Inspired by Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” on their May 2012 edition, here is a compilation of our “Best places to live in Fairfax County” – broken down by high school boundaries.
First, let’s look at boundaries serving the small towns (since the latest trend is for people to walk to quaint shops and leave the big SUV at home):
Best boundaries for small town lovers
Fairfax County is a western suburb of Washington D.C. Within the County, there are several small towns – a few of them with the category of “City”. Each of these towns has its own town center, a little (or a lot) of history, and some of them even have their own government. The high school boundaries surrounding small towns in Fairfax County are:
|High School Boundary||Small Town or City|
|Herndon HS||Town of Herndon|
|South Lakes HS||Reston (an award-winning planned community)|
|George Mason HS||City of Falls Church|
|Madison HS||Town of Vienna|
|Fairfax HS||City of Fairfax|
|T.C. Williams HS||City of Alexandria|
The downside of living in a small town is that homes are smaller and/or more expensive. For many people, living in the suburbs gives them the opportunity of living in a bigger home, with a big back yard that they’ve been dreaming of – without breaking the bank.
Best boundaries for suburb lovers
Connecting the small towns around the County, there are large expanses of suburban neighborhoods characterized by tree-lined roads, homes situated in cul-de-sacs, and a good dose of parks and green areas:
|High School Boundary||Suburb or Area|
|Westfield HS||Centreville, VA; Chantilly, VA|
|Chantilly HS||Chantilly, VA|
|Oakton HS||Oakton, VA|
|Robinson HS||Burke Center; Fairfax Station; Clifton, VA|
|Lake Braddock HS||Burke, VA|
|West Springfield HS||Springfield, VA|
Also among the suburban category, there are boundaries with direct access to bodies of water.
Best boundaries for water lovers
Fairfax County is surrounded by the Potomac River on the North and East side, plus there are several small lakes scattered throughout the County. The Potomac River and the lakes give water lovers access to fishing, boating, and even kayaking.
|High School Boundary||Body of water|
|Langley HS||Potomac River north-west & Great Falls|
|Lake Braddock HS||Lakes Braddock, Accotink, Royal, Huntsman|
|Robinson HS||Burke Lake|
|T.C. Williams HS||Old Town Alexandria Waterfront|
|Mount Vernon HS||Potomac River|
|West Potomac HS||Potomac River|
|South County HS||Gunston Cove, Belmont Bay (Potomac River)|
For some people, having a reasonable commute to work is critical. For this, we’ve assembled a list of the best school boundaries for commuting to DC.
Best boundaries for commuting to DC
Let’s face it: commuting to Washignton DC can be a challenge. The good news is that living in one of these school boundaries can make the commute shorter and perhaps a little faster due to access to rail or to their proximity to Washington, DC.
|High School Boundary||Why it is better for commuting|
|McLean HS||Easy access to DC and to the new Silver line of the Metro|
|Marshall HS||Access to I-495, I-66, Rt. 50, etc.; near Metro|
|George Mason HS||Near the Orange line of the Metro|
|Annandale HS||Access to I-495, I-95, I-395|
|Edison HS||Along the Blue line of the Metro|
|T.C. Williams HS||Along the Yellow/Blue line of the Metro|
Again, the downside of easy access to the Metro is that housing can be more expensive than in other areas. But, the good news is that there are other boundaries which are centrally located and also within easy access to the major thoroughfares. These boundaries can be a good choice for people not commuting to DC.
Best boundaries for easy access to everywhere
If you are looking for a central location with easy access to employment and shopping centers such as Washington D.C., Tysons Corner, or Reston, living in one of these boundaries could be a good choice:
|High School Boundary||Why it is a good choice for commuting|
|Falls Church HS||Near I-495 and I-66|
|Stuart HS||Along Rt. 7 and next to Arlington Co.|
|Woodson HS||Right in the middle of the County|
|Edison HS||Along I-495, I-395, I-95|
|T.C. Williams HS||Access to DC, Arlington & Maryland|
And last but not least, if your most important criteria is home values, you might be interested in these boundaries:
Best boundaries for value lovers
Smart home buyers know that more space for less money can be beautiful thing. The average price for homes in these school boundaries have historically been below the average for the County – so if you’re looking for good value, you might want to look into these:
|High School Boundary||Why it’s affordable|
|Centreville HS||on the western-end of the County|
|Lee HS||established neighborhoods|
|Hayfield HS||many townhomes available|
|Mount Vernon HS||established neighborhoods|
And those are the six lifestyle categories of Fairfax County school boundaries – but notice that we didn’t categorize them by “best schools”…
What about the best boundaries with the “best schools”?
We didn’t create a category based on “best schools” because choosing a school is a matter of personal preference: Are scores most important? Are special programs most important? That depends on your needs.
And we want to help you find YOUR best school. That’s why we put together “How to Choose the Right School”, which is the first download in “The No-Tears Guide to Moving to Fairfax”. If you already have it, you might want to review it. If you don’t have it yet, go ahead and get it here. It’s free!
We hope that you have found this list of school boundaries categorized by lifestyle useful. Whether you are a fan of small towns, suburbs, water-access, commuting, accessible location, or value, Fairfax County has the right home for you.
Log in to the Fairfax County School Boundaries Map and find more details about your favorite school boundary: maps, area info, school scores, and housing information.
Photos by Washingtonian & cliff1066(tm)