon Theatre, which first opened in 1923 as a silent film house.


3748 McKinley Street NW

Rated as an “A+ community” by Niche.com, Chevy Chase, D.C. is home to 20,461 residents who also rank their neighborhood as one of the best places to live in the District. Featuring highly-rated schools and happily-reviewed coffee shops and restaurants, this corner of the nation’s capital thrives with plenty of green space, historic charm, and just enough distance from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

For the most part, homes in this neck of the woods are charming single-family Colonials, bungalows, and craftsman-style homes on a variety of lot sizes and gardens. A concentrated number of condos line Connecticut Ave.

Get the Compass Guide to Chevy Chase here.


Chevy Chase DC is home to two highly-regarded public elementary schools: Lafayette and Murch. Both schools have an “A” rating on Niche.com for academics and teachers, and both schools have also scored highly in English and math on the STAR framework.

Murch is also LEED Gold Certified with a newly modernized building that offers indoor and outdoor learning. Almost half of its teachers have been teaching for over ten years.

Lafayette offers blended learning, interscholastic sports, and arts integration. Over half of its teachers have more than ten years of experience and one teacher recently won the DC Public School Teacher of the Year Award. 

Other reputable public schools in the area include Alice Deal Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School. Private schools include Blessed Sacrament School and St. John’s College High School.

Chevy Chase DC also has a handful of great nursery schools, including Broad Branch Children’s House, which promotes learning using the Montessori method, a method that encourages the natural development of the whole child from birth through maturity.

There’s also Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church and Temple Sinai Nursery School that offer play-based curriculums to support children in their learning and growing.


Avalon Theater Chevy Chase DC

From Connecticut Avenue Retail Strip to historic Avalon Theatre, there’s a lot to do in this “small-town neighborhood.”

  • Politics & ProseThis bookstore offers both a large variety of books and a wealth of author events.
  • Buck’s Fishing & CampingA quaint place to eat with a seasonal menu of quality American food. It’s also a great place to see neighbors and check out the rustic camping-theme.
  • The AvenueBolstering live music, events, and a kid-friendly downstairs area, this is an excellent place for a family night or date night to unwind and grab a cocktail or craft beer and eat from the generous pub menu.
  • Little BeastA family-friendly pizza restaurant that offers gluten-free pizza and live music on some nights.
  • Macon Bistro & LarderThis restaurant combines French flair and southern home cooking with a neighborhood feel and outdoor seating.
  • Avalon TheatreThis historical theatre from the 1920s showcases foreign movies, documentaries, film festivals and independent films with comfortable seating and vintage charm. Grab some food, milkshakes, espresso, and wine while you enjoy your movie.
  • Connecticut Avenue Retail Strip — This strip bolsters the neighborhood’s main section of cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and other businesses. It’s walkable from many homes.
  • Friendship Heights Commercial Strip — Very close by is the Friendship Heights shopping strip. You’ll find retailers here such as Whole Foods, Saks Fifth Avenue, J. Crew, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Cheesecake Factory, Clyde’s, and many more.


There’s a variety of activities in Chevy Chase, DC that are a short walk or bike ride away.

  • Lafayette Park & Recreation CenterIn 1928, the District of Columbia purchased 12 acres of farmland to build the Lafayette School. Some of these belonged to Mr. Horace Jones, whose original farmhouse still stands on Quesada Street. After World War II, victory gardens were added to the landscape and its history, and today the 9-acre Lafayette Park is one of the sparkling gems in the Chevy Chase DC community, complete with playgrounds, paths, flowers, and shady places for picnics. It features multiple playgrounds for various age groups, as well as a baseball field, tennis courts, a basketball court, a running track, and a renovated recreation center.
  • Lafayette Park Farmers MarketProvides a variety of farm to table type fruits, veggies, and baked goods.
  • Broad Branch Market — An independent, community-focused market in Chevy Chase DC that is a huge hub of the neighborhood. Its where children can come before and after school for bagels, snacks, or treats. For parents, it offers prepared food, wine, and warm baguettes. During the warmer weather months, there are tables in front and it’s a popular gathering area for eating lunch.
  • DC Health CoachesA locally-owned and operated business started by three alumni of the Lafayette, Deal and Wilson school track teams, DC Health Coaches occupies the basement level of the Broad Branch Market and offers personal training, small group training, and boot camps.
  • Rock Creek ParkAt over twice the size of Central Park in New York City, Rock Creek Park has 1,754 acres of naturally forested and beautifully curated grounds, including a golf course, the Rock Creek Park Horse Center, a tennis stadium, the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, and several miles of interconnected hiking and equestrian trails.
  • Chevy Chase Neighborhood LibraryThis library is a great place to go when you need a place to study or relax between errands.
  • Chevy Chase Community CenterOffers three stories of activities for the young to the old, including a dance studio, fencing, pottery/art studio, woodworking, dark room, auditorium, and more.
  • Livingston Park — Livingston Park, informally called the “41st Street Park,” is home to the Chevy Chase Recreation Center, a dog park, a splash park, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and baseball fields.


Chevy Chase DC might have a tucked-away feel, but it is relatively easy and fast to get to downtown DC. It’s a straight shot to downtown from Connecticut Avenue and there is a Metro in nearby Friendship Heights, Van Ness and Tenleytown.

There is also the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, which is commonly referred to as the Rock Creek Parkway, and it runs next to the Potomac River and Rock Creek. If you’re going to be sitting in traffic, it’s a beautiful place to be!

Several bus lines come through Connecticut Avenue and Military Road. Residents or guests might also choose to utilize Zipcar, which is available throughout the neighborhood.


This tight-knit community offers several local groups to get to know your neighbors and take action to keep this neighborhood safe, quiet, and beautiful.

  • The Chevy Chase Google GroupProvides a forum for Chevy Chase DC residents in order to share and address community and city-wide issues.
  • Friends of Chevy Chase CircleThis volunteer group is comprised of DC and Maryland neighbors, local businesses and civic groups that have come together with the goal of protecting Chevy Chase Circle.
  • Chevy Chase Citizens AssociationFounded in 1909, this group brings Chevy Chase DC neighbors together in order to be a voice for its citizens.
  • Historic Chevy Chase DCHCCDC promotes the architecture and history of Chevy Chase DC by educating neighbors about the community’s past.
  • Northwest Neighbors VillageThis group provides a robot network of resources and opportunities for older adults who enjoy opportunities for growth and engagement.
  • Friends of Lafayette ParkThis is a group of neighbors dedicated to preserving and improving Lafayette Park, one of the finest assets in the Chevy Chase DC neighborhood.

Many residents choose to buy Chevy Chase DC real estate for its small-town charm, friendly neighbors, a wealth of shopping and recreation opportunities, and more. Contact us today at the Donovan & Wye Group to inquire about purchasing a home or condo in Chevy Chase, DC.

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Office: 301-298-1001

Claudia Donovan: 202-251-7011

Pam Wye: 202-320-4169

Elizabeth Mandle: 864-704-2965


5471 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 300
Chevy Chase, MD 20815


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