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Serene, a well-connected home of D.C.’s elite.

Welcome to McLean

McLean, Virginia is one of the most desirable places to live in the greater Washington, D.C., region because of its abundant park land, excellent schools, and proximity to Washington, D.C., and luxury homes in serene, prestigious neighborhoods.

McLean is the third wealthiest city in the nation according to data from The American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. As one of the most affluent suburbs in Northern Virginia, McLean is also regarded as one of the best places to raise a family in the D.C. area.

In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated McLean’s population at 48,566. 
Presidents, vice presidents, senators, famous authors, and international CEOs are among those who have called McLean home.


Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and east, McLean, Virginia is an unincorporated community in Fairfax County, located on the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495). Park land abounds here, and Fairfax County conservation easements protect acres of open meadows.

McLean’s ideal location is one of the reasons its homes are in such high demand: Washington, D.C., is about a half-hour drive from McLean via George Washington Memorial Parkway. Bethesda, Maryland, is also about half an hour away via Dolley Madison Boulevard. For long-distance travel, Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are each just 15 minutes away by car.

Due to its latitude, McLean’s climate is classified as warm temperate or humid subtropical; that means you can expect hot summers and generally cool-to-mild winters.

The Washington Metro’s Silver Line is easily accessible at McLean Station; this rapid transit line can take passengers further into Virginia, to locations across Washington, D.C., or even as far as Largo Center in Maryland. The Silver Line’s new stations, which will connect to Dulles International Airport, are slated for completion in 2022. Meanwhile, easy transfers to other lines of the Washington Metro connect McLean to destinations all over the greater D.C. region.

The Pentagon is about 20 minutes away, and McLean is home to the famous George Bush Center for Intelligence, the CIA’s headquarters.

Tysons (also known as Tysons Corner), Arlington, Potomac, Falls Church, and Wolf Trap all border McLean. Other Washington, D.C., suburbs found nearby include Vienna, Great Falls, and Wolf Trap.

Neighborhoods and Communities

McLean is home to many family-friendly neighborhoods with resort-like amenities. Especially sought-after communities in McLean include:

McLean’s phone area codes (703 and 571) and zip codes (22043, 22046, 22101, 22102, and 22106–22109) are frequently recognized in D.C. and carry McLean’s cachet.

There are many new construction homes in various styles found throughout McLean, and Joy Design + Build, one of the D.C. region’s finest custom home builders, is based here.​​​​​​​


McLean’s historical roots run deep. Its name refers to John Roll McLean, former owner of The Washington Post, because of his instrumental stake in the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad during the 1900s.

But long before McLean was named McLean, there stood The Salona homestead, built around 1800. This historical farm was once home to the American revolutionary Henry Lee III, aka “Light Horse-Harry,” who served as a Virginia representative and as Virginia’s governor.

During the Burning of Washington in 1814, President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison were forced to seek separate routes to safety. The pair reunited at the Salona estate, given shelter by then-owner Reverend William Maffitt. Today, the stretch of Route 123 between Tysons and the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean is named Dolley Madison Boulevard in memory of that historic reunion.

Salona’s role in history continued during the Civil War, when the Union Army set up Camp Griffin for the winter of 1861–1862. The Salona mansion served as headquarters for Union commanders including George B. McClellan, who served a period as Commanding General of the United States Army.

Among other properties on the National Register of Historic Places in McLean, you’ll find Hickory Hill: former home of the Kennedy family, including John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.

Amenities & Attractions

McLean is an active and healthy city with generous parkland allocated citywide, offering myriad opportunities for outdoor activities and exercise.

Clemyjontri Park, a playground designed for children of all abilities, attracts visitors from all over with such features as accessible ramps, non-slip surfaces, specially built swings, and a carousel designed with wheelchair users in mind.

McLean Little League, which offers baseball, softball, and Challenger League, has seen its players win the Little League Softball World Series once and rank as runners-up twice. Multiple swim and tennis clubs are available across McLean, and those who love golfing will find many excellent courses within a 30-minute drive to nearby Falls Church; Alexandria; Potomac, Maryland;  and Washington, D.C.

The town of McLean offers a Safeway, a Giant, and a Total Wine location that can please any palate with its impressive selection of cigars, beers, and wines. The Organic Butcher provisions local grass-fed meats, wild game, and seafood.

Washington Metro’s McLean Station in nearby Tysons Corner is convenient to Tysons Galleria, a luxury shopping destination with stores unique to the entire D.C. Metropolitan area. Designers and amenities available in the Galleria include Celine, Prada, Balenciaga, Cartier, Burberry, Gucci, Neiman Marcus, Salvatore Farragamo, Crate & Barrel, Louis Vuitton, the Ritz-Carlton Day Spa, Bottega Veneta, Anthropologie, Hugo Boss, J. Crew, and Chanel.McLean and Tysons are both home to many highly rated restaurants, so night-out dining options are always close by. Local favorite dinner spots within McLean include the fine Turkish Kazan restaurant, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood, and Tachibana sushi bar.

Fortune 500 Companies & More

Although McLean is largely residential, it’s also home to several Fortune 500 companies:

  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
  • Capital One Financial Corporation

DynCorp, Mars, and Gannett Company are also based in McLean. Dozens of businesses cluster their headquarters and major regional offices in the nearby Dulles Technology Corridor, including Apple, Amazon, Google, VeriSign, Volkswagen, Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Visa Inc., and IBM.

Health, Wealth, and High Education

McLean ranks among the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, lowest poverty rates,  and highest median household incomes. About 87% of McLean residents live in privately owned homes.

Nearly 30% of McLean adults hold a Masters Degree, according to the United States Census Bureau; that’s more than double the national average.

McLean is served by the excellent Fairfax County Public Schools system, which is one of the largest and best-funded school systems in the nation.

Public elementary schools serving McLean

Public middle schools in McLean

McLean’s public high schools 

Private Schools and child care

Nearby colleges

The greater Washington, D.C., region is home to prestigious and historic colleges: 

    3 Things to Know Before Moving to McLean

    1. As you’d expect from such an affluent and luxurious location, the cost of living in McLean is significantly higher than the national average. Homes in McLean typically sell for at least $1M, and prices commonly range into multiple millions.
    2. Residents generally travel by car; most errands and commutes in McLean aren’t convenient on foot or by bicycle unless you live within walking distance of town. 
    3. McLean is quiet, family-friendly, and mostly residential. Although there’s not much nightlife here, Arlington, Alexandria, and Washington, D.C. are short trips away by car or Metro.

    Looking To Buy or Sell a Home in McLean, Virginia?

    If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in McLean — or anywhere in the greater Washington, D.C., region — contact Nadia Khan.

    As a leading authority in the local residential real estate market, Nadia will provide you with expert market analysis, unparalleled service, and a seamless transition.

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