Is McLean, VA a Nice Place to Live?


Is McLean, VA a Nice Place to Live?

Is McLean, VA a Nice Place to Live?



McLean, Virginia is a quiet, beautiful community with great connectivity. It’s one of the most desirable places to live in the greater Washington DC area — and even has an A+ rating on — because of its top-rated schools, outdoor activities, and luxury homes. There’s a reason why members of Congress, diplomats, CIA agents, and more call McLean home!

McLean is an expensive area, but many residents agree that living here is worth the price. If you’re considering moving to McLean or want to learn more about your new community, here’s everything you need to know about this small city.


Where Is McLean?



McLean, Virginia, is an unincorporated community named after John Roll Mclean, former publisher and owner of The Washington Post, and is home to several political figures and Fortune 500 companies. The Pentagon is only about 20 minutes away, and McLean is also home to the George Bush Center for Intelligence, the headquarters of the CIA.

The City of McLean is located within Fairfax County in Northern Virginia and is only about 10 minutes away from Tysons and 20 to 30 minutes away from Washington DC, across the Potomac River.

Here are some quick stats about McLean from the U.S. Census Bureau:


  • Population: 50,773 residents as of April 2020
  • Homeownership rate: 87.6%
  • Median household income: $250,000+
  • Median value of homes: $1,257,900


Things to Do in McLean, VA



Although McLean is on the smaller side, there are plenty of things to do, whether it's embarking on outdoor adventures, immersing yourself in local museums, or going out for a night on the town — there's something for everyone to enjoy!

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, most of McLean’s restaurants are between Old Chain Bridge Road and Old Dominion Drive. Several restaurants in McLean — Jiwa Singapura, Tachibana Japanese Restaurant, and Aracosia McLean — were even featured in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2023 list of 50 best restaurants in Northern Virginia and Washintonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants in Washington, DC.

The area is also very well known for its high-end shopping at Tyson’s Galleria and Tyson’s Corner Center. You can also enjoy a nice, quiet hike or family outing at McLean Central Park, Great Falls Park, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, and more. 

Read more: Interested in seeing more? Check out my article on the best activities to enjoy in McLean once the weather starts to warm up!



Schools in McLean, VA



The Fairfax County Public Schools system serves McLean and is regarded as one of the best districts in Virginia. Several of McLean’s private schools — BASIS Independent McLean and The Madeira School—have also ranked within the 50 best schools in America and earned A+ grades from Niche. 

Here are the public schools serving McLean and their rankings, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Public elementary schools:

  • Chesterbrook Elementary School: #36 in Virginia Elementary Schools
  • Churchill Road Elementary School: #45 in Virginia Elementary Schools
  • Kent Gardens Elementary School: #9 in Virginia Elementary Schools
  • Franklin Sherman Elementary: #121 in Virginia Elementary Schools
  • Spring Hill Elementary: #34 in Virginia Elementary Schools

Public middle schools:

  • James Fenimore Cooper Middle School: # 9 in Virginia Middle Schools
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Middle School: #3 in Virginia Middle Schools

Public high schools 

  • Langley High School: #5 in Virginia High Schools
  • McLean High School: #4 in Virginia High Schools

There are also several private schools and child care facilities around the McLean area.

Private schools:

  • BASIS Independent McLean (age 2-grade 12)
  • The Langley School (preschool, K-8)
  • The Madeira School (all-girl day and boarding college-prep school)
  • The Potomac School (K-12 college-prep day school) 
  • The Country Day School (preschool and K)

Catholic Schools:

  • Saint Luke Catholic School (preschool, K-8)
  • Saint John the Beloved Academy (preschool, K-8)

Montessori Schools:

  • Brookfield Montessori (Toddler program, primary program, Kindergarten, and before-and-after Dragonfly Club for elementary students)
  • The Montessori School of McLean (Toddler program through 6th Grade)

Read more: Find more details and links to McLean schools on my website.


Crime and Safety in McLean, VA



Residents in McLean, VA, can feel safe knowing they live in an area with a much lower crime rate compared to national averages.

The crime rate in McLean is 64% lower than the national average, according to AreaVibes and FBI data, earning the city an A+ rating. Violent crimes are 73% lower than the national average, while property crimes are 63% lower.


Job Opportunities in McLean, VA



Looking for a new job? McLean is a terrific place for job seekers. From 2020 to 2021, employment in McLean, VA, grew at a rate of 1.83%.

The median household income is over $250,000, and several Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in and around McLean. Booz Allen Hamilton, Freddie Mac, Capital One, Hilton, and others are all based in McLean. There are also major regional offices in the nearby Dulles Technology Corridor.

According to Data USA, the most common job groups by number of people living in McLean, VA, are management, business and financial operations, and computer and mathematical occupations.


Housing Market in McLean, VA


A two-story gray house with white trim, red door, covered porch, walkway, manicured lawn, and trees in the front yard.


Home prices in McLean, Virginia, are among the fastest growing in Virginia. The median home value is over $1.2 million, and using data from Zillow, reported that home prices have increased by 3.3% over the past year and 31.5% over the past five years.

But many residents say that the cost of living in McLean is worth it, especially if you live in one of the area’s many sought-after communities, such as Salona Village, Langley Forest, The Reserve, or Chesterbrook Gardens

Read more: For more details, you can read my article about the best neighborhoods in DC.


Want to Call McLean Home?


McLean is a tight-knit community with wonderful people, amazing food, and prestigious schools. There’s no doubt that it’s a fantastic place to raise a family. The cost of living here is higher than the national average, but many say it’s worth it for all of the benefits McLean offers.

Are you buying or selling a home in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia? I have years of experience in the DC housing market, so don’t hesitate to send me a message!


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