Park-Like Settings and Easy Access to the City in Brightwood Park
The Brightwood Park neighborhood is one of the best neighborhoods in Northwest Washington for young professionals putting down roots. Most residents enjoy the urban feel, with multiple parks and easy access to most of the best of the District. The majority of those living in this neighborhood own their homes and tend to be both socially and politically liberal.
Though the neighborhood is split almost equally between rental properties and owner-occupied residences, the neighborhood still maintains a settled and well-developed feeling. There are many neighborhood amenities, and residents enjoy easy walking and biking access to these amenities, as well as easy commutes to most of the major employment hubs in the city.
Brightwood Park lies between Georgia Avenue NW, and New Hampshire Avenue NW, between Emerson Street and Missouri Avenue. It is a fantastic place to buy a home, and an equally good place to rent while working toward home ownership. This is truly one of D.C.’s best, most reasonably priced neighborhoods.
Home Ownership & Home Preference in Brightwood Park
As was mentioned above, just over 50 percent of Brightwood Park residents own their homes and just under 50 percent rent. The median home value in the neighborhood is well-above the national average at $501,261, while rent in the area is just barely above the national average of $949 per month. Brightwood Park’s homes are usually the unmistakable federal style – which is common in D.C.
Brightwood Park residents enjoy a median household income somewhat above the national median at $68,982 and just 15 percent of households in the neighborhood have children at home. 58 percent of neighborhood residents have at least some college education, while only 16 percent hold an advanced degree. Brightwood Park is a very racially-diverse neighborhood, with African-Americans making up nearly 60 percent of residents, Hispanics making up one quarter of all residents, and Whites making up the remaining 11 perecent of the neighborhood.
Commute Information: Getting to and From Work and School
The typical commute to the center of the city takes about twenty minutes by car. Residents commuting to the Georgetown area from Brightwood Park enjoy similar commute times, though traffic can be a factor when trying to get across town during rush hour. The neighborhood is only a ten-to-fifteen minute drive from Howard University, and even closer to The Catholic University of America.
The neighborhood is served by both the Yellow and Green lines of the Washington Metro, with access to both trains at multiple stations within easy walking distance of the neighborhood. A typical commute on the Metro to downtown D.C. from Brightwood Park takes about forty minutes, including the walk to a Metro station.
Brightwood Park also enjoys a good transit score and is rated as “very walkable” and bikeable. Bicycle commuting to the center of D.C. takes residents just under a half hour, and a bicycle trip to the Georgetown area takes about the same amount of time.
Outdoor Activities in Brightwood Park
For those looking for easy access to outdoor activities, Brightwood Park is a very good neighborhood to live in. It’s within easy walking distance of the city’s largest public green space, Rock Creek Park (our third oldest national park) and its many trails and other amenities. The neighborhood also has many smaller parks within its boundaries, and is near enough to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Piney Branch Park, that Brightwood Park residents have multiple options when it comes to getting outside for a little rest and relaxation.
Neighborhood residents looking to get a little indoor workout in have their choice of several fitness centers and gyms in the surrounding area. Twist and Turns Body Fitness, Second Wind CrossFit, Lime Lite Boxing and Fitness, and The Fitness Factory all lie just outside the neighborhood’s boundaries. Additionally, the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center is a quick walk from the neighborhood.
Family-Friendly Brightwood Park
The Brightwood Park neighborhood is very family-friendly, with a low crime rate, stellar walk score, access to lots of green space, and terrific schools. Crime in the area is below national averages for most categories and well-below inner city numbers. The neighborhood’s walk score, as mentioned above, is very good at eighty-nine, and the neighborhood also gets good marks for its access to transit and bikeability.
Also, as mentioned above, the neighborhood contains many small parks, including Petworth Spray Park, Grant Circle Park, and Sherman Circle Park, as well as several smaller, unnamed green spaces. The neighborhood is also situated close to several of the District’s larger parks. Brightwood Park schools include the Truesdell Education Campus, Clark Elementary School, MacFarland Middle School, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Briya Public Charter School, and Bridges Public Charter School.
The Social Scene
Brightwood Park residents looking to spend some time out on the town, have a few neighborhood options and several more within easy reach. The best spots to grab a drink in Brightwood Park are Anxo Cidery and Pintxos Bar, a Spanish cidery that also serves beer and wine along with Spanish foods; Simple Bar and Grill, a tavern that features ping pong; Sandovan Restaurant and Lounge, a Jamaican cafe; and Jackie Lee’s, a neighborhood bar with hard liquor.
For those willing to venture beyond the neighborhood, the area surrounding the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Georgia Avenue includes several restaurants, bars, and clubs, with a little something to suit just about every taste and budget.
Pet Lovers in Brightwood Park
The Brightwood Park neighborhood is a great place to keep a dog or other pet. Dog friendly parks in the area include Sherman Circle Park and Emery Heights Park. And, as mentioned above, the trails of nearby Rock Creek Park are a dog walker’s paradise. While there aren’t any pet supply stores within the neighborhood proper, The Big Bad Woof in nearby Takoma Park and the Petco in Mt. Pleasant are both within easy striking distance. The neighborhood also has a well-reviewed dog day care and dog walking service nearby, called District Dogs Inc., in Petworth.
But, if you’ll be moving with a dog into Brightwood Park, or if you plan to get one once you relocate, make sure to acquaint yourself with the standard pet laws of the District. Failing to clean up after your pet or allowing your dog to go leash-less off your property can be punishable by steep fines in Washington.
Senior Living in Brightwood Park
Seniors living in Brightwood Park have it pretty good. While there are no senior centers or services that cater specifically to seniors right in the neighborhood, there are several facilities nearby. Washington House, a senior citizen center on NW 8th, is just a few blocks outside of the neighborhood proper and there are five other facilities just a little farther away: Zion Baptist Senior Day Center in 16th Street Heights, Bernice Elizabeth Fontenau Senior Center in Park View, Brookland Senior Day Care in Lamond Riggs, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and Fort Stevens Senior Center at the Fort Stevens Recreation Center in Brightwood.
There are also several top-rated hospitals in the immediate vicinity, including Soldiers Home, Providence Hospital, Washington Medical Center, and Howard University Hospital. Medical care for seniors as well as activity, fellowship, and fun are never far from the neighborhood.
Culture & Arts in the Brightwood Park Neighborhood
There are no museums, cultural attractions, or performance centers directly in the Brightwood Park neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean that the neighborhood isn’t plugged into the vibrant cultural and arts scene of Washington. Within easy walking distance of the neighborhood are the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens, a treasure trove of French and Russian art objects; the Howard University Gallery of Art, and The Phillips Collection of modern art masterpieces.
Add these to the dozens of museums, performing arts spaces, and other cultural institutions a short bus or car ride into downtown, not to mention the bustling arts district in Georgetown, and the neighborhood is very well-positioned as a base for lovers of the visual and performing arts.
Given the diversity of the neighborhood, it should come as no surprise that the area’s restaurants are diverse as well. In addition to the restaurant/bars listed above, there are several restaurants in the neighborhood, clustered along the main thoroughfares that border and bisect Brightwood Park.
On Kennedy Street NW, locals love the Persian food and American classics available alongside craft cocktails at the Library Tavern. Locals also rave about the great tasting Chinese take out available from Twin Dragon on 3rd Street NW, as well as the fantastic barbecue over on Georgia Avenue NW at BBQ Bus Smokehouse and Catering.
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