Home Cities America’s #1 Place to Start a Business: Bethesda

America’s #1 Place to Start a Business: Bethesda

America’s #1 Place to Start a Business: Bethesda

Around Town in Bethesda

congressional country club photo
Photo by Keith Allison

Bethesda’s residents are able to remain so industrious perhaps because they have a good amount of outdoor space to explore. When they need some time in nature, the Capital Crescent Trail is a common day trip for people on bikes, on foot or even on snowshoe in the winter. The trail winds 11-miles through shared-use rail land between Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and Silver Springs, Maryland.

Or they head to the very romantic Cabin John Regional Park, which is an 8.8-mile wooded trail that follows a stream.

Bethesda is a golfer’s paradise—and they do well with corporate clients, of course—starting with the Congressional Country Club which opened 1924 and has hosted three U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship in that time.

The Burning Tree Country Club is a members-only, all-male golf club that has been a perennial favorite for decades of presidents, foreign dignitaries, members of Congress, and military leaders.

Other Things to Do

George Washington University photo
Photo by donwest48

If you have some free time, you might try taking in Bethesda’s Fine Arts Festival, located at the Woodmont Triangle.  The Festival gathers about 130 artists with live entertainment.  And best of all, admission is free.

Or you might enjoy a Taste of Bethesda in the Fall. The food festival features 60 restaurants and has five entertainment venues.  Again, the festival is located at the Woodmont Triangle.  Last year about 40,000 people attended, so get there early!

Another notable activity is Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland, a tradition which welcomes in the winter Holiday Season. Winter Wonderland is located in Veterans Park in downtown Bethesda. You can combine a visit to Old St. Nick with a tour of the ice sculptures and other venues.A large reason why businesses thrive in Bethesda is that residents tend to be

A large reason why businesses thrive in Bethesda is that residents tend to be well-educated (sometimes by a local public or private college), especially in a few key areas like business and social work:Local Higher Education

American University is a private university, named Most Politically Active in the country by the Princeton Review.

George Washington University, a private research university in Foggy Bottom.  It also ranks on the Most Politically Active list. The Graduate School of Political Management is the only school of applied politics in the state and their professional schools are ranked high annually in college rankings lists.

Georgetown University is another private research university in the state, as well as being the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher education in the country (it was founded in 1789). Georgetown’s law school is located on Capitol Hill, although the university has associated campuses in Italy, Turkey, and Qatar.

What’s the Secret for Success?

Chevy Chase Maryland photo
Photo by donwest48

How does this all add up to make Bethesda such a hotbed of business success? Well, it starts with a population that puts a lot of value in attaining a college degree (because about 82% of them hold a bachelor’s’ degree or more) and many of those graduates have degrees in Social Sciences (22% of residents) or Business (11%).

Not only does that result in a population who is primed to start their own business, but it also results in a lot of people who are very qualified for mid- to high-level positions that require an education. This all adds up to an outstanding unemployment rate of 4.10% in Bethesda, which is below the 6.3% national average.

Well done, Bethesda!

Featured image: By Andrew Bossi – originally posted to Flickr as 2009 04 24 – 4895-4903 – Bethesda – MD187, MD355, MD410, CC BY-SA 2.0


Alana Armstrong Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


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