9 votes

Tips for moving to VA?

hi tildians,

i'll be moving to VA pretty soon. if there's anyone who's lived there, and could possibly share any tips, that would be nice! and I mean anything -- places to check out, info for people out of state, etc.

thanks!

13 comments

  1. [12]
    nukeman
    Link
    What part of the state? General advice: Don’t speed. 20 over, or anything over 85 is considered wreck less driving. Radar detectors are illegal.

    What part of the state?

    General advice: Don’t speed. 20 over, or anything over 85 is considered wreck less driving. Radar detectors are illegal.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      kyotja
      Link Parent
      Giving the location would help a lot. Living in Richmond? Got plenty of rec's. Living out in the Appalachians? Not so much, outside of a few hiking trails. Living in northern VA? You're not living...

      Giving the location would help a lot. Living in Richmond? Got plenty of rec's. Living out in the Appalachians? Not so much, outside of a few hiking trails. Living in northern VA? You're not living in VA, you're in the DC suburbs, and may god have mercy on your soul.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        3_3_2_LA
        Link Parent
        Haha, NoVa it is! Is it the traffic?

        Living in northern VA? You're not living in VA, you're in the DC suburbs, and may god have mercy on your soul.

        Haha, NoVa it is! Is it the traffic?

        4 votes
        1. kyotja
          Link Parent
          It is indeed, though there is also the fact that it really is more of a part of DC than VA, depending on how north you are. I don't really have anything to add for NoVa that nukeman didn't cover...

          It is indeed, though there is also the fact that it really is more of a part of DC than VA, depending on how north you are. I don't really have anything to add for NoVa that nukeman didn't cover below other than, however bad you might think the traffic is, it will be worse, especially when it snows.

          3 votes
    2. [2]
      Wulfsta
      Link Parent
      It’s wild to me that it’s illegal to listen for certain radio waves - I understand the intent, but it’s also insane.

      It’s wild to me that it’s illegal to listen for certain radio waves - I understand the intent, but it’s also insane.

      4 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold
        Link Parent
        That would make certain antenna lengths illegal. And broad-spectrum radio receivers. And I believe 5 GHz WiFi overlaps with radar bands. Packets dropped? Now you can suspect you’re being flooded...

        That would make certain antenna lengths illegal. And broad-spectrum radio receivers. And I believe 5 GHz WiFi overlaps with radar bands. Packets dropped? Now you can suspect you’re being flooded with radar pings and you just broke the law.

        3 votes
    3. [4]
      3_3_2_LA
      Link Parent
      Herndon/Reston :) and thanks for the tip!

      Herndon/Reston :) and thanks for the tip!

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        nukeman
        Link Parent
        Okay, you’re in NoVa. I grew up near Mount Vernon until 2018. I can give more relevant advice. I’ll start with the negatives: Traffic. Holy Shit. The DC area has so much traffic. I hope you have a...
        • Exemplary

        Okay, you’re in NoVa. I grew up near Mount Vernon until 2018. I can give more relevant advice. I’ll start with the negatives:

        • Traffic. Holy Shit. The DC area has so much traffic. I hope you have a short commute, but even so, don’t be surprised if a few times a year it takes three or four times as long. My mom’s thirty minute drive once took over two hours. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle/EV, or use Metro/Bus/bicycle/slug line.
        • Weather: Summers are HOT and humid. If you aren’t from a tropical or subtropical climate that can be a bit of an adjustment. (On the other hand, I liked it so much I moved even further south!) Do your outdoor activities early. Winters can also stink, especially because there’s enough people who don’t know how to handle snow.
        • Cost of Living: Especially with Amazon moving in, the cost of living has gone up a lot. Using housing as an example, a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom flipped 1950s ranch in my old neighborhood (outside the Beltway, mind you) sold for $779,000.

        Now the positives:

        • Food: The DMV has a plethora of great food options. You’ll find just about anything, but the area excels in Korean, Salvadoran, and Ethiopian.
        • Location: You are close to everything - beaches and mountains. A weekend trip to NYC or Philly is very doable. You can make the drive to Florida in a day. Dulles, National (it’s just National, not Reagan), and BWI have lots of destinations, so you should be able to make most of your flights direct.
        • Culture: You have over a dozen world-class free museums at your fingertips. Take advantage of them. You’ve also got loads of performing and visual arts venues.
        • Hobbies: If you do it, you can find a hobby group.
        • Outdoors: there's tons of amazing parks. Great Falls, Rock Creek, Prince William Forest, Huntley Meadows. Many areas have smaller ones that are also great.
        11 votes
        1. grahamiam
          Link Parent
          Lol - I lived in Ashburn and commuted only to Chantilly, but also had to go to Manassas and Crystal City for work occasionally FIFTEEN years ago and even then the traffic made me want to die....

          Lol - I lived in Ashburn and commuted only to Chantilly, but also had to go to Manassas and Crystal City for work occasionally FIFTEEN years ago and even then the traffic made me want to die. Can't imagine how much worse it's gotten since then.

          3 votes
      2. bkimmel
        Link Parent
        Traffic is not great, but I'll say it's gotten a lot better after the pandemic. DC area jobs broadly had simultaneously the least reason to be in the office and a lot of stuffy policies forcing...

        Traffic is not great, but I'll say it's gotten a lot better after the pandemic. DC area jobs broadly had simultaneously the least reason to be in the office and a lot of stuffy policies forcing people to be there. The WFH revolution had a much bigger impact on DC than most cities with a huge drop in people driving in. Traffic is still bad and if you can afford to live by one of the Metro stations in Herndon/Reston, I'd highly recommend that.

        Potential areas of culture shock: you're moving into the most highly educated county in the nation. It's a lot harder to be the "smartest person in the room" here. If someone tells you they "work for the government" and doesn't seem keen to discuss it too much, don't push the issue. There are a lot of 3-letter agency employees/contractors in the area. If you see political/news people you know out and about, don't make a big deal about it; this is "Hollywood for Ugly People" as the saying goes.

        Like the other commenter said, the Dog Days of summer are humid here. But I'd say a really nice thing is that Spring and Fall are both amazing and they "last longer" here. Which is nice because you are within 30/40 minutes of three very nice National Parks. If you enjoy biking, the W&OD trail is one of the nicest experiences you can have, lined with little brewpubs and bike shops along the way. Reston is literally a grid of beautiful paved trails through the woods connecting the lakes, Village Centers, and Golf Courses. It's been massively overdeveloped in places (and getting worse) but it's a quality of life you won't find almost anywhere else.

        Other fun things;
        Aslin brewery in Herndon Old Town (they usually have food trucks)
        Jimmy's in Old Town
        Lake Anne Village Center is like going to Europe... Esp. if you are a Brutalism/architecture buff.
        Lots of "great experience" wineries/breweries within 30ish minutes (Vanish, Paradise Springs, Bull Run to name a few).
        Meadowlark Gardens is amazing.
        Wolf Trap is great - go see any show there at all, it's just fun to be in.
        Occoquan/Clifton are both fun and have great hiking around.
        Tons of really nice little concerts at Reston Town, Lake Anne, Herndon Fest, etc.

        And, of course, all the stuff in DC 20 minutes down the road.

        3 votes
  2. Merry
    Link
    I grew up in the southwest part and still have family and friends there. Go down the blue ridge parkway in September or October to see the leaves change

    I grew up in the southwest part and still have family and friends there.

    Go down the blue ridge parkway in September or October to see the leaves change

    4 votes