Upper Northwest DC Neighborhood Guide


We are grateful for the sponsors of this guide: Vassar Broermann GroupHagen Bergstrom, and Kelly Kelley. Each of these teams are experts for this area. Please be sure to check out thorough details about their practices below. We are thankful for their sponsorship, which allows us to continue to bring DC Area Moms resources like this.

What is your favorite thing about raising kids in Upper NW DC?

I love Upper Northwest DC because of how family-friendly it is. NW DC consists of several very populated, popular places to live like Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, and Chevy Chase DC. Be sure to check out our Woodley/Cleveland Park and Petworth Guides since they are similar to Upper NW. In this area, we have space for our kids to adventure, parking is easy, and there is a real neighborhood feel. The commute to downtown is easy and relatively quick so it doesn’t feel like we are far removed from the heart of the city. Upper NW is a place all it’s own, but still near places like Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Palisades, etc.

What makes Upper NW DC family-friendly and unique?

I think Upper NW DC is unique because families can actually get a little space IN the city. We were a family of five living in 850 square feet downtown and now we have a family home with a yard and tons of kids in the neighborhood. The kids ride bikes in the alley after school or play ball in the front yard. And we have several walkable playgrounds and parks. We like that we have several amenities around us while still living in DC proper. We do drive most places as a family of six and parking is typically pretty easy in Upper NW DC. 

What community events or local attractions are there?

We are near Rock Creek Park which has things going on constantly like horseback riding lessons. Plus there is the Rock Creek Nature CenterPlanetarium and Carter Barron Ampitheatre. They also have golf, tennis courts, picnic areas, biking, hiking, and walking paths. Rock Creek Park is a true “oasis” in the middle of our city with lots of trees and a creek. Always be mindful of ticks when roaming in the woods though. We love the Chevy Chase Community Center with the Library and the Tenleytown Library. These areas have convenient shopping, restaurants, and grocery stores. We also have American University nearby and the National Cathedral (which has an amazing playground at the Beauvoir School). Each Fall Connecticut Ave hosts a Trick or Treating event and so does the Chevy Chase Community Center. We also LOVE the free Wilson Aquatic Center. Just bring your ID and all DC residents swim at the incredible pool for free. There are lockers, classes (which fill up very quickly!), kids pool, and adult pool. It is a truly incredible facility.

Why would you recommend Upper NW DC to families?

I would recommend Upper NW DC to families because it has a strong family-friendly environment. Families who live here seem to settle down and stay a while. It is comfortable since a lot of properties have front and back yards. The homes, apartment buildings, and senior living facilities are not on top of one another since there is a little bit more space. 

What nearby schools or childcare places to kids go to?

A lot of students attend their neighborhood school in Upper NW DC. There are several highly sought after options in DC in NW like Lafayette Elementary or Janney Elementary. DC offers an option to lottery into schools too. To go to any schools in DC proper, families must live in DC proper. For childcare, several families have nannies, au pairs, or bring their children to a childcare place near their work or home.

Where are your favorite places to shop in Upper NW DC?

We have several places to shop (with free parking!). We have a new Target in Tenleytown (which used to be Best Buy) and a Container Store. Our kids’ favorite local toy store is Child’s Play. We could spend an entire day looking at all of the unique items they have for sale. And the staff is super helpful too and they offer gift wrapping. We also enjoy getting a treat or meal at Broad Branch Market. It is a small, local grocery store with delish food. A trip to Politics and Prose is also always exciting and they have events for kids too.

What are some of your favorite places to eat in Upper NW DC? 

There are several wonderful eateries in Upper NW. We honestly do not go out to eat that much, but if we do, we love local places like Guapo’s, Cactus Cantina, Rome Pizza and Sub, and Pete’s Pizza. And there’s Comet, Little Red FoxSugar Fox, and the famous Politics and Prose too. All super cute and delish. We also love all of the chain options like Cava, Chipotle, District Taco, and Nando’s Peri Peri. 

What places make Upper NW DC feel kid-friendly?

Upper NW is very family-friendly and there are lots of kids around. We love to spend time exploring at Rock Creek Park. There is so much to see and explore there with kids. The Chevy Chase Community Center which offers an array of classes like karate and gymnastics. And they even have tennis courts, a library, and a playground to play on while the child is in class. Brilliant! Tenleytown has City Dance Pop and we love the Tenleytown Library with their cute story times.

What advice would you give to families who are new to Upper NW DC?

I would encourage families that are new to the area to get outside and meet neighbors. Head to a local park or go for a neighborhood stroll and connect with others. Let locals know you are new to the area and they will freely share info about the neighborhood.

If someone was visiting Upper NW DC for one day, what would you recommend they do?

I would recommend families to grab breakfast at Bread & Chocolate and take a walk at Rock Creek Park. It’s a gem in DC! There is so much beauty to be seen in Rock Creek Park. While there, be sure to stop by their nature center or horse stables. Afterwards, I would suggest popping by Pete’s Pizza in Tenleytown to get a bite to eat (outdoors if you can), then head to Broad Branch Market for a treat. Afterwards, head to the Chevy Chase DC Library to check out some books and then walk over to Child’s Play to look at toys. End the day by having a meal at a nearby restaurant on Wisconsin Ave. or Connecticut Ave. 

Expert, experienced Realtors for Upper NW DC: 

Vassar Broermann Group 

Integrity is the hallmark of Todd and Eric’s client-focused real estate services, serving the DC Metro region. Their professionalism, creative negotiation, and unwavering drive to satisfy their clients are what set them apart from other agents. Todd and Eric have a genuine concern for their clients’ best interests and work tirelessly to ensure they are satisfied with their service before, during, and after closing. Both have been consistently recognized by the Washingtonian as among the Top 100 Best Agents and Top Producers. Todd’s legal background and Eric’s military background have provided them a unique perspective on what the role of an effective real estate agent should be: trustworthy, accessible, and professional. Todd and Eric are committed to understanding your goals and helping you reach them. Todd is a resident of Woodley Park and Eric is a resident of 16th St Heights.  Contact Eric or Todd at [email protected] or at 202-813-9339. Visit their website at www.thevbgroup.com and be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram too.


Hagen Bergstrom 

Marin Hagen and Sylvia Bergstrom specialize in DC’s Kalorama neighborhood, home to both of them. They are both locals from Cleveland Park. Kalorama features historic and “one and only” properties; luxury homes, condos, co-ops and everything in between, priced from $200,000 to $22,000,000 and beyond. They count among their clients Presidential candidates, Senators, Members of Congress, Cabinet secretaries, governors, leaders in the arts, medical, business, legal, non-profit and many more. Their business is nearly 100% repeat and referral, a testament to their high ethical standards, strong negotiating skills, energy and discretion. Sylvia and Marin consistently rank among the top 5 Coldwell Banker teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, among more than 2,078 sales associates in 30 offices. Contact Marin and Sylvia at [email protected] or at 202-257-2339. Visit their website at www.hagenbergstrom.com and check them out on Facebook and Instagram too.

Kelly Kelley with Compass Real Estate 

Kelly Kelley works closely with her clients throughout the DC/MD/VA area and has a well-earned stellar reputation for her extensive knowledge of the market, strong negotiation skills, and smooth transaction processes. Kelly‘s clients enjoy exceptional service and a client-focused, educational approach to buying their next home or investment property. Kelly has lived and worked in Washington, DC and Virginia for over 16 years.  She and her young family live in the Logan/U St. neighborhood.  She’s an expert in navigating the complexity of the school systems in and around DC and the surrounding suburbs, including but not limited to the DCPS lottery and area private school systems. Contact Kelly at [email protected] or at 540-529-4804. Look at her website at https://www.jaybarrygroup.com and be sure to follow her group on Facebook and Instagram

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping.