Among the iconic farmlands, lucrative suburbs, and the captivating views along the Potomac River sits a humble community by the name of Sterling, Virginia. What makes this town of approximately 31,000 residents within a 5 1/2 square miles area unique?
Firstly, Sterling is but a mere 30 miles northeast of the United States' famous capital, none other than the culturally and architecturally alluring metropolis known as Washington, D.C. The community shares many traits and themes in common with its big sister city, such as a humid subtropical climate decorated with oak-hickory woodlands, great meandering rivers, and brackish estuaries. Additionally, educational opportunities and the economic well-being of residents are significantly higher than the median. But before looking at that, how did it all begin?
Sterling, compared to many other historic cities and towns in northeastern Virginia, is a relatively young community. The origin of the area as it exists today arguably began in 1959 with the construction of Dulles International Airport. Prior to this, the land was chiefly home to large swaths of farms with a propensity toward dairy production; but the trends of the country around the time of the airport's construction pointed in the direction of suburban housing, and thus that's what has become of many agricultural areas in the United States.
In Sterling's case, much of the development was overseen by a D.C.-based housing company called the M.T. Broyhill & Sons Corporation. They rightfully saw an enormous opportunity in investing in the area as land prices exploded thanks to the airport, so they promptly began developing Sterling Park, touting universal air-conditioning, competitive prices in comparison to Fairfax, and free residential access to golf courses, pools, and tennis courts. Thanks to the construction of Route 28 (also called"Sully Road"), this budding community became exceptionally accessible. In 1966, the Fair Housing Act pointed out illegal discrimination in the community's initial clause that only permitted white people to move in, and since then Sterling has been, by law, open to anyone.
Today, Sterling emphasizes the present with an eye to the future. Residents currently look forward to an expanding rapid transit system that will further integrate the community with Washington D.C. and the abundant culture, shopping, nightlife, and historical sites nearby. Within Sterling itself, residents will find plentiful shopping choices in the Cascades Marketplace and the Dulles Town Center. The community continues to grow in population and more affordable housing is showing up to enable people of varying economic means to reside here. Even while new construction continues, Sterling remains characterized by the distinct and attractive Arts and Crafts style homes that popped up during the initial suburban boom.
Education, as with many places along the outskirts of the U.S. capital, is among the best there is. Sterling is within a brief commute of Northern Virginia Community College and George Washington University, making ita great place for furthering one's education and career.
For those dedicated to an active lifestyle, Sterling is incredibly accommodating. With a "Walk Score" of 75/100, the area enables residents to access many parts of the town by foot or by bike. Sports like tennis, golf, and swimming remain a staple of Sterling since the community's establishment in the early 1960s, and for those who'd rather hike, ski, or lift weights there's no shortage of places to do that, either.
So whatever type of person you may be, chances are Sterling, Virginia is full of the right opportunities to fulfill your passions.