Kensington, MD – Town of Kensington Pros & Cons
People love Kensington for its small town feel but easy access to both city life and Rock Creek Park.
West coasters like a couple areas in the DMV – Kensington being one, Takoma Park being the other. People who live in Kensington have described it on local message boards as having lots of families, a great community with folks who are very down to earth, leaning crunchy.
North of Chevy Chase, east of Rockville and Bethesda, west of Wheaton, the Town of Kensington is a little incorporated pocket just outside the beltway in Maryland. There is an area around the town which is also Kensington, but not inside the town limits. There is another area over in what you would think is Bethesda, just east of 355 where White Flint is. And it’s oddly not contiguous, Garrett Park is in the middle.
Kensington offers easy access to downtown either via Connecticut or Wisconsin/355 as well as to 495/270. Those who commute can also use the MARC train or metro.
The surrounding areas are getting so built up it can be hard to get around at certain times of day. The Knowles/Connecticut Avenue intersection which will only get worse with new building.
In the late 1800’s, a DC Developer, Brainard Warner, purchased the land that is now Kensington after inspiration during a trip to London. The plan was to create a Victorian community. The town was incorporated in 1894. Kensington was first a summer refuge for those living DC, but as things around became built up, the Town of Kensington became one of DC’s great suburbs.
There are condos along University Blvd ranging from the $100,000’s to $300,000’s. There are new townhomes being built on Knowles and they range from the $800’s to just over $1M. There are some other communities with townhomes in the high $500’s.
For single family homes, the prices range very widely. There are smaller rambler/ranch homes in the $400’s – 500’s. Prices climb pretty steadily – larger house, more money. You’ll find split levels in the $700’s, especially over near White Flint. As you approach the $1M mark, homes are larger with 3-4 bedrooms with over 2000 square feet.
Where there’s really a jump is for the new homes. About 6-8 years ago, Developers started to teardown homes in Kensington. One of these developers is a good friend of my husband and I. He was before his time, and he built some gorgeous houses there. There have been many more teardowns of old ranch style homes since then. They are now replaced with large craftsman style homes – and they are selling in the $1.5M to $2M+ range.
Kensington is popular, and offers a variety of housing types and prices.
Kensington is popular, thus fairly competitive for the few houses that pop up.
Town Hall offers a Dining Guide. There are 38 Restaurants and Cafes. Go to @ExploreKensington on IG, or ExploreKensington.com to pull the most updated list.
Cute little restaurants with some high ratings are K Town Bistro, Frankly Pizza, Talia’s, Old Town Market, Jenny Cakes and the Knowles Station Wine Bar.
There is also a weekly farmers market, and Safeway right on Connecticut Ave.
Kensington has a Day of the Book Festival in late April with music, author readings and other literary events for kids and adults. They also have a great library too.
In summer they host a concert series at the Howard Avenue Park. Fourth of July there’s a bike parade. There are Movies in the Park on various summer dates. In September they have an art show, hold a Labor Day parade, train show as well as an 8K race. There’s a dog parade, Thanksgiving dance, Tree and Menorah lighting, and various arts events throughout the year.
There are 7 town parks and 3 county parks in Kensington. The town is actively working on improving Bicycle and Pedestrian safety and availability.
There are 3 shopping areas in Kensington. Old Town has antique row, which is usually the first thing people hear about when they talk about Kensington. West Howard has international food stores and other small shops. Kensington North has home décor, clothing and jewelry shops.
For fun, Kensington is all pros, no cons!
Two of the town parks have playground equipment for kiddos – Reinhardt Park and St. Paul Park.
There’s the Noyes Library for Young Children which is a small library just for the littles.
Depending on where you live in Kensington, you might attend Walter Johnson, Bethesda Chevy-Chase or Einstein. The school pyramid for the Town of Kensington is Walter Johnson High School.
Rezonings are happening, with a new high school coming so don’t get your heart set on high school right now if you haven’t had a baby yet. There is a significant possibility that the Kensington kids that now go to Walter Johnson will be zoned for Woodward when it opens. The parts of Kensington zoned for Bethesda-Chevy Chase is not part of any re-zoning plan. There are also parts of Kensington zoned for Einstein High School.
Two words: Dog Parade. People take their dogs for walks in Rock Creek daily.
Hopefully this gave you a good idea of what Kensington is like. It’s definitely an area that people seek out and it has probably been underrated for many years. In the last few it seems to have experienced a surge in popularity, and for good reasons! If you’re interested in learning more about Kensington I’m happy to assist! I have several clients who live there who really love it!