6.9 out of 10

Hillcrest

Ranked 39th best neighborhood in Washington
38.8641398339393 -76.9632203284565
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Clean & Green
  • Internet Access
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Parking
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Schools
  • Eating Out
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Schools 1/5
2yrs+

"Hillcrest - Happy 19 Year Resident"

First, kudos to the previous posters for their rightfully-glowing appraisals of Hillcrest. As a happy 19 year resident of two Ward 7 neighborhoods (Hillcrest for 6 years; neighboring Dupont Park for the last 13), I wanted to chime-in with some deeper context and, respectfully, some important clarifications:

CarrieB wrote: "It is a trek to get to, and nowhere near any of the action in the downtown area."
Yes, Hillcrest is further out than downtown row-house neighborhoods on the Metro line (ie: Columbia Heights, DuPont Circle, etc...). But Hillcrest should be compared to other single-family, 'suburban-esque' neighborhoods. Comparing 'apples-to-apples,' I just did Mapquest for driving-time to The Hamilton night-spot in central downtown DC from a good friend's home in Chevy Chase, NW which at 6.7 mi. is comparable to the 6.2 mi. distance from Hillcrest. Yet, it will take 42 min. to drive from Upper NW to The Hamilton, as opposed to the projected 20 min. from Hillcrest. Perhaps more telling, I mapped the drive from another friend's Crestwood home. Although it is 3 miles closer, it will still take 5 min. longer than from Hillcrest. What is often overlooked is that residents from Hillcrest (and environs) can hop on the Southeast/Southwest Expressway and be in the heart of downtown in minutes, while everyone else has to wind through all of those hip, busy neighborhoods in order to access downtown. Further, don't forget that there are now great dining options on both Capitol Hill and on the SE Waterfront, both a 5-7 min. drive away. In the other direction, National Harbor is a 15 min. sprint down 295. And with the re-development of the Skyland Town Center finally underway, convenient retail is slated to soon return to Ward 7 itself.

Both LadyGrace & CarrieB indicated that "Hillcrest" was in Anacostia:
Though even life-long residents have become accustomed to referring to everything East of the River as "Anacostia," that is incorrect. "Historic Anacostia" is the only neighborhood so-named. The other 30+ areas are individual neighborhoods, with their own unique character, history, and governance, just as is the case in the other three wards. (source: 'The Anacostia Story: 1608-1930, Smithsonian Press; First Edition ed., Jul., 1977).

davidldavis1 wrote: "In general the boundaries of the neighborhood are defined by Naylor Road S.E., Alabama Avenue S.E. and Park Drive S.E."
Well... yes, and then.... Although many recent "Wikipedia" listings have taken to further 'sub-dividing' the area using disused names of 18th century land-grants or 'developer subdivisions' from the 1930's (such as 'Good Hope', or 'Summit Park', which merged its civic association with that of Hillcrest by the early 1950's), Hillcrest-proper, by the definition of anyone living there, encompasses a significantly larger area than indicated on the map above. As evidenced by numerous photographs included above in this very webpage, Hillcrest actually extends to the South and East across Alamaba Ave to the District line (I'm certain beyond question that photos #2 & #7 are both on Austin St. SE; photo #12 is at Camden St SE - both several blocks S/W of the area highlighted on the map). Additionally, Hillcrest most definitely includes the 6x2 block area south of Alabama Ave, and east of Branch Ave SE (on the map, it's the green-space just to the left of "32nd St" is the location of "Hillcrest Recreation Center"). In fact, this latter area was the original section of the Hillcrest development, launched around 1924 (see the map in the 1928 Hillcrest newsletter posted on neighborhood website: http://www.hillcrestdc.com/pg_history1.htm ). Additionally, I see at least one photograph that actually is in the Penn Branch neighborhood, north of Pennsylvania Ave, SE, and extending west from Branch Ave., SE to 38th St/Ft. Davis Drive. In point of fact, just as many real estate agents label everything up to the Anacostia River as 'Capitol Hill', some agents do the same in this area, telling potential buyers that Hillcrest includes everything north of Pennsylvania Ave up to Fort Dupont National Park (the section just south of the Park bordering Massachusetts Ave is yet another distinct neighborhood called 'Dupont Park', where I currently reside).The real point here is that, contrary to popular belief, there are actually quite a few neighborhoods in the general 'Hillcrest' area that offer attractive, safe and affordable options for homeowners.

Sorry for the length of this post, and I offer these 'corrections' to the wonderful above endorsements of Hillcrest only to give more context. If you're looking for thrilling nightlife, a 'city' feel, and lots of restaurants, no... this area isn't for you. However, if you want a detached, single-family home at a more affordable price than upper NW DC (and don't want to live in a new pre-fab house in South Riding or something), then it is definitely worth your time to drive out Pennsylvania Ave, SE and see what you're missing!
Pros
  • in-town suburb
  • beautiful and green
  • fresh air
  • Safe
  • community spirit
Cons
  • shopping
  • public schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Country Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Residential Paradise, Tucked Away in the Southeast"

Hillcrest is yet another of those neighborhoods that just sounds like a nice place to live based on the title alone. It is a trek to get to, and nowhere near any of the action in the downtown area, but it is heaven for those looking for affordable housing who aren't afraid to drive to get where they need to go. Various community elements are up for debate- the school system appears not to be the best in the area, but that seems to be the only hiccup in what appears to be an upper middle-class dream come true.
Pros
  • community spirit
  • beautiful and green
  • Safe
Cons
  • distance from downtown
  • public schools
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Nice place to call home"

Hillcrest is a nice residential neighborhood located in the southeast section of the city. In general the boundaries of the neighborhood are defined by Naylor Road S.E., Alabama Avenue S.E. and Park Drive S.E. and boosts and is home to a wide variety of detached single family homes. The neighborhood is mainly residential although there is some commercial businesses along the main roads that define the neighborhood. Homes are affordable here and the neighborhood has a high percentage of owner occupied homes.

Beers Elementary School is located just outside the neighborhood and is the closest school to Hillcrest.. Residents can find some shopping nearby, but will more than likely want to venture into other areas to shop. Restaurants are along the main roads of Hillcrest, but tend to be fast food style eating establishments. There are no dedicated recreational facilities here, but green space can be found at Angler Park. The neighborhood offers two places of worship as well. Metro Bus stops are available in numerous locations within the neighborhood. Some might find the lack of neighborhood amenities a negative, but others will take the neighborhood for what it is.

Crime or lack of is will be a appealing to all as recent crime statistics indicate that this is one of the safest neighborhoods in Anacostia. As always check the most recent crime statistics to make an informed decision as to the crime risk with any neighborhood. I like this neighborhood and hope that it can continue to shine and provide its residents a safe place to call home.
Pros
  • Safe
  • beautiful and green
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"great little community"

Hillcrest is one of the safest and most empowered neighborhoods east of the river. In fact, it is home to the current mayor of DC, a stunning feat for this part of the city in general. Those who like to live in the suburbs, and who are not concerned about driving to obtain necessities or spend a night out on the town would enjoy Hillcrest. The neighborhood has a really strong sense of community: during the warmer months, residents will block off the streets and have a block party. Consistent with this sort of neighborliness, there is a really strong civic association.
Crime is no issue here, and surrounding communities aren’t too bad by Anacostia standards either. Perhaps the biggest drawback of this area is that public transportation isn’t really good when it comes to connecting Hillcrest to the rest of the city. However, if you are willing to drive, or go into Maryland to board the Metro, this isn’t so bad. You will definitely need to own a car though. Housing costs are reasonable: most homes are detached or row homes, with a few condos and garden style apartments. All are a good value for DC, and the houses sit on well manicured lawns. Great place to find community.
Pros
  • beautiful and green
  • fresh air
Cons
  • public schools
  • distance from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Secret Worth Sharing"

The residents of Hillcrest like to think of themselves a DC’s best kept secret, and they have a right to think that way. This charming community is set among the gently sloping hills of Washington’s southeastern border. Over one quarter of its area is well kept parkland, giving neighbors somewhere green and fresh to go to walk or play catch with their kids.
Behind the walls of the beautiful homes situated on well-kept lawns live people who really care about their community and take an active part in what goes on in their neighborhood. If this look like a suburban neighborhood, its because it once was. It was only when Washington spread out to its borders that it became part of the city.
Although its only 3 miles from the Capital, there is a different feeling in the air out here. Perhaps its just because its higher than most of the rest of the district, but everything seems cleaner and fresher than elsewhere.
Oh, and don’t forget the views. If you stand on one of Hillside’s spacious porches and look to the northwest, you’ll see the rising dome of the Capital building. However, turn your back on that and you can look down on Maryland’s scenic Oxen Run Valley. Either way, it’s a gorgeous view.
Pros
  • fresh air
Cons
  • distance from downtown
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

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