What do you call a centrally located community founded just after the American Revolution? Why, Centreville of course. Centreville was indeed named for its central location on a Virginia turnpike road.
Located in the center of Fairfax County, an upscale suburb of Washington, D.C., Centreville, Virginia, covers 12 square miles with just over 71,000 residents. The town is about 20 miles and as much as 45 minutes at rush hour from Washington itself. This is a primarily suburban community surrounded by lush green land. To this day, Centreville is still the hub of major roads, and contains shops, restaurants, and parks enough to make residents feel they are truly in the center of things.
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In 1792, local landowners established this town on the turnpike road central to Alexandria, Georgetown, and Leesburg, and several other communities. Several Civil War historic sites exist in the town, with nearby battles, including the Battles of Manassas and Chantilly. Due to its strategic location, the town was a Confederate supply depot, used by Col. John S. Mosby, who today has a small museum, The Stuart Mosby Civil War Cavalry Museum, named for him. Also, the Old Stone Church is a well-preserved example from the Civil War era where many wounded soldiers were treated.
Moving to Centreville
Geographically, Centreville persists in living up to its name, with Routes 29, 28, and 620 connecting Centrevilles shopping centers, houses, and Interstate 66, which leads into the District of Columbia and other parts of Virginia.
Overall, Centreville stayed small into fairly recent times. Its growth expanded in the late 1990s when technology companies began locating here. If you work in tech, this is the spot to find employment. The town is still growing rapidly, but along with stellar job opportunities for those in computer technology and engineering fields, Centrefield boasts an extensive social community.
Newer dwellings include town houses and single-family homes, all with a backdrop of rolling hills and pleasant valleys. With Washington, D.C., and its urban pleasures from theater to music to the grandest museums in the nation close by, residents can take advantage of all these cultural offerings while still maintaining a spacious suburban lifestyle. However, Centreville itself is no slouch on the entertainment and shopping front, with chain stores and luxury boutiques in strip malls, its own multiplex movie theater, and two local newspapers.
Land to Roam
If you're looking for open space, you'll find it here. Bull Run Park is one treasured woodland area, with scenic hiking and biking trails, and fields enough to accommodate literally thousands of picnickers should the urge for a massive spread of potato salad suddenly strike you. Spring brings a bevy of beautiful wildflowers like bluebells and lupine along quiet streams. In the summer months, the park offers a large public pool, and disc golf and a shooting range with skeets, traps, and clays are open year round. Theres also an indoor archery area. More prosaic, the Ben Lomond Regional Park includes an 11-acre waterpark, softball fields, and tennis courts - even a horseshoe pitch. Popular summer concerts and movies in the park are also a part of community life.
While chain restaurants and stores abound, locals flock to boutiques and restaurants in the center of Centreville. One delectable spot is Red Rocks Caf and Tequila Bar with over forty imported tequilas to dull the edges of that workday commute. Wine tasting your thing? The Winery at Bull Run has a bucolic setting with blue hills behind it and green meadows leading into the vineyard. Besides a scenic setting, this is a popular location for tastings, weekend jazz concerts, and private events.
Tips for Renters
Property is coveted here, and on your apartment search, you'll find many residences are owner-occupied. However, look early and you should be able to find the apartment, three-bedroom house, or whatever rental you most desire. Drive around the area and get a feel for the different communities, some of which are fairly consolidated and walkable, and others with a much more rural feel. You'll also want to judge commuting distances and position your rental based on proximity to your preferred route.
Town Center: Here you'll find mostly modern town homes and apartment complexes built after the year 2000. Like row houses? You'll find plenty here. Check out the delicious Korean and other Asian-influenced cafes in this walkable area. This part of town also accommodates college students from nearby George Mason University. As such, theres a fairly lively social scene, with wine bars and restaurants as well as centrally located shops. Many residents here commute between 30 and 45 minutes daily, using their own vehicles.
Lee Hwy. / Old Centreville Rd: This neighborhood has an urban feel due to dense town-house communities. High-rise apartments and apartment complexes are primarily new structures, and occupants run the gamut of families and singles, with employment ranging from executive management to service jobs. While many residents commute to work in their own automobiles, others have no cars at all and use local public transportation or walk to local service positions.
Lee Hwy. / Bull Run Box Rd: Looking for an excellent neighborhood? You've found it here. Spacious, suburban, and featuring homes with large lots, you'll find a fair number of large- and medium-sized single-family residences and some town homes. Most were built since 1970, with the majority of homes both very recently built and quite luxurious. Family-friendly, college-educated people, many with graduate degrees, are the type of residents you will most frequently encounter. If you love the nightlife, this may not be your cup of tea - or glass of wine. This is among the top 15 percent of highest-income communities in the nation.
Store House Dr. / Saint Germain Dr: With a denser population and more urban feel, this community has modern housing ranging from apartment complexes to medium-sized, three-bedroom houses for rent. Owners and renters are an equal mix in this walkable community. From executives to college students and service industry employees, you'll find a wide range of occupations and backgrounds here. While the Washington D.C. and Virginia area play host to a number of universities and community colleges, the student population in Centreville tends to come from George Mason University, nine miles away, offering solidly regarded business and education majors for both undergraduate and graduate students.