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10 Things You Never Knew About the Hybla Valley Region in Alexandria


The Hybla Valley region in Alexandria, Virginia, is tucked away 30 miles south of Washington, DC, on the southeastern side of Virginia. Located along the Potomac River shoreline, the area is characterized by rolling hills, meadows and woodlands. Much of the neighborhood's appeal lies in its blend of convenient amenities and affordability, including top-ranked schools and easy access to employment and shopping options. Read on for additional factoids you may not have known about this hidden jewel.

It has a great food scene

  • The area offers a unique mix of neighborhood delis and more cosmopolitan ethnic food choices interspersed with cafes purveying traditional southern comfort foods
  • Mamma's Kitchen on Fordson Road is an Italian/Greek eatery while the Green Olive Buffet offers dishes from all over the world, including sushi, seafood and succulent barbecue. 
  • Elsie's Magic Skillet Restaurant delights patrons with generous breakfast platters, including out-of-this-world sausage gravy

Hybla Valley almost had a royal occupant

  • During WW II, the Princess of Norway was looking to flee the hostilities in Europe to a safer, more bucolic location in the U.S.
  • She came close to purchasing the Hollin Hall Plantation and even had President Roosevelt personally inspect the land for her.
  • Ultimately, Roosevelt's assistant, Merle Thorpe, ended up owning the property.

Hollin Hills was originally considered part of the Hybla Valley

  • The Hollin Hall plantation from which the neighborhood draws its name was the property of several owners and ultimately the site of several different dairy farms
  • The dairy farms were later redeveloped into affluent suburban neighborhoods, including Hollin Hills east of Route 1 towards the river
  • Hollin Hills ultimately was redistricted into the Fort Hunt community

Hybla Valley was originally the site of several dairy farms

  • The Thomson Dairy began operations in the late 19th century and lasted until Merle Thorpe purchased the land in the early 20th century.
  • Other dairy farms, including the Sherwood Farm, Hybla Valley Farm, and Popkins Farm, were converted into suburban neighborhoods.
  • The surrounding area later became a turkey farm before it was purchased by the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church

Hybla Valley was initially the site of a proposed civilian airport that was going to be the largest in the world

  • The land was abandoned, however, and is now part of Huntley Meadows Park
  • Its close proximity to the Huntley Meadows Park offers a variety of recreational activities
  • At more than 1,500 acres, this free park offers hiking and biking trails in a wooded sanctuary setting
  • The Norma Hoffman Visitor's Center offers a selection of rotating classes and exhibits aimed at families and children

Children in Hybla Valley attend the award-winning Fairfax County schools

  • Fairfax County public schools consistently rank among the most demanding and highly rated public schools in the country.

Historic Gum Springs is the oldest African American community in Fairfax County

  • The community was established in 1833 by a former freed slave of George Washington
  • The community was long a sanctuary for freedmen and runaways

The average cost of living in Hybla Valley according to is 9 percent lower than in Washington, DC

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