Which one is best: Fairfax County or Loudoun County?
I hear this question over and over from people moving into the area.
It’s like the age-old rivalry between Army and Navy… Which one is better? The answer is: “it depends”.
What does it depend on? Well, it depends on your personal choices
But, to give you an idea of how Fairfax County and Loudoun County are similar (and different), here are some general points to help you compare:
1. General Location & Feel
2. Commuting and Transportation options
Let’s look at each of these in detail:
1. General Location & Feel
Fairfax County is west of Washington DC. It is mostly a large suburban area with a few pockets of mixed-use development (such as Reston and Tysons Corner).
Loudoun County is further west of Washington DC. Much of Loudoun is still rural although a big portion of it (mostly on the Eastern end) has had newer suburban subdivisions built in the last 10-15 years.
Now that you know where Fairfax County and Loudoun County are in relation to Washington, DC, let’s find out how to get to DC from either place.
2. Fairfax County Commuting options
a) By Metro: One can reach Washington, DC via Metro from a few different points within Fairfax County.
b) By Bus: There is also a comprehensive network of buses traversing Fairfax County – although most of the routes are really meant for commuters (i.e. buses only run at certain times in the morning or evening).
c) By Car:
If you are driving from the West end of Fairfax County to DC, then I-66 is a popular (and busy) route, along with Rt. 50.
From the Southern-end of Fairfax County, one can take I-95 and I-395 to reach DC.
Plus, the Capital Beltway (I-495) connects Fairfax County with Maryland to the North and East.
Loudoun County Commuting options
a) By Metro: As we have seen, Loudoun County is further west from DC than Fairfax County. At the moment, there isn’t a direct way to access DC by rail other than to first drive to Fairfax County to take the Metro. There are plans to extend the Metro to the Eastern part of Loudoun County, but that is still a few years away.
b) By Car: From Loudoun to DC, you could drive on Rt. 7 or the Dulles Toll Road to get to Fairfax County (and from there to DC).
c) By Bus: If you don’t want to drive, there are commuter buses that go from parts of Loudoun County into the City.
- Fairfax County is mostly suburban, more established, and closer to Washington DC.
Commuting to DC can be done by Metro, bus, or driving.
- Loudoun County is more rural (with newer suburban development) and is further West from Washington DC.
Commuting can be done by commuter bus, or by driving to Fairfax County.
Don’t miss the next posts comparing Real Estate and Schools
In the next posts, we’ll compare Fairfax County vs. Loudoun County from a Real Estate point of view; what kind of homes are available, what’s the average price, etc.
We will also compare both school districts; how many schools are in each of them, how are their scores, which ones are top rated, etc.
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Plus, you get the Fairfax County Real Estate Affordability Map, AND detailed information about each Fairfax County High School boundary.
P.S. Let us help
As always, if you have any question regarding moving to Fairfax County (or to Loudoun County), please contact us. We’ll be happy to help.
Image by West Point Public Affairs on Flickr