Fairfax County was established in 1742 and named after Thomas, the sixth Lord Fairfax. Located 10 miles southwest of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., the county covers 399 square miles and has major shopping hubs, national parks, a wide variety of restaurants and popular cultural attractions within its boundaries.
Fairfax County is the business and technology center of the East Coast. More than 27,000 businesses are critical to moving the American and global economy forward, including leaders in aerospace, information technology, defense and intelligence systems, software development, telecommunications and the life sciences. Fairfax County's location between Washington Dulles Airport and the nation's capital offers unique access to the world's largest buyers of technology goods and services, as well as good transportation connections to the most important national and international markets.
As the home of patriot-farmers George Washington and George Mason, Fairfax County has rural roots. As recently as the 1950s it was the leading dairy producing county in the Commonwealth. Now it is a world center of commerce and trade and the technology hub of the U.S. East Coast. More than 4,000 technology companies have offices here, including leaders in aerospace, e-commerce, Internet services, software development and telecommunications. It is the home of the Internet, with more than half of the world's Internet traffic crosses northern Virginia's borders daily.
Fairfax County has led the transformation of the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area into a technology hub. The Washington D.C. area has more technology companies and technology workers than any other region in the U.S., according to a 1999 study commissioned by the Greater Washington Initiative.
Fairfax County has the largest number of jobs (517,734) and the largest labor force (532,000) in the Washington area. The county has the highest median household income ($90,937) and one of the highest standards of living in the country. Fairfax has one of the nation's highest ranked school systems, award-winning local and regional park systems, and other top flight public services.
Fairfax County enjoys an abundance of attributes that make it one of the most desirable places in the U.S. to work, live and play. These attributes its diversified and dynamic business base, highly trained workforce, competitive tax structure, historically low unemployment rate, multi-modal transportation network, extensive fiber network, historic attractions, broad cultural and recreational opportunities and high quality of public service - are the lifeblood of any thriving technology community.
Fairfax County Facts
- The Metropolitan Washington, D.C., area has more technology companies and technology workers than any other U.S. metro area.
- Twelve of the top 15 federal contractors are Fairfax County-based companies.
- Thirteen of the top 20 largest technology employers in the Washington, D.C., region are based in Fairfax County.
- With more than 100 million square feet of office space, Fairfax County is one of the largest suburban office markets in the United States.
- Washington Dulles International Airport is one of the largest transatlantic gateways on the East Coast and a hub for both United and Lufthansa airlines. There are 28 direct daily international flights.
- Fairfax County is home to seven Fortune 500 company headquarters: Freddie Mac, General Dynamics, Nextel Communications, Capital One Financial, Sallie Mae, Gannett and NVR.
- The Washington, D.C., area is the most wired place in the country, with nearly 60 percent of adults hooked up to the Internet.
- Fairfax County is home to the National Air and Space Museum's new Steven F Udvar Hazy Center the largest aviation museum in the world-located near Dulles Airport.
An International Business Community
Foreign-owned firms are one of the fastest growing segments of Fairfax County's business community. More than 223 of these firms, employing more than 18,640 people, are located in the county, including:
- Airbus North America
- BAE Systems
- Deutsche Post Global Mail
- Dimension Data
- Siemens Information Communications Network
- Software AG
- Toshiba America Information Systems
- China Telecom
Also, thousands of firms have opened their doors in the past decade to take advantage of the county's excellent public schools, colleges and universities; strategic access to Washington, D.C.; Dulles and Reagan Washington National Airports; high-quality commercial real estate; well-maintained and diverse residential communities.
Fairfax County offers its residents a truly enviable quality of life, including:
- A top-ranked public school system;
- A cosmopolitan culture with world-famous museums and historic attractions, a wide selection of places to shop and dine, a lively performing arts scene and much more-all just minutes from home or office;
- Sports, recreation and outdoor amenities, including abundant open space; and
- High-quality local government, regarded as one of the best managed in the nation.
As a new resident of Fairfax County, did you know that
- Fairfax County is the most populous county in Virginia; According to the 2000 census, 984,366 people live here, making the population larger than that of seven states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming)
- Fairfax County, which covers 395 square miles, has 358,149 households with a median family income of $84,683 as of 2001. The median market value of a single-family home in 2001 was $288,585.
- Fairfax County is governed by a Board of Supervisors composed of 10 members; a chairman, elected at large, and one member from each of nine Supervisor districts, elected for four-year terms by the voters of the districts in which the members reside. The Board appoints a County Executive to administer the county government, carrying out the policies established by the Board.
- Fairfax Countys school system is the largest in Virginia and the 12th largest in the nation. Fairfax County voters elect School Board members for four-year terms. Because the School Board doesnt have the power to tax or incur debt, the local operating costs of the school system are provided from federal and state government funds and by transfers from the county budget to the schools. Approximately 52.5 percent of each county tax dollar goes to schools.
- Out of approximately 32,000 counties and cities in the United States, Fairfax County is one of only 29 with three Triple A bond credit ratings, the highest credit rating possible. This means that the countys bonds always sell at lower interest rates, saving millions of dollars each time bonds are sold.
- Fairfax County is one of the safest counties of its size in the nation. It has fewer police officers per 1,000 residents than any other suburban area, yet it has one of the highest levels of police service at one of the lowest per capita costs in the D.C. area.
- Fairfax County has more than 21,000 acres of public parkland and operates more than 370 facilities. The Park Authority offers a tremendous variety of activities, natural environments and sports programs.
- Tysons Corner, located within the county, contains one of the largest concentrations of retail shopping on the East Coast outside of New York City.
- The Fairfax County Public Library was recently ranked one of the top ten library systems in America. It has 21 branches, 3 million items, and had more than five million visits last year.
The northern Virginia climate is moderate, with the average temperature and precipitation reaching 53.9 degrees Fahrenheit (12.1 degrees Celsius) and 40 inches (101.6 cm), respectively.
Local Area Communities
This exclusive horse oriented community which takes its name from the fall line of the Potomac, is a fast growing, upscale residential area limited to single family homes on lots of at least one half acre. Although it has undergone considerable growth, Great Falls remains rural in atmosphere.
The Early American style village center features quaint shops and fine restaurants. Great Falls Park with its visitors center and nature trails offers beautiful views of the Potomac River. The town also features an equestrian center and several country clubs and parks.
One of Fairfax County's most exclusive and sought after communities, McLean has a heritage rich in American history. Captain John Smith's appraisal in 1608 still holds true today, "Heaven and earth never agreed to frame a better place for man's habitation."
McLean lies in the northernmost part of Fairfax County bordered by the natural beauty of the Potomac River, Great Falls, Arlington County, Leesburg Pike and the city of Falls Church.
McLean's proximity to Washington D.C., Dulles International and National airports attracts a great blend of citizens offering a wonderful cultural diversity. Cars with congressional and diplomatic license plates are commonplace in McLean.
The Tysons Corner area of McLean is a business district about equal to that of downtown Seattle. More than one half of Tysons businesses are high technology firms, however Tysons is also home of one of the most booming retail centers in the United States.
Oakton was named for a large oak tree that once served as a landmark but was removed during road construction. Rentals are scarce in this quiet, residential community that features many homes on large lots to accommodate horses. Located just off Route 66, Oakton is only 13 miles from D.C. which has made it a popular town with commuters.
Oakmarr Recreation Center and Park, adjoining Oakton, features a play area, pool, racquetball and athletic fields. Tysons Corner and Fair Oaks Mall are both nearby for convenient shopping.
Vienna is an attractive suburban community featuring a pleasant mix of old and new homes. A town rich in history, the first house was built here in 1767. Vienna is one of the original trolley towns. As early as 1903, a trolley provided hourly transportation into Washington, D.C. Today, modern commuters use Metrorail for a quick 30 minute trip. Vienna retains its small town atmosphere with local grocers and specialty shops located in the town center. Tysons Corner is nearby. Proximate to Vienna is Wolf Trap Farm Park, a much acclaimed performing arts showcase. The town's active community center sponsors sports leagues as well as enrichment classes in a variety of subjects.
This very successful community began in 1962 when Robert E. Simon sold Carnegie Hall in order to purchase the land where Reston is now located.
There are now four manmade lakes and five village centers which offer local shopping and services. Built on the concept of open spaces intermixed with clusters of town homes, apart-ments, and single family homes, Reston is able to offer housing for all income levels.
This 16.6 square mile community has attracted more than 1,000 corporations, which serve as the foundation for the area's very healthy employment base.
The Reston Town Center is a modern plaza with fountains, office buildings, a hotel, and restaurants offering outdoor dining, a cinema complex and an ice skating rink. The Dulles Toll Road cuts planned driving time to D. C. to 30 minutes, and less than 15 minutes to Tysons Corner. Because of the careful planning, most local residents can walk to lakes, parks, playgrounds and community centers.
New England farmers migrated here in the 1800s to escape the northern winters. This quaint town is once again experiencing growth brought on by the influx of new high tech companies and Dulles International Airport, just three miles away.
The historic, restored town center features Victorian style homes and buildings and clusters of townhouses. Most of the homes in Herndon were built in the 1970s and are either contemporary or traditional styles. New construction is available on the outskirts of town.
Located around the intersection of Routes 7 and 28, Herndon residents benefit from the ever improving access to D.C. and the surrounding communities. Commuters can take the Dulles Toll Road to the Washington Beltway.
Neighborhood shopping is augmented by nearby Tysons Corner and Fair Oaks Mall. The recently expanded Herndon community center provides residents with a fitness room, indoor gym, and programs and classes for all ages.
Clifton is an historic village of white picket fences and Victorian homes. This small, charming town displays strong community spirit as evidenced by its annual Clifton Day celebration when the streets are closed for an all day festival.
Properties in Clifton are typically in the higher price ranges, especially the spacious colonials on larger parcels of land, sometimes up to five acres. Little Rocky Run, a large planned community is located here.
As an equestrian oriented community, many of the homes feature paddocks for horses.
There are also facilities for boarding and many riding trails can be found on the outskirts of town. The commute to Washington D.C. is approximately one hour via I-66.
Is a dynamic county with an outstanding quality of life, located just 25 miles from Metropolitan Washington, D.C.. The home of Dulles International Airport and America Online, Loudoun has established a reputation as an international center for technology, communications and transportation.
Bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Potomac River, Loudoun is widely known for its beautiful scenery, rich history and strong sense of community. The county also enjoys a reputation for high quality services, including a first rate educational system.
The Town of Leesburg, the county seat, was once named "George Town" honoring King George II. Leesburg was established in 1758 from land originally held by Lord Fairfax, then renamed for the influential Lee family of Virginia. The town was formed at the crossroads of two Colonial roads, now Routes 7 and 15, and is the seat of government for beautiful Loudoun County. Leesburg is located just 35 miles northwest of Washington D.C., at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. George C. Marshall, architect of the Marshall Plan and former Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, lived in Leesburg until his death in 1959.
The Town of Middleburg, located just an hour's drive west from the nation's capital, is best known as the capital of Virginia's famous Hunt Country. The town was so named because it was midway on the Winchester to Alexandria trading route known as the Ashby Gap Road, which is now Route 50. Serving as a host community for more than 250 years, it is no surprise that Middleburg has developed such a high concentration of fine inns, shops and restaurants.
Foxhunting in Virginia began in the Middleburg area around 1748, when Thomas the sixth Lord Fairfax, set up the first pack of foxhounds in the English manner of the order of the present day hunts. Hunting was a casual sport enjoyed by local families until the first hunt, the Piedmont, was organized in 1905. Today there are 10 active hunts in the Hunt Country proper.
The John Singleton Mosby Heritage Area is remarkable not only for its history and natural beauty, but also because it retains so much of the landscape and landmarks of three centuries of our past. Native Americans followed the buffalo along what is now Route 50, the John S. Mosby Highway. Quakers, Scotch-Irish, Germans, Africans, Tidewater planters created here a magnificent heritage of architecture and landscape which can teach us vividly about the past.
Local Area Communities
Two of Loudoun's newest planned residential communities are located on the south side of the Route 7 corridor. These adjoining communities offer a wide selection of new homes by seven major builders in traditional styles. Some homes have lake frontage.
Residents can choose from an abundance of sports, recreational, and leisure time activities, much of which is built around a 32,000 square foot Sports Pavilion in Ashburn Village.
In addition, there are miles of jogging paths and bike trails, baseball and soccer fields, lighted tennis courts, and border ing the Sports Pavilion, a lake with a marina.
Ashburn Village and Ashburn Farm are minutes away from Leesburg to the west and Countryside Town center to the east, both of which offer shopping not found in the village itself.
Cascades is a 2,500 acre planned community in eastern Loudoun County, Virginia along the Potomac River north of Route 7. The main roads of the Cascades community are Algonkian Parkway, Cascades Parkway, Whitewater Drive, Potomac View Road, Palisade Parkway, and Lowes Island Boulevard. Cascades extends all the way north to the Potomac River and includes the private Lowes Island Country Club. Route 7, which is also named Leesburg Pike in Fairfax County and the Harry Byrd Highway in Loudoun County, is the community's main point of entry
Cascades consists of two neighborhoods: Lowes Island and Potomac Lakes. When completed, the community will include 6,500 homes. There are wonderful amenities that the community provides to its residents, including community centers, swimming pools, walking and biking trails, tennis courts, tot lots, and other facilities. Cascades is made up of single family homes and townhouse condominiums built by many local and national home builders. Dulles Town Center is a new 1.4 million square foot, two level regional mall within 5 miles from Cascades.
Leesburg, the county seat, was named for Francis Lightfoot Lee who signed the Declaration of Independence. Originally a frontier fort, this quiet, residential community has many interesting historic sites. The Loudoun County Museum and the American Work Horse Museum are located here. Antique shops are numerous.
Many of Leesburgs residents commute to Washington, D.C., 35 miles away via Route 7. Leesburg's Historic District has many beautifully restored 18th and 19th century buildings with wrought iron fences and brick walkways. Most of the homes in town are Victorian style single-family residences and townhouses.
Newer homes in a variety of styles can be found on the outskirts of town.
Sterling, formerly a rural crossroads, is now home to several suburban communities, which were developed just off Route 7. Commuter bus service is available to D.C., located about 25 miles away.
Sterling Park, established in 1963, was built by U.S. Steel Corporation and is home to about 18,000 residents. Housing styles are mixed and primarily in the affordable price ranges.
There are a number of active civic and social groups in the area. Sterling Park features a community center and 70 acres of recreational facilities.
Arlington County, the second smallest county in the United States occupies just 26 square miles. Separated from Washington, D.C. by the Lincoln Memorial Bridge, it is the most urban of Virginias counties.
The presence of the Federal Government is considerable, as it employs nearly one-half of the countys work force. Ballston Metro Center, Sequoia Plaza, Stafford Place and Crystal City Underground, a shopping mall and metro complex set below Arlingtons high-rises are part of the reason the area is referred to as Little Manhattan.
Arlington is also home to many military sites, national landmarks and memorials such as Arlington National Cemetery, with the Tomb of the unknown Soldier and Kennedys Gravesite, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Pentagon.
A variety of housing choices exists. New residents can choose from established single family homes on treelined streets, townhouses, or condominiums (both garden style and high rise). A limited selection of new construction is also available.
Two regional parks, Upton Hill and Potomac Overlook a 100-acre nature preserve along the Potomac Palisades, provide residents with a beautiful respite from the urban environment. In addition, there are numerous community centers, playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, and swimming pools.