Considering the people you will share your community with, you can expect in-depth applications before you move into any of the rental houses in Great Falls. Your references, job history, and credit will certainly be checked, and a criminal background check is quite likely as well. Be prepared to provide this detailed information right away; competition for these properties is fierce.
The center of Great Falls is a long strip that runs right along the south bank of the Potomac River. The most sought-after homes in the city are located here because this area includes the stunning 800-acre Great Falls Park, along with the Scott's Run Nature Preserve. While the vast majority of home rentals are single-family houses with four or more bedrooms, there is the possibility of securing a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment for rent in one of the few apartment complexes in the neighborhood.
West: This area primarily has large single-family houses and a few managed apartment complexes. Because there are more applications than available units, you might want to start networking long before you need to be all moved in. The best way to get nudged to the top of the list and secure application approval is to have a reference from a current resident or other well-respected individual. Here you'll find Turner Farm Park and Lexington Estates Park.
South: Bordered by Leesburg Pike (state route 7), this is a convenient location for commuters. A handful of parks are scattered throughout the neighborhood, including Great Falls Nike Park and Turner Farm Park. Rental prices are marginally lower in this section of the city, and while there isn't much in the way of apartment living, there are some duplexes for rent.
Great Falls' biggest asset, aside from its fabulous location, is all the parks you get to enjoy. It's impossible to say enough about Great Falls Park which, in addition to the Potomac River Falls that inspired the city's name, is home to intricate Native American petroglyphs. George Washington himself spent quite a bit of time exploring this area, and he worked on the creation of a canal that circumvented the Falls. Remnants of that project are still visible today.
Do you have an appetite for hiking? There are plenty of trails. There are also sheer cliffs -- if rock climbing is your thing. Just keep in mind that on the most beautiful days, the 600-space Great Falls Park parking lot gets full by the late morning.
A less famous but equally as interesting park choice is the River Bend County Park. It doesn't attract as many people from outside the city, so you'll likely run into neighbors here. This park features regular events, including holiday celebrations and summer concerts.
As for food, Old Brogue Irish Pub, Peking Delight, Great Falls Tavern, Izumi, and Deli Italiano are just some of the options available. If you're feeling extra fancy, try out L'Auberge Chez Francois. It's definitely a local favorite and people love it for the great authentic food and atmosphere, all of which is complemented by the amazing service.
The only downside to living in Northern Virginia is, perhaps, the weather -- but that all depends on your perspective. Winters get cold and snowy, and there are years when they seem to last longer than their allotted three months. Summer temperatures are typically in the mid-80s, and this area is somewhat known for humidity. Most residents handle these small obstacles easily; reliable town plowing keeps life running in the winter, and good air conditioning makes summer humidity irrelevant.