The River Falls clubhouse is the hub of this Potomac neighborhood’s social life, with swimming, tennis and “dive-in” movie nights. Photo by Skip Brown



For many residents, life in River Falls revolves around the community clubhouse. “The swim-and-tennis club is really the hub of the neighborhood,” says Anne Killeen, a real estate agent who grew up in River Falls and raised her three children there. Neighbors in this tree-lined Potomac community, built in the ’60s and ’70s, get together for everything from swim meets, tennis matches and yoga classes to “dive-in” movie nights, dance parties and progressive dinners. Residents gather for Memorial Day picnics, Fourth of July parades and doggie swims. “There’s always something interesting going on,” Killeen says. Three different community associations oversee recreation, civic matters and common areas. Location is another perk: The C&O Canal is a 10-minute stroll away. In light traffic, you can get to The Kennedy Center in 10 or 15 minutes. Says Killeen: “It’s kind of a nice hidden secret.”


David Pier has played on the Kentlands men’s over-35 basketball team, and he’s also played guitar in the Kentlands Acoustic Jam band. “It was an opportunity to meet people I probably never would have met,” Pier says. There’s always something going on in this Gaithersburg neighborhood. The clubhouse hosts swim meets, tennis matches and concerts. At the Carriage House, the historic Kentlands Mansion and the refurbished barn, residents enjoy the performances of jazz bands, chamber musicians and nationally recognized folksingers. Summer brings outdoor concerts, theater performances and magic shows. The Kentlands is built in the New Urbanism style that encourages walkability, and its colonial-inspired homes and condos—brick buildings on small lots—are within minutes of shops and restaurants. “I like the fact that you’re really close to a lot of things,” Pier says.


Unless you’re looking for it, you might not find Timberlawn, a community of single-family homes and townhouses in North Bethesda. “Most people simply drive past the area on the way to somewhere else,” says Marc Luger, a real estate agent and former Timberlawn resident. But the people who live there know what it has to offer. Residents have access to a pair of swimming pools and tennis courts. The 13.7-acre Timberlawn Park features two soccer fields, a basketball court and a playground. The park even has a network of walking trails. Set back from Old Georgetown Road, the neighborhood was built in the 1980s. Many of the homes are large colonial-style houses on roomy lots along winding roads and cul-de-sacs. The Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station and entrances to I-495 and I-270 are less than a mile away. “It’s a great area for commuters,” Luger says. It’s also within walking distance of North Bethesda Market, where popular spots include Whole Foods and Seasons 52.

“It’s kind of a nice hidden secret.”
—Anne Killeen, who grew up in River Falls

Bethesda: Bannockburn, Bradley Park, Carderock Springs, Crestview, Drumaldry, East Bethesda, Fort Sumner, Mohican Hills, Wildwood Manor, Wyngate
N. Bethesda: Luxmanor, Timberlawn
Chevy Chase: Chevy Chase Section 5, Chevy Chase Village, Kenwood, Rollingwood, Chevy Chase, D.C
Kensington/Garrett Park: Chevy Chase View, Old Town Kensington, South Kensington, Garrett Park
Gaithersburg: Crown, Kentlands, Washington Grove
Potomac: Merry-Go-Round Farm, River Falls
Rockville: King Farm, Old Farm, Rockville’s West End
Silver Spring: Woodside Park