I'm having trouble mashing up neighborhood recommendations, apartment listings, and public transportation maps. Could you advise me on places to rent way outside of the main University of Maryland campus/DC area (e.g. no Silver Spring!) that still let me commute into campus via less than 2 hour public transportation?
I've read this question
and this question
about where to live close to the UMD campus and DC area, but after living the best answers to that question for four years (apartments in various MD towns including and around College Park and Silver Spring), I'm ready to move somewhere a little more safe, quite, and walkable outside the main DC circle. Rural Virginia on the train line? Small town Maryland up north? These places interest me, but I'm having trouble mashing up neighborhood recommendations, apartment listings, and public transportation maps and would appreciate any help you can give.
My toughest requirement is public transportation that gets me from home to campus and back for a 9-5ish block of time (MARC, Amtrak, metro, bus lines...?)
. I'm at the point where I only need to get to campus once or twice every 1-2 weeks, plus I am unwilling to drive through the DC rush hour mess, so I'd appreciate recommendations for specific towns/neighborhoods that would accommodate this (e.g. on an Amtrak stop into DC). Note that anything that connects via public transport into DC should be good, since DC connects via metro and shuttle to the UMD campus, but I'd be happy for suggestions that don't go through DC as well. The commute can be pretty brutal if it's for a good place to live, since I only need to do it at most twice a week.
I'm totally okay with having to sit on a train for up to two hours to get to campus (I've even considered taking the Amtrak in from Charlottesville, though that seems extreme?).
I don't mind needing to bike, take a short bus trip, or drive/motorbike to the station that will connect my new apartment back to campus if I need to.
I don't care if the town is boring; I do care that it feels safe and quiet. Less expensive is nice, but I'm realistic about the area's cost of living, yet willing to stretch my researcher's salary to live in a place where I can leave the windows open while I sleep and walk to the grocery store (I understand that I can do this in some places closer to UMD, but I live alone and want to feel
that I'm safe).
Note that I'm looking to rent, not buy. Thank you for any advice!