The planned community of South Riding
fairly represents Loudoun County, VA. As the wealthiest county in the nation, almost all neighborhoods in Loudoun County, South Riding included, have a very high average household income. It is safe to say that South Riding is home to predominantly upper-middle class families.
Located just off Highway 50 to the south, South Riding sits 30 miles west of Washington, D.C and conveniently just 10 miles from the Dulles International Airport which starts just on the other side of the highway.
Schools in South Riding
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
Many of the neighborhood's best restaurants reside in the South Riding Town Center along Tall Cedar's Parkway, the east/west thoroughfare through the neighborhood. Two of them in particular stand out from the rest: Kirin Asian Cafe and Backyard Rotisserie Chicken.
Kirin Asian Cafe whips up incredible Chinese dishes such as spicy wontons and rainbow chicken. The mix of sweet and sour flavors that coat many of their dishes reaches perfection. Seafood lovers should try the shrimp lo mein and shrimp fried rice. In addition to the food, the always friendly staff make it impossible not to love this place.
Backyard Rotissere Chicken cooks with Peruvian spices creating amazing flavors no matter which dish you order. The chicken gyro and chicken melt in particular should not be missed. While chicken remains their specialty, they also carry classic diner food like burgers, fries, salads, and shakes.
Head just a couple doors down to South Riding Inn, also in the South Riding Town Center, for the local watering hole. It's a casual local hangout that's great for game day. Snack on classic bar food while watching one of the many TV screens around and chatting with the locals. The bar also organizes group buses to every Washington Redskins home game.
History & Culture
With over 6,300 homes
and 25,000 residents, South Riding is one of the largest planned communities in Loudoun County. Incorporated in January 1995, all South Riding property owners automatically become members of the communities' association.
The community contains a town hall, swimming pools, parks and playgrounds, sports courts, gyms, and even fishing piers. It truly does feel like its own little world.
The association also puts on many events throughout the year such as trivia nights, business expo and community yard sales, overnight camp outs, summertime concerts, movie nights, corn hole tournaments, and even a triathlon. Neighborhood residents are certainly not at a loss for activities.
South Riding is very car dependent. Most residents use the neighboring Highway 50 (Lee Jackson Memorial Highway) and State Route 28 to commute to the Dulles/Reston/Tysons Corner technology corridor and other major employment centers in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Despite strict parking rules within the community, most residents don't run into any problems concerning lack of space. As with most planned communities, South Riding was designed for comfort.
Public transportation is nonexistant within the neighborhood. The closest bus or train available leaves from the airport, but getting there requires a car.
Walking and biking can be done from a safety standpoint, but with a spread-out community such as this, biking would be much more preferred. This is definitely not a city, though. You won't see your neighbors hopping off the metro and walking into the local grocery store. Like most suburban neighborhoods, getting around generally means door to door in cars.
If driving is not a viable option for you, Ubers are always available. With just a few taps on your phone, you can have someone pick you up at your doorstep. A ride into D.C. from South Riding on Uber starts at around $45.
As you might expect, the cost of living in South Riding sits higher than Virginia averages but on par with costs in just Loudoun County. Rent, for example, averages $1,349 per month for a one-bedroom
apartment in South Riding. That's 27 percent higher than the $1,060 average for all of Virginia but almost exactly the same as the Loudoun County average of $1,372 per month.
Residents save a little at the pump as local gas prices average around 4 percent lower than national averages. Dining out prices fall around the average for the area as well. An entree at a decent restaurant will go for $15 and beers $5.
There aren't too many major commercial retailers within South Riding, but a couple of local shops provide good insight into the neighborhood. Meadows Farms Nurseries & Landscaping is just one of many nurseries in the neighborhood that has built up a trusted following among the community members, many of whom tend to their personal gardens daily.
Dover Saddlery provides all things equestrian. Horse clothing, as well as helmets and chaffs for the rider, and you can even buy riding lessons here.
Other than the Home Depot just off the highway, residents are better off heading south to Chantilly
and Fairfax for more commercial shopping. The Fair Oaks Mall in particular features many popular retailers such as Macy's, Sears, Lord & Taylor, Bed Bath & Beyond as well as a movie theater.
For groceries, locals head to the Harris Teeter on Eastern Marketplace Plaza, although Cox Farms just south of town does have some of the best apple cider you've ever tasted. If you're looking for fresh vegetables and fruit, head east to Gum Springs for the Wellness Connection Farmers’ Market every Saturday.
Back in South Riding, the neighborhood contains nine playgrounds, 14 parks and almost four miles of bike and pedestrian trails. All parks remain free year-round for neighborhood residents as do the pools.
The South Riding Overnight Campouts are held annually at Mink Meadows Park. This large woody park comes complete with a picnic area, grills and horseshoe pits.
Teenagers love the Dulles South Skate Park located on Riding Center Drive. Whether your kid enjoys skateboarding, in-line skating, or scooters, this 5,000+ square-foot park features ramps, rails, stairs, stacked ledges and floating quarter pipes, a place perfect for all.
Cox Farms hosts an annual Fall Festival with hay rides, pumpkin smashing and lots of giant slides.