Annandale, Virginia has been overlooked for many years. Locally, when people think of Annandale, they typically think of Route 50 with the plethora of Asian restaurants and think that’s Annandale. But there’s much more. Annandale is a thriving community with a diverse population, and it’s held on to its historic character despite the significant growth here.
Annandale is located west of Washington DC, straddles the beltway. About 2/3 of Annandale is inside the beltway, and the other 1/3 is outside the beltway, or 495. Little River Turnpike (236) runs east-west right through the middle of Annandale.
Inova Fairfax Hospital is in Annandale and Northern Virginia Community College has an Annandale Campus.
Annandale was settled in the late 1600’s and was a tobacco farm. By the Civil War Era, there was spillover of troops here during the battle of Manassas.
When the railroad was built in 1906, the town grew around it.
As DC expanded in the 1950’s, lots of building was happening in Annandale in the 50’s and 60’s. We’re going to talk about the mid century homes here too.
Fun Fact: Up until 1685, there was an Indian Trading Post at the corner of Little River Turnpike, Annandale Road and Columbia Pike. On the Annandale Chamber of Commerce website, they have old photos, and there’s a photo from 1954 of these crossroads, with the “Annandale Variety Store” in its place. So it remained a trading post for centuries.
Annandale consists of several different neighborhoods including Strathmeade Springs, Woodburn, Wakefield, and Annandale Terrace.
Annandale Real Estate is a mix of single family homes, townhomes and condos. Because the bulk of development occurred in the 1950’s and 1960’s, you will find a lot of mid-century modern homes here. The construction continued unabated through the 1970’s where you will see lots of contemporary style homes and into the 1980’s when the predominant home style was the colonial.
Single family detached homes start in the $500,000’s where you can get a ranch, rambler or split level. Prices climb steadily into the low $1M’s, but what’s interesting about Annandale is you really can find a home at most price points. The supply is pretty evenly distributed from the $500,000’s to the $1M’s which is much different than what we see in other areas in the DMV.
Townhomes are in the $400,000’s to $500,000’s. Condos can be found in the high $100,000’s for a 1 bedroom and go to the high $300,000’s for a 3 bedroom.
Fun Fact: Annandale’s nickname is Koreatown and is home to some of the best Korean food in the DC Metro Area. It was featured on Lisa Ling’s show “Take Out” and has a rich food culture that has put Annandale on the map as a food destination when visiting the DC area. There are currently around 60 Korean owned establishments in the area, including some of the best karaoke bars and bakeries.
There are so many family owned restaurants that you could spend the better part of a year eating your way through Annandale! Most of the food scene is centered around the Little River Turnpike area. Shilla Bakery, Han Gang, and Kogiya are just a sampling of the amazing restaurants in Annandale. Kogiya is my absolute favorite and is always slammed, but
worth the wait. The parking lot is super small and they even tell you to carpool if you can lol! Choong Hwa Won and Jangwon are amazing Chinese-Korean restaurants that serve hard to find, traditional dishes.
If Asian food is not your thing, a favorite local chain is just in Merrifield, that’s Sweetwater Tavern.
As for grocery stores, you have your traditional chains like Giant, Safeway, but you also have a really nice Lidl, which is technically an Alexandria address but is right on the border, and Aldi. You also have amazing options for small regional grocery and larger scale international stores like K Market International, H Mart, Ginger Spice Market (same shopping
center as Lidl), and Naz Foods Halal Meat & Grocery.
Annandale is also home to a couple farmer’s markets. There’s one located in Mason District Park off of Columbia Pike. It has a great selection of vendors and also has a Master Gardner Plant Clinic to answer all your questions
about landscaping and gardening.
There’s also a Farmer’s Market at Wakefield Park.
Wakefield Park is under the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. There are tons of trails here and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts as well as baseball and softball diamonds, plus a skate park. Wakefield Park is also known for bird watching. The website reports recent sightings and currently lists several woodpeckers, though Woody wasn’t one of them, several types of hawk, Turkey Vultures and Canada Goose.
Fun Fact: One of my favorite places, Wawa, has the Canada Goose in the logo. Wawa is the Native American word for Canada Goose.
The farmer’s market also sets up here on Wednesday afternoons from May to October.
Within Wakefield Park is the Audrey Moore Recreation Center. This is a huge park just outside 495. There’s a gym/fitness center, gym with several basketball and volleyball courts, cycle room and tons of classes, camps in the summer, pool, spa, sauna, pottery lab, arts and crafts room and a senior center.
If you live in a community without a pool, never fear. There are several membership based pools. There’s the Annandale Swim and Tennis Club, Broyhill Crest Recreation Club, the Camelot Pool, Forest Hollow Swim Club, Ilda Pool & Swim Club and Wakefield Chapel Recreation Center.
Long Branch Steam Valley Trail is a 2.75 mile trail that starts in Fairfax in the Long Branch Steam Valley park, but ends in Annandale.
Eakin Community Park has tennis courts, basketball courts, athletic fields, playgrounds and trails.
Mason District Park has sports fields, trails, a tot lot, tennis courts and an off leash dog park as well as a Farmer’s Market we covered in the Food section.
Annandale has a Fall Festival in late October which includes a parade.
Annandale National Night Out is in August and celebrates first responders. But there’s tons of fun for everyone at this event.
For shopping many people head to the Mosaic District, which is a new area off Route 50 outside the beltway.
Elementary – Camelot (5) PK-6, Mason Crest (4) PK-5, Annandale Terrace (3) PK-5, Columbia (6) PK-5, Canterbury Woods (8) PK-6, Wakefield Forest (8) PK-6, Braddock (3) PK-5.
Poe Middle School is a 3, and serves grades 6-8.
Annandale High School is a 2, but that’s going to directly be correlated to the fact that about a third of the school are classified as “English Language Learners.” There is an IB program but no AP class offerings.
The Annandale Atoms have their own website for their sports program. Not as robust as some of the other high schools we have discussed in Fairfax County, but the usual lineup is there – Football, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Swim, Dive, Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Lacrosse, Tennis and Track & Field.
Aside from schools, what’s good for kids? Both Wakefield Park and Mason District Park hosts Arts in the Park which is a children’s entertainment series on Saturdays in the summer.
Overall, Annandale offers attractive and affordable (for this area) housing options and a great sense of community. We hope this gave you a good idea of what life is like in Annandale, let us know if you have questions!