Great Falls, VA is a bedroom community located 15 miles outside of Washington, D.C. With a population of approximately 16,000, Great Falls is often cited as one of the best places to live in Virginia. Great Falls offers its residents access to many amenities—such as restaurants, coffee shops, and excellent public schools—while maintaining a bucolic charm.
Here are some notable facts that you should know about this highly sought-after suburb.
Located in Fairfax County, Great Falls gets its name from the cascading waters of the Great Falls on the Potomac River. Today Great Falls Park, part of the National Park Service (NPS), offers visitors and residents many opportunities to explore the history and nature of Northern Virginia. This includes what remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States to use locks to raise and lower boats. Remnants of the village of Matildaville are also visible in the park.
Great Falls has come a long way from its humble origins as a small farming community. In the 1800s, four communities that would make up today’s Great Falls community were settled. They included Dranesville, Colvin Run, Springvale, and Forestville. When the community fire department was formed in 1942, it was natural to name it Forestville, since it was sited in that village. In November 1955, the department name was changed to Great Falls. In 1959, the Great Falls Post Office opened, solidifying the town’s current name.
Great Falls is considered a “million-dollar community,” known for its luxury estates surrounded by plenty of land. The housing stock is primarily single-family homes featuring spacious interiors, sprawling lots, and panoramic views of the Potomac River. The most popular architectural styles include Tudor, Craftsman, and Colonial homes.
Compared to other communities in the immediate area, Great Falls offers homeowners great value when it comes to their quality of life. Buyers can find spacious homes with close access to all that Washington, D.C. has to offer including top universities, healthcare, and entertainment.
Located close to the Dulles Technology Corridor, Great Falls and the surrounding area is home to many national and international companies including Amazon, Capital One Financial, Hilton Worldwide, Northrop Grumman, and Volkswagen among many others. The headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) are all located in nearby McLean, Virginia.
Great Falls residents will find that most local destinations are easily reached by car. The main roads serving Great Falls are Leesburg Pike (VA Route 7) and Georgetown Pike (VA Route 193). The closest Metro stations are located at Spring Hill and Greensboro, on the Silver Line. Biking is allowed within Great Falls Park on several wide gravel paths, including the Ridge Trail and the Difficult Run Trail. In addition to bikers, hikers and horseback riders are welcome to use these trails.
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