Great Falls, VA


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Great Falls, VA

About Great Falls, VA

Great Falls is an incorporated town sitting within Fairfax County, Virginia with plenty of things to do during your stay like attending concerts at the historic Great Falls Grange Hall perfect for those looking to enjoy some family friendly fun plus nearby Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve provides stunning views ideal for outdoor activities. Additionally there are several locally owned stores and eateries providing unique items or delicious cuisine great for any budget during their stay here! National center - Along the Potomac River between southern Maryland and northern Virginia, inland from Chesapeake Bay.

State: Virginia
County: Fairfax County
Metro Area: Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro Area
City: Great Falls
Zip Codes: 22066
Cost of Living:
Time zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Elevation: 26 ft above sea level

It would be an understatement to say that the nation’s capital is a unique place. The centrally located National Mall is an urban planning gem, with excellent open spaces, walking paths, and major monuments in a classic architectural style. Lining the mall is the Smithsonian museum complex, probably the best set of museums in the world in a single location. In reality, the whole mall setup is a museum in and of itself and a major destination for locals and visitors alike. Numerous government offices and first class hospitality venues surround the mall. To the northwest of the mall, but still within the city limits, lies the upscale residential and commercial enclave of Georgetown, home to Georgetown University, George Washington Hospital, and a variety of entertainment and nightlife amenities. But not all of the D.C. central city glitters; to the north and east in particular lies a considerable expanse of socioeconomically mixed neighborhoods and areas of urban decay.

For most prospective residents, the real story of the D.C. area is the array of residential and commercial corridors surrounding the city on all sides. Just south across the Potomac in Virginia lies Fairfax County, a built-up area including the satellite city of Arlington and the larger suburbs of Alexandria, McLean, and the more upscale Fairfax. This is hardly the whole Northern Virginia story – the sprawling D.C. suburbs spread for miles into the one-time countryside, south into Prince William County and especially west into Loudoun County along the Dulles Airport corridor.

The super-suburbs (especially west) include such names Reston, Herndon, Ashburn and extend to Leesburg, all very large and mostly new residential suburbs, some well-planned and some not. Extensive commercial and corporate developments lie along the corridor with new-economy names like AOL, Nextel, Siebel, Oracle, IBM and Accenture mixed with numerous other businesses and government contractors. Employment in the greater DC area is strong in general and particularly strong in this zone. Many do commute to the DC area proper but more often commute to other places in the suburbs

The outlying northern Virginia suburbs in most ways meet the definition of “exurbs,” where people benefit economically from the city and may use its airport, but have little daily connection with it. Areas east of the city are more industrial and generally uninspiring, while the Maryland suburbs along I-270 northwest through Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Gaithersburg have been split off into another metro area.

The dominance of the U.S. Government and its impact on the local economy and culture cannot be overstated. Not surprisingly, the area has a high percentage of well-educated citizens. But a significant number of educationally and economically disadvantaged people are also within its borders. Arts, entertainment and cultural assets in total are among the best. The Cost of Living Index is high but not exorbitant for this type of area. Housing options and costs have escalated in recent years, but there are signs of softening. Growth and sprawl is a major concern, with development and business activity flung farther out into the countryside and even across venerated Civil War historic sites. Public transportation works well as far out as Dulles Airport and northwest into Maryland, but whether it relieves traffic issues further out is yet unclear.

Bottom line - Washington, D.C. and its Virginia suburbs stand alone as a U.S. city and metro area with unique beauty, plenty to see and do, an active and intellectually stimulating lifestyle, and a wide variety of employment and living options. It does have downsides, and they are becoming strong enough even in the suburbs to negatively impact the ranking. The D.C. area isn’t for everyone, but most who live there are glad they do.

Washington lies at the western edge of the mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, about 50 miles east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and 35 miles west of Chesapeake Bay. The immediate area is flat with rolling hills starting just outside the city to the northwest and southwest. The climate is coastal continental with a subtropical influence. Summers are warm and humid with occasional hot, sticky spells and thunderstorms. Because of the inland location, summer heat and humidity aren’t offset by sea breezes. Winters are cold but not severe. Precipitation is uniformly distributed throughout the year. Potomac floods can result from heavy rains, sometimes augmented by snowmelt and high tides. Normal winter snowfall is 18 inches, but occasional heavy snows of 25 inches or more do occur. First freeze is early November, last is April 1.

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Great Falls Cost of Living
$$$$

Uniquely attractive core, arts and culture, and historic interest make Great Falls a great place to live.

$1,404,000
+75.9% higher than avg
$250,001
+72.4% higher than avg
$2,500 /mo
Monthly rent (2br)
+54.1% higher than avg
Great Falls Crime
18.1 / 100
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high). US average: 35.4
Minimum annual income
To live comfortably in Great Falls, Virginia
$268,920
for a family
$96,000
for a single person
Pros & Cons of Great Falls
   Uniquely attractive core
Growth and sprawl
   Arts and culture
Cost of living
   Historic interest
Summer heat
Reviews for Great Falls
    See all (3)

Over 16 years ago

Close to Washington, DC (so you get the benefits of a major metropolitan area), yet maintains a semi-rural character. No multi-family housing. Excellent school system.  More

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Over 17 years ago

We actually live in a small part of Great Falls that is located in Loudoun County, but this comment actually applies to the bulk of the area in Northern Virginia.   More

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Over 18 years ago

It takes way too much money out here for anyone who is just starting or trying to get a foothold in the working world. You cannot afford to live anywhere without having  More

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