Bethesda is located just out of D.C., and is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. The homes are beautiful, and there are many great neighborhoods, and the schools are fantastic. Bethesda has a population of around 70,000, and is a city-like atmosphere in the downtown area, and an urban and quiet setting in it's neighborhoods. Bethesda has an incredible downtown area, with many new places still going up, so many shops and restaurants. There is also a high Jewish population, somewhere around 8%, one of the highest in the country. Bethesda is very expensive, and is not diverse unlike it's surrounding areas. This is surprising because it is very close to Washington D.C. . I would definitely recommend living in Bethesda!
Paramount, California has been my home for several years now. I moved to Paramount from Minnesota, so you might imagine the huge change I had to go through. However, Paramount did not make it hard for me to start enjoying my new home. Located just 25 minutes south of Los Angeles, Paramount has a population of just over 50,000 friendly, sun-loving Californians.
One of the fist things I began to love bout Paramount was the weather. Everyone knows the South California is known for its mild, pleasant climate. However, I had no idea just how beautiful it could be, until I started living there. During the coldest months of the year (December and January) I could get away with wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. This was a huge (and much welcoming) change for me, coming in from Minnesota. Once I got used to the weather, my next pleasant surprise was Paramount's proximity to a huge city.
The 25 minute drive to Los Angeles is surrounded by grape farms, small houses with aqua pools, and chunks of what is left over of the desert. So living in Paramount I can enjoy the upsides of a big city (such as a great nightlife, shopping, and job opportunities) and yet live in a quieter, more laid back area of the state.
Since Paramount is so close to the city, many of the city conveniences have spilled right over into the small suburb. No matter what kind of shopping I want to get done, I can easily do it right within my own city limits. This includes different grocery stores, clothing stores, Targets and Walmarts.
Bottom of line being, Paramount California is the perfect place to enjoy a small city atmosphere while not stepping too far away from the pros of living in cosmopolitan area.