Beautiful Great Falls, Virginia, is a census-designated place in Fairfax County. A small town known for its outstanding natural beauty and wealth, Great Falls is also one of the nicest places to live in Northern Virginia. CNN Money recognized Great Falls in 2011, naming it first on its list of “top earning towns.”
Great Falls has a simple and uncomplicated history. Farmers were settling there as early as the late 1700s, and early on the village was known as Forestville. There was already a Forestville with a post office, so the name was simply unofficial. It wasn’t until 1955 that Great Falls got an official name. It remained a sleepy, out-of-the-way hamlet until a population boom occurred in the first decade of the 21st century. The 2010 Census put the population at 15,427, which is a tremendous 80.5% increase from the 2000 Census. A bedroom community for Washington, D.C., Great Falls began to attract wealthy commuters who worked in the Capital.
Great Falls is known primarily for Great Falls Park. The park covers 800 acres of land on the Potomac River, and includes the Great Falls of the Potomac that gave the city (and the park) its name. Also within Great Falls Park is the remains of the Patowmack Canal, the first canal in the United States to use locks for raising and lowering boats. There is a visitors’ center within the park, as well as several scenic outlooks that make the perfect place for either picnic lunches or taking some amazing photographs. There are 15 miles of hiking trails, opportunities for rock climbing, and, of course, the chance to go white-water rafting over the Falls themselves, which are rated 5-6 Whitewater. Below the falls is a popular kayaking run.
The town of Great Falls, being small, maintains that classic “hometown” atmosphere that residents know and love. A number of community events bring neighbors together year-round, including the Spring Festival (which includes an Easter egg hunt), Fourth of July fireworks, a Halloween celebration, and a tree-lighting at Christmas time. Most of these celebrations occur on the Village Green, a popular meeting place.
The median household income in Great Falls is $189,545, and the median family income is $201,250. The majority of households in Great Falls consist of families; almost half include children under the age of 18. The estimated median home value is over $1,000,000. The median gross rent in 2013 was almost $2,100. Overall, homes in Great Falls are quite a bit more expensive than those elsewhere in Northern Virginia, reflecting both the desirability and wealth of the town. Homes here tend to be palatial and lovely large estates. It is, objectively, a wonderful place to raise a family.
There are two elementary schools in Great Falls, both of which feed to middle schools and high schools located elsewhere in Fairfax. Great Falls, on the whole, is a very educated town: almost half of all residents have a graduate-level degree or higher.
Interested in living in gorgeous, scenic, bucolic Great Falls? Contact a qualified Realtor today!