Clinton was once known as Surrattsville, and many want to return to the original moniker, but the reason for the change is a compelling one. Surratts Tavern is where John Wilkes Booth gathered his weapons and supplies after assassinating the president at Fords Theatre; it was his mother’s property. After the war ended, the town decided to change the name first to Robeysville, after that to Post Master, and then to Clinton. Many locals still call it Surrattsville, so be prepared to take that title on when you arrive.
As might be guessed, there are many places of historical distinction in this area, and they’re all worth investigating. This is where America began to form so taking the time to investigate is a must, especially since the population is well educated and highly intellectual. Having some educational foundation for a good debate is a highly prized quality.
Clinton is just a hop, skip and jump away from the DC metro area, closer than the long commutes by car or train would at first suggest, so you better believe people have opinions about everything from term limits to drone strikes. Expect to engage in political debates. The town skews heavily, heavily liberal, but anyone who can hold his own with logic and passion is welcome... if you can stand the heat.
Besides a passion for politics and an interest in history, you’re going to need a car, friend. There is definitely public transportation at work here, and many people utilize it to get into the capital, but day-to-day errands and entertainment are infinitely easier with a car, and in most cases, totally required. Plus, this is a neighborhood filled with homeowners; they even drive to the train!
Speaking of home ownership, that’s how it’s done around here. There are patches of rentals, but some 90 percent of residents own a home, making finding a temporary spot not only difficult but also strange, as in, people will think youre strange. Vacancy rates, as expected, are bottom of the barrel, so give yourself a solid month or more to find something suitable, or bite the bullet and buy.
Neighborhoods here are fairly similar, with a few rare standouts among the bunch. Renters: skip over everything and head straight to Coles Corner or risk digging through slim pickings for months, maybe more.
Danville: Close to Fort Washington, this area has single family homes and townhomes, but not a single rental. Really. Like all the neighborhoods of Clinton, there are long commutes and gobs of government workers.
Town Center: Right in the middle of everything, just the way you like it. More amenities here, but zero of them are apartments for rent. These are all large single family homes. Dust off your snifter and polish your monocle.
Coles Corner: Heads up renters! Rejoice! There are high-rise apartment buildings here, right next to Andrews Naval Air Facility, with two bedroom apartments that are inexpensive. There’s even a halfway decent vacancy rate. Most folks take public trans too, so you can make friends on the way to work.
Clinton Heights: The most expensive area, with the biggest houses, and that same elevated level of urbane taste in the arts and fancy mustaches (probably). You’ll pay for that distinction, with a mortgage. Oh, and an almost nonexistent vacancy rate.
Future inhabitants of Clinton, it’s important you recognize that this is not a place for renters. I’ts not impossible, it’s not totally unheard of, but it is strange, especially since right across the I-495 there is a renters' paradise. But suit yourself. Just study up on the Civil War, practice your Ps and Qs, develop a fancy for the finer things in life, and start watching The Daily Show.