Pros and Cons of Living in Kingstowne Virginia

Pros and Cons of Living in Kingstowne

My family and I moved to Kingstowne over ten years ago. While it’s the only place I’ve lived in Northern Virginia, we’ve helped clients from Loudoun to Stafford and everywhere in between. Personally, I believe Kingstowne remains one of the best places to live in Northern Virginia.

In this post, I will review the pros and cons of living in Kingstowne. Unlike so many of the other Pros and Cons lists I’ve written before, this one comes from the unique perspective of a local.


The first pro of living in Kingstowne is the ease of the commute. Living in Kingstowne puts you close to two metro stations. Although neither are in Kingstowne, they are right outside the subdivision and can be reached within minutes.

The Van Dorn metro station from the North Village is just down Van Dorn Street. The Franconia Springfield station, located just off the Franconia Springfield Parkway, is convenient for residents of the South Village.

The Franconia Springfield station also has a VRE stop. Residents of the Middle Village can reach either station at roughly the same time.

We also have two on-ramps to the interstate. The Springfield Interchange, also known as the Mixing Bowl, is the interchange of Interstate 95, Interstate 395, and Interstate 495 in Springfield, Virginia, outside of Washington, D.C.

From this on-ramp, you can get anywhere. It can take you to Tyson’s, Baltimore to the west, or Richmond or Woodbridge to the south. The on-ramp closer to the North Village of Van Dorn allows you to go either east, like the Tysons area, or west, like Baltimore.

Those who like to carpool can use the slug station at Springfield, which is about four miles outside the Kingstowne community. Finally, the Fairfax Connector bus has many stops throughout the community.



The second pro of the pros and cons of living in Kingstowne is how convenient it is.


Five grocery stores in the greater Kingstowne area are within a three-mile radius.

There is a store for every budget and everyone’s preference. I like to think of Wegmans as similar to Whole Foods. It has high-quality ingredients that can be elusive at other supermarkets.

Wegmans has a seafood and meat counter where you can speak with the fishmonger or butcher about different cuts and selections. There’s always oxtail, lamb, turkey thighs, and even duck. It’s also a favorite of mine when I’m looking for hard-to-find international ingredients.

Giant Food and Safeway are each located in the Kingstowne Town Center and offer typical American grocery store finds. The prices are less than Wegmans, and you’ll find everything you need for your typical weekly grocery shopping.

Aldi, also located in the Kingstowne Town Center, is a smaller, more niche store. It has a produce section with great prices, but it is considerably smaller than what’s found at other neighboring supermarkets. Aldi is known for its specificity products. It has many ready-made foods, such as dips, frozen foods, and eat-and-heat options.

Finally, we have Amazon Fresh. Kingstowne is home to Northern Virginia’s first Amazon Fresh, which I love. Its claim to fame is its self-checkout baskets. You just put your items in your basket, and your Amazon account is charged as you exit the store. Amazon offers the best and freshest produce of all these stores.

The selection is more extensive than Aldi’s but smaller than that of all the other stores. Best of all, Amazon allows in-store deliveries to be returned at no cost. In fact, they’ll usually give you a coupon to use in-store each time you make a return.

The Kingstowne Town Center also has a Walmart. It’s great to have a big-box store in the community to run to for paper and dry goods. It isn’t a Super Walmart, so you can only do some of your grocery shopping there, but it’s a great option for everything else.

Then we have Nalls Produce, a locally owned small business in a community before Kingstowne existed. Nalls is like a year-round farmer’s market or produce stand. They have an incredible selection of fresh produce from local and area farmers. You can get fresh eggs and milk, ice cream from local creameries, and many other niche items.

In addition to what’s available in store, there’s a large nursery with all types of flowers. My family has participated in their crop share program for years. Each week, you pick up a box of seasonal produce. It’s a huge part of the community, celebrating Penny the pig’s birthday each year, there’s a pumpkin patch each Halloween, and they sell Christmas trees during the holidays.


Next up are a few of my favorite restaurants. There are many great options just in the Kingstowone Town Center, but in this section, I’ll share a few of my favorites in the Greater Kingstowne area and beyond.

Osaka Japanese Steakhouse is excellent for Hibachi. We also have Burtons, which is an American Style. Then we have Kitchen Cray, a D.C. favorite that’s found a new home in Kingstowne. They offer an exciting twist on many American-style classics, from soul food to seafood. I love their fried chicken and French toast made with fried chicken thighs, not breasts.

For pizza, we have so many different options, right we have the traditional, you know, grab your kids some cheap pizza; maybe you can find a deal on those. We have Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s. There’s Stone Hot Pizza over in Hayfield Farm. Then, in Festival at Manchester Lakes, there’s Johnny’s New York-style pizza, which is fantastic if you just want to go in and grab a slice.

My favorite pizza is just that good old Sabaro’s already-made pizza that is put under a broiler for just a minute to reheat. Ledo’s is another neighborhood favorite. They have several locations throughout Northern Virginia. It’s really thin, similar to tavern-style pizza, and tastes fantastic. There are so many options for pizza here, just in the Kingstown area.

Honestly I could go on for another three or four paragraphs about dining options in Kingstown, both what’s open and what’s to come. Just know that there is something for everyone.


Entertainment is number four on our pros and cons list. It’s important to have things to do inside the community, and that’s one of the things I love about Kingstowne. Having the Regal movie theater in the Kingstowne Town Center is convenient.

Residents can also easily access a second Regal theater in the Springfield Mall. It is a smaller, more intimate venue with plush reclining seats for a more luxurious experience.

There’s also Rudy Golf and Sports Bar. Kingstowne was home to the very first Top Golf. When it closed, Rudy’s opened and continues to use the same technology found at Top Golf. Unfortunately, we just discovered it will close within the next year or so, as the area has been approved for a new townhouse community.

There are also two golf courses right outside the community. We have Greendale Golf Course, a public golf course managed by Fairfax County. The best thing about public courses is that they are always reasonably priced.

Then there’s Fort Belvoir Golf Course on the Fort Belvoir base. While it is not a public course, it is open to all active and retired military members and past and current DoD civilian employees. While that doesn’t cover everyone in Kingstowne, it does include quite a bit of the population in Fairfax County.

The Kingstowne Residential Owners Corporation does a great job of getting residents together and hosting events. There are events centered around young children, teens, and adults. There’s something for everyone: ice cream parties at the pool, teen gaming events, and adults-only pool nights.


Kingstowne has miles of walking trails. Whether you like to walk on wild flower-lined trails around Kingstowne Lake or the paved paths along the roads, Kingstowne has a trail to get you where you’re going. No matter the time of day, you’ll run into neighbors and friends walking and jogging or taking their dogs out for a daily stroll.

Kingstowne has two fitness centers within the community. We have the Thompson Center in the South Village and the Snyder Center in the North Village. They’re open from 5:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Each fitness center has various cardio equipment, from treadmills and elliptical machines to rowers, recumbent and spin bikes. They also have free weights and various workout machines. While it isn’t nearly as much as what’s available at private gyms, it’s enough to get a good workout.

The Thompson Center in the South Village near the South Center also hosts fitness classes. Class offerings vary, but a few examples include yoga, kickboxing, and body pump. You’re in luck if you’re looking for a more extensive gym with more than the community fitness centers offer.

There are several private gyms in the Greater Kingstowne area. Planet Fitness has opened up in Hayfield Shopping Center. It’s reasonably priced, and there are dozens of cardio machines, plenty of free weights, and other gym equipment.

There are two L.A. Fitness locations, one at the Hilltop Shopping Center near the intersection of Beulah and Telegraph and another larger location in the Springfield Mall. These are the largest gyms in the area.

Each has multiple levels with lots of equipment, classes, saunas, steam rooms, and swimming pools. If the hours of a traditional gym don’t work for you, a 24-hour gym like Anytime Fitness may be a good fit. It’s open 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s a little bigger than the community fitness centers but has less variety than Planet Fitness and L.A. Fitness.


I love that the schools in Kingstowne are genuinely a part of the community. I have two boys at Hayfield Secondary School, an eighth and tenth grader.

We’ve lived in Kingstowne since my oldest was in Kindergarten, and through the years, my boys have always been able to walk to school. When they were at Lane Elementary, they walked to school and would spend time on the playground after school with other kids from the neighborhood.

As they got older, they’d play there on the weekends with other kids from the community. They have made lasting friendships, and now, years later, they walk to school with those same friends.

I love that they’ve built a close network of friends. Friends who are so close make a mile-long walk to Hayfield feel like just a few blocks.

During football season, I enjoy going to games with my sons. We love to support the team, win or lose, and it’s a great place to catch up with neighbors on a Friday evening after work.

Hayfield’s varsity basketball team won back-to-back state championships recently, and the energy at the games was unmatched. It’s something else watching someone you knew before they could they could tie their shoes score a three-pointer.

Cons of Living in Kingstowne


As much as the schools are a pro, one of the cons we hear from others is the school’s performance. The schools in Kingstowne are considered middle-of-the-road. On a scale of 1 to 10, schools in the Hayfield pyramid are probably rated a five or six on most websites, meaning they are average. Fairfax County is one of the most highly educated counties in the United States, so it stands to reason that parents have high expectations of the schools in the area. Parents in this area want their kids to be in advanced placement, they want them to be challenged, and they want every school in the area to be a 9 out of 10 at minimum.

I believe the schools here are great. We have dedicated teachers; the coursework challenges them, and both my boys test well and read well above grade level. I am satisfied with their education in the Kingstowne area public schools.

The schools here have done a great job with our children. However, my wife and I’ve done an exceptional job at home. But I know some parents in the area wish the schools were rated more highly on websites like Great Schools and U.S. News.

Some parents don’t love the size of Hayfield. It’s a secondary school, meaning there are students in grades 7th through 12th. There are over 3,000 students enrolled at Hayfield in a given school year. Understandably, some are concerned about their 12-year-old crossing paths with a 17-year-old senior. As I mentioned, I have children in both middle and high school, and the school does an excellent job of keeping the two sides of the school apart.

Home Prices

The next con is the price. Living in Fairfax County is expensive relative to the average cost of homes in America. However, Kingstowne is more affordable than many other areas in Fairfax County.

The average sales price in Kingstowne is between $650,000 and $700,000. At that price point, you’re likely looking at a townhouse. However, there are a handful of smaller single-family homes in the South Village at that price point. Townhouses in Kingstowne range from 1000 square feet to nearly 4,000 square feet. And with that much variation in size, you can expect a wide range of prices from as little as $450,000 up to $800,000.

Most detached homes in Kingstowne sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million. If your budget is under $400,000, you may want a condo. The average sales price for a condo in Kingstown is $393,000.

Multi-level Living

Speaking of condos, that brings us to con number three. If you’re interested in aging in place, there may be better options than Kingstowne. Most properties have three levels, which can be challenging as you age. Even the condos in Kingstowne can be a challenge. Each development is a garden-style condo with no more than four floors. That means no elevators. So unless you’re fortunate enough to snag a garden-level condo, you’ll have to face the stairs.

Whether you are disabled and need an elevator to get by or have trouble with stairs, the condos in Kingstowne leave much to be desired regarding accessibility. If having an elevator is essential to you, there is a 55-plus community called The Crest of Alexandria that may be ideal for you. Though not in Kingstowne, it’s just down the road and in the same zip code with access to the same creature comforts Kingstowne residents enjoy.

Isn’t Walkable

Kingstowne is semi-walkable, meaning we have lots and lots of trails and many convenient options for dining and shopping, but most people aren’t walking to reach those destinations. For example, if you live in the South Village, you probably won’t want to walk to the Kingstowne Town Center. The town center is in the North Village; from the South Village, you’re looking at a 30-minute walk. It’s a little shorter from the Middle Village but can be equally long from some neighborhoods in the North Village. Overall, Kingstowne is made to get around by car.

Transient Area

This next con is personal to me. Kingstowne, as well as Fairfax County as a whole, is very transient. We have a significant military presence here in Kingstowne, which means that our friends and neighbors are sometimes here for a good time but not a long time. We see them come and go each winter and summer as they PCS to their next duty station. I was shocked ten years ago when we first moved here.

Over time, we’ve learned that it isn’t just military personnel that live in the area. Those with the State Department and Foreign Service also come and go. We see more people leave the area for new job opportunities than you’re used to elsewhere in the country.

In addition to people leaving for various employment opportunities, there are also people who leave the area as they retire. Fairfax County is unaffordable for some on a fixed income, and as people exit the job market, many also leave.

This revolving door of people moving into and out of the community can make it difficult for some people to make close or lasting connections.

In Closing

So those are the pros and cons of living in Kingstowne from a local’s perspective. What do you think? Are there enough pros to consider moving here?

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