Bring the Family: Country Club Hills

Country Club Hills, in North Arlington, is grand with nice homes on big lots, but it’s still a tight, warm neighborhood.

By: Drew Bratcher

Who lives here: Young and middle-aged families, though some retirees are longtime locals.

The vibe: Kids take over cul-de-sacs for lacrosse and soccer. “It’s still the kind of neighborhood where if someone gets sick, the neighbors take cookies and casseroles over,” says Sharon Chamberlin, who has lived here for 47 years.

Homefront: This began as a small neighborhood of 1940s-style summer homes built into the Arlington hills and around the Washington Golf and Country Club. It’s now a mix of some 500 ramblers, Tudors, and Colonials, which have retained a traditional look despite renovations.

When Rose DiNapoli, an interior designer who has lived in the neighborhood since 1994, and her husband bought their rambler, they added two floors from which they can see the National Cathedral.

For sale: Recent listings included seven homes ranging from just under $1 million to more than $2 million. A five-bedroom, Arts-and-Crafts-style house near Gulf Branch park was priced at $1.9 million. Older homes often become teardown fodder, but land can be worth $900,000 and more.

Meet you at the club: The 113-year-old Washington Golf and Country Club is the centerpiece of the social scene. Initiation costs $70,000, and you’re likely to spend four years on the waiting list. On the Fourth of July, members and nonmembers spread blankets on the edge of the golf course to watch the club’s fireworks.

Dog dip: Residents walk their dogs to the nature trails and native-plant garden around Gulf Branch Nature Center and down to the Potomac for a swim.

Biggest draw: Yorktown High, considered one of the best schools in Washington. Last year, the Siemens Foundation rated its Advanced Placement program tops in Virginia.

Drawback: Noise and inconvenience from constant home renovations. “People never leave; they add on,” says real-estate agent Caroline Rocco.

Wine and Food: Country Club Hills is bookended by shopping centers. Lee Heights has several independently owned shops, including Pastries by Randolph and Arrowine, home to weekend winetastings. The second, farther west on Lee Highway, boasts a Starbucks, Baskin-Robbins, Harris Teeter, and a few small shops and restaurants, including Taqueria Poblano.

Why it beats AU Park: Lots are as big as an acre. “It’s a neighborhood where there’s room to breathe,” DiNapoli says.

On the Web: Yorktown High School (yhspatriot.yorktown.arlington.k12.va.us); Jamestown Elementary (www.arlington.k12.va.us/schools/jamestown); Arrowine (arrowine.com).