The Best of Washington DC 2014: An Annual Survey

Mother smiling with her child

The Best of Washington DC: An Annual Survey
A LawnStarter report that analyzes neighborhoods around Washington DC.

Click here to download the Washington DC Annual Survey on PDF.


The Washington DC Area, referring to Northern Virginia as well as Maryland suburbs, is one of the most coveted places in the country to live. It has a sturdy history and continues to be both a beautiful and fun place to live. Despite its population growth, the DMV is still a haven of pristine lawns and ornate gardens – which is why LawnStarter began in NoVA. LawnStarter services Prince George’s County, Loudon County, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Montgomery County, Prince William County, and the cities of Alexandria and Washington DC. Over the years, we’ve collected a large amount of market research for the area. The amazing thing is, a lot of this data – lawn sizes, price of services, population density – can also serve as a good indicator for living conditions. So we took our existing data and coupled it with further research to bring you this guide. We focus on lawn care, family activities, retirement, business opportunities and more. Please refer to this as a guide to living and prospering in the DC/Northern Virginia Area. This is the best of Washington DC.


Table of Contents

I Family

  • Best “Green-to-Gravel”
  • Best Eco-Friendly Areas
  • Best Landscaped Neighborhoods
  • The Biggest Lawns
  • Best Suburbs For Retirement

II Business

  • Best Places To Build A Lawn Care Business
  • Best Places To Hire New Talent
  • Top 5 Regional Colleges For Turf Management

III About LawnStarter


The Washington D.C. area might be the perfect place to raise a family. With its gorgeous scenery, endless family-friendly activities, and access to wonderful schools and colleges, it is certainly one of our nation’s top family hubs. There’s never a shortage of things to do in the beautiful Washington D.C. Area. The weather is desirable, never too extreme. The only difficulty may be choosing a neighborhood to settle down in, because they’re all so great. To help you out, we gathered a ton of data and analyzed it to discover some insights about settling down in the DC area.


Top 5 “Green-to-Gravel” Towns

In many modern cities, long stretches of green grass are becoming increasingly rare. “Paved paradise, put up a parking lot,” as Joni Mitchell would say. A good town though, no matter how metropolitan, will always try to balance out its industrialist visage with a bit of natural beauty. Our “green-to-gravel” ratings are just that: a ranking of the cities with the best ratios of greenery (grass, trees, parks, gardens, etc) to streets, concrete, and parking lots.

1. Poolesville, MD
2. Fairfax Station, VA
3. Potomac, MD
4. Springfield, VA
5. Olney, MD

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Areas

At LawnStarter, we’re big proponents of eco-friendly practices. By working with companies that utilize integrated pest management, eco-friendly fertilizers, and other green initiatives, we support a sustainable approach to landscaping. In addition to being good for the environment, eco-friendly practices make for a safer place for your children to grow up. We ranked these areas by the access to public transportation, the volume of consumer demand for eco-friendly lawn practices, and the evironmental regulations in place. Here are the top eco-friendly places in the DC area:

1. Bethesda, MD
2. Silver Spring, MD
3. Arlington, VA
4. Reston, VA
5. District of Columbia

soccer field green natural grass

Top 5 Best Landscaped Neighborhoods

It’s the age-old neighborly competition: who has the better lawn? Well, you and your neighbors need not battle any longer, because we compared neighboring suburbs instead. Turns out, you and the Joneses might both have better lawns than the next town over. To rank these, we took into account many factors, including weather patterns, total green space, uniqueness of landscape installations, sustainable practices, and neighborhood desirability. Here are the 5 best landscaped DC suburbs:

1. Potomac, MD
2. Great Falls, VA
3. Bethesda, MD
4. Alexandria, VA
5. Leesburg, VA

Top 5 Areas With Biggest Lawns

Everything is bigger in…Virginia? Wait, that couldn’t be right, could it? Well, it could be if you’re talking about lawn size. If you live in the NoVA area, you know that folks take their lawns seriously. It’s a tribute to what you’ve worked for in life. Therefore, our area has cultivated some pretty incredible lawns, suitable for the most competitive of flag football matches or the craziest of lawn games. We used public date on Zillow to rank the DC suburbs with the biggest lawns. Did your town make the list?

1. Fairfax Station, VA
2. Potomac, MD
3. Great Falls, VA
4. Vienna, VA
5. Oakton, VA

Top 5 Areas For Retirement

Retirement…ahhh the golden years! After a lifetime of hard work and productive measure, it’s time to settle down, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Where you do this depends on manyfactors, like your family’s location, your choice of hobbies (skiers like mountains, fishermen like lakes), and the availability of resources in the neighborhood. Turns out, Northern Virginia has a swath of great neighborhoods to settle down for retirement. Here are the top 5:

1. Reston, VA
2. Laurel, MD
3. Manassas, VA
4. City of Alexandria, VA
5. McLean, VA

Senior couple holding hands silhouettes

Doing Business in Washington DC

Top Cities To Build A Lawn Care Business

With large lawns, populous suburbs, and a focus on well-maintained yards, it’s no surprise that the DMV is a great place to build a lawn care business. In fact, this is why LawnStarter chose to launch in Arlington. Factors to consider in where to start a lawn care business include the proximity to dense single-family neighborhoods, lawn sizes, demand for lawn care, and proximity to good hiring talent. Here, we rank the top 5 Washington DC suburbs for building a lawn care business:

1. Centreville, VA
2. Manassas, VA
3. Woodbridge, VA
4. Poolesville, MD
5. Germantown, MD

Best Places To Hire New Talent

To grow a great business, you need to hire great employees. In our minds, there’s nowhere better to do this than the Northern Virginia/DC area. With its great business culture and its proximity to some of the nation’s top colleges, there is no shortage of great talent to be plucked. Young and old, you’ll find plenty of great workers if you look in the right neighborhoods. Here, we rank the top 5 places to find talent to hire for your company:

1. Wheaton-Glenmont, MD
2. Manassas, VA
3. Gaithersburg, MD
4. Silver Spring, MD
5. Annandale, VA

Top 5 Regional Colleges For Turf Management

It’s smart to reach out to college grads (and possibly current students for summer work) for so many reasons. Young people, college graduates, are the most likely age group to be underemployed. That means they want to work and work hard. College grads are educated, energetic, fit, and tend to have great attitudes toward work. It’s especially beneficial to find a college with any type of agricultural program. Here, according to national college rankings as well as the opinions of the area’s top landscaping companies, we rank the best colleges for turf management within the region:

1. Virginia Tech
2. University of Maryland
3. Montgomery College
4. Northern Virginia Community College
5. Harford Community College

About LawnStarter

LawnStarter is the easiest way to order lawn care. Born in the DC Metropolitan Area, the company is fixing the fragmented lawn care industry with high technology and a seamless customer experience.

LawnStarter is also a leading voice in landscaping technology, business, community, and education. The company’s research and writing has been featured in top business journals, university websites, and opinions pages.

We’re a new take on the lawn care industry. We love our DC roots and hope you enjoyed our guide to the city and surrounding area

Need help tending to your lawn? Visit our Washington lawn care page for more info! In addition to Washington, we also provide lawn care service in Alexandria, Arlington, Woodbridge, and Fairfax.


Alex Birkett

Alex Birkett is marketer and writer. Aside from mowing lawns, he loves snowboarding, eating sushi, and lifting heavy weights. He moved to Austin, TX after graduating from the University of Wisconsin.