Hey, we just found out we are moving back there too!
I think you will love love living in Bethesda. I am almost 100% positive you will also be able to find a like minded community. Bethesda is a bit more yuppie family-ish than Berkeley, say, but you will still be able to find the holistic, LLL culture. Just, the east coast version. Plus sometimes you'll get snow! I am pretty sure once you get settled, you won't want to move.
Downtown Bethesda is wonderful if you like to be able to walk to everything: a great second hand book store, Barnes and Noble. Lots of good restaurants of all different ethnic varieties. Quartermaine for coffee (and of course Starbucks, or Caribou if you like those). A great bagel store Bethesda Bagel, whose owner came from NY. My favorite place for bread is Spring Mill, which grinds its own flour. When it had first opened up (the Bethesda branch was the first one), one morning I knocked on their door at 5 am and asked if I could watch. This was during my bread crazy phase. They let me watch, help mix and form, and sent me home with two bags of goodies after opening.
The library is wonderful, very well stocked, very intelligently run. My dad thinks their Chinese books selection is one of the best (and my parents used to live in SoCal).
There is a lovely path that runs right through Bethesda and then hooks up with the C&O canal path, called the capital cresent trail. Well lit, great all year round. You can bike from downtown Bethesda to the heart of Georgetown via the trail faster than it would take to drive. I used to jump on this trail everyday for 30 min of fresh aired bike ride. On July 4th, when all the farther out suburbanites are traffic jammed on the road, you can put your LO in/ on your bike and be aaat a great spot to watch the fire works in just 20 min.
There is a great Y on Old georgetown Rd that has a year round outdoor pool. If you like it more elite, there are plenty of health clubs or country clubs. Lots of kiddie programs all over town. There is also a large Jewish community (no idea if you are, just throwing it out). We currently live in mid-coast Maine which is considered pretty crunchy, liberal. But b/c of the amenities in Md we are
to be moving back to the area.
Pleas feel free to PM me if you have any other ? about neighborhoods, etc. I think I know every MLS, MRIS listing by heart.