Potomac Community – Montgomery County

The quiet, gentle neighborhood of Potomac, Maryland is one of the most sought after residential neighborhoods of the metropolitan area. Good schools, shops and a lifestyle that blends city living with a touch of rural ambiance effortlessly draws those into its boundaries. Wishing to be close to the city, yet surrounded by a tranquil environment, residents enjoy the serenity their neighborhood provides as well as its convenience.

In 2009, CNNMoney.com listed Potomac as the seventh most affluent town in the United States. According to Forbes magazine, it is also the seventh most educated small town. And, in 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek declared Potomac as the 29th richest zip code in the country. Potomac started its development as a rural area and, although, times have changed, still maintains its intimate appeal.

The land, which is Potomac, was first settled by Edward Offutt after he received a land grant from Lord Baltimore in 1714. The area Offutt was granted lay situated near the Tehogee Indian Trail – a Native trade route used by the Canaze Nation. Throughout the 18th century, the area remained a small, rural community made up of planters and those who would travel through the region.

By the 19th century, a few small dwellings were evident, which led to the opening of a local tavern in 1820. Growth was slow and by mid-century only a community of 100 inhabited the town. Two general stores, a blacksmith shop and a post office served this community as new residents, who began to leave Washington itself, moved into the area.

Offutts Crossroads, the main intersection of the village, was renamed Potomac in 1881. John McDonald, an Irish veteran of the Civil War, settled in the region and petitioned the name change. He was successful and the neighborhood has remained Potomac ever since.

By the turn of the 20th century, Potomac witnessed a dramatic period of growth. Thomas Perry, who operated one of the general stores, built a house at the corner of Falls and River Roads in 1902. More residential building ensued. A larger community developed as more and more people left Washington in search of the suburbs.

With the advent of the automobile, Potomac received a massive boost. With the ease of this new method of transport, the neighborhood was no longer considered inconvenient. More houses were built, schools were founded and local businesses grew. In the 1950s, the area quickly transformed from rural farming land to an active suburban community.

Today, Potomac retains much of its erstwhile charm and rural heritage. Although, more roads and arteries have populated its region, it is still quiet and peaceful. Many of the old farmhouses remain and one of its first general stores – the Perry Store – has been restored and still stands near its original location near Falls and River Roads.

Also, at the intersection of Falls and River Roads is the Potomac Village shopping area. This area, which was the core of the original settlement, offers residents a cluster of upscale shops and businesses. Chicos and The Wireless Warehouse are here. Nike, Decora Cabinetry and Radio Shack are also in the area. Of course, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway and Starbucks are easily found as well.

One of the most popular restaurants in the neighborhood is Normandie Farm. This establishment has been a staple of Potomac, since it was first established in 1931. Serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, it delivers specialties such as Beef Wellington, Roasted Seabass and Chateau Briand. It has been a local favorite for decades.

Those who live in Potomac can testify to the neighborhood’s charm and significance. It is more of a village than a town. And, this village is one of the most unique in the Washington metropolitan area.


The stretching area known as North Potomac was established in 1988 from the fringes of Potomac, Rockville and Gaithersburg. Bordered by Darnestown Road in the north, Glen Mill Road to the east and south, Travilah Road to the south and Jones Lane in the west, the neighborhood is primarily residential in nature.

In 2009, CNN Money listed North Potomac as one of the wealthiest and best places to live in the United States. The magazine described the neighborhood as “… a tony town that sits on the bank of the Potomac River… beautiful old estates, top-rated golf courses and a number of riding clubs in the area are available to those with a flair for fine living.” In addition, Forbes named North Potomac as the 16th most affluent neighborhood in the United States (2008.)

The 2010 census found the area has 24,410 residents consisting of 8,040 households and 6,867 families. It is a residential area that is highly sought after due to its bucolic nature so close to the city. Houses and properties nestled in gentle hills, next to streams and along flat plains provide residents with a quiet setting. Impressive golf courses dot the landscape as do magnificent homes in both modern and traditional styles.

The main shopping areas in North Potomac offer residents both chains and boutique stores. Potomac Valley, boasts a barber shop, Fitness First, dry cleaners and Starbucks. Travilah Square, located across from Shady Grove Life Sciences Campus, a campus employing nearly 45,000 people, is a shopping area consisting of almost 61,500 square feet. In its retail spaces are local favorites such as Ledo’s Pizza and Bikram Yoga. A 7-Eleven is, also, at the complex for the convenience of shoppers. And, a third shopping center, Traville Gateway offers locals choices from Potomac Pizza to Potomac Beer and Wine. It provides locals a mix of boutiques and shops from which to choose.

Those who live in the area find it convenient yet private. Their spaces aren’t intruded upon yet the neighborhood is friendly. Shopping is easy yet mass crowds don’t infringe on their space. Major area highways and arteries are a stone’s throw away but the neighborhood is peaceful. A nice balance is met between busy city and private, country-style living.


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