The Definitive Guide To
Northern Virginia is a major metropolitan area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you're looking to move here, you'll want to know some basics about what makes this region so special. This guide will outline everything you need to know about relocating to Northern Virginia, from housing and schools to job opportunities and cultural attractions. So whether you're just starting your research or are ready to take the plunge, read on for all the info you need!
Thinking of Moving to Northern Virginia?
Things To Know About Northern Virginia
Moving To Northern Virginia For Work
Best Schools in Northern Virginia
Places To Live in Northern Virginia
Must-Try Places When Moving To Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia Transportation
Things to Do in Northern Virginia
Thinking of Moving to Northern Virginia?
Where is Northern VA?
Nestled between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, Northern Virginia is a spirited mix of history and culture. Comprising several cities, including Fairfax, Vienna, Oakton, Falls Church, and more it is a region rich in excitement. With a population of over 3 million people, it is the most populous region in the state of Virginia.
Covering an area of over 197 square miles, Northern Virginia has something for everyone. There are countless museums, historical sites, and parks to explore. There are also numerous restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues to enjoy. Regardless if you are looking for a place to raise a family or a place to retire, Northern Virginia has quickly become one of the most desirable places to do so.
Things To Know About Northern Virginia
History and Famous Residents
Northern Virginia is a region with a rich history dating back to the early days of European settlement. Some of the most famous people in American history have called Northern Virginia home, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. While the region has undergone significant changes over the years, its historic roots are still evident in many places.
Residents and Visitors to Northern Virginia can enjoy exploring beautiful old homes and gardens, visiting important historical sites, and learning about the area's rich heritage. With so much to see and do, Northern Virginia is a great place to explore America's past. Some of the best places to experience the true history of Northern Virginia are listed below.
George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, the historic home of George and Martha Washington, lies just south of Alexandria, Virginia. The estate comprises Washington's mansion, outbuildings, farmlands, and extensive gardens. Visitors can explore 25 interactive galleries and theatres, which recount the lives of the Washington family and their slaves.
The historic site also features a museum with rotating exhibitions. Mount Vernon is open year-round, and there are a variety of tours and events offered throughout the year. George Washington's Mount Vernon is a must-see for anyone interested in American history.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is a massive exhibit space in Northern Virginia that houses over 200 aircraft on display. The large complex spans two buildings and includes a huge variety of aircraft from different eras and countries. One of the most interesting exhibits is the Air France Concorde, which was the first supersonic commercial airliner. The Udvar-Hazy Center also has a wide variety of educational programs, making it an excellent place to learn about the history of aviation.
National Museum of the Marine Corps
Founded on November 10th, 2006, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is located on a 135-acre site in Northern, Virginia. The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Marine Corps and telling the stories of the men and women who have served. The museum includes world-class exhibits with artifacts that date back to the Revolutionary War.
Visitors can learn about the role of Marines in major conflicts, see weapons and equipment used by Marines throughout history, and view memorabilia donated by Marines and their families. The museum also has a library and archives that are open to the public.
Moving To Northern Virginia For Work
Business & Jobs in Northern VA
Those who choose to move to Northern Virginia will find a thriving economy with plenty of job opportunities available. The region is home to many major corporations and also has a growing start-up scene, with many new businesses opening in recent years.
The unemployment rate in Northern Virginia is lower than the national average, and job growth has been strong in recent years. You will also find many federal government agencies, making it a great place to work for those interested in government jobs. Provided below are some of the most popular company headquarters located in Northern Virginia.
- Iridium Communications (McLean)
- SpaceQuest, Ltd. (Fairfax)
- Capital One (McLean)
- Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna)
- Freddie Mac (McLean)
- Bare International (Fairfax)
- CustomInk (Fairfax)
- Mars, Incorporated (McLean)
- Argon ST (Fairfax)
- General Dynamics (Falls Church)
- Northrop Grumman (Falls Church)
- Maximus Inc. (Reston)
As you can see there is a great variety of company headquarters located in Northern Virginia. No matter what field you are interested in pursuing a career in, chances are good that you will find a job in the area.
Best Schools in Northern
Northern VA Schools Overview
As the population of Northern Virginia grows, so does the need for quality schools. Luckily, the region is home to some of the best schools in the state. Fairfax County Public Schools consistently rank among the top divisions in Virginia and offer a variety of programs to meet the needs of all students.
For those looking for a private school option, there are many excellent choices in Northern Virginia as well. The Potomac School and Trinity Christian School are just two of the many high-quality private schools in the area. Whether you're looking for a public or private school, Northern Virginia has plenty of excellent options to choose from. Included below is some more information on the schooling options in this widespread region.
Colvin Run Elementary School is a Vienna, VA-based elementary school that serves students in PK-6. With 759 students, it is one of the larger elementary schools in the Fairfax County Public Schools system. However, what Colvin Run lacks in size, it more than makes up for in character. Nestled among trees in a quiet Vienna neighborhood, Colvin Run has a unique charm that is evident the moment you step on campus.
The school's gardens, playgrounds, and walking trails are inviting spaces for students to explore and learn. And inside the classrooms, teachers work hard to create a supportive and engaging learning environment. Whether it's participating in hands-on science experiments or joining forces for a teambuilding activity, students at Colvin Run are constantly expanding their horizons. It's no wonder that Vienna families have long been drawn to this special school.
Belvedere Elementary School is a PK-5 school located in Falls Church, VA. It's an internationally-recognized school where students become globally-minded thinkers. The Falls Church community is very excited to have such a high-quality school in their neighborhood.
Belvedere Elementary offers a rigorous academic program that challenges and supports every student. The teachers are passionate about their work and truly care about their students' success. In addition to the excellent academics, Belvedere Elementary also offers a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs.
Franklin Sherman Elementary School
Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, VA is a school that houses around 500 students from Kindergarten to 5th grade. The community of McLean embraces the school and its students, providing support when it comes to fundraisers and other events. The school offers a problem-solving curriculum that helps its students to find creative solutions to limitless problems.
In addition, the school provides its students with an education that helps them to be critical thinkers and effective communicators. As a result, Franklin Sherman Elementary School is a community-oriented school that provides its students with an education that is both rigorous and creative.
Katherine Johnson Middle School
With a student-centered community and positive learning environment, Katherine Johnson Middle School provides an excellent education for its students. The school is located in Fairfax County Public Schools and serves grades seven through eight. The curriculum is focused on preparing students for high school and beyond, and the faculty is committed to providing a supportive and engaging learning experience. With its many strengths, Katherine Johnson Middle School is an excellent choice for families in Fairfax County.
Ashburn is home to many great schools, and Eagle Ridge Middle School is no exception. This 6-8 school is part of the Loudoun Public Schools District, and it's known for its commitment to deeper student learning. The school has a strong focus on STEM education, and it offers a variety of extracurricular activities that allow students to explore their interests.
Eagle Ridge Middle School is also a friendly and welcoming community, and it's easy to see why so many families choose to send their children here. If you're looking for a great middle school in Ashburn, VA, Eagle Ridge Middle School should definitely be at the top of your list.
Cooper Middle School in McLean, Virginia strives to provide a well-rounded and engaging education for students in grades 7-8. The school curriculum is designed to challenge students and help them develop important skills such as critical thinking, perseverance, and teamwork. Outside of the classroom, Cooper Middle School offers a variety of extracurricular activities designed to appeal to a range of interests.
Students can join the basketball team, the gardening club, the creative writing club, and much more. The school also offers a variety of enrichment programs such as art and music classes. Cooper Middle School is committed to providing a supportive and stimulating environment that helps students thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
Woodson High School is a grade 9-12 high school located in Fairfax, Virginia that was founded in 1962. It is one of the largest schools in the state, with a student population of over 2,000. The school has a strong academic reputation, and its students regularly go on to attend top colleges and universities. In recent years, the school has undergone a major renovation, and its future looks bright. Woodson High School is an excellent choice for students seeking a challenging academic program and a thriving future.
Marshall High School in Falls Church, VA is a public high school founded in 1962. The school commits to providing all students with the opportunity to succeed and reach their career goals. Students are encouraged to show respect for themselves and others and to take pride in their work. The school spirit is strong, and students are involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. Marshall High School is a great place for students to get a well-rounded education and prepare for their future.
Some of the athletic opportunities offered at this school include:
- Outdoor Track
The New School of Northern Virginia
The New School of Northern Virginia (NSNV) is an independent, private school for grades 6-12 located in Fairfax, VA. NSNV was founded on the belief that all students have unique talents and deserve a personalized education. As such, our 5:1 student-teacher ratio allows them to get to know their students and tailor the curriculum to their individual needs.
In addition, they keep their class sizes small by design so that the students can get the individual attention they need to succeed. Whether your child is a gifted athlete or musician or just needs a little extra help with math or reading, we have the resources and commitment to ensure that they reach their full potential.
Places to Live in
Where to Live in Northern VA
Moving to Northern Virginia is a great choice for families, professionals, and retirees alike. The region has something to offer everyone, from the bustling city life of Washington, D.C. to the more laid-back suburban vibes of Northern Virginia’s many towns and villages. But with so many great places to choose from, it can be hard to decide where to put down roots.
Here is a list of popular places to live in Northern Virginia:
Fairfax County, located in the commonwealth of Virginia, is a gorgeous independent city with a long history. Founded in 1742, Fairfax County was one of the original counties established in the colony of Virginia. With over 1,000 years of history, the county has a lot to offer its residents. Whether you're looking to explore our nation's history or simply enjoy some of the best shopping and dining in the area, Fairfax County has something to offer everyone.
If you're looking for high-end shopping and dining, Vienna in Northern Virginia is the place for you. The town is home to numerous Blossom Trees, which bloom in the springtime and provide a beautiful backdrop for an afternoon stroll. Vienna is also one of the wealthiest towns in the area, and its residents are known for their high standards of living.
Oakton is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is located approximately 16 miles west of Washington, D.C., and offers residents a mix of urban and suburban living. There are many shopping and dining options available in Oakton, as well as a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy.
McLean, Virginia is a thriving community in Northern Virginia and is home to many diplomats, military officers, and members of Congress. The area has a sparse suburban feel, with large homes on large lots of land. Many residents work in the city but choose to live in McLean for the quieter suburban lifestyle. McLean is a highly sought-after community for those who want to live close to the nation's capital but still have a sense of space and privacy.
Falls Church is an independent city located in Northern Virginia. The city is known for its high quality of life, and residents enjoy a lower cost of living than many other areas in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Falls Church also has a strong public school system, and the city is home to a variety of businesses and organizations.
Great Falls is a rural community in Northern Virginia that is home to a wealth of outdoor activities. The area is popular with hikers and horseback riders, and several trails wind through the woods. In addition, the community is home to many small businesses, including a cafe and an art gallery.
Great Falls is also within easy driving distance of Washington, D.C., making it a convenient place to live for those who work in the city. However, the rural feel of the community makes it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Centreville is a town in northern Virginia that is home to a diverse population of about 74,000 people. The town is made up of 18 neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. The town is also home to a large number of businesses and organizations, as well as several schools and parks.
Centreville is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. There are plenty of things to do in the town, and the people are friendly and welcoming. If you're looking for an ethnically-diverse community that is also close to Washington, D.C., then Centreville is the perfect place for you.
Reston is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, that is home to a population of about 60,000 people. The town is located just 20 miles from Washington, D.C., and offers its residents a suburban lifestyle with easy access to the city. There are plenty of things to do in Reston, including shopping, dining, and recreation.
Herndon, Virginia is a town in Fairfax County, just outside of Washington D.C. It's a popular place to live for families because the schools are above average and it has more of an urban-suburban mix than some of the other places in Northern Virginia. Herndon isn't too crowded, but there's always something to do.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants in town, and the nearby Wolf Trap National Park offers a variety of outdoor activities. Herndon is also convenient to both Dulles International Airport and Washington-Reagan National Airport.
Ashburn is located in the Loudoun County of Virginia and is one of the best places to live in the state. The crime rate is low and there are many parks and recreational activities available. The schools are also excellent, with high test scores and a variety of extracurricular activities.
In addition, Ashburn is close to Washington, D.C., making it an ideal place to live for commuting purposes. There are many apartments and houses available in Ashburn, making it a great option for those who are looking for a new place to call home.
Must-Try Places When Moving To Northern Virginia
Nightlife & Popular Restaurants in
There are a lot of great things about moving to Northern Virginia. The area is rich in history, and there are plenty of cultural and recreational activities to enjoy. But one of the best things about living in Northern Virginia is the food and nightlife establishments.
Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in the area:
Artie's restaurant in Fairfax, VA, specializes in American seafood and meat classics. The decor is boathouse-themed, with nautical paintings and lobster traps hanging from the ceiling. The menu features a wide variety of seafood dishes, as well as some meat options. The salmon is highly recommended - it's cooked to perfection and served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Whether you're looking for a romantic dinner for two or a fun night out with friends, Artie's is the perfect spot.
Maple Ave Restaurant is a Modern European Restaurant located in the heart of Vienna, VA. All of their ingredients are sourced from local farms, ensuring that each dish is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Their menu features a wide variety of European classics, as well as some unique dishes that you won't find anywhere else. In addition to their amazing food, Maple Ave Restaurant also has an impressive selection of cocktails and wine.
2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, VA is a contemporary American destination that's surrounded by lush landscaping and waterfalls. The menu offers something for everyone, with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, 2941 has you covered.
And don't forget to save room for dessert! The restaurant also offers a full bar, with a variety of wine, beer, and cocktails to choose from. So whether you're in the mood for a casual meal or a night out on the town, be sure to check out 2941 Restaurant.
Eddie Merlot's Prime Aged Beef & Seafood Ashburn
Steakhouses are a dime a dozen. It takes more than grilled meats to make a great steakhouse. Eddie Merlot's in Ashburn, VA has an unparalleled atmosphere. They go-to lengths to serve exceptional plates. The service is attentive without being intrusive. They have a wide selection of wine and an excellent dessert menu. The steaks are cooked to perfection. If you're looking for a great steak house in the Ashburn area, Eddie Merlot's is the place to go.
The Famous Toastery of Ashburn is best known for being the best place to go for an affordable, yet decadent and nutritious brunch. The menu features a variety of items, including eggs Benedict, quiche, pancakes, waffles, and more. The Famous Toastery of Ashburn prides itself on using fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are both healthy and delicious. In addition to being a great place to eat, the Famous Toastery of Ashburn is also known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
The Auld Shebeen is an Irish pub in Fairfax, VA, and is a highly popular hangout spot with a reputation for quality food and live music. The pub has two floors, with the main floor featuring Irish-themed decor and a cozy fireplace. The basement is where the action is, with a dance floor and a stage for entertainment and events.
Herdon is known for its active nightlife, and Breakers Sky Lounge is one of the hottest spots in town. The pool lounge sits atop a sweeping view of the city, and the spacious dance floor is perfect for letting loose. The menu features American grub with a twist, and the cocktails are sure to satisfy. Whether you're looking for a place to relax or let loose, Breakers Sky Lounge will not disappoint.
JV's Restaurant in Falls Church, VA is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. The vintage booths are comfortable and inviting, and the wide range of musical arts on the jukebox creates a fun and festive atmosphere. The menu features a variety of comfort food favorites, including burgers, fries, and milkshakes. For those 21 and over, the restaurant also offers extensive selections of beer and wine.
Getting Around Northern VA
Getting around Northern Virginia can be a challenge, but there are a variety of transportation options available. The region's metro rail system is extensive, and buses can help to fill in the gaps. In addition, many businesses offer shuttle services to their employees. However, traffic can still be a major problem during rush hour, so it's important to plan ahead.
Carpooling is also a popular option, and there are a number of apps and websites that can help to connect people who are looking for ride-sharing partners. Whatever your transportation needs, there's sure to be an option that works for you.
Helpful tips about the public transportation in the area include:
- The Metro Rail System runs through Washington DC and extends into Northern Virginia and Maryland
- The metro has also expanded with the Silver Line which now reaches out to Dulles International Airport
- There are a variety of bus companies that service the region, including Fairfax Connector, PRTC, and WMATA
Things to Do in
Outdoor Recreation & Attractions in Northern VA
Virginia is a great state for outdoor lovers, in the spring the flowers are in bloom and the trees are starting to green. The summer brings warm weather and plenty of opportunities to go hiking, biking, and swimming. Fall is a beautiful time to see the leaves change color, and winter is perfect for cozy fires and hot cocoa. No matter what time of year it is, there's always something to do in Virginia.
There is an abundance of scenic trails to explore, historic sites to visit, and delicious restaurants to try. And be sure to save some time for shopping in Fairfax City - there are many cute boutiques and shops selling everything from clothes to art. Included below are some additional ideas on how to spend your time in this beautiful region.
The Winery at Bull Run is a unique and charming destination in Centreville, VA. Visitors can enjoy tastings of award-winning wines, picnic in the scenic parklands, and take guided tours of 19th-century vineyards. The winery is situated on over 200 acres of land, making it the perfect place to explore Virginia's natural beauty. In addition to its picturesque setting, the winery is also home to a variety of events throughout the year, making it a truly special place to visit.
Great Falls Park is a national park located in Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C. The park is home to the Great Falls of the Potomac River, which include three spectacular falls and a series of stunning white-water rapids. The area is very popular for boating, hiking, and picnicking. There are also many historical sites within the park, including the remains of a 19th-century canal system. Great Falls Park is a beautiful spot that you won’t soon forget!
The Children's Science Center Lab is a unique destination located inside Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA. The hands-on exhibits and interactive STEM activities are designed to engage kids of all ages, from toddlers to tweens. Adults can also enjoy the fun, with exhibits that explore everything from physics to engineering. The Children's Science Center Lab is the perfect place to explore, learn, and play. So come on down and check it out!
Cox Farms is a family-owned farm in Centreville, VA that offers a variety of activities and products for visitors. The farm features a petting zoo, a produce and flower market, and a variety of fall events. Cox Farms is a great place to visit for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the company of family and friends. The farm is also a great place to learn about the agricultural process and support local farmers.
Nestled in the Washington DC suburb of Vienna, VA, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem. This event venue is open daily for the public to enjoy. The garden's span is incredible and includes multiple cultivated gardens, woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and a native plant collection. There is also an event pavilion that hosts weddings, corporate events, and more.
In addition to being a one-of-a-kind destination, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is also an important environmental resource. The Gardens provide critical habitats for native wildlife and offer environmental education programs for all ages. With so much to offer, it's no wonder Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.
Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole
The Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole is an Old-West themed water park in Reston, VA. The waterpark captures the excitement of gold mining from the Old West and makes it into a fun-filled day for the whole family. The Water Mine has a 725-foot lazy river, where you can float along and enjoy the scenery. The lazy river is one of the many features that make the Water Mine a great place to visit. Other features include a wave pool, slides, and a kiddie area. The Water Mine is sure to capture the imaginations of all who visit.
Whatever you enjoy doing, you'll find plenty of things to do in Northern Virginia. So come on down and explore all that this region has to offer!
So, what do you think? Are you ready to pack your bags and head our way? We sure hope so! As we’ve shown, there are plenty of great reasons to move to Northern Virginia. From the amazing schools and business opportunities to the delicious restaurants and multitude of attractions, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant region. And don’t forget – it’s an excellent place to raise a family.