Tysons Central – McLean, VA

Tysons Corner, or just Tysons, thrives as a corporate center with lots of office space and retail shopping that has undertaken plans to remake itself as a place where people can live, work and play. Tysons has been a city lacking in people, known more for its shopping mall than as a place to live, but that is beginning to change. An expensive area with notoriously bad traffic, the residents of Tysons consist of established professionals. Young people come to Tysons to work, but they live and go out in Arlington and other communities. In 2010, Fairfax County developed a plan to make over Tysons into a walkable, sustainable urban center, home to up to 100,000 residents by 2050. The plan includes foot and bike paths, new apartments, cultural events and green spaces. Changes have started taking place, with new public transportation meant to ease congestion and construction of sleek new buildings. Located about 7 miles west of Washington, D.C., and about 14 miles east of Dulles Airport, Tysons is home to high-technology companies, large and small government contractors and retailers.

Schools in Tysons Central

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Restaurants & Nightlife

Chain restaurants dominate the Tysons area, but if you look closely, you can find locally owned restaurants focusing on a variety of different cuisines. Paddy Barry's Irish Pub and Restaurant serves authentic Irish cooking in a warm, welcoming environment. Try the Irish stew or the shepherd's pie for a genuine taste of Ireland. Savor the moist bread pudding or the apple and blackberry crumble with vanilla ice cream as you listen to live music. For Greek food, have dinner at Nostos. The lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce, the shrimp with feta or the seafood stew make great choices. Nostos favors excellent food preparation over attempts to put new twists on classics. The atmosphere manages to be lively as well as serene with its gray-and-white color palette. For a special night out, Härth, located in the Hilton Worldwide, has a cozy fireside ambiance. The menu focuses on locally sourced American fare cooked in its wood-burning oven. Try the pork chop, scallops or bacon jam burger with two grilled patties stuffed with bacon jam. Tysons has a few spots for a night on the town, but they tend to be spread out. Several of the chain restaurants in the area have large and lively bars, as does local restaurant chain Clyde's. Babalu features music, dancing and hookah for a good time out with friends. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Babalu get particularly lively. Friday and Saturday nights at Iris Lounge feature a disc jockey and dancing. Don't be misled by its unassuming exterior and location near the end of a street with no other restaurants or bars, this place draws a crowd out for a good time. In addition to dancing, you can play pool or hang out in the cigar lounge. For a quieter night, visit the 16-screen movie theater located in Tysons Corner Center, or take in a live show at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts. Wolf Trap hosts music, comedy and theater acts from around the country at its open-air venue in the mild-weather months or at its Barns in the winter.

History & Culture

The site of Lawrence Foster's peach farm originally was called Peach Grove. It became known as Tysons Corner after Foster sold William Tyson a tract of land at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123 in 1854. The area grew from a country crossroads to an urban commercial area in the 1960s with construction of the mall, the Capital Beltway and Dulles Airport. Tysons Corner continued to grow in the subsequent decades as businesses moved from downtown to the suburbs and the area became a major employment and retail center. The area beyond Tysons holds many historical and cultural attractions. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport lets visitors explore thousands of aviation and space artifacts. In Vienna, the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens feature beautiful displays of gardens and plant collections and hold an annual Winter Walk of Lights holiday display.


Getting around the Tysons area can be a challenge, since a good system of roads suffers from too many drivers, leading to heavy traffic. Plans to turn Tysons into a walkable, bike-friendly community are progressing, but are not yet reality. Some bike lanes have been added to outlying streets in the area, but fast-driving, congested roads and large intersections make walking and biking through the heart of Tysons risky. Cars remain the main mode of transportation. Route 7 and Route 123 serve as the main arteries through Tysons. Drivers in the area easily access the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495), the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267) and Route 66. Shopping centers and malls provide free parking, but when visiting offices and hotels, you may have to pay, and street parking is minimal. Metro's silver line extended to Tysons in 2014, giving shoppers and commuters an alternative to driving. The silver line stops at Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean stations in the area. From the Tysons Corner Station to Metro Center in D.C. takes less than 30 minutes on Metro. An extensive network of bus service provided by Metrobus and the Fairfax Connector also helps people move around Tysons and out to the surrounding suburbs. Other options for getting around the area include Uber and traditional taxi service. If you want a taxi, call in advance rather than try to hail one since taxis in this area don't drive around looking for fares.


The cost of living in the central Tysons neighborhood sits about 46 percent higher than the national average, 34 percent higher than elsewhere in Virginia and 8 percent higher than Washington, D.C. For a one-bedroom apartment, expect to pay $2,011 per month on average. Commuting from the Tysons Corner Metro Station to Metro Center in Washington, D.C., via Metrorail costs $4.80 during peak time and $3.60 off-peak using a SmarTrip card. It costs $1 more if you use a paper farecard. You can expect to pay about 11 percent more for gas than the national average, and going out for a beer with friends costs about $6 per bottle.


Two malls, Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria, dominate the shopping in the area. Tysons Corner Center contains more than 300 retailers and eateries and includes an American Girl store and LL Bean. The Galleria specializes in high-end retailers and includes more than 120 stores on three levels. Between the two malls and several outdoor shopping centers, national chains are well represented. For smaller, locally owned stores, head east to Falls Church. On Broad Street (route 7 in downtown Falls Church), you can walk between shops. Pick up home repair items and knowledgeable advice from the staff at Brown's Hardware. This old-fashioned hardware store provides all the basics plus key making, tool sharpening and even glass cutting. If you need a gift for a child, visit Doodlehopper 4 Kids. This one-stop shop carries hard-to-find educational toys, books and baby gifts, and the staff offers to wrap your gift at no extra charge. The CD Cellar carries a vast selection of CDs, vinyl, DVDs and Blu-ray discs, much of it used but high quality. You can listen to almost everything in the shop at a listening station. Harris Teeter holds the distinction of being the only grocery store in Tysons. Tucked away on a side street in a shared building, you access the store by parking in a garage underneath and taking the escalator up. This surprisingly large store includes a pharmacy, an extensive salad bar and hot-food bars for when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry. The Wal-Mart Superstore on the western edge of Tysons contains a full grocery store. Other grocery options to the east in Falls Church include Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market, specializing in organic foods. A conveniently located farmers market takes place from 8 a.m. to noon year-round on Saturdays in the Falls Church City Hall parking lot, offering fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, wines and baked goods More than 40 local vendors participate during the season, but it shrinks to about 15 vendors in the winter.


Tysons does not have any public parks, but you don't have to go too far to find one. Lewinsville Park in McLean includes a playground, baseball and soccer fields, two basketball courts and six tennis courts. A small community garden area is located toward the back of the park. Visit Nottoway Park in Vienna to play tennis, basketball or volleyball or to work out on the fitness trail. You can also have a picnic or enjoy the solitude of the wooded nature path. During the summer months, participate in Nottoway Nights, a series of free weekly concerts held in the park. Bring your dog to the Vienna Dog Park, located in a corner of the park. This fenced area features a woodchip surface, a water fountain and agility equipment. Take in the views, and go for a hike at Great Falls Park, where the Potomac River roars over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the Mather Gorge. You have to pay to enter the park, but the views of the Potomac River outweigh the $5 entrance fee per car for most people. Explore nature and history in this beautiful 800-acre park, and feel free to bring your leashed dog with you. The Washington & Old Dominion Trail traces an old railroad line from Rossyln to Purcelville and provides 45 miles of paved, multi-use trail for walkers, bikers, joggers or rollerbladers to exercise and enjoy the pleasant scenery.
Ovation Apartments
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