Springfield, VA

Overview

People who move to Springfield choose the eight-mile-wide neighborhood for its tame residential atmosphere and low crime rates. At just 14 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., residents can still indulge in the amenities associated with the city, although Springfield supplies many of its own unique attractions. Middle-class families and working professionals appreciate the highly ranked schools and active community, but the area's overall affordability makes it all the more appealing.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Hungry citizens flock to the stretch of Interstate 95 that intersects with Keene Mill Road for the abundance of local eateries that congregate there. From classic American staples to exotic Mediterranean meals, locals can appease their palates with flavors from around the world. Start with Mike's American Grill, a traditional American restaurant specializing in thick cuts of meat with delicate seafood embellishments. Locals recommend attending for dinner and starting with the legendary drunken ribeye. Between succulent crab cakes and jaw-dropping desserts, locals say calling ahead to make reservations is a must. Sip a mango martini while you wait and the minutes will fly by as quickly as you'll clear your plate. Grab a quick lunch from Sandwich Republic on Old Keene Mill Road. The local deli features artisan breads and cured deli meat made in-house, so locals get the best of fresh ingredients and affordability. Frequent patrons say you can't go wrong with the daily special, but choosing it over the spicy tandoori chicken or braised short-rib sandwiches is difficult once you've had a taste of either classic favorite. Save room for a bowl of the soup of the day or gooey, fresh baked macadamia cookies. For a trip to Europe without leaving Springfield, munch on a fruit tart from the Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop on Port Royal Road. Stepping inside the homey cafe instantly gives you the option to experience lunch in Germany with a cooked bratwurst before hopping over to Sweden for an authentic beer. Frequent patrons praise the French pastries and stop in several times a week to try the newest gourmet sweets. With some items packaged like groceries, residents can take a bag of brioches home to savor the European feel long after their initial visit. Pubs and lounges define the nightlife scene in Springfield and elicit a sports bar atmosphere, rather than rambunctious nightclubs. Karaoke fans who want to put on concerts of their own flock to the small stage inside Shooters Sports Bar. This local bar on Spring Garden Drive stays open extra late on Friday and Saturday nights to accommodate the thirsty residents in need of a generous happy hour. Locals appreciate the variety of both beer and mixed drinks and toss back savory pub snacks as quickly as they finish a round of shooters. Beer mavens looking to exchange the social atmosphere for a more tame one, head to Yard House for more sophisticated concoctions and brews.

History & Culture

Springfield was named for a post office that operated as Springfield Depot in the 1800s. The area was briefly renamed Garfield after the late president, but regained its initial title in 1910. It remained a rural crossroads until the mid-1940s when a realtor subdivided the area for suburban development in close proximity to the highway. Residents visit nearby Lincolnia for access to historical outlets since no museums lie within the suburb's boundaries. Without a prominent art or music scene, locals look forward to annual events such as the Springfield Days Festival and the Fall Festival just north in Annandale.

Transportation

Living in Springfield without a permanent set of wheels proves nearly impossible, since much of the area is too spread out to reach on foot. However, cyclists help ease the congestion of cars by using the roads south of Franconia-Springfield Parkway to navigate the region. Biking infrastructure also exists around Highland Street, and the lessened traffic nearby makes many of these roads biker-friendly. With the large majority of people using cars on a regular basis, ample parking occurs in residential subdivisions, while commuters use metered and reserved spots at the Metro Station. Commuting to the city by car takes much less time than public transit, since the Henry G. Shirley Memorial Highway sits just a few minutes away from Edsall Road. Those who prefer to avoid traffic use the WMATA bus routes that connect to the Metrorail Station. Professionals working in the city take both the Virginia Railway Express Commuter and blue lines during normal business hours. Residents without a car call ahead to one of four car shares, such as Uber, or arrange for taxi rides since they can’t be hailed in Springfield.

Cost

With an average cost of living about one percent lower than the city’s, life in Springfield ranks as one of the most affordable communities near the District. Standard goods and services such as groceries and health care cost the same in Springfield, but a slightly cheaper housing market brings the area in under the city’s average. The average monthly rent runs $1,514 for a standard one-bedroom apartment, though the majority of residents choose to buy. Fuel prices sit about 11 percent higher than the national average, and one-day rail pass fare costs $14.50. Small luxuries such as a beer for $4 top off the list of affordable things in Springfield and help demonstrate its even prices with the city’s.

Shopping

All food and fashion essentials can be found inside the small rectangle of land created by Frontier Drive and Interstate 95. Big name retailers mostly dominate the market, but some local shops still thrive amidst the corporate competition. Curio Cavern on Loisdale Road caters to the young at heart with shelves full of games, niche hobbies and tables arranged for optimal game time. Shoppers more interested in vintage furniture and trendy consignment fashions head to Treasure Trove. Locals appreciate the mix of eclectic furniture and brand name consignment apparel for a fraction of the price. Locals say this is a must for redecorating or furnishing a new home. However, they appreciate the availability of a one-stop shopping destination, such as the Springfield Town Center off Frontier Drive. While this retail hub houses chain stores of all kinds, locals love to scope out unique shops, such as Quantum Reefs, whenever they have the opportunity. One of Northern Virginia's premier saltwater and freshwater retail stores, it has a huge stock of aquarium supplies and fish. Resident's stop in just to marvel at the beautiful fish or to ask questions about their home aquariums. Grocery chain stores, including Giant, provide people with a neighborhood supermarket that isn't too far from town. However, specialty grocery chains, such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's, give locals more high-end options. People committed to purchasing from more local vendors pick up Asian groceries from Manila Oriental, which prides itself on both a hot bar full of foods from the Philippines and standard shelves of groceries. Locals call the deli superb and marvel at the unique frozen treats, including the esteemed purple ice cream. Shoppers who prefer to hand-select each item straight from the farmer attend the Smart Market rotating farmers' market, which hosts a Saturday market in Springfield before moving to another northern Virginia city each day.

Parks

With one stand-out recreational option, active residents in Springfield choose to spend sunny days outside at Lake Accotink Park, though several community recreation facilities are scattered throughout the area. The 493-acre park on Accotink Park Road draws in locals for scenic lake views and all the activities that come with a large water source. From pedal boats to fishing, water enthusiasts are sure to find an activity they enjoy. Those who prefer to stay on land make use of the miniature golf course and carousel before stopping for a picnic under one of several pavilions. Athletes choose the park for distance runs and bike rides through the 4.5 mile nature trail with dozens of feeder paths branching off in all directions. Since pets are welcome too, the park suits the whole family. Best of all, visitors only pay for rented equipment and facility use. Aside from occasional classes and education programs, such as dog training or cardboard boat races, the park doesn’t host major events—a quality locals consider to be part of the park’s appeal.

3 Neighborhoods in Springfield, VA

  • Newington

    Renting a home in Newington, Virginia puts you mere minutes from all of the cultural and historic sites in Washington, D.C. With a strong military presence that includes Davidson AAF and Fort Belvoir. Residents of Newington can hop on I-395 to easily reach Downtown DC, just 15 miles away. Climb aboard a Metro train headed north if you want to avoid high traffic times on the busy highway.

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  • North Springfield

    The community of North Springfield lies about 15 miles outside of Washington, D.C. Residents of North Springfield enjoy excellent Fairfax County public schools, a diverse demographic, a more affordable cost of living compared to most of Northern Virginia, and an easy commute into the city. Significant landmarks in the community include the Springfield Mall, Ravensworth Shopping Center, Lake Accotink Park and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

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  • West Springfield

    Located just 10 minutes outside of the main city, West Springfield bustles with opportunities for relaxation, fun, superb dining, and more. This delightfully diverse city enjoys its high appeal. Thrill seekers head to Camden Park, the neighborhood's go-to place for amusement park fun, or they head to the water for rafting and kayaking. Locals enjoy the trampolines and laser tag at Flight on Fullerton Road, and they participate in a variety of activities sponsored by the city. Thirsty residents head out to the local breweries Coal Fire or the Hideout, while foodies have a multitude of dining options to satisfy nearly any craving.

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