“Where are best places to live in Virginia?” This is question we are often asked, by especially our clients relocating from out of the area. The best places to live in Virginia depends on your YOU – your lifestyle, interests, job, family and more. There is truly a community for everyone in Virginia!
We admit, we are a bit biased on this front…..we love where we live! What’s not to love about our corner of Virginia? Alexandria, Arlington, and the many towns of Fairfax County have so much to offer – proximity to our nation’s capital, great neighborhoods, loads of charm, fun things to do all year long, fabulous shopping and dining…the list goes on and on!
Here are our top picks for the best places to live in Northern Virginia!
With its rich history and charming streets, it’s no surprise that Alexandria was once voted the most romantic city in the United States. Alexandria has so many unique neighborhoods to call home. You can live in a newly built house in a quiet suburb with your growing family, make the most of the modern condos downtown, or enjoy the character filled homes that are rooted in Alexandria’s history.
Alexandria is a popular place for millennials to live because of the walkability of certain neighborhoods, such as Old Town (more on Old Town below), Rosemont and Del Ray. Many residents are commuters who work in Washington, DC, and have laid roots in Alexandria because of its relaxing atmosphere and close proximity to the Metro, and Interstates 395 and 495.
In Alexandria, you can enjoy life in an urban environment with unique restaurants and shops, without the hustle and bustle of a major city.
You can shop the boutiques in the Old Town Boutique District, visit the Del Ray neighborhood for exciting dining, and stroll through our beautiful waterfront parks. You can also visit the many historic sites and museums that showcase Alexandria’s rich heritage. It’s not only George Washington’s hometown, but also the site of many historic events from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Neighborhoods to check out: Old Town, Rosemont, Del Ray, Braddock Heights, Seminary Ridge, Jefferson Park, Belle Haven, Waynewood
Old Town Alexandria, VA
One of the most unique neighborhoods in America, Old Town Alexandria has a rich history. It is home to more than 4,200 historic buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, with sea ports on the Potomac River that were regularly used during the colonial and revolutionary periods. You can easily see history’s impact on the area, in everything from Old Town Alexandria real estate to the small-town feeling that it still holds today.
Old Town Alexandria real estate includes some of the most charming architecture and properties in the area, with regulations in place to keep it that way.
Townhouses on cobblestone streets, row houses with brick sidewalks, and some new modern constructions create a wonderful blend of historic charm and modern convenience.
Old Town has over 100 locally owned shops, most of them a part of the local Boutique District. Relaxing restaurants, independent coffee shops, and wine bars provide the perfect backdrop for a night out, with plentiful art galleries, theatres, and parks around to explore. You can jump on a boat to get to Nationals Park for a baseball game, or to Georgetown or National Harbor for even more shopping or dining. You can visit the Saturday Farmers’ Market at Market Square to pick up fresh produce and local products (fun fact: this market is the longest running one in the USA; even George Washington used to sell products there!)
Just minutes from downtown Washington DC, close to a major airport, and central transportation running throughout the area, and great walkability, Alexandria’s location can’t be beat.
Areas within Old Town to Check Out: King Street Corridor, SE Quadrant, Waterfront
Arlington combines the best of everything. Some Arlington County neighborhoods offer a true urban lifestyle (Clarendon, Rosslyn, Ballston) while others offer a charming suburban feel (Lyon Park, Westover, Dominion Hills).
Arlington’s patriotism shines throughout the community, with national memorials and museums. There are more than 80 historical markers throughout Arlington County that recognize important places throughout the centuries, from early dwellings and Civil War forts, to more modern history.
Arlington is a commuter’s dream.
Arlington Boulevard (U.S. Route 50) splits Arlington County’s northern and southern halves in two. Two interstate highways (Interstate 66 & 395) run through the county. The George Washington Memorial Parkway also runs through Arlington, easily taking you to Alexandria, DC, McLean, and Maryland. The Metro runs through North Arlington and parts of South Arlington. The Orange and Silver lines service North Arlington while the Blue and Yellow lines service South Arlington. The Metro bus has stops throughout the county.
Arlington County real estate is home to a combination of bungalows, townhouses, luxury properties, garden, mid and high-rise condominiums in a more urban setting than its neighboring communities.
Arlington offers plenty of reasons to get outside and make the most of the county. For the cyclists and runners, there’s the Custis Trail that connects to the W&OD Trail, and Mount Vernon Trail. With independent shops, unique restaurants, and a total of 155 parks and community centres, there’s tons to explore! You could also catch a musical or play at Signature Theatre, or head to Theodore Roosevelt Island Park, which has a designated dog park.
Neighborhoods to check out: Lyon Village, Clarendon, Shirlington, Ballston, Aurora Highlands, Country Club Hills
Fairfax County Virginia
This historic community runs west to Dulles Airport and south to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Beautifully preserved land, historic sites, and family friendly events provide a well-rounded lifestyle, especially because residents can usually get more land here than they’d find in the neighboring communities.
The allure of Fairfax County real estate, culture, and history is hard to resist. Its heritage and charm go far beyond just the monuments; you can experience the impact of this region’s rich past by taking in the architecture, local celebrations, and seeing the pride of the residents that honor it here.
You’ll find a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle in Fairfax County. This area is a farmland-turned-urban county, and has plenty of transportation options, including easy trails for biking or walking, bus routes, the nearby Washington Dulles International Airport, and access to multiple Interstates highways.
You will enjoy fabulous dining, shopping, entertainment and historic attractions in Fairfax County.
It has a little bit of everything! If you’re the adventurous type, you can enjoy horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, fishing, biking, and golf. Visit Tyson’s Corner Center for all of your shopping needs. Catch a show at the outdoor venue at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts or hit the trendy Mosaic District’s farmer’s market or movie theater.
Neighborhoods to check out: McLean, Falls Church, Mosaic District, Kingstowne, Pimmit Hills, Reston
Prince William County, VA
Just south of Fairfax County, you will find Prince William County. Towns within Prince William County include Manassas, Woodbridge, Occoquan, Dumfries, Quantico and Haymarket. Served by Interstates 66 and 95, Prince William County offers easy access to the area’s main employment centers. Manassas Regional Airport is within the county while Reagan National and Dulles International Airports are short car trips. Why did Prince William make our list of best places to live in Virginia?
Residents are attracted to its proximity to DC and more affordable homes than the closer-in suburbs.
Prince William offers a wide range of home types from condos to single-family homes. Those seeking newer construction homes are also drawn to this area.
You can visit Prince William’s Marine Corps Heritage Museum in Quantico or the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas for theater, ballet, and symphony performance. Enjoy a summertime concert at Bristow’s Jiffy Lube Live, which draws big name performers such as Train, Maroon Five, Jimmy Buffett, and the Zac Brown Band.
There is no shortage of outdoor space to enjoy in Prince William County. You can visit Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William Forest Park and perhaps the area’s most well known Civil War memorial, Manassas National Battlefield Park. Shoppers will delight in the many options at the Potomac Mills Outlet Center.
Neighborhoods to check out: Occoquan, Gunston, Bristow, Gainesville, Haymarket
Loudon County, VA
Loudon County is Virginia’s third largest county in terms of population. Loudoun County was established in 1757 and is named for John Campbell, Fourth Earl of Loudoun and Governor General of Virginia. It is bounded by the Potomac River on the north, Prince William and Fauquier counties on the south, Fairfax County to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains watershed to the west. Bull Run and Catoctin Mountains run through the county.
Since 2008, Loudon County county has been ranked first in the United States in median household income among jurisdictions with a population of 65,000 or more. Loudon County is home to Washington Dulles airport and several large and high-tech companies like CACI, DynCorp, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman. There is also a large rural component to the Loudon County economy.
Loudon County is quickly becoming a very popular place to live due to its relative affordability and amount of space/land you can get.
It offers many new construction developments for any home style – condos, townhomes and single-family homes. In Loudon County, you will find home styles ranging from classic Colonials to Craftsmans, from condos to expansive horse farms.
Opportunities for recreation abound in Loudon County. Enjoy its many horse farms or its approximately 40 wineries. You can take in its deep Civil War history at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield or Morven Park or shop for antiques in charming downtown Leesburg. If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, this is definitely one of the best places to live in Virginia for you!
Neighborhoods to check out: Leesburg, Aldie, Purcellville, Ashburn, Bluemont, Middleburg, South Riding
As you can see, some of the best places to live in Virginia are right here in our backyard. Don’t you love where we live?
If you need help determining the best places to live in Virginia for YOU, please reach out. Our mission is to help our clients love where they live!
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