Moving to the DC area can be very confusing, especially when certain cities are covered by two different counties. The City of Alexandria is in a different county than the rest of Alexandria. Below is a description of how Alexandria and the City of Alexandria are different.
Alexandria vs City of Alexandria
The City of Alexandria has great walkability to shops (Old Town), but it’s more crowded and expensive. This area is north of the 495 Beltway and is run by Alexandria City Public schools which has some high rated schools, as well as, low rated ones.
The part of Alexandria (located outside the 495 Beltway called non-Alexandria / Lower Alexandria / or South Alexandria) which is run by Fairfax County and is aligned to Fairfax County Public Schools. Schools, traffic, and home prices are the biggest difference between the City of Alexandria and the rest of Alexandria. Many military families moving to the DC area want their kids to attend Fairfax County Schools. The area is small enough to get around without much traffic, it’s close to Mt. Vernon, Ft. Belvoir for the commissary and healthcare, and it’s close enough to Old Town to drive to shops and wonderful restaurants. It’s close to metro, freeways, and GW Parkway (which you can take all the way to the Pentagon). If looking in this area, read about 5 amazing neighborhoods, recommended by other military families.
Alexandria vs City of Alexandria - Which is part of the Fairfax County School System
- City of Alexandria is NOT in the Fairfax County so it isn't aligned to the Fairfax County Schools.
- The rest of Alexandria is part of Fairfax County and the Fairfax County School System.
- This is true for Falls Church vs City of Falls Church.
Not everyone who moves to the DC area have kids or are concerned about schools. If you are looking for additional information about other places to live, read other popular cities surrounding DC and read about Burke, VA.