Fairfax, Clifton & Centreville

Northern Virginia is a great place! It is nationally recognized as an area rich in cultural diversity, opportunity and wealth. Our communities are convenient, safe, clean, and friendly. You will find that career opportunities are exploding in the high-tech industry here, while careers related to corporate, government and military service continue to abound. Medical care and human service industries are constantly seeking to employ. We offer a great variety of professional and recreational sports; diverse cultural opportunities in art, music, theater and museums; and a wide array of political activism. Historic landmarks are only minutes away from delightful neighborhoods, charming outlying towns, and terrific schools.

Day trips are a must once you make Northern Virginia your home. Be sure to visit the Maryland and Virginia beaches or theme parks in the summertime. Meander through breathtaking Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park during fall foliage season or tailgate at a football game in Annapolis at the Naval Academy. Take a day skiing or snowboarding trip to resorts in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania in the winters. During the spring, participate in a wine festival or take a pilgrimage to see the stunning cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in the District. If you want to enlarge and enrich your life, Northern Virginia is the place for it!


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Northern Virginia public schools are among the top schools in Newsweek's rankings of public high schools based on the number of graduating seniors taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests in 1999, and they continue into the 21st Century ranked considerably higher than most other suburban area schools in the USA. While technical and selective public high schools like Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria (considered by most to be the best public high school overall in the nation) were left out of the national list, other area schools have something to brag about. Out of 22,500 public high schools considered, Northern Virginia has 22 of the top 300 public high schools, including #2 George Mason in Falls Church, #25 Langley, #26 McLean, #43 West Potomac, #52 Chantilly, #54 Madison, #61 Oakton, #73 West Springfield, #85 Woodson, #94 Lake Braddock and #108 Centreville.

County Government:

                    Fairfax
                    Loudoun
                    Prince William
                    Council of Government

 
Transportation:



CLIFTON 

LOCATION
The pretty and historic town of Clifton is about 25 miles west of Washington DC, in Northern Virginia. Centreville is about 5 miles north. Despite its rural character, Clifton enjoys easy access to other Northern Virginia communities, the nation’s capital, and the eastern seaboard.

Interstate 66 is about 5 miles north of Clifton, passing through Centreville on its way east to the nation’s capital and northwest across the country. Interstate 95 lies about 12 miles south of Clifton, also feeding into the capital, and journeying west across the southern part of the country to Los Angeles, California. Interstate 495 runs in a ring around Washington DC and intersects with several additional interstates and routes that run north to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, east to the states of Maryland and Delaware, and south to the states of North and South Carolina.

TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORTS
Clifton residents have the enviable lot of enjoying country living while being close enough to the city to enjoy its benefits. There are three major airports within the greater Washington area. Washington Dulles International Airport is the closest, and Reagan Washington National Airport provides additional domestic service. The Baltimore-Washington International is the furthest (about 38 miles north of Washington, DC) but still no more than an hour’s drive away.

Washington DC’s “Metro” subway lines and bus service is extensive. The Vienna/Fairfax/GMU, Huntington, line is closest to Clifton, and the stations all have park-and-ride lots. The Virginia Railway Express offers a further commuter rail service to the capital city with a stop in nearby Centreville.

BRIEF HISTORY
The Clifton area was long an Indian hunting ground. European settlement began in the 1700s, when the land was cleared for a large plantation. The coming of the railroad assisted the plantation owners and bought merchants to the depot; Devereux Station was born, which became Clifton Station in 1868. A Post Office was built in that year and schools followed, boosting community feeling and leading to increased settlement. Clifton Station was formally acknowledged as a town on March 10, 1902, by Charter from the General Assembly.

Clifton’s residents have always treasured their historic town and cooperated to preserve its character. On August 15, 1985, the Clifton Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS
Clifton is a small, historic town in the midst of pastoral landscape; a close, neighborly community who do things together and look out for each other’s children. 

You can park your car and walk through the quaint downtown area—there are no multi-level parking garages in Clifton! Known throughout the region for its excellent restaurants, Clifton’s downtown also has lovely specialty shops. 

Homes are charming and often historical, streets are narrow, tree lined, and established, and the surrounding countryside is lush and pretty, with plentiful golfing, boating, and equestrian opportunities.

Despite all this, the nation’s capital is only 30 miles away and easily reached by road or rail. Top museums, culture and economic prospects are close at hand, and you can look forward to returning from the rat race at the end of the day!

EDUCATION
Fairfax County Schools, arguably one of the nation’s top districts, administers Clifton’s Union Mill Elementary, Liberty Middle School and Centreville High School. All schools rate highly in national comparisons. 

The district’s percentage of high school students taking Advanced Placement has been impressive for several years; each year, percentages continue to rise. Centreville High School is in the nation’s top group percentage wise. According to the School District, Fairfax County more ethnic minority students are taking Advanced Placement each year, and scoring better than ever before. In 2003, all the FCPS high schools were designated the most demanding public schools in the nation, based on the Washington Post Challenge Index.

Fairfax County’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a college prep facility that focuses on the sciences, mathematics and technology, accepts students via an entrance exam. 

Higher education options abound, with a wide range of colleges and universities in Fairfax County, Washington DC, and nearby Maryland and the District of Columbia. Nearby facilities include: George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Marymount University, Montgomery College, American University, University Of The District Of Columbia, and George Washington University.


CENTREVILLE

LOCATION
Centreville is in Northern Virginia, 30 miles west of Washington DC, in Northern Virginia. Clifton is about 5 miles south and Chantilly is 7 miles north; Fairfax is 8 miles east. 

Interstate 66 journeys through Centreville on its way east to the nation’s capital and intersects with Interstate 495, which encircles the city. Many key interstates and Routes feed into I 495 from around the country, connecting the capital and its surrounding towns to key centers on the eastern seaboard and beyond. 

TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORTS
With three major airports within the greater Washington area, Centreville is well connected to centers around America and the wider world. Washington Dulles International Airport is only 7 miles from downtown Centreville, and Reagan Washington National Airport is just under 30 miles away. The Baltimore-Washington International (about 38 miles north of the capital city) provides additional options. 

Greater Washington’s Metro Rail and Bus service connects points in Centreville with surrounding towns and Washington DC. Fairfax County is served by five MetroRail stations: West Falls Church, Merrifield/Dunn Loring, Vienna/Fairfax/GMU, Huntington, and Franconia/Springfield. The stations all have park-and-ride lots. The Virginia Railway Express also serves commuters and other travelers; its Manassas Line has a stop in Centreville.

BRIEF HISTORY
Centreville has a long and locally celebrated history, dating from the days before European contact when the area was a rich hunting ground for the local Indians. In 1742, a Mr. Willoughby Newton started to clear the land for farming; he bought 6400 acres from the crown, leased some to tenant farmers, and farmed the remainder with convict labor from England’s Newgate prison. The small village of “New Gate” sprung up nearby and was re-designated “Centreville” in the town’s 1792 charter. 

With the charter, local landowners were able to subdivide, and Centreville began to attract settlers. Fur trappers and tobacco growers began to trade there. Wagon teams from the Occoquan seaport stopped over on their way to the Shenandoah Valley. By the early 1800s, Centreville was a bustling village with taverns and churches; development was stopped short in the 1830s when the Alexandria-Orange railroad came to nearby Marnassas, attracting merchants to move their operations. 

Several historic buildings and landmarks survive from these early days, lending character to Centreville. The Sully Plantation, a Virginia landmark, was built in 1794 by Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia's first representative to Congress.

The opening action of the Civil War’s first battle was fought in Centreville and the town’s churches and taverns were turned into military hospitals for the (then victorious) Confederate Army. The Confederates pulled out in 1862 and Centreville was an outpost for the Northern Army for the remainder of the war. 

The end of the hostilities found Centreville almost destroyed as a settlement, with bombed buildings, massive deforestation and widespread farmland damage. Largely abandoned for decades, Centreville saw redevelopment after the Second World War. Fortunately, locals chose to renovate rather than raze their historic district; development has largely continued to be historically and architecturally sensitive. 

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS
Centreville is a neighborly town with a real sense of community, a thriving local arts scene, and ample parks and nature areas. The city is made up of 95 homeowner-operated districts, each with its own parks, recreation centers and other services. 

Old Centreville contains houses, churches, trading posts and earthworks from the early 1700s. Trees and green parks abound throughout the community; old churches, historic manor homes and estates give additional richness to this historic area. Residents care for their town and celebrate its history together in a number of festivals throughout the year; family artistic and sporting activities flourish year round.

Schools are some of the best in the nation, and proximity to Washington DC brings further economic and cultural advantages to Centreville.

EDUCATION
Fairfax County Schools cares for Centreville’s 7 elementary schools, middle school, high school and alternative high school. The district rates extremely well in national comparisons. 

Along with other Fairfax County high schools, Centreville High has an impressive percentage of students taking Advanced Placement; Centreville High is in the top 200 of the nation’s schools in this respect. The level of Hispanic and African American students taking Advanced Placement has risen dramatically over the last five years. In 2003, FCPS high schools were designated the most demanding public schools in the nation, based on the Washington Post Challenge Index.

Fairfax County’s esteemed Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a college preparatory school emphasizing the sciences, mathematics, and technology, is open to local children who are chosen via entrance exam. 

There are many excellent colleges and universities in Fairfax County, Washington DC, and nearby Maryland and the District of Columbia. Nearby facilities include: George Mason University (about 8 miles away in Fairfax,), Northern Virginia Community College (about 16 miles away in Annandale,), Marymount University (about 23 miles away in Arlington), Montgomery College (about 26 miles away in Rockville, MD), and the American University, the University Of The District Of Columbia, and George Washington University, all in Washington DC.


FAIRFAX COUNTY

LOCATION
Fairfax County is in Northern Virginia, directly west of Washington D.C. across the Potomac River. Maryland is directly northeast across the Potomac and the remainder of Virginia stretches out to the south. The Washington Dulles International Airport sits on Fairfax County’s northwestern flank.

Several primary interstates and routes traverse Fairfax County, linking it to the capital and beyond. Interstates 66 and 95 feed west/east into the capital from the western states, intersecting with Interstate 495, a ring road around the capital city. Many further interstates and routes radiate from I 495 to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City to the north, the states of Maryland and Delaware to the east, and North and South Carolina to the south.

A myriad of routes run north/south between I 66 in the northern part of Fairfax County, and I 95 in the southern, conveniently connecting communities to one another.

TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORTS
Fairfax County contains the Washington Dulles International Airport; the Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington DC provides additional domestic service. The Baltimore-Washington International is about 38 miles north of Washington, DC, and also serves Baltimore. 

The capital city has an excellent public transport system; with so many commuters choosing to live in Fairfax County the region is well served. Metro Rail has several lines into Fairfax County, and the stations all have park-and-ride lots. Metro Bus also provides local and connecting services. The Virginia Railway Express has two commuter rail lines to that link Fairfax County communities with Washington D.C.

BRIEF HISTORY
The Fairfax County region has a long history of human settlement. According to archaeological record, hunter-gatherers were living off the land as far back as the Ice Age. By 1608, when English Captain John Smith arrived and mapped the lands bordering the Potomac River, the native people had been hunting, gathering and farming in the stream valleys and along the Occoquan and the Potomac rivers for almost 1,500 years. The largest tribe was the Moyumpse (or Dogue as they became known to the colonists), and their main village was near today’s Mason Neck. Early English settlers took over their settlements and survived by using life ways they had learned from the Indians.

Virginia was divided into counties in 1634, and further subdivided as colonists flocked to America. Fairfax County was created in 1742, and named after Lord Thomas Fairfax, the landowner. Land was cleared and tobacco plantations built on the Potomac River; African American slaves were bought to work them (by 1782, 41 percent of the population was enslaved). Mills and small agricultural homesteads were cut out of the forests and taverns and trading posts sprung up at crossroads.
   
As one of the nation’s earliest colonial areas, Fairfax County is rich in Revolutionary and Civil War history. Founding fathers George Washington and George Mason led patriots to fight for America’s Independence from their Fairfax County homes at Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall. The first Civil War battle was fought in Fairfax County; the first of many in the bloody conflict that left the county devastated.

Freed slaves, ex-Union soldiers and local farmers worked hard to rebuild Fairfax County, but it took several decades to pay off. Dairy and cattle farming and agriculture began to thrive, increasing to meet the needs of the capital city. Trains took fresh milk to Washington. By 1925, Fairfax Virginia’s primary dairy producing county. 

With the depression came electrification and roads; the post World War II boom increased the capital city and Fairfax began to urbanise and eventually become part of greater Washington. Population grew dramatically from then on; in 1940 Fairfax County had 40,000 residents and by 1980 this had risen to almost 600,000.

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS
Fairfax County is a diverse and prosperous urban county, with one of the highest median household incomes in the country. A world center for commerce, technology and trade, Fairfax County has one of the most dynamic regional economies in the world. Jobs abound, particularly in the high-tech industries and in corporate, governmental and military careers. The public school system and higher education options are among the nation’s best, leading to a workforce that is highly educated and talented. 

Economic wealth translates into cultural riches in Fairfax County. Theaters, art centers, museums, sports and entertainment venues, and performance spaces are plentiful, augmented by those of Washington D.C. 

Fairfax County retains part of its agricultural heritage, with plentiful parks, nature areas, farms and ranches, and the Virginia wine country and horse country to the west.

Some county towns are urban in character, like Franconia, with world-class shopping, dining and nightlife, and some, like Clifton, remain small, charming, and rural. There are a wide range of homes to be found, from inner city apartment living to historic estates on large landscaped grounds, historic homes from the 18th and 19th century and modern family homes with all the conveniences.

EDUCATION
Fairfax County Schools is one of the nation’s top districts, with consistently high ratings on standard tests when compared with districts nationwide.

The district’s percentage of high school students taking Advanced Placement has been impressive for several years; each year, percentages continue to rise. In 1999, Newsweek magazine rated 22,500 schools across the nation for their percentage, and placed most of the local high schools in the top 0-200 group. According to the School District, Fairfax County schools are rating even higher today, and more ethnic minority students are taking Advanced Placement and scoring better than ever before. In 2003, all the FCPS eligible high schools were designated as the most demanding public schools in the nation, based on the Washington Post Challenge Index.

All FCPS students may apply to attend Fairfax County’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a comprehensive college preparatory school that emphasizes the sciences, mathematics, and technology. 

Higher education options abound, with a wide range of colleges and universities in Fairfax County, Washington DC, and nearby Maryland and the District of Columbia. Nearby facilities include: George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Marymount University, Montgomery College, American University, University Of The District Of Columbia, and George Washington University.

Damon Nicholas
Damon Nicholas
DamonSellsHomes
4000 Legato Road Suite 100 Fairfax VA 22033