"I woke up this morning / The breeze blowing across my face / I just had to look up above and thank somebody for this place /
Because He must have been have been thinking 'bout me / When He planted that very first dogwood tree / It's where I want to be / Living in the sweet Virginia breeze."
--Robbin Thompson, "Sweet Virginia Breeze"
Hop on over the Potomac River just to the northwest of Washington, DC, and you'll land in Dranesville, a small town in Virginia that borders McLean and Arlington. Dranesville has a funny name, and you might initially think that the area was named after a plumbing part. In reality, however, Dranesville was named after a man, Washington Drane, an early settler who moved to the area from Washington, D.C. proper around 1810. Washington Drane started a famous tavern there, the Dranesville Tavern, and it is still in the town today (it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places). Dranesville has more history than just its first settler. It was also the site of the Battle of Dranesville during the Civil War. Today, there's plenty happening in Dranesville; you don't have to worry that this whole place is about the past! In fact, the town is a great commuter community, where many people go into and out of Washington, D.C. for work or play, but they also spend time in and invest in their hometown of Dranesville.
Moving to Dranesville
Dranesville is a great place to move. It's a commuter town, so there are tons of housing options, from 1 bedroom apartments for rent to 3 bedroom apartments. If you're starting a search for apartments in Dranesville, you're going to want to start by gathering all your personal information. Gathering necessary documents will allow you to put in an application on an apartment to rent, should you find one that speaks to you! Some of the parts of your application will include pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, proof of income, proof of employment, a credit report, letters of reference from former landlords, letters of reference from personal contacts, and copies of your IDs. Another important way to secure an apartment to rent is by putting down a deposit. Usually a deposit includes the first month's rent and a security deposit that's equal to the amount of the first month's rent. You might also be asked to put down the last month's rent, too, so you might want to pinch pennies and save up before you start the hunt.
Neighborhoods in Dranesville
One of the most important things to do when you're moving to a new town is to explore and do research about the neighborhoods. Some people think of Dranesville itself as a neighborhood in Virginia, but in reality, the area has smaller pockets, each with its own personality that can provide a totally different living experience. If you want to make sure you end up in the right spot in town, then look into each area in Dranesville before you start hunting. Ask yourself if an area has the right aesthetic look, the right community, the right amenities, and convenient access to all the places you need to go. If you want to know more about Dranesville neighborhoods, then check out the list below. It contains lots of helpful information to help you make an informed decision before you move.
Northwestern Dranesville: Dranesville is a funny shape, but the northwestern half of the town is located just north of Reston, and it includes Herndon. The area is beautiful and scenic, with lovely waterfront property on the Potomac River. If you end up looking for a home here, expect to find quiet streets lined with trees, and real homes with yards. This isn't necessary the best place to find apartment buildings like high-rises. Like the outdoors? This is a great place to enjoy it. River Bend Golf and Country Club is in this neighborhood, as is Great Falls Park,Turner Farm Park, Great Falls Nike Park, Lockmeade Park, Lexington Estates Park and the Great Falls Neighborhood. There's also more water in this area of town; you can see Lake Werowance and Piney Run.
Southeastern Dranesville: Southeastern Dranesville is a more bustling part of town. It borders McLean, and it has lots of neighborhoods and businesses in it. Southeastern Dranesville has many neighborhoods in it, and a great mix of residential and commercial property. You'll definitely find a huge supply of rental homes here. Like to be outside? The area also has outstanding parks like the Scotts Run Nature Preserve, Langley Oaks Park, and Langley Fork Park. Into spies? You'll like it in Dranesville. This area is also home of the CIA. This area is supremely close to Washington, D.C. proper, so it'll be a great choice of home if you're deciding to commute. There's plenty to do in the neighborhood, too, so if you like to shop, you'll feel at home. The area is home to the Langley Shopping Center, as well as other shops that line Old Dominion Dr.
Living in Dranesville
If you live in Dranesville, chances are you chose it over Washington, D.C. because you like something a bit calmer and a bit more affordable. Dranesville is a nice place to live with lots and lots of opportunities to spend time outside and soaking up the beautiful Virginia nature. Like sports, recreation, or just the sun? Enjoy one of the area's many parks. One of the nicest is Langley Oaks Park, which borders the Potomac River. There are lots of other cool attractions in Dranesville, and not all of them grow from the ground. One is the CIA headquarters, which is awesome to know exists, but you probably won't get to tour it. If you like to spend time on the water, you can find plenty of opportunities in Dranesville. The Potomac is large and grand, but smaller bodies of water in town like Woodside Lake, Rocky Run, Dead Run, Pimmit Run, and Little Pimmit Run can be taken advantage of by Dranesville residents, both for beautiful views and for water sports like boating, rafting, skiing, or fishing. If you like great food but don't want to have to fish for it, Dranesville also has some great restaurants. L'Auberge Chez Francois is a superb French dining experience, and it's often considered one of the best classic restaurants in the entire Washington, D.C. area.