Moving to Dale City VA
Dale City was developed as a planned community by Cecil Don Hylton in the 1960s and 1970s. Both Dale City and Lake Ridge were annexed into Woodbridge and are considered part of Woodbridge. Dale City is the largest area of Woodbridge with a population of 72,000. Lake Ridge and Woodbridge each have about 45,000 residents.
There are really three parts to Woodbridge. There is the area of the CDP (Census Designated Place) which is east of I-95. Dale City is south of Lake Ridge and west of Woodbridge and I-95. The eastern border is 95, southern border is along Cardinal and Minnieville Roads, the northern border is Prince William Parkway.
Did You Know? Dale City was named by the original developer, C.D. Hylton, for the hills and dales of the Virginia Piedmont.
Did You Know? Dale City was built before everything to the east, so it has its own water service. Virginia-American provides water and sewer service to Dale City.
Commuting to 95 by car can add up to 25 minutes to your morning depending on where you are in Dale City. This is important to consider since once you get onto 95, you might also be sitting in traffic. This area of 95 is a real bottleneck, and there are always slowdowns here – not just during rush hour. There rarely seems to be a day free of incredible congestion on 95 in Woodbridge.
Dale City is close to the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Woodbridge Stop off of Route 1 and the Rippon Landing VRE stop. The VRE terminates at Union Station in DC and has stops in Old Town Alexandria and Crystal City.
Commuters also have the option to take the OmniLink Bus from the pickup near Gideon Rd and Dale Boulevard. The drop off spots include Downtown DC, Rosslyn, the Pentagon, Old Town, and the Navy Yard. You also can ride share, also known as slugging, from the Horner Rd parking lot.
If you’re heading southeast to Quantico, this is a large employment area where the largest Marine Corps base is, the FBI Academy and NCIS, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Most neighborhoods in Dale City ends in “dale” and the streets along Dale Boulevard also end in “dale.” Birchdale, Kerrydale, Darbydale, Trentdale.
There are very few condo communities here. The true one level style condos are in the $200,000’s. There are townhome condos as well, and those are high $300,000’s to mid $400,000’s.
Single family detached ramblers start in the $300,000’s but the homes at that price point will need work and updating. Once you get closer to $400,000 you will see more updated homes as well as other types like split foyers and colonials. There are tons of home options in the $400,000 – $500,000 range making this a very affordable suburb of DC. If you need a larger home, the prices continue steadily to the $700,000’s.
Townhomes start around $300,000 and go to the $600,000’s. You may wonder why you would get a townhome at such a high price point if you could get a single family detached home for the same price. There are a couple reasons. First, the townhomes in this price point are brand new. Any townhome priced above the mid $500,000s was likely built in the last couple years. Second, you get a lot of space in these homes, plus an attached garage.
Grocery store options include Lidl, Aldi, Giant, Food Lion, and Safeway. You are also not far from a massive Wegman’s at Stonebridge at the Potomac Town Center, the Harris Teeter on Spriggs Rd, and My Organic Market (MOM’s) near Potomac Mills Mall. MOM’s is a wonderful local chain of natural grocery stores that has been around for so many years. Walmart and Target have grocery stores here, and there are several international grocery stores as well.
The Dale City farmers market is one the best farmers markets in the DMV. It has steadily grown in size over the years and they make a strong effort to make sure that the vendors are local. It is located in the Dale City Commuter Lot near Dale Blvd and Gemini Way. It is seasonal and is open on Sundays from 8am – 1pm.
Dale City has a lot of family owned restaurants and many have been staples in the area for a long time. One of Michael’s favorite places is KiKi Riki, an amazing Peruvian chicken restaurant. Zaffron is also a delicious Halal restaurant. Golden House is awesome for Chinese food and has been around forever! Their steamed dumplings will be the best you have ever tasted. Padrino’s Pizza is one of the best old school pizza joints and is great for a Friday night pizza and beer excursion. If you are in the mood for seafood, don’t miss Dale City Seafood! They have so many amazing options.
Dale City also has many of the chain restaurants that we all know and love but I definitely encourage you to checkout all of the locally owned restaurants and give them some love. You won’t be disappointed! The nice thing about Dale City is that it is also close to everything in Woodbridge and Lake Ridge, so you have so many options to choose from and also a lot of breweries to visit.
Family & Fun
There are a couple recreation centers – Chinn Aquatics & Fitness in Woodbridge and the Dale City Recreation Center – guess where that is! They both offer inexpensive memberships where you can take advantage of sports, swim and fitness classes.
There’s “Fridays at Five” a concert series that runs every other Friday May through August at the Prince William County Complex.
In Dale City, there’s Birchdale Community Center which has a pool, playground, basketball court and a skate park. There is also a Recreation Center with Group Fitness Classes, a newly renovated gym, sports classes and leagues for kids as young as 2, a dance program that starts at 2 years old, a pilates studio with reformers and a 25 meter indoor pool.
Elementary schools score in the middle of the range. You will see a lot of 5’s and 6’s on Great Schools. Don’t forget though that we have a decent population here where English may not be the first language. This greatly impacts test scores.
Middle schools are also middle of the road. The high school in Dale City was named for the founder, C.D. Hylton. Poor C.D., his namesake school scores a 3 on Great Schools, but again, these scores can be very subjective.
Dale City is an affordable suburb compared to the rest of the metro DC area. While commuting may be more difficult depending where in Dale City you live, your real estate dollar goes much further here than other parts of the metro area. Dale City also offers proximity to a lot of outdoor activities that living close to the Potomac can offer as well as easier access to employment centers like Quantico and Fredericksburg.