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Northern Virginia - Washington DC Metro Area Skyline Banner

What to Know Before Moving to Northern Virginia:

Northern Virginia, in addition to suburbs of Maryland, serves as a perfect location for families and young professionals to live near Washington D.C. without living in the frenzy of people, taxis, and traffic in D.C. NoVa, as referred to by the locals, offers beautiful mountain views, great shopping and dining experiences, and a comfortable and friendly place to call home. Chick-fil-A is a fan favorite, residents wear pink and green to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, hiking is popular and adventurous, Wegmans is a must for shopping, and the area loves to support local businesses.

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Northern Virginia - Washington DC Metro Places to Live
Northern Virginia - Washington DC Metro Places to Live

Great Places to Live in Northern Virginia:

Check out the popular communities of Arlington, Alexandria, Reston, Falls Church, and Fairfax for some great ideas and insight into living in the Northern Virginia metro area:

Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. sits the city of Arlington, Virginia, housing 231,803 residents. The urban area is split pretty evenly between renting and owning homes. Fifty-seven percent of people living here chose to rent their home for a median rent amount of $1,936. The other forty-three percent of the people choosing to own their home, pay for a home with the median value at $699,400. Folks living here have an average household income of $117,374, working in either the federal government system or in popular workplaces like the US Air Force, the US Army, and the US Marine Corps. Employment outside of the military includes workers at the Virginia Hospital Center, CACI International, the Transportation Security Administration, and BAE Systems. Top neighborhoods within the Arlington area are Bluemont, Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, Ballston/Virginia Square, Clarendon/Courthouse, and North Highland. Top public schools serving the area provide a safe environment for children to learn. These schools include, but are not limited to Washington Liberty High School, Yorktown High School, Arlington Traditional Elementary School, and McKinley Elementary School.

Residents here enjoy visiting Arlington National Cemetery, Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Veteran’s Memorials. Hike and bike on the W & O.D. Railroad Trail that covers the urban cityscapes and the country landscapes of Northern Virginia. Be sure to grab a doughnut from the Bayou Bakery or some produce from the Urban Village Market at Courthouse. Families and young professionals enjoy easy access to many cultural and entertaining events by using one of the 11 Metro stops around Arlington. Take a stroll through Theodore Roosevelt Island Park, Gravelly Point Park, the Mount Vernon Trail, or the John F. Kennedy Grave Site. Get a glorious glimpse of the city by heading up to the Observation Deck at CEB Tower, or take a Big Bus Washington D.C. Hop-On Hop-Off Tour of the city for the best narrated tour of the popular memorial, monuments, and sites.

Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, according to niche.com, ranks as #9 in Best Cities for Young Professionals in America. Its population totals 156,505 people and offers an urban feel where many of the residents choose to rent their homes. Rent prices in the area come to a median monthly price of $1,702, while the median home value is a starring $557,000. The median household average is $96,733, which is about $40,000 average the national average. Places to work in Alexandria include the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Compass Group, The Salvation Army, and EdgeSource. Top public schools serving the Alexandria area are Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, Charles Barrett Elementary School, T.C. Williams High School, Key Middle School, and Maury Elementary School. Crime in Alexandria is below the national average, and proves to be a safe place for residents of all ages.
Popular neighborhoods in the area are Taylor Run, Potomac Yard/Potomac Greens, Southwest Quadrant, Eisenhower East, Northeast.

A quick trip on the Metro is a perfect respite from the busy capital and provides a great escape to quaint boutiques, artist studios, and historic buildings. Plan to take a bike tour through the city and visit Old Town, the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Huntley Meadows Park, the Carlyle House, or Alexandria National Harbor. The DC Metro Food Tours is a 3.5 hour walking tour that highlights the architecture, history, people, and cuisine of the DC area neighborhoods. Restaurant options include Landini Brothers, Columbia Fire House, The Pita House, and a chocolatier shop.

Fort Belvoir, the largest military base and largest employer in Fairfax County, is roughly fifteen miles away. Alexandria hosts various community events and has much to offer to residents. Its Old Town Farmers Market has been in business since 1753. It is recorded that George Washington once sold his Mount Vernon produce at this farmers market! Cool off from the summer heat at Great Waves Waterpark. The facility offers a wave pool, water slides, and a splash pad for young children.

Reston, Virginia

Reston is a town of 60,335 people and is ranked #7 in best places to live in Fairfax County. Families and young professionals alike enjoy the wide range of dining experiences, outdoor activities, and entertainment options. Sixty-two percent of the people living here choose to own their home and often have a median home value of $488,000. Renting options are available and run a monthly cost of $1,835. Although many people work in the District, there are popular places to work in Reston, as well. Popular companies include MAXIMUS, Leidos Holdings Inc., and NCI Inc. The median household income for residents here is $116,375. Children safely attend Langley High School, James Madison High School, Westfield High School, South Lakes High School, and Forestville Elementary School, as these top rated schools are in a region where the crime rate is below the national average.

Dining in Reston is an amazing experience as you visit some of the top restaurants in the area. Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food, Cafesano, PassionFish, Ariake Sushi, and the Silver Diner are among the best of the best. Tourists and residents can enjoy the lake life at several different lakes and parks including Lake Fairfax Park, the Walker Nature Center, North Hills Picnic Pavilion, and Lake Thoreau Loop Trail.

Falls Church, Virginia

With a population of 14,067, Falls Church is a suburb of Washington D.C. that offers an urban feel and an upscale view. Falls Church has a median home value of $757,300, a median rent of $1,860, and a median household income of $124,796. Based on employment rates, job and business growth, and cost of living, Markon Solutions is a top place to work in Falls Church. Students are served safely and academically at these local public schools: George Mason High School, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, and Mount Daniel Elementary. Public schools in this area spend over $17,000 per student, an amount roughly $5,000 higher than the national average. The city has received a safety rating of B- from niche.com. This data is based on both property crimes and violent crimes.

Many people choose to live in the Falls Church Region because of its location, its small town feel, its access to nature and natural parks, its schools, and its economy. Shopping is convenient and an adventure all of its own when you visit Tyson’s Corner, the Eden Center, the Village at Shirlington, and The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Top restaurants include Elephant Jumps, Four Seasons, Liberty Barbecue, Padaek, and Thompson Italian. Entertainment and experiences await at Falls Church Farmers Market, Ireland’s Four Provinces, and Cherry Hill Farm. Enjoy some family fun as you visit the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center or The Falls Church, a historic and religious site.

Fairfax, Virginia

Commonly called Fairfax City or Old Town Fairfax, Fairfax is a city in Virginia with a population of 23,865. It offers residents a dense suburban feel where most residents own their homes as opposed to renting their homes. The median home value is $533,300, with a median rent of $1,899. Folks working in the area have a median household income of $111,574 and work either in Washington D.C. or within its own city limits. Popular places of employment in Fairfax are Crestline Hotels and Resorts, Rosewood Management and Consulting Services, and Virginia ABC. The education levels of the are split evenly with 28% having a master’s degree or higher. Thirty percent of the residents have earned a bachelor’s degree, and roughly 21% have some college or associate’s degree. The city is very diverse in its demographic, culture, and entertainment, and its schools are above the national average. Top public schools serving the Fairfax area are Fairfax High School, Lanier Middle School, Providence Elementary School, Daniels Run Elementary School, and Mary Williams Elementary School. Fairfax is a safe place to live as niche.com has given it a safety rating of B, based on data involving both property and violent crimes.

Fairfax calls to many people for many different reasons. In 2016, it was named as one of the 10 best college towns in the United States. A younger, more energized population naturally brings the city to life. This energy, combined with a more affordable price tag than that of Washington D.C., is reason enough to move to the 22030. The business market is a direct reflection of the residential housing market. Fairfax has been listed as one of the best places in the country to start a new business. George Mason and the Northern Virginia Community College provide great opportunities for young entrepreneurs to put into practice what they have worked so hard to learn.

A long day in the office or in the classroom warrants a long walk through one of the parks. Fairfax owns more than 220 acres of parkland. Here you will find 25 parks and nearly 28 miles of trails. Celebrate the community and support the arts as you listen to the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra or visit the George Mason University’s Center for the Arts. Old Town Plaza and Fairfax Corner give Virginians a place to dine and shop, while a night at the EagleBank Arena allows you to listen to a performance by top artists like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Ketih Urban. Head over to one of the oldest residences by visiting the Ratcliffe-Allison-Pozer House, and the Historic Blenheim Estate. These sites are sure to take you back in time as you ponder what the houses and scenery were like in the Civil War days.


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