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Palisades: A Quiet Hamlet With A Twist


Where can you find a neighborhood with the feel of a small town nestled by a river with all of the amenities and excitement of living in a big city?  Hint – you can’t find this in New York.  Give up?  Impossible, right?  Not if you live in the Palisades neighborhood located in Northwest Washington.   Running alongside the Potomac River from the edge of Georgetown University to the Maryland boundary, the long and skinny Palisades area combines green spaces with impressive sunset views of the Potomac.  While sometimes overshadowed by Georgetown and other prestigious neighborhoods on its borders, Palisades residents tout the close-knit community spirit, fine dining options and family-friendly environment as major draws for the area.  And, did we already mention it’s one of the few communities overlooking the Potomac?

The housing stock reflects the eclectic mix of families and urban professionals who call Palisades home.  Options range from detached houses, townhouses, and apartments, to newer construction. Architectural styles vary with Victorian masterpieces coexisting side-by-side with Colonials and bungalow homes perched on the bluffs.    One of the area’s signature events is the annual Fourth of July parade that typically winds around the corner of Whitehaven Parkway to MacArthur Boulevard, ending at the entrance to the Palisades Recreation Center.  Residents enjoy a free picnic afterwards with live music, pony rides, and moon bounces.  Additional family attractions include the Palisades Museum of prehistory.  The Francis Scott Key public elementary school provides additional incentives for young families looking for the ideal area in which to raise their children.   A nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School and one of the top ranked schools in the District, the Key Elementary School enjoys an active PTA presence in its kindergarten through grade 5 programs.

Fine dining is another lesser known attribute of this neighborhood jewel.  A Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm on the corner of MacCarthur and 48th Street.  The Market offers a selection of seasonal produce, baked goods, and fresh flowers as well as a popular gathering spot for locals.  Top-ranked restaurants attract a following outside of the ‘hood.  Favorites include Makoto, a traditional Japanese restaurant, the BlackSalt Fish Market (half seafood market, half restaurant), Et Voila (a Yelp favorite for brunch), and Figs Lebanese Café, among others.  Some offer parking, a rarity with DC dining.

While lacking a Metro Station, Palisades is served by several Metrobus lines and is ideal for residents who own cars.  The nearby Key Bridge provides easy access to I-66, Route 50 as well as Georgetown and the GW Parkway.

A quiet hamlet, Palisades combines seclusion and family-friendly programs with urban amenities, including appealing restaurants and close proximity to other vibrant city neighborhoods.

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