Forest Hills / Van Ness

Forest Hills / Van Ness

In-demand neighborhoods with abundant culture and green space.


Welcome to Forest Hills / Van Ness

Refined Forest Hills and trendy Van Ness together comprise two of DC’s most in-demand . Situated within Washington, DC’s northwest quadrant, these two are lined with trees and surrounded by open green space.

While the names are sometimes used interchangeably, Van Ness is typically defined as the area immediately surrounding the vibrant Van Ness main street and the University of the District of Columbia’s Van Ness campus. Adjacent Forest Hills is primarily residential in character, with diverse architecture lining leafy streets. Forest Hills is a designated Tree and Slope Overlay District, meaning building heights are restricted to accentuate the stately oak and maple trees.

Homes within the area range from early-1900s estates and multi-million dollar contemporary houses to the upscale modern amenities of the Park Van Ness luxury apartment complexes.

What to Love

  • The spectacular recreation area of Rock Creek Park
  • Vibrant Van Ness Main Street
  • A diverse and welcoming community
  • Tree-lined streets
  • Convenient access to other DC areas

People & Lifestyle

Forest Hills and Van Ness are diverse , with residents ranging from young professionals to retirees. The area is home to several embassies as well as Howard University School of Law, UDC’s Van Ness campus, and the Levine School of Music. The number of residents is roughly equal to the number of people who work in the area, with significant overlap between the two groups. The Metro Line station also makes it a convenient location for those working in other areas of DC. Local events include weekly farmers’ markets, an annual Halloween parade, frequent concerts, and other functions at UDC and the local embassies.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Van Ness Main Street has emerged as a magnificent strip of upscale commerce over the past few years. Highlights include the James Beard Award-winning Bread Furst bakery, refined Italian dining at Sfoglina, and an extensive drink collection at Calvert Woodley.

Connecticut Avenue is within walking distance and contains numerous well-established DC businesses, including the Politics and Prose Bookstore and Comet Ping Pong pizzeria.

Things to Do

Forest Hills and Van Ness enjoy proximity to some of the DC area’s best open green spaces. The Soapstone Trail winds through two miles of tranquil natural scenery. Rock Creek Park, the third-oldest national park in the United States, is directly adjacent to Forest Hills. Rock Creek covers 1754 acres of exquisite historic bridges and first-class recreational facilities. Amenities within Rock Creek Park include a golf course, outdoor concert venue, professional tennis stadium, planetarium, nature museum, horse , equestrian trails, and numerous historic cultural exhibits.


Forest Hills and Van Ness belong to the District of Columbia Public School District, with numerous outstanding public and private schools within the area.

  • Alice Deal Middle School: Grades 6-8, Public (an authorized International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB MYP) and known for its foreign language education)
  • Murch Elementary School: Grades PK-5, Public (U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School - 2007)
  • Hearst Elementary: Grades PK-5, Public (utilizes model to develop strong math and reading skills)
  • Edmund Burke School: Grades 6-12, Private (college prep)
  • Franklin Montessori School: Infant–K
  • Sheridan School: Grades K-8, Private Independent
  • Woodrow Wilson High School: Grades 9-12, Public (known for its academy system which tailors curriculum to meet student goals)

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