Sterling Moving Guide
So you’re moving to the Sterling, Virginia area? Well, get excited because there is no shortage of amazing things to see, do and eat! Regardless of what your interests are, you’re in for a fun-filled next chapter of your life! Check out all of our recommendations for the Sterling area here!
Where to Live in Sterling, VA
Sterling is filled with hundreds of acres of public parks, scenic trails and views, and is just a short drive to the nation’s capital. Sterling is one of the most walkable areas in Northern Virginia and offers residents everything from history, arts, dining and shopping and more. Today, nearly 29,000 residents live, work, play, and enjoy Sterling as their home.
Where to Live
The Sterling area has a diverse set of neighborhoods that can accommodate just about any pace – and stage – of life. A few sought-after neighborhoods are in close proximity to a variety of things to do, including national parks, shopping and so much more.
Slightly North of Sterling, this neighborhood offers more of a country and equestrian feel than suburban, and each home sits on about two acres of land. It’s no wonder why some residents here have remained for generations.
Homes and townhomes in Sugarland Run are built in California-contemporary style and offer several neighborhood perks including two community centers, an Olympic-sized pool, playgrounds, walking trails, fields and courts and more.
This community on the Potomac River offers beautiful, family homes in a vibrant community. Residents have access to several trails, a catch-and-release pond, tennis courts, pool and neighborhood events.
This planned community is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods along the Potomac River. The community offers a
private fitness center, five swimming pools, 25 playgrounds, tennis courts, bocce ball and soccer facilities. It’s a great community for anyone from young professionals to families.
Getting Around Town
Though Sterling is close to Washington, D.C., the metro does not stop through this area. However, Route 28 and Leesburg Pike are conveniently located along Sterling and will take residents all across Northern Virginia. The Loudoun County Transit also stops through several locations in Sterling, Dulles, Purcellville and more areas.
What to do in Sterling
The question in Sterling and its surrounding areas isn’t what to do – it’s what to do first!
Heritage Farm Museum
Explore the rich agricultural heritage and more than 250 years of Northern Virginia history at the Heritage Farm Museum. The museum offers a variety of exhibits, summer camps and programs and events for the whole family. For more information visit https://heritagefarmmuseum.org/
International Spy Museum
If you’re a fan of James Bond and Jason Bourne, then you’ll love the International Spy Museum, located in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington D.C. This museum has many interactive features and exhibits like Operation Spy, where you have one hour to complete a series of “spy missions.” For more information, visit www.spymuseum.org.
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum holds the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft travel in the world, including the 1903 Wright Flyer and the Apollo 11 Command Module. The Air and Space Museum is arguably the most popular tourist attraction in the area, with nearly 7.5 million visitors in 2016, making it the second most visited museum in the world! For more information, visit www.airandspace.si.edu.
National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest Smithsonian museum, opening in September 2016. The museum is the home to 37,000 objects focusing on important areas such as religion, culture, civil rights, slavery, segregation, art, and history. Because of its popularity, the museum offers free, timed entry passes that you can obtain online or in-person (weekdays only). For more information, visit www.nmaahc.si.edu.
National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History is dedicated to the preservation of the political, social, scientific, cultural, and military history of the United States. One of the most popular artifacts is the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem. The National Museum of American History serves as a great learning experience as well as an opportunity to commemorate the history and patriotism of the United States of America. For more information, visit www.americanhistory.si.edu.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History provides a plethora of opportunities to learn more about natural history, science, national collections, and research – not to mention that it is free and open 364 days a year! Some of its most popular exhibits include the Hope Diamond and one of the oldest known Earth rocks (3.96 billion years old!). For more information, visit www.naturalhistory.si.edu
United States Holocaust Museum
The Holocaust Museum serves as the United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust. The museum exhibits literature, documentation, and studies from or about the time of the Holocaust. Since its dedication, nearly 40 million visitors from all nationalities and religious backgrounds have come to learn more and increase awareness of the Holocaust. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.
The Jefferson Memorial was built to commemorate Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. President and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. The Jefferson Memorial is located on the Tidal Basin, and in 2007, was listed fourth on the American Institute of Architects’ “List of America’s Favorite Architecture.” For more information, visit www.nps.gov/thje/index.htm
Overlooking the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial was built to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln. Designed with a Greek Doric temple architecture on the outside with a carved, seated statue of Abraham Lincoln on the inside, the aesthetic appeal and architecture technique makes this memorial a popular tourist attraction. It is also the site for many famous speeches such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/linc.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Spanning four acres of the National Mall, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial honors Dr. King’s legacy for freedom and equality. The highlights of the memorial are a granite sculpture of Martin Luther King, Jr., titled, Stone of Hope, and the Inscription Wall, which features 14 quotes from Dr. King. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/mlkm/index.htm.
National World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial consists of 56 pillars and small arches surrounding a fountain and a plaza located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This memorial is dedicated to honoring the Americans who served during World War II. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/wwii.
The U.S. Capitol
The Capitol’s website says it best, “The United States Capitol is a monument, a working office building, and one of the most recognizable symbols of representative democracy in the world.” Those wanting to tour the inside can do so 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If Congress is in session, you can even get a pass to watch from the gallery! For more information, visit www.visitthecapitol.gov.
Located on the National Mall, east of the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument was made to salute George Washington. The monument is not only renowned for its historical significance, but also for being the world’s largest stone structure and the world’s largest obelisk. It is currently closed until Spring 2019 for renovations, but you can still tour the outside and take pictures. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/wamo.
It’s no surprise that Washington, D.C. has one of the largest collections of monuments and memorials. For a full list, visit www.nps.gov/nama/index.htm.
Theaters and Music Venues
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
One town over in Vienna, the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, more commonly known as “Wolf Trap” to many locals, is a performing arts center located on 117 acres of national park land. The center is run by both the National Park Service and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a non-profit foundation. In addition to popular music acts like Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt, Wolf Trap also hosts other events like The Sound of Music sing-a-long. For more information, visit www.wolftrap.org.
Jiffy Lube Live
Jiffy Lube Live is one of the region’s largest outdoor amphitheaters – located in Bristow, Virginia – with a capacity of more than 25,000. The venue’s size and open-air atmosphere make it the go-to venue for big-name acts like John Mayer and Brad Paisley during the warmer months of the year. For more information, visit www.livenation.com/venues/14407/jiffy-lube-live.
The 9:30 Club is one of area’s most popular destinations for live music – attracting nationally acclaimed rock bands despite its relatively small space. It has a capacity of approximately 1,200 people, leading to many sell-out shows. For more information, visit www.930.com.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, more commonly known as “the Kennedy Center,” is one of the most prestigious theaters in the country. Not only does it host performances like the National Symphony Orchestra, its architecture is something to behold. It has seven theaters, most famous of which are the Concert Hall and Opera House. The Grand Foyer features 63-foot ceilings, chandeliers, and amazing views of Georgetown. For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org.
The National Theatre is a 1,676-seat venue that is both historic and entertaining. In the past, the theatre has hosted famous speakers such as Winston Churchill. Today, it is where D.C. residents and visitors can see Broadway performances like West Side Story and Mamma Mia. For more information, visit www.thenationaldc.com.
Originally a movie palace, known for its rooftop garden, a basement ballroom and restaurant, the Warner Theatre is now used as a performance venue for comedies, speakers, musicians and dance groups. Every year in December, The Washington Ballet performs The Nutcracker here. For more information, visit www.warnertheatredc.com.
Burtons Grill and Bar is a small, upscale dining room offering American cuisines in a stylish ambiance. Mokomandy is a casual, fine-dining establishment offering modern Korean and Cajun cuisine and is the 2018 winner of the Diners’ Choice Award in Sterling. Mokomandy even has a food truck that can be rented for any private occasion. In 1999, Chef Todd and Ellen Gray opened Equinox, a fine-dining restaurant in D.C. with an emphasis on an innovative approach to American cuisine. Named one of the best restaurants in D.C. year after year, Equinox is a must try.
The Bungalow Lakehouse is a local favorite and is located along Lake Center Plaza in Sterling. Patrons can choose from a variety of menus including small bites, brunch, late night and of course plenty of libations. The Bungalow Lakehouse also is a great space for large parties celebrating special occasions. What started as a food truck traveling around and servicing the busy business people of D.C., District Taco has now grown into one of the best taco places in the city. The restaurant has grown to several locations, but they are sticking to their roots and serving up their famous Yucatan style, Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients. With American farmers in mind, Founding Farmer’s is a family farmer-owned restaurant in D.C. taking the term ‘from farm to table’ to a whole new level. Serving up American cuisine with fresh ingredients, Founding Farmer’s is a favorite for locals and those visiting the capital.
Located one town over in Ashburn, Old Ox Brewery is a familyowned and operated 30-barrel brew house. Take a tour of the brewery, enjoy one of their many craft beers in the tasting room or bring the family to one of its many weekly events. Crooked Run Brewing in downtown Loudon also has a taproom and taqueria in Sterling. The Sterling Taproom is located right off the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and a great pit stop for cyclists to enjoy a brew and tacos.
And if beer is not your forte, choose from many wineries and cideries nearby. Just 20 minutes south of Sterling is The Winery at Bull Run, a farm vineyard focused on crafting fine Virginia whites while celebrating the history and preservation of the 19th century pastoral Fairfax County. West of Sterling is Chrysalis Vineyards located in the beautiful, rural city of Norton. Choose from a variety of locally grown European varieties while soaking in scenic valleys and hills.
And for cider-lovers, Wild Hare Hard Cider offers a variety of ciders made with the Shenandoah Valley’s finest apples and range from classic dry ciders and dry-hopped to ciders with a hint of sweetness.
Dulles Town Centre
Conveniently located at the intersection of Route 28 and Route 7, Dulles Town Centre is at the heart of Dulles – and it’s easy to see why! The area includes a mix of local and national stores and restaurants to enjoy. And while Dulles Town Centre offers thousands of complimentary parking spaces close to the shopping center, it’s also just a short bike ride from the W&OD and has its very own bus service to the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station. For more information visit, www.shopdullestowncenter.com.
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Mall
Located in Arlington, Virginia, and just minutes away from the nation’s capital, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Mall offers over 170 stores and three floors of merchandise to provide a world-class shopping experience. From Apple to Hugo Boss and Microsoft, Pentagon City is a one-stop-shop for everything you need. For more information, visit www.simon.com/mall/fashion-centre-at-pentagoncity.
Tysons Corner is more than just a mall; with over 300 stores and restaurants such as Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom and California Pizza Kitchen, it provides an all-inclusive shopping experience. Tysons Galleria is located across the street and provides a more high-end shopping experience with stores like Burberry and Chanel. Between the two malls, Tysons is one of D.C.’s most popular shopping destinations, providing stores for the needs of all the District’s residents. For more information, visit www.tysonscornercenter.com.
Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative
Shop and support local, sustainable and organic agriculture and businesses with the Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative. Vendors range from local creameries, bakeries, farmers and more. There are four farmers markets located around the Sterling area. For more information visit, www.loudounfarmersmarkets.org.
Algonkian Regional Park
Enjoy more than 800 acres along the Potomac River filled with outdoor adventures for every age and interest. You can rent a picnic space or a vacation cottage for a weekend trip and enjoy an 18-hole golf course. There’s hiking and even a water park complete with slides, a pool, 140-foot water slides and an interactive splash tower. For more information, visit www.novaparks.com/parks/algonkianregional-park.
Great Falls Park
In nearby McLean, Great Falls Park is a National Parks Site with incredible views of the Potomac River. There is a $10 entry fee per automobile, which is valid for three days. The park has a series of hiking trails, spots to rock climb and camping areas with BBQ setups. Also, be sure to check out the Patowmack Canal that dates back to the late 1700s and was George Washington’s vision for making westward navigation on the Potomac River possible. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm.
Water Activities on the Georgetown Waterfront
The Georgetown Waterfront Park offers D.C. residents a front-row seat to the Potomac River, with overlooking views, nature walks, fountains and bike trails. Georgetown Waterfront Park showcases all the natural beauty the city can offer. For more information, visit www.georgetowndc.com/explore/Play.
Activities on the National Mallca
Located right in the heart of downtown D.C. the National Mall provides a backdrop to various Smithsonian museums, memorials, and sculptures in the area. Through the years, the National Mall has been famously used for presidential inaugurations, concerts and political rallies and protests. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/nama/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
Rock Creek Park
Spanning over 2,000 acres, Rock Creek Park is nestled in Northwestern D.C., providing a space to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Since 1980, Rock Creek Park has become a favorite destination for runners, cyclists and even golfers thanks to a public course located in the park. With a tennis stadium, an outdoor concert venue, a nature center, and playgrounds, the park offers fun for the whole family. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/rocr/index.htm.
The Washington Capitals/The Washington Wizards – Capital One Arena
Located in the middle of downtown D.C., Capital One Arena is home to both the city’s NHL team, the Washington Capitals, and its NBA team, the Washington Wizards. When neither team is playing, there is a good chance you can also catch an amazing live performance as the arena frequently hosts big-name acts like Adele throughout the year. For more information, visit https://www.capitalonearena.com/.
The Washington Redskins – FedEx Field
The Washington Redskins’ home stadium, FedEx Field, is located just a few miles outside the city in Landover, Maryland. It has one of the largest capacities in the NFL at 81,000 seats. The Morgan Boulevard Station on the Silver or Blue Line is the closest Metro station, located approximately nine-tenths of a mile from the stadium. For more information, visit www.redskins.com/fedexfield/.
DC United – Audi Field
Audi Field is the home stadium for D.C. United, Washington D.C.’s Major League Soccer team. Located along the Anacostia River in the southwest section of Washington, D.C., Audi Field seats 20,000 people and was opened in 2018. In addition to D.C. United matches, the stadium also occasionally hosts other soccer matches, as well as other sports games. For more information, visit www.audifielddc.com.
The Washington National – Nationals Park
Opened in 2008, Nationals Park is home to D.C.’s major league baseball team, the Washington Nationals. Located in Southeast D.C., Nationals Park is easily accessible via the Metro for a night of baseball, beer, and fun. Nationals Park also hosts concerts, fundraisers, conventions and more throughout the year. For more information, visit https://www.mlb.com/nationals/ballpark/information.
Fall Festival at Claude Moore State Park
Have a fun-filled day with live music, food, vendors, a petting zoo and more during this annual fall festival at Claude Moore State Park, just east of Sterling. For more information, visit festivalnet.com/74344/Sterling-Virginia/Festivals/Fall-Festival.
Independence Day Celebration
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Washington, D.C. knows how to celebrate the Fourth of July. You can start the day with the annual National Independence Day Parade that goes along Constitution Avenue featuring military service men and women, fife and drum corps, and a variety of floats. From there, you can stroll over to the National Mall to get a seat for one of the nation’s best fireworks display that night. Not only are the fireworks incredible, the National Symphony Orchestra provides the score for the show, capped off with the “1812 Overture.” For more information, visit www.washington.org/topics/fourth-july.
Lighting of the National Christmas Tree
The Lighting of the National Christmas Tree occurs every December at the Ellipse near the White House to signify peace to the nation and the world. The official lighting ceremony is free, but you must win tickets via an online lottery. For more information, visit www.thenationaltree.org.
Cherry Blossom Festival
The Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the region’s most beloved traditions celebrating the arrival of spring. With over 3,000 cherry blossom trees, this festival is a beautiful tourist attraction for people of all ages welcoming more than 1.5 million people each year. For more information, visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.
Living in Sterling also will allow you to take some incredible weekend trips. You can hop on the Amtrak and take the train up to Philadelphia, New York City or Boston. There’s incredible hiking opportunities along the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park a few hours away. Annapolis is a favorite weekend getaway for many in the area and is just over an hour’s drive. Snowshoe in West Virginia (roughly five hours away) has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region. And with how close Sterling is located to Dulles International Airport, it’s not out of the question to find a cheap flight to Chicago, Florida or even Iceland for a quick getaway!
Are you excited yet? You should be! Whenever you’re ready to start planning your move to Sterling, we’re here to help! Visit www.hilldrup.com to schedule your free move estimate.