This charming little town took its name from a little place called Ashburn Farms. Today, even though this city still has its share of beautiful green land, there isn't much indication anymore that this town ever had anything to do with farms. Interesting...
Ashburn, Virginia is one of those places that you think of when you imagine what it's like to live near Washington, DC. You picture green, rolling hills, lovely wooded trails, beautiful homes many of them vintage and even historic all minutes away from the concrete jungle of the big city. Ashburn is all this, and more, because it's also home to a number of major players in the tech world, with corporate offices for companies such as Verizon Business and AOL. Added to that, it's got Redskins Park, the training camp for the Washington Redskins and a mecca for thousands of football fans across the country. With a population of 43,511 (2010 Census), Ashburn has a sophisticated, cosmopolitan vibe all contained in a charming, old-world Virginia setting.
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Moving to Ashburn
If you're looking for a house or apartment for rent, Ashburn offers a great variety of residential properties to suit all lifestyles and price points. Likewise, Ashburn is also chock-full of townhouses and condos for rent or for sale, so you won't have any trouble finding something to suit you.
The best way to find a place to live is to take a scouting trip before you move. That way, you can pick out the neighborhoods that appeal to you the most, and if you're lucky, you may spot a number of "For Rent" signs along the way. Otherwise, an online search will yield loads of available apartment, condo and home rentals in every part of town. Once you're ready to rent, be prepared to pay first and last month's rent, plus a security deposit of at least several hundred dollars.
A reality note: Ashburn is close to one of the country's great urban meccas, Washington, DC, so rents (and mortgage payments) don't come cheap here. Likewise, it's doubtful that you're going to find an all utilities paid rental property in Ashburn, and even a studio apartment for rent may seem pricey compared to other cities this size. If you're faced with prices that may seem a bit higher than those you're accustomed to, you just have to remember the old real estate axiom: location, location, location. In this case, location-wise, you do get a lot of bang for your buck, because the bright lights of DC are only 30 miles away.
Ashburn is home to a number of subdivisions that are especially popular with newcomers. Here are some of the best-known in the area:
Ashburn Village: Ashburn Village has more than 5,000 residential units, including apartments, townhouses, condos and homes. It's also adjacent to the Ashburn Village Center, a retail destination featuring a huge variety of shops and services.
Ashburn Farm: No, it's not a community farmhouse, but rather an attractive wooded subdivision that also features nature trails, athletic fields and gorgeous rolling acres of land.
Broadlands: This lovely subdivision is highlighted by the 150-acre Broadlands Stream Valley Park, an urban oasis with woodlands and hiking/biking trails. There's also a cool Nature Center and a wetlands boardwalk.
Brambleton: Just off the Dulles Toll Road, Brambleton is a 2,500-acre community with more than 8,000 residential units, a convenient shopping center and miles of public hiking trails.
Belmont Greene: Close to Trailside Park, this neighborhood development features more than 700 housing units, and is adjacent to a convenient community shopping center.
Village of Waxpool: The Village of Waxpool isn't an independent village; rather, it's an Ashburn subdivision featuring homes for sale, many with large wooded lots.
Living in Ashburn
There's nothing complicated about living in Ashburn. It's easy to get around, thanks to commuter bus services from Virginia Regional Transit. Another plus is the climate; it's relatively mild for this region, with summertime highs ranging in upper 80s and January temps in the low to mid 20s. There's around 20 inches of snow every winter, just enough to make things interesting, and around 40 inches of rain annually, so keep an umbrella on hand.
With Washington, DC only half an hour away, there's no scarcity of things to do in and around Ashburn, but you don't need to leave the city to have a good time. In particular, Ashburn is home to a number of great restaurants to suit just about every taste and budget. One great favorite with locals and a reminder that Virginia is anything but landlocked is Ford's Fish Shack, which lives up to its motto to serve fish "fresh off the hook." Diners can feast on local delicacies such as fried lobster tail and whole belly clams, or they can opt for the always-spectacular catch of the day. For classic American fare, Ashburnites flock to Clyde's for its impressive menu that features everything from glorified burgers to steaks and other grill favorites. If your passion is beer, then you'll fall in love all over again at the Lost Rhino Brewery, which features a huge range of hearty, independently-brewed artisan ales.
On the surface, Ashburn at night may not appear to be particularly bacchanalian, but there are a number of bars and restaurants featuring live entertainment in the area. If you enjoy local bands, it's worth driving just outside town to Herndon so you can check out Ned Devine's Irish Pub, which offers regional talent on weekends. During the summer months, a number of venues feature live free concerts throughout the area. Be sure to check out the music series at nearby Brambleton Town Center, as well as the band concerts just a few miles down the road in Leesburg. There's also the popular (and affordable) Loudoun Summer Music Fest, which offers a series of concerts at the Belmont Country Club.
They say that Virginia is for lovers, but as any golf fan knows, it's also for golfers. Ashburn has several top-notch courses, including Brambleton, which has a par-72 championship grade course, and Belmont Country Club, which boasts a course designed by Arnold Palmer. If football's more your thing, you'll rejoice in the knowledge that Ashburn is home to the Washington Redskins official training camp, Redskins Park, and you can even watch the team practice on specially-designated days.
If you'd rather get up for a baseball or football game of your own on weekends, you can become a regular at Trailside Park, which offers a number of sports fields. For those who enjoy the outdoors without feeling compelled to show off their athletic prowess, there's also a terrific trail for walkers, bikers and hikers.
It's an overused clich, but in this case it's entirely appropriate: There really is something for everyone in Ashburn, Virginia. This is a city that has it all from trendy brewhouses and wine bars to free summer band concerts in the park; from championship golf courses and high-tech centers to historic 18th-century manors. Plus, of course, there's all that great football going on right at your doorstep. In Ashburn, life is good indeed.