Moving To Silver Spring, MD
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Silver Spring is my hometown, so it seems like a logical place to start this Neighborhood Spotlight series. You should know that Silver Spring is huge and its revamped downtown is just one of many distinct neighborhoods. Truthfully, there is absolutely no way I will be able to tell you everything you need to know because, even as a local, I am still learning, but I will keep updating this post as I discover new things to do and places to eat.
Food. Let’s begin with my favorite subject—food. There is certainly no shortage of good restaurants to try in Silver Spring. Downtown, you will find a number of favorites. Among them is Mandalay, which is the place to go for Burmese food. Parkway Deli is equipped with a deli counter, pickle bar, and plenty of seating. There is typically a line out the door for Sunday brunch (don’t worry, it moves quickly). If you venture farther north into Wheaton, you will find Jewel of India, a D.C. area “essential” restaurant according to the Washington Post and a favorite among locals.
Commuting. I’m not going to lie, traffic in and around any major city is going to be bad, and D.C. is no exception. If you commute north in the morning and south in the evening, then you can expect a very tolerable commute. Congratulations, everyone hates you. Otherwise, you should seriously consider public transportation. Though our Metrorail is not open all night (be sure to check the timetables), the red line makes a wonderful alternative to sitting in traffic during rush hour. It makes a U-shape down the 270 corridor in Maryland, through D.C., and back up through the I-95 corridor in Maryland with four stations in Silver Spring. It is the best option for those commuting into D.C. For those commuting to other destinations in Maryland, the Metrobus operates all throughout Montgomery County and the MARC train provides service to Baltimore, Frederick, and even as far as Martinsburg, WV. Silver Spring is located in Montgomery County, which is vast. After years of debate, a highway (the Intercounty Connector or ICC) was built to connect the I-95 and 270 corridors. It begins in Laurel, MD and ends in Gaithersburg, MD and if you need to commute across the county, it will save you some serious time. You can cross the county in 20 minutes (even during rush hour) if you can stomach the toll that will cost you upwards of $7.00 round trip.
Shopping. Ellsworth Drive has played a key role in the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring. Here you will find restaurants, shops, the six-story Ellsworth Place mall, and a Majestic 20 movie theater. On Saturdays, the Silver Spring FRESHFARM farmers’ market lines the street. Parking is free on Saturdays so bring your reusable bags and “shop for conventional and certified organic fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meat, poultry and eggs, artisan sweet and savory baked goods, fresh milk, butter, and yogurt, goat, cow, and sheep cheeses, charcuterie, fermented foods and pickles, jams, jellies and sauces, honey, fresh oysters and handmade crab cakes, Maryland-made wines, beers, and ciders, flowers and plants, handmade soaps, and more!” Sorry—I love farmers’ markets…
Entertainment. Love movies? The Majestic 20 is a huge theater with all the latest releases and the 1938 AFI Silver Theater is just around the corner showing screenings, foreign films, and classics. Love music? The Fillmore hosts concerts by big-name artists and national acts and the Silver Spring Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events held downtown. Veteran’s Plaza opened in 2010 and is a public outdoor space that hosts the Jazz Festival as well as other festivals and concerts year round. The adjacent Silver Spring Civic Building contains a gallery space and a number of community-use rooms and can be used for banquets, performances, and meetings.
Schools. Good news for parents: Montgomery County is home to some of the best schools in the country. Regardless of whether you prefer to send your kids to private, magnet, or public schools, you will have plenty of options. Montgomery County has two school consortiums. The Downcounty Consortium consists of five high schools and the Northeast Consortium consists of three high schools. Each school has a specialty program. This gives students an opportunity to choose a school that will provide the best courses in their preferred area of study. That being said, some of the best schools in the state are not included in the consortiums so students need not feel pressured to choose a specific program if they are undecided. Click here to learn more about Montgomery County Public Schools.
Recreation. There are plenty of ways to stay fit in Silver Spring. Wheaton Park and Sligo Creek Park are popular among locals as they have beautiful trails and multiple playgrounds, but there are plenty of other parks, rec centers, and trails to explore. Sports leagues abound for children and adults alike and even horseback riding lessons aren’t out of reach.
Bottom line: Silver Spring is a wonderfully diverse place to live with plenty to do. There is truly something for everyone here. Whether you prefer downtown apartment living or you’d love to live in a quiet neighborhood where your yard will be a point of pride, the options are endless.