Top 10 Simple Energy Saving Tips

It is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the options for green home renovations, especially the larger, more expensive ones.  For a simpler approach to greening your home, improving your health, and saving energy and money, consider the following recommendations for quick, inexpensive retrofits that you can do yourself.

To find out more ways you can improve your home's energy-efficiency, consider having a home energy audit conducted by a certified professional. To find qualified raters in your area, visit Energy Star's New Home Partner Locator and click on your state.

1. Replace your incandescent bulbs with CFLs. 

CFLs use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last up to ten times as long.  By replacing the five most commonly used bulbs in your home, you can save about $70 every year on energy costs.  The more you replace, the more you save.  For more information, visit our green topic page on compact fluorescent light bulbs.

2. Unplug appliances, chargers, and electronics you are not using. 

Vampire power (also called phantom energy) is the energy used by electronics that are turned off.  This can account for as much as 10% of your home energy use. To help combat these unused power drains, 

  • Keep outlets clear as much as possible.  

  • In areas where you have several electronics that are commonly used, consider plugging them into a power strip and turning the strip off when they are not in use.  This will prevent the energy drain that would occur if they were plugged directly into the wall.  
  • To help avoid tangled cords (especially when unplugged), consider purchasing a charging station or labeling the ends of the cords using tape or small labels with the name of the electronic it powers.  This will make it easier to identify what you're plugging in without having to retrace cords.  
  • Unplug electronics when they are fully charged.
  • Lawrence Berkley's National Laboratory claims that aggressive measures taken to combat vampire power can reduce the amount of standby electricity utilized in your home by about 30% (http://standby.lbl.gov/cutting.html). For more information, visit http://standby.lbl.gov/standby.html

3.    Install a programmable thermostat. 

Programmable thermostats are a great way to lower your energy bills by offering you pre-determined control over your homes heating and cooling schedule.  Not only does this save on energy by altering temperature to energy-saving settings while you are away or sleeping, it does it automatically according to your set guidelines allowing you to save energy without even thinking about it. Many models come with a filter sensor that tells you when to change your HVAC filters to further maximize energy efficiency.  For more information on programmable thermostats, visit our green topic page.

4.  Save water - Put aerators on faucets and install a low-flow showerhead. 

Aerators attach to your faucet to decrease the water flow while maintaining high pressures.  Since faucets make up around 15% of a typical home's indoor water use, decreasing the water flow on every faucet in your home can easily help save a significant amount of water.  Low-flow showerheads essentially work the same way, minimizing the amount of water you use while running the shower. Look for hardware with the EPA's Water Sense label for products that are at least 20% more efficient than standard models.  For more information on water savings, click here

5. Recycle.

According to the National Recycling Coalition, the average American discards 7.5 lbs. of garbage every day!  Recycling not only helps minimize this amount of waste being put into landfills, it helps minimize the use of natural resources and saves energy in manufacturing new products.  And the best part is, it's easy!  Put up bins in your garage or laundry room (if you have kids, let them decorate them) and sort your cardboard, paper, aluminum, glass, steel, etc.  Once every couple of weeks, make a trip to your local recycling center and deposit your recyclables.  For more information on the effects of recycling, check out http://www.nrc-recycle.org/theconversionator/shell.html.

6. Use eco-friendly cleaners.  

In 2007, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reported that 15% of all asthma cases were caused by exposure to unsafe cleaning products.  To avoid this and other negative effects, look for cleaners with the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) label or the Green Seal.  These products are held to rigorous standards ensuring the the safest ingredient in each class (bleach, sterilizer, etc.) is used.  For a complete list of DfE products, click here.  For a list of certified Green Seal products, click here.

7.    Fill air leaks with caulking or weather stripping.  

Cracks around your windows and doors can be a major energy drain on your home as they decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by allowing air to escape.  To avoid this problem, apply caulk or weather stripping around windows and doors or other spaces where air may be leaking through.  To find these spots, consider having a home energy audit done on your home by a certified auditor.  For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savings page on Caulking and Weather Stripping or check out our green topic page on sealing the existing home.

8. Plant a tree to shade your home.  

Planting a six to eight foot deciduous tree with high spreading crowns on the south side of your home can help increase the efficiency of your air conditioner by up to 10%.  Because of evapotranspiration (the process by which a plant moves and releases water vapor into the air), areas surrounding shade trees typically see a 9 degree temperature reduction, with a 25 degree reduction in the direct shade of the tree.  This can obviously yield tremendous energy savings by helping keep your home cool without the extensive use of fans or A/C.  For best results, plant a tree to the south of your home for maximum summer shading.  (If you have a solar system on your roof, do not plant directly to the south as the tree may block direct sunlight from reaching the solar panels.)  For more information, visit our green topic page on shade trees and windbreaks.

9.  Insulate your hot water heater and furnace. 

By putting a "blanket" of insulation around your hot water heater and furnace, you can reduce heat loss by 25-45%, reducing your energy bill by 4-9%.  Some blankets come pre-cut and ready to wrap around your heater while others require cutting and forming to fit your specific model.  These blankets are available at many home improvement stores or online.

10. Replace your HVAC filters.  

Energy Star recommends that you check your filters every month for excess debris that can restrict air flow and cause dust and dirt to enter your ventilation system and decrease your home's indoor air quality.  Filters should be replaced at least every three months or whenever they look dirty to avoid negative health effects and increase your HVAC's efficiency.  For more information on how to maximize HVAC efficiency, check out Energy Star's Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling

Going Green With Jill Schwartz

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With her passion for green living, Jill Schwartz is proud to be EcoBroker certified, allowing her to help clients find environmentally friendly homes in the DC area. The benefits to working with an EcoBroker certified agent are limitless.

BUYER BENEFITS

Work with a knowledgeable professional who cares:
EcoBrokers are trained on energy efficiency and cost savings of proper insulation, windows, appliances, heating and cooling systems and other home features that affect your comfort and your energy bill.

Make your new home a healthy environment:
EcoBrokers and their green network can help you improve environmental aspects of a home including indoor air quality, ventilation, use of low VOC paints and adhesives and reliable radon and water testing.

Complete cost saving energy upgrades and get the financing:
Your EcoBroker can help you get a home energy audit, identifying cost-effective energy upgrades and the specific monthly cost-savings. Get assistance with green financing tools that can actually pay for the upgrades.

Make a sound investment in a green property:
While the average U.S. Home lost 5.7% of its value in 2007, eco-friendly homes have held their value, many even appreciating in valorous. Come sale time, a green property typically appraises for 10% to 15% higher than comparable conventional homes. Your EcoBroker can help you find the right green home. 

SELLER BENEFITS

Sell for more, faster:
An EcoBroker helps you highlight the energy-efficient features of your home and make key upgrades, to increase your property’s value ad help you sell faster.

Highlight the important benefits of your home:
EcoBrokers are trained to market affordability and environmentally-sensitive and healthier features of the home. Sixty-three percent of buyers are motivated by the lower operating and maintenance costs that come with energy and resource-efficient homes.

Appeal to today’s green buyer:
EcoBrokers are tech-savvy professionals who have access to and can communicate effectively with today’s green consumers - 46 percent of today’s buyers would like a green home.

Make the pre-sale improvements that count in today’s market:
EcoBrokers can help you “green” the cost-effective and simple home upgrades you were inclined to do anyway. Turn typical pre-sale upgrades into marketable, cost-saving and health benefits to buyers.

Maximize Your Kids’ Summer Break

Spring Break is over, which is a bummer for your kids but a relief for you! It’s tough to find great activities to keep kids excited and invested in the activities you have planned. Spring break probably gave you a taste of what summer could look like, if the kids aren’t engaged. To keep kids engaged, and to expand their learning outside of the classroom, here are some great activities to maximize your kids’ summer breaks.

            Although the weather is not always as incredible as early spring this year, take advantage of any good weather to spend time outside. Once the hordes of tourists here for the Cherry Blossom Festival have left, take your kids on a walking tour of the National Mall and its monuments. The National Parks Service offers free guided tours that last roughly 90 minutes, which are a great way to exercise and learn. The tours include everything from Tidal Basin-specific walks to the Civil Rights Movement’s important events on the Mall.

            If your kids prefer something a little bit more exotic, take them to the National Zoo or Arboretum. The Arboretum has all kinds of hikes and wildlife activities, including everything from bonsai exhibits to native plant sales! If you opt for the latter, help your kids choose a plant and take care of it to teach them how to manage their time and responsibilities!

            If it’s pouring rain, explore the Smithsonian’s more kid-friendly museums, including the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. You could also stop by the newly-opened National Museum of African-American History. The American History museum is a great place for kids because it includes exhibits highlighting American innovation and ingenuity. Perhaps it will inspire your kids to create something wonderful.

            And sometimes, everyone is cranky and just needs a snack. Take a lunch or snack break at Ted’s Bulletin, a diner-style restaurant with several locations throughout the area. If you have a sweet tooth, try their amazing milkshakes and homemade pop tarts to sweeten up the day!

 

 

Green Ideas For Home Renovations

A remodel is always a great idea. This is especially true if you are growing tired of your home’s design and need a change. Remodeling your home is a great way to boost your quality of life, in addition to adding value to your home, should you decide to re-sell it. It’s also a great opportunity to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to anticipating what future buyers of your home—should you ever want to sell it—will be looking for. It’s also a chance to reduce your long-term living costs for the better.

One of the biggest trends we anticipate for future homebuyers is green living. That doesn’t just mean a great backyard, with enough space for a 4th of July barbeque. We mean planning for a greener future for your home, which can reduce your long-term maintenance costs as well as your bills. Here are two trends you can pay attention to when beginning that process.

Solar panels are a major overhaul, but a worthwhile one for the long-term. Think of them as an investment. Solar panels are a great way to cut down on your monthly electrical bill. They are also a great way to weather the power outages that periodically affect the Washington metro area. Furthermore, the next generation of home buyers will find your home far more appealing if you have planned for a better future.

When you’re repainting, use paints that have zero- or low-VOC content. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, and they can have negative short- and even long-term effects on your and your family’s health, according to the EPA! Zero-VOC paints are less durable than low-VOC paints, so opt with the latter.

Best Boutiques in Washington

Relish D.C. on Cady's Alley in Georgetown.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where he or she shows up to a cocktail party or holiday party wearing the exact same outfit as someone else. In a city like Washington, it sometimes seems like everyone is shopping at the same places. Your wardrobe should reflect who you are: distinctive, unique, and with an eye for elegance.

The next time you need a blazer or a dress for work or an event, go somewhere that’s guaranteed to emphasize your discriminating taste. Washington is packed with fantastic boutiques that are the best-kept secrets of the city’s most stylish women. The next time you’re looking for a new outfit, be inspired by some of Washington’s best luxury boutiques instead.

The tony neighborhood of Georgetown is home to a number of great boutiques that cater to those with an eye for fashion-forward and unique designer pieces. After brunch at the Viennese-inspired Leopold’s Kafe, hop across Cady’s Alley to Relish. Owner Nancy Pearlstein stocks a variety of perfect-for-Washington labels. In particular, explore the menswear-inspired Thom Browne, softly-tailored Lemaire, and the funky and contemporary stylings of Marni.

After stopping by Relish, head down M Street towards Hu’s Shoes and Hu’s Wear for more exclusive and distinguishing styles. With two locations that separate shoes from handbags and clothing, the boutiques’ owner Marlene Hu Aldaba is the “trend spotter” of the District. Look to her boutiques for cool kid pieces from Saint Laurent, timeless pieces from The Row, and channel your inner Audrey Hepburn with shoes from Florentine brand Salvatore Ferragamo.

But if you don’t consider yourself fashion forward, and instead want to be distinctive in the workplace while still appearing elegant, Nina (Nine-ah) McLemore’s Chevy Chase flagship store is the place for you. Her brightly colored yet conservative workwear is worn by Washington luminaries like Janet Yellen, Hillary Clinton, and Elena Kagan. The exquisite fabrics and comfortable fits travel well and are authoritative in the office.

Sometimes, though, there’s no denying that all you really need is a cozy men’s sweater. To prepare for a wonderful weekend in, or if you’re avoiding the cold outside, stop by the menswear shop MUTINY. They stock a number of soft wool cardigans and crewnecks that are a perfect compliment to your warm and wonderful home.

On your mark, get set, go!- Join Jill in this great cause!

The 8th Annual Bullis Give Back 5K run/2.5K walk and Buddy Run is a fundraiser to support charitable organizations. This year’s theme “Bullis, A Judgment- Free Zone,” will include a wheelchair accessible buddy run and obstacle course for children of all abilities.

This year proceeds will benefit the worthy organizations of KEEN Greater DC (www.Keengreaterdc.org) and The Diener School (www.thedienerschool.org) along with Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org) and SAFE (a fund that covers student activity fees and text books for Bullis students in need). We believe benefiting these fine organizations epitomizes the Bullis Philosophy of “reaching out into our community in the service of others”.

The Bullis Gives Back run/walk/Buddy Run is a family fun event that last year drew over 1,100 participants and raised over $40,000. The festive event features a beautiful cross country course, music, food, carnival games, and a wheelchair accessible track run and obstacle course. Raffle items will sure to delight with some fabulous grand prizes.

Essential Tips to a Cozy Home During A Snowstorm (And Places for Great Books, Too!)

If you’re anything like us, Winter Storm Jonas was a great opportunity to pull the blankets tighter and catch up on TV. It might also have been a reminder to keep up with your home maintenance schedule. Home ownership is a fantastic and exciting journey, but it’s easy to forget the less glamorous aspects of it. But before turning on the heat and tuning out to Netflix, here are some essential steps to making sure your home is as cozy as can be when winter comes.

            The best way to keep your home cozy is to proactively frontload much of the winter preparation before the temperature even drops. Of course, the most important part of staying warm is your heating system. The best way to prevent any expensive repair costs is to have a yearly checkup for your heating equipment. For fireplaces, get them cleaned every year. That way, you’ll really be able to compliment your hot chocolate when you’re snowed in.

            If you aren’t a hot chocolate drinker, there are plenty of great alternatives right here in D.C. For great coffee, stop by Baked & Wired in Georgetown or Philadelphia-based La Colombe’s new location on Blagden Alley. If you’re a tea drinker, the multiple locations of DC teashops Teaism or Capital Teas make it easy to pick up your favorite hot drink!

            But back to home maintenance. When the snow comes, it piles up on your roof. When the heat from your home melts the bottom layer of snow that drips into your gutters. In the gutters, the water can re-freeze and cause a heavy and dangerous build-up of ice, called an ice dam. To prevent ice dams, make sure your roof is well maintained and that your home’s insulation is sufficient. Check that storm windows are in good shape, too.

            The day before a storm hits, it’s best to salt your sidewalks to melt snow and tackle ice. That way, when you have to shovel, most of the tough work will be done for you! Sand is also a useful tool for improving traction, both in your driveway and in your car’s trunk for when you’re on the move.

            Most importantly, to keep cozy, get out your favorite blankets and sweaters to accompany your favorite teas and hot chocolate. If there’s a power blackout, you’ll definitely want to have great books on hand. If you can’t get all the way to Kramerbooks in DuPont, Capitol Hill Books by Eastern Market, or Politics & Prose in Brookland, make sure to check out the Potomac Public Library on Glenolden Drive or the Bethesda Public Library on Arlington Road.

Invest in DC with Jill Schwartz

With local communities rapidly developing into family-friendly neighborhoods, there has been no better time to invest in DC real estate. Neighborhoods such as Hill Crest and Brightwood are filled with investment-ready properties just waiting to be given some love and turned into a family’s dream home. With restaurants, shops, and entertainment popping up across these neighborhoods, investing in DC real estate is a smart, low-risk financial choice. I’m excited to watch these communities grow, especially with the help of investors like you. Check out these homes in up-and-coming neighborhoods that make for perfect investment properties.

http://mrislistings.mris.com/Matrix/Public/Portal.aspx?ID=66485533887

What a Year, 2015!

The Fernwood Estate Sold: $4,995,000

The Fernwood Estate
Sold: $4,995,000

With the start of 2016, many of us reflect on our hard work from the year past. After much dedication to my clients and their homes, I was given Washingtonian Magazine’s 2015 Realtor Award, as well as the title of DC’s go-to green real estate agent. In the past year, I sold over $20 million worth of homes, including the Fernwood Estate, the most expensive home of Bethesda in 2015. I am thankful for all of the support from my past and current clients, and I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. I look forward to a successful 2016, starting with finding your new home!

 



More than a Political Hotspot

Washington DC

Washington, D.C. is more than a political junkie's paradise. There is so much to do and so many aspects of D.C. life that contribute to its vibrant atmosphere. Of course, the suburbs outside of the city are excellent havens where Jill enjoys selling homes. But, part of what makes areas like Bethesda, Potomac, and Arlington so desirable is their proximity to the district center.

Coffeeshops

CAFFEINE CRAVINGS IN THE CAPITAL

While Seattle's finest has certainly made a home in the district, Starbucks is not all the nation's capital has to offer if you are looking for a caffeine fix. In fact, the district is buzzing with independent roasters whose hip and funky decor contributes to their allure. With free wifi and comfortable seating, D.C. coffeeshops find themselves inundated with professionals looking to work in a relaxed environments and friends meeting up for a cup of joe. Here are some of our D.C favorites

  • Tryst ~ 2459 18th St NW ~ this Adams Morgan institution's motto is "no corporate coffee. No matching silverware." With a full menu, bar, and open late, Tryst has it all.
  • Compass Coffee ~ 1535 7th St NW ~ a relatively new Shaw establishment run by 2 ex-marines with a true passion, roasting their own coffee in house! 
  • The Wydown ~ 1924 14th St NW ~ the 2 brothers who started this U St coffee bar seek to serve simple, but delicious coffee. They are all about efficiency without compromising quality, and they're good at it! 

Outdoors

GREEN AND GRASSY

There are so many ways to spend time outdoors in the district. Despite D.C.'s urban character, there is a lot of green space to take advantage of. Here are some of our favorite places to take in fresh air year round. 

  • The National Mall ~ head to the mall and relax on the grass with an iconic view of the monuments. There is nowhere else like it.
  • Meridian Hill Park ~ an often overlooked park, its 12 acres features a large cascading fountain and a Sunday drum circle gathering. This is a great place to take a stroll or toss a frisbee. 
  • The National Cathedral Garden ~ this tranquil garden and grassy area is lovely and provides an excellent view of the gorgeous cathedral. 

Restaurants

THE CUISINE SCENE 

D.C.'s restaurant scene is quite innovative. The diversity of people living in the district has translated into D.C. having some of the most wonderful selection of ethnic fare in the nation. Additionally, the nation's capital has a vast array of food options in terms of pricing. Everything from superb food trucks, a great bowl of chili from Ben's Chili Bowl, and excellent steakhouses have found their homes here. 

  • Le Diplomate ~ 1601 14th St NW ~ this French fare is a current must on the D.C. foodies' lists. This quaint restaurant can be on the pricier side, and be sure to get a reservation. But, it will be worth it. 
  • Founding Farmers ~ 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW ~ with its farm-to-table policy, this place does good food, green. From its farm breads to its hand crafted cocktails, it will not disappoint. 
  • Toki Underground ~ 1234 H St NE ~ this hip spot for ramen is said to be one of the best in the country. Toki's sake and dumplings will leave you wanting more. And, it won't break the bank. 
  • Zaytinya ~701 9th St NW ~ an Eastern Mediterranean small plates restaurant by José Andrés is just as great as you would expect from Andrés. A trendy vibe and great food; what more could you ask?

Activities 

INSIDE, OUTSIDE

D.C. is full of "things to do" beyond the classic museum and monument hopping. Here are some of our favorites at the Jill Schwartz Group. 

  • Kayaking ~ The waterfront has places to rentkayaks and on nice days the Potomac is teeming with them. Why? Because it's fun!
  • The Kennedy Center ~ Go see a show. The venue is unparalleled, and going to a show is always a special treat. Check out their calendarof events. 
  • National Zoo ~ With the latest addition of Bao Bao the panda and its free admission, the zoo is the place to be. Can't make it? Check out the live stream of Bao Bao here

Going Green With Jill

Going green can be tough, especially when it feels inconvenient. Here are some simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only will they make you more environmentally friendly, but engaging in green living will make you healthier (and hopefully happier!). 

Electricity~

Be aware of your energy consumption.  Unplugging your appliances and turning off your lights when you are not in a room are basic. Installing energy efficient light bulbs and heating and cooling your home to a reasonable temperature will minimize your impact. Purchase energy efficient appliances. While it may seem like a splurge sitting next to the less expensive washing machine, purchasing an energy star washing machine will pay for itself with a few utility bills and be a great return on your investment whether you plan to sell, or use the appliances with your family. 

 

 

  One of Jill’s specialties is green living. Something thing that often is overlooked when we talk about green living is the people; the environment is the focus. Going green is not beneficial for merely the environment, but also for you. Energy Star appliances and low flow toilets, for instance, are examples of home improvements that will lower your utility bills while also being less damaging to the earth –a good return on investment.

However, there are other aspects of green living that have a particular impact on your health. When your pest control company comes to spray your house, are you sure that this is a healthy choice for you and your children? Jill has recommendations for green pest control services. A seller is going to paint his home before you move in? Ask them to use eco-friendly paint. Furniture and building materials also affect the air we breathe. Jill is an expert at determining which options are best. Moreover, as Jill emphasizes, you do not have to sacrifice luxury to go green. Beautiful finishes and furniture are green and modern. You do not have to have an organic feeling house to be green. 

 

Consumer goods ~

Just as we often forget the impacts of the "new" formaldehyde smell associated with furniture on our health, items such as clothing and furniture can have a large impact on your carbon footprint. Buy durable items that you will have to replace less often, and can be donated if you decide to change your look or home décor.

Transportation~

Think about how many miles a week you drive in your car and what its gas mileage is. Consider how often you utilize public transit systems. Then think about many hours you spend being told to fasten your seatbelt on a plane each year. Public transportation is generally a more efficient choice than driving. Take the metro, walk, or bike. It is good exercise, and may save you time, considering DC traffic. Avoid the parking hassle too. 

Flying is also a very energy inefficient way to travel. Road trip instead, or plan a "staycation" and relax at a nearby hotel instead of taking a trip to Hawaii.  

Food and Water~

Buy local! There are some excellent farmer's markets in the area. Not only is a farmer's market adventure a fun outing, but generally the food sold is tastier and promotes sustainable habits.  that can make for delicious food, sustainable habits, and a nice weekend activity.  Buying local often not only means healthier food, but energy is saved on the shorter distance the food has to travel. 

Certain foods require a lot of water to grow. For instance, a 1/3 lb burger typically takes 660 gallons of water to produce. Did you know it takes significantly less water to produce a grape than to produce a walnut? In your home, install low flow shower heads. Once again, this will reduce your water bill as well. Win, win. 

Long Beach Island: A Jersey Shore Paradise

As many of you already know, Jill Schwartz is an established agent in DMV; however what you may not know is Jill is also licensed in Delaware and New Jersey. She can find you your second dream home. One place that is booming in the real estate world is Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. After being hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, the shore is making a comeback. Prices continue surging. Check out these stats and decide whether buying a beach home this year might be the right option for you. 

Not looking to buy, but want to get away? Long Beach Island is a haven for those wishing to escape from the city life and enjoy a simpler lifestyle on white sandy beaches.  This beach haven offers visitors a family-oriented environment with activities that appeal to both children and adults. 

 

Some activities to check out while in Long Beach Island include:

Fantasy Island Amusement Park

Everyone loves Fantasy Island Amusement Park! You cannot leave LBI without coming here for at least one ride on the Ferris wheel.  While not the largest amusement park, it fits well with the seaside town's charm. Plus, you don't want to miss out on the funnel cake here. 

South End Surf ‘N Paddle

Ready to learn some water sports? Then learn how to paddle board at South End Surf ‘N Paddle.  Paddle boarding is not just a fun activity, but also a great workout.  South End Surf ‘N Paddle offers great instructors that are able to teach anyone how to surf or paddle board for all levels and ages.

Skipper Dipper

Skipper Dipper is one of the best ice cream shops on the shore, if not in the United States.  Skipper Dipper is a family owned ice cream shop that has been open since 1978.  With lines that could go up to the end of the block, this is where everyone in LBI comes for ice cream.

LBI is a great vacation spot to blend leisure with entertainment.  Come to Long Beach Island, not just to escape from the stresses of your city life, but also to create memories with your family. 

Benefits of Being in Bethesda

Bethesda may be on the periphery of the district, but it is chock full of fun things to do, see, and eat. Jill calls Bethesda home, and for good reason. This family-friendly city does not lack nightlife, dining, or outdoor activities. Here are some of the Jill Schwartz Group's favorites. 

Outdoors, Activities

EXPLORE BETHESDA

  • Capital Crescent Trail ~ this trail goes far, from Georgetown to Silver Spring, but runs right through Bethesda. Walkers and bikers abound in this forested area. 
  • Glen Echo Park ~ bring out your childish side and hop on the carousel. This park is a hub of artistic activity, home to art organizations, studios, and galleries as well as a spot for many classes. Learn to dance, take a pottery class, or relax in the picnic area.
  • Strathmore Mansion and Music Center ~ The Mansion hosts smaller artistic performances, while the Music Center takes on the larger ones. Strathmore is a nonprofit and strives to maintain affordable tickets to the events its holds. Check out the calendar of upcoming performances. 

 

Dining

FROM FINE DINING TO FINGER FOOD, BETHESDA IS THE PLACE FOR FOODIES

  • Mon Ami Gabi ~7239 Woodmont Ave ~ VotedBethesda Magazine's 2015 top restaurant for Couples' Night Out Bethesda, this French Bistro has an extensive wine list and even a separate gluten free menu. Great for a romantic evening out. 
  • Black's Bar & Kitchen ~7750 Woodmont Avenue ~ this came in a close second, and you may have heard of its sister restaurants, such as Black Salt. Renowned for its incredible seafood, Black's is a splurge, but worth it. 
  • Persimmon ~7003 Wisconsin Ave ~ this American bistro run by a Bethesda native is a favorite for its gourmet fare and extensive menu
  • Bold Bite ~4901-B Fairmont Ave ~ a local favorite, this burger and hot dog joint is a casual experience, but still a delicious one!

Bars

BETHESDA BOOZE

Bethesda may be a family-orientated area, but that doesn't mean we all couldn't use a night out every now and then. These are some of our favorite places to do that. 

  • Gringos and Mariachis ~ 4928 Cordell Ave ~ tequila and whiskey are Gringos's specialty, and street tacos of course. Go for a margarita and check out some cool Día de los Muertos inspired wall art
  • Food, Wine & Co. ~ 7272 Wisconsin Ave ~ The beer and wine lists at this neighborhood bistro are so extensive you'd be hard pressed not to find something you will like (if you can decide at all!). They have a nice happy hour, too.
  • Caddie's on Cordell ~ 4922 Cordell Ave ~ Caddie's is a much more casual joint than the other bars. In fact, Bethesda Magazine ranked it as one of the top places for boys night out. This sports bar has a particularly large beer selection along with standard bar fare.