5 “Backyard Towns” in the DC Suburbs

Sep 23, 2020

In these DC suburbs, you get plenty of outdoor space to spread out…

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the last six months it’s that home isn’t something, it’s everything. And while schools, restaurants and businesses are slowly reopening and scaling back up again, chances are we’ll be home a lot more than not, especially with colder months coming up soon.

That, though, doesn’t have to cramp your family fun—especially not in these DC suburbs known for not just A+ schools and family-friendly activities but, also, oversized properties that ensure your crew has plenty of space, especially outside.

With a big backyard the possibilities are endless, even when cooler weather or stay-at-home recommendations drop. Whether it’s adding a pool or playground, building out that amazing built-in kitchen and hang-out space or, simply, ensuring your kids have room to run and play, in these towns you’ll have it all, literally right outside your door.

Potomac, MD

Consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in Maryland, Potomac is known for A+ public schools and larger-than-average homes sitting on equally oversized plots of land. Instead of many DC suburbs that are marked by row houses, Potomac homes are spread out, ensuring everyone has plenty of space—indoors and out.

And when you do head out? Potomac is home to the Potomac Village Shopping Center and Westfield Montgomery Mall, which are packed with the name-brand shops your family loves, plus tons of local and independent restaurants and boutiques. Looking for something a little more action-adventure? Head to the Billy Goat Trail for hiking and biking along the water (three different paths ensure all levels have fun), part of the larger Great Falls network of trails.

Poolesville, MD

One of the best suburbs to buy a home, Poolesville has the strong public schools families want plus the amazing outdoor space the area is known for. It’s not hard to find a house on at least ½-acre—many even sit on one, two, three or even more, especially further out in town.

The properties, though, are just one reason families head to Poolesville. Many love the strong sense of community—and history—in and around town. The annual July 4th fireworks always draw a crowd, as do the local parks—Poolesville is considered to have the best parks systems in the entire state, which includes eight town-owned parks plus a swimming pool. During the holidays, residents hold a house-decorating contest, with neighbors going all-out to claim top honors.

Ashburn, VA

There’s a serious foodie scene in Ashburn that draws many DC residents, even before they opt to make the move. Home to the original Ford’s Fish Shack, the town’s foodie footprint has only spread from there. Here, you’ll find everything from high-end steakhouses to super-creative wood-fired pizzas to locally-sourced pub food and more.

Pair the foodie and entertainment with top-rated schools and it’s easy to see why Ashburn is such a draw for DC families. And on the backyard front, expect a lot—while not as big, on average, as Poolesville or Potomac, it’s easy to snag a quarter-acre or more, ensuring your crew has plenty of space when they want to get out.

Huntingtown, MD

Though less than 40 miles from DC, Huntingtown feels like it’s a world away. Live here and you’re just 10 minutes from the bay (and to Mel’s Crabs Seafood Market…) as well as world-class museums, galleries and hiking and biking trails, all in neighboring communities.

Another perk to life in Huntingtown: the acre-plus properties. A quick survey of on-the-market properties this year showed 80-90% sat on at least a full acre.

Fairfax, VA

While there are plenty of rowhouses and condos in Fairfax, the more traditional single-family homes tend to offer a lot of space—including large backyards. Purchase one of these homes and expect ¼-⅓-acre, giving your family plenty of space to spread out and enjoy.

Beyond just great properties, there’s lots to do in Fairfax. The community is home to the annual Chocolate Lover’s Festival, which happens in early February. This nearly two-decades-only tradition, the festival is a sweet lead-in to Valentine’s Day. Also popular: the Festival of Lights and Carols and tree lighting ceremony every holiday season.

The Fairfax Farmers Market, voted #3 in the state, is another perk to living in Fairfax as are the schools. The public schools consistently rank among the best in the state and the U.S. with extensive AP and IB offerings.

Looking for your perfect “backyard community” in DC or ANYWHERE? Get in touch and schedule your free Suburbs Strategy session now.

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