Palisades Washington DC Homes for Sale
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Homes For Sale in Palisades Washington DC
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The Palisades Neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
When you ask “Who lives in Washington D.C.?” there’s a few obvious answers. The sitting President who lives in the White House, and all the sitting members of congress who own property and commute to and from the central district. But the nation’s capital is home to far more than just the elected officials. Rubbing shoulders with them are dedicated professionals, hard workers and people of the country who moved locally or from far off across the nation. Washington D.C. is a city set apart from any other in America for plenty of reasons, and the quality of life is assured as being among the highest in the nation.
For those who wish to live in this sprawling, exemplar of metropolitan incorporation, there are plenty of options which offer all the amenities of life and good living. One of those places runs along the coast of the Potomac, from the very border along the invisible wall of Maryland down to the entrance of the Foundry Branch Valley Park. This exclusive strip along Canal Road is known as The Palisades, an exclusive community for the people who want to live like Presidents of their own land.
A Brief History
The Palisades have been in existence since the early 1900s. It’s the most western part of the official DC area, just north of Georgetown. It was originally overseen by the Conduit Road Citizens Association in 1916, but went on to change its name to The Palisades along with the change of Conduit Road to MacArthur Boulevard. The town is full of its historic buildings, including the Francis Scott Key Elementary School founded in 1928 and the Palisades Community Church in 1923. The neighborhood grew and expanded through the mid-century development spree which saw the rise of other prominent neighborhoods in the surrounding metro area, but through it all, the Palisades retained its small town charm and aesthetic providing a nearby suburban break from the big city splendor of Fairfax or the central D.C. downtown.
Excellent preservation efforts have seen the old buildings renewed and retained in their historic state. Renovations keep them looking like new, but not making something new out of them. The town and its residents maintain a status quo of excellence in all of the historic sites along MacArthur down the Canal Road. New businesses and buildings are always coming up, but never to replace or sweep away the history that remains in place. People live in history when they live in the Palisades, both modern and distant to the area.
What do the Palisades Offer?
Why move to the Palisades? There are so many neighborhoods in D.C. alone, almost too many to choose. Obviously, if the free choice was given to live anywhere and in any house, most people would pick the White House, just for fun. But in terms of the real livability in the area, the Palisades offers a great intersection of the worlds of extreme luxury and down home simplicity.
A lot of work is done to preserve this old-school Americana the way it was built and in the way that made it so popular.
Being on the fringe of D.C. puts you right in proximity to the nation’s capital and everything that surrounds it. Commuting is a simple matter. Any road going east will eventually lead to the capital grounds. It’s mere minutes to anywhere by car. From Key Bridge to I-66, Georgetown or Bethesda, you’re in reach of all the major metro hotspots where the other communities are centered. Though there’s enough to do within the Palisades community region that there’s hardly a reason to go far at all.
First there are the parks. Two major parks are in the area. First is Battery Kemble Park, historically a defensive point for the Union Army defending the capital grounds. It’s between Chain Bridge and McArthur Boulevard. It’s an all year park administered by the National Park Service right in their literal backyard, so it has some of the best walking and biking trails you can find. It’s also safe for dog walking day or night. It’s open all year round with various available activities each season, including sled riding in the winter. If you’re a boat enthusiast, the Potomac is open to explore via the Fletcher’s Boathouse. It’s been operating since 1850 for canoes, row boats and kayak rentals to tour the lake as close as you can get without getting too wet.
The Palisades has an operating Recreation Center on Sherier Place with a wide open, renovated park that includes various fields for kids and adults alike to come together and play. There’s a soccer pitch, a softball field, multiple tennis courts, basketball courts and a sprawling playground full of climbing equipment for kids. It also runs after school and summer programs for all-year engagement. For adults, unique classes and seminars can be scheduled out of the rec center. It’s a hub of community interaction for all ages.
Less centralized is the Hardy Rec Center on 45th and Q Street. It also has a host of fields and courts along with its own unique playground with a well maintained sandbox area that is kept clean and tidy for kids to play in. Other nearby parks include the Volta park and rec center, which has a public pool and separate play areas for the younger and older children. The Montrose Park has a hedge labyrinth and a wide, soft lawn for casual walks outside. The Friendship Park, aka Turtle Park, is one of the busiest in the area, existing at the intersection of several communities. There’s always people around, and kids playing, making it a very social place to meet new people.
For the spiritually devoted, there is no discrimination at hand in the Palisades. Everyone is welcome and all faiths are honored. There are churches for everyone, even those with a passing interest in their faith, or those seeking to rekindle a spiritual spark that has gone missing during life in the big city. The old Palisades Community Church is still standing, renovated many years on as a pillar of the community. Saint David’s Episcopal and Saint Patrick’s Episcolap churches are within reach, offering various additional services and optional mid-week services for those with work that doesn’t break on the Sabbath. The Science of SPiritual Meditation Center offers a place for multi-faith worship and education managed by an international nonprofit which explores spirituality in unique, modern ways.
One of the oldest buildings around is the Palisades Branch Library. It has stood in its place since 1964 - which makes it close to 80 years old. It is a functioning library with comprehensive educational resources and hundreds of periodical subscriptions to peruse. And it’s modernized, allowing book and resource rentals via any digital device using the building’s free wi-fi. Kids can come and learn in the Children’s Room which hosts reading and easy to digest lectures around the year to help enrich young growing minds. The library also has a range of clubs that meet monthly, including a Film Club, Young Adult Literature Discussion, and a Graphic Novel Book Club.
The PCA arranges and organizes yearly events for all residents. These take place throughout the neighborhood and township, for the Palisades by the Palisades, to grow and enrich the bonds of community that people share. During Easter the neighborhood hosts an Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck Breakfast out of the rec center. Children hunt for eggs while parents can take in a community driven breakfast with live music to set the mood. An annual family night at the Fire Station brings people together around one of the most important services in the community to show support, fundraise and have fun with a barbeque and haunted forest walk.
The Palisades invites everyone who wishes to be a neighbor to not just be a person in a house down the way, but to be a part of the community. These events and memories are made with the unified efforts of everyone. It goes beyond simply collecting HOA fees. The Palisades owes its great status to the unity of its people. They aren’t just inhabitants of D.C. They are members of the Palisades first, D.C. citizens next.
Out and About the Town
Obviously there’s plenty to do and see in the nation’s capital. After so many visits to the historic landmarks, the capital grounds, monuments and historic landmarks, one can run out of important things to see and learn about. The Palisades isn’t a place to stage a patriotic vacation, it’s a homestead for generations. It’s a place where people live. It’s also a place where people shop and work.
The Farmer’s Market is always close by and opens its many stalls to the residents, offering freshly picked and unprocessed food from the farms just outside D.C.’s metro area. While the farmers replenish their stock, a Whole Foods offers up much of the same direct to table freshness with additional brand choice and unique options to pick from. For much bigger shopping, without a fear of industrial processing techniques, there is a Safeway and a CVS near the big draw of the traditional walkable commercial street sector.
The MacArthur Commercial Corridor is an old school walk-by street of businesses, young and old, big and small. The iconic former McArthur Theater is now the home of the CVS drug and pharmacy after changing hands and use in 1997. Alongside it on this stretch is a traditional Japanese restaurant with a tasting menu for their exotic fare, Listrani’s, a homey Italian shop, the Palisades Pizzeria and the eponymous Clam Bar. If you’re a fan of Belgian cuisine and cafe culture, you’ve got a surprising choice. Et Voila and Sur La Place are a competitive walk from one another with different environments but similar attitudes.
Everything you need is all located along one street. MacArthur Boulevard runs through the whole town, staying to the south as the boundary of the Palisades continues on along Resevoir Road after an intersection. This goes on all the way until both roads merge into Foxhall Road at Foundry Branch Valley Park, where the neighborhood officially ends. Just on the other side of the park is Georgetown University, one of the largest campuses in the area. There’s quite a lot of business to cover in that span. Food cultures from all over the world along with services that can help settle any and all domestic necessities, from dry cleaning to vacuum repair.
That’s not to mention the regions just outside. Across the Potomac is the whole of the greater Fairfax area and the city of Arlington. Further north is Bethesda of Maryland and all the commercial commodities that such a place still has. The Palisades is perfectly wedged in the middle of many high profile communities yet stands out on its own as a separate, unique and private affair. It’s quiet and secure, ignoring the loud rush of the city for a close-knit, homely environment shared by locals and safeguarded by their loyalty to their ward. You can get what you want somewhere else, but it should always come back to the Palisades.
Family Life in Palisades
The Palisades is definitely a family-centric community. Houses are usually passed down to children as future owners, or inherited when the original owners leave for a more comfortable rest. Houses rarely come on the market. When they do, the price will exceed $1 million, and can go upwards of $3 million. This is the price of a lifetime commitment to the Palisades, which in return gives a lifetime of support to you and your family for generations to come.
The Palisades has some of the best public schools in the D.C. area, including Francis Scott Key Elementary school, one of the highest ranked in the whole district. Private schools of Our Lady of Victory, Lab School and Georgetown Day School offer more unique and expansive educational roles for children to take on. The Washington Waldorf School remains the top contender of private schools for children up to graduating young adults. Even preschoolers have some of the best choices to make in the country, with the Community Preschool of the Palisades offering a community driven spirit and curriculum co-managed by the local teachers.
The Palisades is a high income, high performance and high quality of life neighborhood for those who want proximity to the highest stage of government in the country while also having a dependable, small town style home to return to. Houses in the area are detached and independent of one another, with townhouses and apartments in the south. Homes built along the Potomac bluff get a gorgeous one of a kind view of the riverfront as the sun lowers in the west across Virginia’s half of the water. It’s a sight worth seeing at least once in your life. Living there means you can see it every day, and all the things attached to it.
Homes listed on The Palisades are exceptions rather than a norm. People often stay for as long as they can. A home for sale means that someone is moving on, finding a new path and untracked land to settle into. It means they are leaving a spot in the community where they were known for many years, where they made many friends and where they saw all the high points of their life grow up with their home town. They are leaving a house, but the Palisades go with them in heart. That same spirit can be in anyone who has the ability to move in.
The Palisades is the premier neighborhood in Washington D.C. If you live here, when someone asks where the best place to live in the whole capital is, you’ll let them know it’s not the White House. It’s your house.