It's easy to see why there are Real Housewives shows out of famously wealthy American cities like Beverly Hills or New York. However, when the news hit last week that the newest Real Housewives would be The Real Housewives of Potomac, you may have asked yourself, where is Potomac exactly?
We think it's safe to say that RHOP will put Potomac on the map when it premieres early next year. But you can get ahead of the game now by familiarizing yourself with Potomac and all of the fabulousness it has to offer. (Trust us, you'll be glad you did.)
1. It's Right Next to Our Nation's Capital
The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Henryk Sadura/Getty Images
Potomac, which has a population of about 45,000 living within its 25 square miles, is located in Montgomery County, Maryland, just northwest of Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland as well as Washington, D.C. But don't think just because Potomac is located so close to our nation's capital that the show is going to be just another Real Housewives of D.C. "It was this group of women. They just popped. They're stars and they're great," Andy Cohen said recently about the choice of Potomac as the new Real Housewives location. "So we didn't go out saying, 'Oh we want to do another Housewives in the D.C. area.' It was the last thing on our minds, trust me. But then these women emerged, and it was like, they were great." Now Potomac is sounding pretty great too, isn't it?
2. You Probably Know its Namesake
Potomac gets its name from the famous and beautiful body of water it sits along: the Potomac River, which stretches 383 miles across parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Potomac River has a lot of historical significance, one reason being that George Washington's home at Mount Vernon sits along it. These days, the Potomac River is a major tourist attraction that you can cruise along and maybe see a 'Wife or two if you're lucky.
3. It's One of the Most Affluent Communities in the U.S.
The fact that you have not heard of Potomac speaks to just how exclusive this community is — and where there's exclusivity, there's usual wealth, which is something Potomac has a lot of. Potomac's median household income is $178,722, which is more than three times the national figure, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Forbes recently reported that Potomac is the 252nd most expensive zip code in the country. The fact that Potomac is home to two people on the Forbes 400 ranking of the richest people in America (billionaires Mitchell Rales and Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins) have definitely contributed to the area's wealth.
4. Potomac Has Been Home to Many Famous Faces
Actor Sylvester Stallone at the 2014 UNICEF Ball presented by Baccarat at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on January 14, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Charlie Gallay/Getty Images
In addition to the aforementioned billionaires, you're sure to recognize the names of past and present Potomac residents, many of whom have been movers and shakers in politics, entertainment, and sports. Though he may be most-identified with Philadelphia these days, Sylvester Stallone actually grew up in Potomac. NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing also once called Potomac home as well as Robert Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Clearly, if you're looking for the American elite, Potomac is where to find them.
5. The Homes are Works of Art
With so many fabulous people living in one place, you better bet your bottom dollar that there are some stunning homes in Potomac. We're sure to see evidence of that when RHOP premieres, but if you search for Potomac homes on the Internet, you'll find many a home of your dreams — for a price, of course. The median value of Potomac residents' homes is $868,600, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which is nearly five times the national figure. Potomac's own St. Francis Episcopal Church even organizes a tour of some swanky Potomac homes every year because they're just too gorgeous to not show off.
6. It's a Very Cultured Place
A blossom of a pink white lily, Lilium. Photo: Westend61/Getty Images
Spend a day in Potomac, and you'll feel very fancy. That's because many of the attractions appeal to those with sophisticated taste. Like something right out of Downton Abbey, not only does Potomac have an annual lily show, but it also has its very own Lily Society. You can also walk around Glenstone, an institution that displays breathtaking art, architecture, and landscape. There are also a few golf courses in the area to make you really feel like you're part of the in crowd.
7. The Education is Top Notch
As you can see, there are many reasons why Potomac is a wonderful place to raise your kids, one of which is the fact that the area's schools are excellent. Not only is Potomac home to several private schools, including Bullis School, McLean School, and the German School Washington, D.C., but the public schools are also great, such as Winston Churchill High School and Thomas S. Wootton High School, which currently rank as the 69th and 101st best high schools in the country, respectively, according to U.S. News & World Report. Plus, with 97.3 percent of residents with a high school degree or higher and 79.9 percent with a Bachelor's degree or higher, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Forbes has named Potomac the fifth most educated place in the country.
However, RHOP is sure to give us many life lessons when it premieres Sunday, January 17 at 9/8c. See more of what Andy has to say about the new ladies, below.