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Old 05-14-2010, 08:31 AM
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I posted sometime ago - in the process of moving from Boston and trying to find a place to live. Any thoughts on Fall Church vs Vienna? I have visited both areas and like the feel of them. Also, how long would the commute be from either town to Manassas? Thank you.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:28 AM
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A lot depends on specifically where in Manassas and Falls Church. 66 is going to be your best bet and is typically a reverse commute. Depending on how far you are on either end to 66 could be a significant difference in time.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:04 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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Hi Ben,

I think I am somewhat qualified to answer. We lived in Falls Church (not City of Falls Church) for 1 year and have lived in Town of Vienna for 9 1/2 years. My husband commutes to Manassas on a daily basis. When we lived in Falls Church, we lived right next to Marshall High School on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) so it was quite convenient for commuting to Manassas via I-66 or somewhere else via 495. Closer in toward the city would make for a longer commute to Manassas but a shorter commute to DC. I think it took my husband about 45 minutes to get to work when we were in Falls Church (he works off Business 234 in Manassas a bit past the mall).

We live in Vienna now just over a mile from the I-66 Nutley Street exit. It probably takes my husband about 35 to 40 minutes to get to work - a bit longer sometimes to get home. Either commute was against traffic and it's usually fairly light but it's a lot of miles (over 20). He does get into trouble sometimes if there is an accident, on holiday weekends, on Friday afternoons, or on rainy days.

If I had to compare the two cities side my side I'd say Falls Church has a more urban vibe to it. It probably has more diverse demographics ethnically and age-wise. Vienna is probably less urban and more family-oriented and less diverse racially and age-wise. By age-wise I mean that there are probably fewer singles (more families) in Vienna than in Falls Church.

Vienna generally has good school districts. Falls Church City is supposed to be a good school district (I'm not familiar with it). And parts of Falls Church (not in Falls Church City) feed into good school districts. Parts, however, feed into Falls Church High School which is one of the lower-ranked high schools in Fairfax County - I'm not saying it's not good because I have no personal experience with it, but its repuation is not stellar.

As a mom raising 3 children, I love Vienna. There are always activities here for the kids to do. It's a safe area and it's pretty convenient.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:13 AM
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Thank you, Michgc! Very helpful. I still don't know what to do. I guess I will just keep looking and something will jump out eventually. I am looking for a town feel as opposed to a suburban feel.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:51 PM
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I don't live in the city of Falls Church but in the Fairfax county part of Falls Church. I am single so I prefer Falls Church over Vienna. Falls Church has a small town feeling but is getting more urbanized with all the new development they have in lined. It's close to DC and borders Arlington and Vienna. There are lots of expensive condos, homes, shops and resturants you can walk to. The place is very walkable and have many trails to bike and run on. These trails are connected to each other similary to highway systems. As a matter of fact, you can actually bike to Vienna; it's about a 15 minute bike ride.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:08 PM
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Vienna is closer to Manassas. Falls Church is closer to DC. You will get more house for your money in Vienna because it is a longer commute to DC -- why pay a premium to live closer to DC when your job is in Manassas?
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:56 PM
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I think that, in this instance, the failure to distinguish between the Town of Vienna and the City of Falls Church, and the parts of Fairfax County with Vienna and Falls Church mailing addresses has probably created some confusion.

For a couple seeking a "town-like" atmosphere, I'd probably recommend the Town of Vienna over the City of Falls Church or adjacent Fairfax County suburbs. I certainly don't think it's as walkable or town-like as what you'd find outside Boston or in many parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, but the Town of Vienna does offer many pleasing town-like amenities by NoVa standards.

I'd also agree that you'd get more house for your money in the Town of Vienna than in the City of Falls Church due to the latter's proximity to DC. However, you'd surely get more house for your money in some parts of Falls Church that are in Fairfax County than in either the Town of Vienna or adjacent Fairfax County suburbs with Vienna mailing addresses. To take one example, a 1950s rambler in the Town of Vienna will definitely cost more than a similar property in Falls Church (county) over near either Loehmann's Plaza (the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Graham Road) or Culmore (the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Argyle Drive).

One other area that the OP might want to consider is the older section of Herndon, which includes a few blocks of non-chain stores and restaurants and has convenient access to the W&OD trail. It look like all one would need to do is drive south on Route 28, but I'm not sure how long that would take.

Last edited by JD984; 05-17-2010 at 02:25 PM..
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:10 PM
Location: Ashburn, VA
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I think it depends on what it is that you liked about the areas. I used to live in the City of Falls Church (near Route 7 and West Street) and liked the area. That area has easy access to Metro and 66, nice parks, easy access to the W&OD trail, shopping nearby (some walkable), and restaurants. It's pretty family friendly and I liked the summertime farmers markets they city held at their city hall.

I never lived in Vienna but I think many of the things I liked about the City of Falls Church also apply to Vienna. Considering that Vienna is closer to Manassas for your commute, I would recommend Vienna over Falls Church. Still, if you find a place to live in Falls Church that you really like I think that would work well also. If it were me I would probably base my decision on the individual neighborhoods that have houses I would like (rent or buy) and let that be my guide. Both places (or even Burke or the City of Fairfax) are nice.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:08 PM
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Lived in F.C for one year and Vienna for two. If you're single---Falls Church. Vienna is a very nice community if you have a family and want to do family things. I felt out of place as a single person, although I never felt any hostility because of it. Falls Church definitely has a more urban vibe.
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