VA Most Walkable Neighborhoods
Do you like ditching the car and walking or biking everywhere? Today we’re going to discuss the most walkable neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, which is sort of funny because when I think of Virginia, I think of vehicles and traffic.
The Walk Score is a measure of how many errands don’t require a car for a specific neighborhood. The scores range from 1-99, with 99 meaning you don’t need a car for mostly anything. All ratings come from WalkScore.com.
Arlington’s Walk Score is 71. This is because it takes all neighborhoods into account and the northern part of Arlington is spread out and very residential. The neighborhoods along the Potomac River most definitely require a car, as their Walk Score is in the single digits. What are the most walkable neighborhoods in Arlington then?
- Ballston-VA Square – comes in at 92 which is pretty good. This is a highly dense neighborhood with tons of restaurants, grocery stores and metro access right in the heart of Ballston. The score included Virginia Square because these two neighborhoods are very close to each other, but Virginia Square is not as close to the retail you will find in Ballston.
- Clarendon-Court House – The Walk Score here is also 92. People love living here because there are metro stops in each of the two neighborhoods, and the Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards offer a busy corridor of restaurant deliciousness. There are also grocery stores to include Whole Foods and Trader Joes right on the strip here, and the housing is just a block off the two major roads.
- Lyon Village – On the north side of Clarendon Boulevard, just north of Clarendon, Lyon Village comes in at a Walk Score of 92 as well. The homes here are large but the walk to the Clarendon strip of shops and restaurants can be reached within minutes on foot.
As we move further west and to the south, there are still neighborhoods like Westover or Barcroft that score in the 70’s or 80’s, offering enough to get to within a few minutes, but you may need a car for some other errands. In Maryland which is more residential, a walk score in the 70’s and 80’s would be worth pointing out because the walkability is generally not as great as DC and Northern Virginia’s neighborhoods. But this is also a testament to the fact that Virginia isn’t as strict about building or about locating residential areas very close to retail and commercial space.
Falls Church – the City of Falls Church has an adorable little downtown area that offers a Walk Score of 93. People love living here for not only the easy access to restaurants and shops, but also for the excellent school district.
Alexandria has an overall Walk Score is 62. This makes sense as we get further from DC and city life, it’s leafier and more suburban here. But there are a few neighborhoods of note.
- Old Town’s – Walk Score 84 and Old Town North has a Walk Score of 85 – Old Town was one of the two original settlements in the metro area, and the brick sidewalks and awesome amenities make this one of the most walkable areas in Alexandria.
- The Western edge of Old Town – west of North Henry Street is Braddock Rd Metro Area. The Walk Score here is 90, because of the proximity to the metro stop most likely. I am not sure I 100% trust the Walk Score here because I think there are pros and cons to living here vs living in Old Town. The quality of what you can walk to in Old Town would probably be deemed better than what you could walk to in the Braddock Road Metro area.
- Del Ray – North and west of Old town is cute little Del Ray, a shining gem in the area for its hometown feel and lovely strip of local shops and restaurants. The Walk Score here is an 84, but that’s for being close to the strip. If you’re several blocks away that score does drop, but residential and commercial cohabitate here seamlessly.
There are other areas in Northern Virginia, outside the beltway which have walkable downtown areas. This is considered to be more of the “suburbs,” but we see some interesting changes with the Walk Scores. If you live close to these downtown centers, they tend to have everything there since it’s the go-to area for the neighborhood. Downtown Vienna is a 90 Walk Score if you live right off Maple Avenue but if you are closer to the southern edge, you’re pretty car-dependent with a 32 Walk Score. Downtown Fairfax’s Walk Score is an 82, but that can drop to single digits if you live in a neighborhood that’s not within a mile or two of retail.
I hope this was helpful for you as you navigate which areas to focus your home search. If you have any questions, let me know!