famously known as the site of two major battles in the American Civil War, has become a racially-diverse residential area with a large shopping section that runs along the eastern edge of town.
Bull Run counts as part of the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, but as one of the westernmost neighborhoods, it's also firmly outside beltway traffic. With proximity to two large nature areas and the near to the historic small-town feel of Manassas,
Bull Run remains a desirable place to live.
Schools in Bull Run
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Enjoy authentic Latin food at El Mirador Restaurant, a consistent favorite in the Bull Run area. Serving large portions for low prices, the regulars rave about the flavors found on the small menu. The lime and avocado guacamole tastes fresh and the Pork and Cheese Pupusas are a must.
Take your mouth to the other side of the world with a meal at Zabb Thai Restaurant. The extensive menu features traditional Thai food, including Kapow, a spicy dish with basil. With daily lunch specials and monthly entrée specials, you will always find an authentic meal at a reasonable price. If you visit during lunch hours, you can even add a spring roll and a salad to your meal of choice for only $1.
For a family-friendly pizzeria, try Tony’s New York Pizza. While opinions vary on whether or not Tony's pizza is authentic "Big Apple" style, locals agree that it's a great slice either way. Serving a variety of pizza styles like deep dish, thin crust and stuffed for both dine-in and take-out, this casual eatery rounds out their menu with tempting subs and pasta.
When you’re looking for after-hours fun, stop by Afterlife 360. Open until 1:30 every night, this bar serves strong drinks and good food. The decor helps cultivate the perfect hangout atmosphere with a pool table, darts, video poker, and occasional live music.
History & Culture
Bull Run grew alongside its neighbor Manassas, buoyed by the newly-built railroad that ran through the area. That railroad is still active today, and runs along the western edge of Bull Run. The population of the town continued to grow, particularly after the 1930s, and eventually it become populous enough to be included in the DC Metro area.
The biggest historical draw remains the National Battlefield just to the north, while to the south in Manassas, you can visit the historic train depot or the Liberia Plantation.
Because Bull Run is mostly residential and commercial shopping, you’ll want to keep Manassas in mind when you are looking for cultural arts events. The historical Candy Factory has been turned into the Center for the Arts where dance, art, and theater classes and programs take place.
At 30 miles west of Washington, D.C., Bull Run sits just south of Interstate 66, with State Routes 234 and 28 just a short distance away.
Because it lies far outside the DC metro area, to catch the train into the city you’ll have to drive to Vienna, the nearest Metro station, 16 miles away. From there you can enjoy a 30 minute ride into the heart of DC.
For local public transportation, Manassas Omnilink buses provide local bus service, in addition to commuter buses to northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., and buses to Metro stations. To make paying for travel easier, the Omnilink system accepts the SmarTrip cards used on the Washington Metro system, as well as cash or bus tokens.
Several cab companies operate in the Bull Run neighborhood, the Manassas Cab Company being the most recommended by residents, and Uber also services the area.
Bull Run doesn’t have public parking garages, but stores and restaurants generally have plenty of customer parking. With few biking paths and trails, the high-traffic Bull Run area isn't ideal for pedestrians or cyclists.
The cost of living in Bull Run happens to be 1 percent lower than the rest of Virginia yet still sits at 8 percent higher than the national average, and even gas remains 2 percent lower in the Bull Run area than in the rest of the state.
The average rental rate for a one-bedroom
apartment costs $1,100, while a one-way ride on the local bus system Omnilink only costs $1.30. When you go out at night to enjoy a domestic beer, it will cost you $3.75, while an imported draft will cost around $5.
Bull Run sits just to the east of State Route 234, lined with shopping centers featuring major national chain stores including Wal-Mart, Macy's, Toys "R" Us and Office Depot.
McKay Used Books, a quirky local used book store, has a large selection of used merchandise, including textbooks, music, and video games. Customers appreciate the well-organized aisles and the fact that the store doesn't sell online - increasing the chances of a rare find.
Bull Run has many grocery stores to choose from, such as regional chains like Giant, Food Lion, and Aldi. Those in search of fresh Korean ingredients can also take a trip to the local chain Global Food, which stocks many hard-to-find items for ethnic dishes.
The closest farmer's market sits 4 miles south on Route 234 in the center of Manassas. With peak season from April to November, the market operates on both Thursdays and Saturdays, and when the weather cooperates, on Saturdays in winter.
Barron Park sits in the middle of Bull Run, consisting of large grassy areas, basketball and tennis courts, along with a playground. The park is surrounded by a small swath of woods, giving you a breath of nature in the midst of the traffic outside.
If you'd like to get a little deeper into nature, head slightly to the north where you can find both the historic Manassas Battlefield National Park and Bull Run Regional Park.
Enjoy year-round camping in the Regional Park, and if tents aren’t your thing, the park has 6 cabins conveniently located right next to the playground and camp store. Come during the summer to experience the waterpark, or explore the trails for both people and horses that wind through the park, including the 17-mile Bull Run – Occoquan Trail that begins in the park and heads south. Other activities include disc golf, a public shooting center where you can shoot skeet, and an indoor archery center. Dogs are allowed on the trails, RV and campground areas, provided they are leashed and cleaned up after.
Step back in history before you even reach the main battlefield site. As you drive along Route 234, you’ll notice the Civil War-style split-rail fences lining the road, indicating battlefield boundaries. Stop in at the visitor’s center and see the small museum, watch the video, and snag some tourism brochures that show places of interest on your driving tour.
Follow the routes of both the first and second battles, pulling off in the designated areas to read the signs, take pictures of historic buildings, even cross the reconstructed stone bridge spanning Bull Run Creek.
The most well-known annual events in the region occur up at the Bull Run Regional Park. These include the Wine and Food Festival in the summer, the fall Brewfest celebrating craft beers, and in the winter, the Festival of Lights.