General Information about Great Falls, VA
Great Falls has come a long way from its humble origins as a small farming community. The name has become synonymous with affluence, landing a coveted spot in CNN Money’s “Top-Earning Towns” in 2011 – a testament to the community’s prosperity and remarkable growth.
Despite its newly found fortune, however, Great Falls stays true to its bucolic charm with that classic hometown feel.
The population was 15,427 during the 2010 Census. The community continues to grow as more people look for desirable places to live in and around the Washington Metro Area.
Geography and Location
Located in Northern Virginia, in western Fairfax County, the community gets its name from the cascading waters of the Great Falls on the Potomac River. It is accessible via State Route 193 (SR 193).
The nearest major airports include:
- Washington Dulles International Airport (Washington IAD) – approx. 9.73 miles
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Washington DCA) – approx. 16.83 miles
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (Baltimore BWI) – approx. 35.43 miles
Defining Features, Highlights, and Fun Facts
- The Patowmack Canal in Great Falls Park was the first to use locks for raising and lowering boats in the United States.
The area now known as Great Falls was once a trading hub for the Piscataway, Powhatan, and Iroquois Native Americans. European settlers arrived in 1649 with King Charles II deeding swaths of land between the Potomac and Rapphanock rivers to English nobles. From this land grant, Thomas Lord Fairfax inherited 12,588 acres that would eventually become Great Falls.
Much of the area that make up present day Great Falls Park changed hands several times, having been acquired by Albert Fairfax then subdivided and sold to William A. Bradley, Thomas C. Jones, and Hall Neilson. The park encompasses over 800 acres along the Potomac River.
Known as Forestville, the village was a farming community for most of its history. The name was officially changed to Great Falls in 1955. Today, it is an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C.
Great Falls, VA Real Estate
Great Falls, VA is mostly residential and is known for its mansions, estates, and horse properties. The housing stock is mostly made up of single-family homes in a variety of styles and sizes. The homes in this community tend to be very spacious with bedroom count that exceeds the average in homes in the DC Metro region. Living space ranges from 2,200 to 6,000 square feet. The largest homes can have as many as seven bedrooms and offer up to 16,000 square feet of living space.
Most homes are situated on large wooded lots with fenced yards and spacious driveways and some enjoy panoramic views of the Potomac River. Hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, outdoor pools, wine cellars, and formal living and dining areas are common features. The most popular architectural styles include Tudor, Craftsman, and Colonial.
For more information on Great Falls, VA real estate, contact Theo & Partners.
Living in Great Falls, VA
Cost of Living
Compared to other communities in the Washington Metro Area, Great Falls, VA offers great value for your money when it comes to real estate and quality of life. Buyers can find spacious homes that meet their needs while at the same time maintain access to the career opportunities, top universities, healthcare, and entertainment in the DMV.
According to Weather Spark, the community gets warm and humid summers while the winter months can get very cold. The weather is partly cloudy for most of the year. Great Falls gets 42 inches of rain and 22 inches of snow on average.
Temperatures vary from 26°F to 87°F. Average temperatures rarely fall below 13°F or go above 95°F.
Employment and Job Opportunities
Major employers in and around Great Falls, VA include the University of Maryland (UM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Freddie Mac, and Capital One.
The community falls within the boundaries of Fairfax County Public Schools. There are a handful of schools located within the community, namely:
- Great Falls Elementary School
- Forestville Elementary School
- Mina’s School of Great Falls.
Great Falls residents typically get around by car. However, there are nearby stops for >Metrorail Silver Line> going to and from Washington, D.C.
Things to do
- Great Falls Park is a fantastic spot for hiking and rafting, offering views of the Potomac River.
Theo & Partners helps clients in Great Falls, VA by providing flawless service from start to finish. They tap their vast network for client referrals and exclusive listings. . You can also reach their agents at and Theo
With an extensive background in home staging, real estate photography, construction, preservation work, and interior design, Theo & Partners offers insight into the step-by-step of the home buying and selling process.