All You Need to Know About Living in McLean, VA

All You Need to Know About Living in McLean, VA

Nestled within the vibrant state of Virginia, McLean represents a captivating blend of urban sophistication and suburban charm. 

This article is your trusted guide to navigating the unique tapestry of life in McLean.

From its diverse demographics to its thriving real estate market, educational institutions, employment opportunities, and the plethora of amenities that grace its landscape, we'll reveal all McLean has to offer.

Whether you're considering a move or simply curious about life in this picturesque community, join us as we dive into what makes McLean an exceptional place to call home.


McLean, VA Location & Brief History

McLean is a charming suburban community located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Located just 10 miles away from Washington, D.C., McLean is home to popular attractions like Great Falls Park and the Potomac River

McLean, Virginia, was named after John Roll McLean, who used to own and run The Washington Post. It was officially established in 1910, and the first homes were built soon thereafter. The community started to grow rapidly after World War II when many government workers moved to the area.

Today, McLean is known for its affluent neighborhoods, excellent schools, and thriving business community. 

It is home to several major corporations, and government agencies such as the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are headquartered here.


McLean, VA Demographics and Population

As of the latest available data, McLean, VA boasts a thriving population that continues to flourish. 

Here are some quick stats as of 2020 (as reported by DataUSA):

  • McLean, VA population: 48,566
  • Median age: 46.3
  • Citizenship: 92.1%

As to diversity and cultural makeup, the community of McLean, VA is represented by five prominent ethnic groups: 

  • White (Non-Hispanic) at 71.1%
  • Asian (Non-Hispanic) at 19.1%
  • Two+ (Non-Hispanic) at 3.52%
  • White (Hispanic) at 2.42%
  • Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) at 2.07%

Housing and Real Estate in McLean, VA

Mclean features a wide range of property types, including single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums. 

Many of the residential options in the area boast elegant designs, spacious layouts, and well-manicured landscapes. 

The community's proximity to the nation's capital makes it particularly appealing to professionals, diplomats, and executives who work in D.C.

DataUSA reports these housing and real estate statistics as of 2020:

  • Median property value: $1.06M
  • 87.4% homeownership
  • Median household income: $222,587
  • Two cars per household average

McLean, Virginia is an affluent suburb known for its upscale neighborhoods, proximity to major government and corporate centers, and overall high quality of life. 

The housing market and real estate in McLean are quite competitive and have a reputation for being on the higher end of the price spectrum. 

According to Arlington Magazine's 2022 rankings, these are the ten priciest neighborhoods in the suburb:


Check out current homes for sale in Mclean, VA, here.


Cost of Living in McLean, VA

According to the Economic Research Institute (ERi), the cost of living in McLean, VA is about 54% higher than the national average, with food, transportation, housing, and healthcare collectively on the less affordable side. 

Compared to the national average across the United States, the cost of labor is higher in McLean. 

Employment and Economy in McLean, VA

The top employment industries in McLean (according to the same 2020 DataUSA report) are as follows:

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (7,475 people)
  • Public Administration (3,201 people)
  • Health Care & Social Assistance (2,736 people)

The highest-paying industries, in which the highest salaries range from $165,000 to $250,000, are Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting, and Information.

McLean, VA is home to several major employers, many of which are in the fields of technology, consulting, defense, and finance. 

Some of the prominent companies and organizations in the McLean area include:

  1. Booz Allen Hamilton: A global consulting firm specializing in management and technology consulting services for various industries.

  2. Capital One: A leading financial institution known for its banking, credit card, and financial services.

  3. Freddie Mac: Known officially as The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a government-sponsored enterprise that provides support to the U.S. mortgage market.

  4. MITRE Corporation: A nonprofit organization that works on systems engineering, research, and development in areas like defense, healthcare, cybersecurity, and more.

  5. Gannett: A media holding company that owns various newspapers, digital platforms, and broadcast stations.

  6. Hilton Worldwide: A multinational hospitality franchise known for managing a wide range of hotels and resorts.

  7. DXC Technology: A technology company that provides IT services and solutions to enterprises around the world.

  8. SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation): A company specializing in technical services and solutions for defense, government, and commercial clients.

  9. Northrop Grumman: A company that designs and manufactures advanced systems and products in the global aerospace and defense technology industry.

Safety and Crime Rate in McLean, VA

The crime rate in McLean tends to be lower compared to many other areas, largely due to its upscale neighborhoods and proximity to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 

According to the most current data released by the FBI, McLean's total crime rate is significantly lower (69%) than the national average, as well as in violent crimes (77%) and property crimes (68%).

Healthcare and Services in McLean, VA

Healthcare in McLean, VA is comprehensive and accessible, offering residents a range of medical services to meet their needs.

The area is home to reputable medical facilities such as Inova Fairfax Hospital, which provides advanced healthcare services including emergency care and specialized treatments.

Residents have access to various medical clinics and practices, ensuring quality primary and specialty care. 

Urgent care centers like Inova Urgent Care - Tysons Corner offer prompt attention for non-emergency medical issues. 

Additionally, pharmacies, dental offices, and eye clinics cater to different aspects of health and well-being. 

Whether it's routine check-ups, specialized treatments, or wellness services, McLean's healthcare ecosystem prioritizes the community's proactive health and medical needs.

Education and Schools in McLean, VA

McLean, VA is known for its excellent education system, and there are several top schools in the area, both public and private. 

Here are a few of the notable schools in McLean:

Public Schools

  1. Langley High School: A highly-regarded public high school known for its top-rated academic programs and extracurricular activities.

  2. Cooper Middle School: A middle school that provides a quality education and offers a range of programs to support student growth.

  3. Franklin Sherman Elementary School: An elementary school known for its focus on academic excellence and community involvement.

  4. Churchill Road Elementary School: Another well-regarded elementary school in McLean with a commitment to high-quality education.

Private Schools

  1. The Potomac School: A prestigious independent K-12 school that offers a challenging curriculum and a strong emphasis on character development.

  2. Madeira School: An all-girls boarding and day school known for its intensive academic programs and supportive community.

  3. The Langley School: A private school that offers programs for preschool through grade 8, focusing on academic, social, and emotional development.

  4. Saint Luke School: A Catholic school offering education from preschool through 8th grade, known for its nurturing environment and strong academics.

Lifestyle in McLean, VA

McLean, VA offers its residents a higher quality of life for reasons beyond having upscale neighborhoods, top-rated schools, and being close to the nation's capital. 

The McLean community enjoys a wide variety of amenities and lifestyle choices that cater to their individual preferences and personal interests.

Parks and Recreational Areas

McLean, VA offers several parks and green spaces where residents and visitors alike can enjoy outdoor activities, nature, and recreational opportunities. 

Here are a few notable parks in the area:

  1. Clemyjontri Park: A unique and inclusive park designed for children of all abilities. It features a variety of playground equipment, a carousel, and open spaces for picnics and games.

  2. Scott's Run Nature Preserve: A scenic natural area with hiking trails that lead to the Potomac River. It's a great spot for hiking, birdwatching, and enjoying nature.

  3. Great Falls Park: Although technically located just outside McLean, Great Falls Park is very close and offers stunning views of the Potomac River's waterfalls and rugged terrain. Visitors can hike, picnic, and enjoy the picturesque landscape.

  4. Lewinsville Park: This park features sports fields, tennis courts, a playground, and picnic areas, making it a popular spot for outdoor activites and family gatherings.

  5. Langley Fork Park: A peaceful park with walking trails, a playground, and open spaces for relaxation and play.

  6. Spring Hill Recreation Center and Park: This park includes sports fields, a playground, and a recreation center with fitness facilities, making it a hub for active community members.

  7. Dead Run Stream Valley Park: A natural area with hiking trails that follow the Dead Run stream, providing opportunities for walking, jogging, and observing local wildlife.

  8. Balloch Park: A small park with a playground, picnic tables, and walking paths, perfect for a leisurely afternoon outdoors.

  9. McLean Central Park: A community gathering spot with walking paths, a performance stage, picnic areas, and a splash park for children to enjoy during the summer months.

  10. Lemon Road Park: A park with tennis courts, a playground, and fields for sports and recreation.

Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment

McLean, VA offers several shopping centers where you can find a variety of stores, dining options, and entertainment. Here are some notable shopping centers in the area:

  1. Tysons Corner Center: Considered one of the largest shopping malls in the nation, Tysons Corner Center features a vast selection of stores, ranging from popular brands to luxury retailers. It also offers diverse dining options and entertainment, making it a comprehensive shopping destination.

  2. Tysons Galleria: This upscale shopping center is known for its luxury boutiques, high-end fashion brands, and designer stores. It's an ideal spot for those seeking a premium shopping experience.

  3. The Shops at Fairfax Square: A sophisticated shopping center with a focus on luxury and specialty stores. It's a great place for high-end fashion, accessories, and home goods.

  4. McLean Square: This shopping center features a mix of stores, including grocery options, restaurants, and various retail shops, offering convenience for everyday needs.

  5. Chain Bridge Corner Shopping Center: A smaller shopping center with a selection of stores, services, and restaurants, catering to local residents and visitors.

  6. Old Dominion Shopping Center: This center offers a mix of retail stores, dining options, and services in a convenient location.

  7. Scotts Crossing: A shopping center with a variety of shops, fitness centers, and dining choices, providing a range of options for visitors.

Culture and History

McLean, VA has a number of historical landmarks that offer insight into its past and cultural heritage. Here are a few notable historical landmarks in the area:

  1. Alden Theatre: Located within the McLean Community Center, the Alden Theatre hosts a variety of performing arts events and has been a cultural hub in McLean for decades.

  2. Claude Moore Colonial Farm: While not located directly within McLean, this nearby historical farm provides a glimpse into colonial life in the 18th century. It's an educational and interactive experience for visitors interested in history.

  3. Clemyjontri Park: More than just a park, Clemyjontri Park is also a playground with a unique design that provides an inclusive space for children of all abilities to play together.

  4. McLean Schoolhouse: This historic one-room schoolhouse, built in 1911, serves as a reminder of the educational practices of the past and offers insights into the local community's history.

  5. Langley Fork Historic District: This historic district contains a collection of early 20th-century homes that reflect the architectural styles of the time.

  6. Salona: The ruins of Salona, the former home of Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise, provide a glimpse into the area's history. While not open to the public, the site has historical significance.

  7. Airmont Historic District: Located near McLean, this district showcases a collection of historic homes, some dating back to the early 19th century.

  8. The Great Falls Grange: This historic building served as a community gathering space and a Grange Hall. It now houses the Grange Museum, offering insights into the history of the area.

In conclusion, McLean embodies a unique fusion of urban sophistication and suburban charm. 

This guide has illuminated the multifaceted tapestry of life in McLean, covering aspects from its rich history to its diverse demographics, thriving real estate market, educational institutions, and extensive amenities. 

The town's allure as a captivating place to call home is underscored by its affluent neighborhoods, educational excellence, and proximity to major government and corporate centers. 

With an array of recreational parks, top-notch healthcare facilities, and a dynamic mix of lifestyle options, McLean offers its residents a quality of life that is rarely matched by other areas.

Whether you are considering relocation or simply intrigued by this picturesque community, McLean's blend of allure and comfort makes it an exceptional and inviting place to lay down roots.


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