Keri Shull’s Neighborhood Spotlight: Vienna
Vienna is an authentic and affluent neighborhood with small-town charm and plenty of modern amenities. Vienna has been included in CNN/Money and Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live” lists for several consecutive years, most notably taking home third in 2013. This quaint, cultured town offers a great lifestyle, good access to major employment centers, both hyper-local and world-class shopping and dining options nearby, and some of the best public schools in the country. It has a historic downtown center — home to the oldest volunteer fire department in the county, the first black public school, and the first county hospital — and offers a variety of beautiful homes for any type of home buyer. Vienna is just 12 miles west of Washington D.C. along I-66 and surrounded by other notable neighborhoods like Reston , Great Falls , Chantilly , Fairfax , Mclean , and Falls Church . Conveniently, each of these areas are just 10 miles or less from Vienna and easily accessible by car. Residents can also hop a ride at the Vienna Metro station along the Orange line. Home buyers ultimately choose Vienna because it is a convenient and modern yet safe and serene place to raise a family just miles from the capital.
History of Vienna
Like many other Northern Virginia neighborhoods, Vienna has its own rich history dating back to the 18th century. The land was first settled in 1754 by Colonel Charles Broadwater, and the first home was built in 1767 by Broadwater’s son-in-law, John Hunter. In the 1850s, Dr. William Hendrick settled into the area with his family and decided to rename the community ‘Vienna’ after his hometown in New York. Just a decade later, Vienna hosted one of the earliest battles in the Civil War along the town’s railroad tracks. It was the first time troops had ever traveled by train, and they were ambushed by Confederate forces along the tracks in a clash now known as the Battle of Vienna. Both Confederate and Union forces used Vienna as a camping ground during the Civil War, so when the war drew to a close, many families decided to just stay put. Decades passed and Vienna stayed a quiet, rural town until urban development reached its borders around 1950. However, despite Vienna’s post-modern growth spurt, it stayed true to its historical roots and offers a pleasant reprieve from the fast-paced life of the capital.
Housing in Vienna
Residential real estate in Vienna is dominated by charming, single-family homes on modestly sized lots. Many yards are well-manicured and boast a healthy array of foliage, and the streets are safe and well lit. Prospective home buyers will find many modern Craftsman-style homes ranging from 3,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, along with a fair share of Colonials and brick-faced townhomes. The average home price in Vienna is upwards of $600,000 and homes are only predicted to gain value in the next few years as the Silver line Metro reaches completion. The increasing appeal of living in a neighborhood like Vienna has led to many new construction homes, including upscale condo and apartment buildings closer to the downtown center. If anything, most homes in the area have been renovated to include new, high-end features. However, there are still a few homes in Vienna that retain classic architectural features from the 1950s and ‘60s when the neighborhood experienced its first growth spurt.
Entertainment in Vienna
With a population just under 16,000 people, many people mistake Vienna for a sleepy town. Despite its appearances, Vienna offers plenty of modern amenities like shops, restaurants, theaters, art galleries, and music venues. The downtown area of Vienna is a vibrant mix of mom-and-pop shops, locally owned restaurants, and historic sites. The cultural diversity of the community has created an eclectic restaurant scene that attracts visitors from all over the region. When residents feel like taking it up a notch, they travel to the nearby Tysons Corner Shopping Center and Galleria to visit upscale boutiques and enjoy high-end fine dining. All of the staple conveniences can be found in Vienna as well, so residents don’t ever have to leave the neighborhood.
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is right in the heart of Vienna and hosts live outdoor concerts and performances all year long. This one-of-a-kind venue draws in crowds from all over the state and has the distinction of being the only national park dedicated to the performing arts in the country. For other outdoor adventures, residents can take their pick from several different parks offering athletic fields, playground equipment, and all purpose trails — including a 45 mile bike path. Vienna offers plenty of things to do to suit any lifestyle, and Washington D.C. is only a short drive or Metro ride away for other excursions.
Local Community in Vienna
Vienna has successfully preserved many community traditions and institutions to give it that “small town” feel despite its big city amenities. Small businesses are celebrated in Vienna and many people choose to shop locally to support the community whenever possible. There are weekly farmers markets selling local products and fresh produce, and all kinds of fundraisers to raise money for local schools and charities. The neighborhood is well known for its annual family-friendly events like the Walk on the Hill garden tour in April, the ViVA! Vienna! Town Festival, the Halloween Parade, and the Holiday Stroll. The Vienna Community Center hosts a myriad of events throughout the year for local residents; there are craft fairs, antique exhibits, fashion shows, and more. The friendly, family-oriented community in Vienna is one of the biggest draws for home buyers who appreciate a community-first neighborhood.