Welcome to Northern Virginia
Land of vineyards, equestrian farms, old plantations, and cobblestone streets
Fondly referred to as NoVA, this is another historic region of Virginia. It’s a large area covering 13 counties and seven cities, and it’s steeped in the earliest of American history with roots all the way back to the 1600s. NoVA boasts an interesting past as part of an English colony, then a major player in the American Revolution, and after that, a prominent part of the Civil War. It’s home to Mount Vernon in Fairfax County, the original home of President George Washington.
Today, Northern Virginia is a vibrant, bustling, metropolitan area with many prominent businesses and landmarks, including The Pentagon, the Department of Defense, the CIA, and Arlington National Cemetery. NoVa is also home to many politicians and diplomats. Beautiful historical architecture can be found here, including Georgian, Victorian, Queen Anne, Tudor, Colonial, and Federal styles. There are also modern contemporary homes, townhouses, and condominiums. The region is awash with vineyards, museums, art galleries, upscale shopping districts, restaurants, delis, bistros, spas, and salons.
What to Love
Theaters, outdoor concerts, museums, and art galleries
Posh salons, spas, boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, and bistros
Scores of parks, tennis courts, and golf courses
Cosmopolitan living and excellent educational institutions
Day trips through wine country with spectacular views of the countryside
Excellent public transportation throughout the area and to Washington, D.C.
With 47+ farmers' markets to choose from, locals get the best fresh produce and a chance to hang out and talk with neighbors. Outdoor living is encouraged in Northern Virginia, and outdoor summer concerts are heavily attended and enjoyed, with music, dancing, food, and fun. Residents also enjoy walking, hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, and bird watching at the many parks and nature sanctuaries. Of note is the Great Falls National Park with 800-acres of the great outdoors.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
You’ll find Vola’s Dockside Grill along the Alexandria riverfront, and the Creole shrimp fettuccine is especially good. If you love Afghan food, head over to Gainesville and visit the Afghan Famous Kabob restaurant, and make sure you try the Palau kabob. For pizza like you’ve never had before, visit the &Pizza restaurant in Springfield and order the American honey pizza. For a special date night, don’t miss the Akira Sushi Bistro in Ashburn. Rumor has it the Akira love boat is the ultimate in sushi, sashimi, and rolls.
There’s a veritable shopping paradise at Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria in McLean. All of the big-name designers are there—clothing, fragrance and beauty products, high-end accessories, eyewear, footwear, fine jewelry, sportswear, spas, and fine art galleries.
If theater interests you, the Avant Bard Theatre in Arlington is a quirky must-see for the trendiest and newest talent Northern Virginia has to offer. For a special treat, enjoy a wine tasting party and vineyard tour at one of the 40+ wineries and tasting rooms of Loudoun County, notably the 868 Estate Vineyards in Purcellville.
Things to Do
Residents love to schmooze at the 157-acre Westwood Country Club, complete with a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, and clubhouse. For nature trails, hikes along the Potomac River, a campfire ring, and a restored log cabin from the 1800s, check out the Gulf Branch Nature Center & Park. Over at the Red Gate Farm, you can watch a jumper show, take horseback riding lessons, and board and train your horse.
Northern Virginia is served by several school districts and is notable for the following schools.