Desirable schools, excellent shopping and restaurants, amazing activities and proximity to Washington, D.C. have made the thriving Northern Virginia Communities of Great Falls and McLean a popular place for families.
In fact, Great Falls and McLean landed on the list of “Best Places to Raise a Family” in Virginia in a study released by WalletHub.
Great Falls came in at No. 5 and McLean was No. 23. The attraction of the area to affluent families is evident as Great Falls and McLean placed 1-2 in the survey for highest median family income at $201,205 and $194,832.
The stable communities also ranked high in favorable divorce rate with Great Falls the lowest in the state (4.95 percent divorce/separation rate) and McLean at No. 4.
Great Falls and McLean delivers some of the best education opportunities in the nation with U.S. News and World Report naming the two area public high schools (McLean High School and Langley High School) the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked high schools in the state.
Overall, McLean High School is ranked No. 153 in the country and Langley is No. 180. Both schools have more than 80 percent of their students taking Advanced Placement college-level courses.
The area also boasts some great private education options including the coveted trio of The Langley School, The Madeira School and The Potomac School.
The shopping options include two of the region’s top malls in Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.
The area retains a small-town charm with families gathering for decades at the McLean Family Restaurant to savor omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and other classic fare. In Great Falls, special occasions are celebrated at one of the top restaurants in the nation, L’Auberge Chez François, a classic French restaurant in a farmhouse.
Just minutes from Washington, D.C., Great Falls and McLean residents can enjoy the nation’s greatest monuments such as the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, White House, Arlington Cemetery and Mount Vernon.
The nation’s capital offers some of the top museums in the world with the National Air and Space Museum, Museum of American History, and National Gallery of Art. An entire weekend could be spent at the National Zoo or International Spy Museum or the Newseum, the interactive museum dedicated to news with 15 galleries and 15 theaters.
These attractions are close, but families don’t have to leave the area for entertainment.
Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean is a park that recreates life on a farm circa 1771. Families flock to the traditional English Harvest event with singing, dancing, hot cider and fireside stories.
Eight miles away is Great Falls Park, an 800-acre park with spectacular views and 15 miles of hiking trails. Check out roaring falls on the Potomac River, watch rock climbers scale the cliffs in Mather Gorge or see kayakers battle the whitewater.
If Great Falls Park is crowded, locals know they can head to Riverbend Park, with its 400 acres of forest, meadows and ponds.
It all adds up to Great Falls and McLean being a great place for families to call home.