Suburb Spotlight: Fairfax County
The word "suburb" can conjure up somewhat negative images of shopping malls, chain restaurants, and cookie cutter houses. Fairfax County near Washington, DC, defies this label with its top schools, commercial employers, and mix of Washington metropolis with the charm of rural Virginia. As one of the richest counties in the nation, much of the tax revenue goes to support the top-ranked schools.
The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is consistently at the top of the high school rankings across the nation. The school is so good, it draws students from adjacent counties and provides a large number of the National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists every year. Fairfax is also home to George Mason University, which was recently ranked in the top five "Up-and-Coming Institutions" in a U.S. News & World Report study.
Another unique feature of Fairfax is the Tysons Corner CDP. This is a massive office complex with 26.6 million square feet of office space. It's the largest in the state and the 12th largest in the United States and recognized as being the site of some of the more innovative and tech-savvy employers in the region.
Looking beyond the typical connotations of "suburb," Fairfax County offers a community rich in education and economic opportunity.