“Your New Hometown” is how you’re greeted when you enter South Riding on South Riding Boulevard from Route 50, just 2 miles west of the Fairfax County / Loudoun County border. And you do feel like you’re in a “hometown” pretty quickly. People who live here say it has the cohesive feel of a true neighborhood where people actually get to know their neighbors. Perhaps that’s because — while not gated — South Riding is self-contained by natural barriers that make its borders pretty clear. It’s flanked by Route 50 to the north, Poland Road on the east, and Braddock Road to the south. It was the first planned community in this “Dulles South” area, which has exploded in growth since the late 1990s.
SOUTH RIDING HOME STYLES
There were several companies involved in building homes in South Riding over the years, with the majority of homes being built by Toll Brothers. Housing ranges from apartments and condos to townhouses of varying sizes, attached Carriage Homes, Village Homes with front porches, and mid-sized to large estate series homes. It’s no wonder many families living in South Riding have moved two or three times within the neighborhood — often upsizing as their family grew…and sometimes even downsizing as children go off to college and their needs change.
SOUTH RIDING’S COMMUNITY FEEL, ABUNDANT AMENITIES, AND YEAR-ROUND EVENTS
Even almost 25 years after South Riding was founded, residents still maintain a close-knit community that transcends turnover from one family to the next. Perhaps it is due in part to the large HOA and an active event planning staff. Every month of the year, you can find activities sponsored by the South Riding Proprietary and local businesses. Popular summer events include Friday night concerts on the Town Green, as well as regular movies on the lawn near one of the pools.
Speaking of pools, South Riding has four. Some host group and private swim lessons and team practices and meets, while others have recreational features like a slide and kiddie water park. Dive In movies are held several times each summer at night. Kids and adults alike can relax in the pool while watching a movie projected on a large screen. You’ll also find numerous well-maintained playgrounds around the neighborhood for younger kids.
South Riding even puts on its own hometown carnival called Celebrate South Riding for two days in early June. It’s a great kick-off to the summer, with rides, games, and carnival food. The Fourth of July is another highlight, with a parade leading to a fireworks viewing area with bands, concessions, and other activities. Another newer annual tradition is a family campout at one of the neighborhood parks. Families can pitch their tents and enjoy a hot dog dinner and s’mores by a campfire. For adults, there are comedy nights and the annual Fall Fest with beer and wine tastings.
Other events throughout the year include a Community Clean Up Day, Community Shred (for electronic recycling and document shredding), a Spring Festival, the Jingle Dash and “Glow” 5K races, a Halloween Parade, Book Swaps, visits with Santa, and a Community Wide Yard Sale.
FITNESS AND SPORTS IN AND AROUND SOUTH RIDING
The newest addition to the community is the expanded Dulles South Recreation and Community Center, one of three rec centers to serve the county of Loudoun. Members and non-members have access to a full fitness center, two pools, rock climbing wall, a wide range of classes, and a senior center. If a smaller gym or cycling studio is more your style, there are plenty of those in the neighborhood, too, as well as running and cycling groups that meet up on a regular basis.
For fitness for all ages, there are miles of trails for running, walking, or biking. One particular trail was recently marked with mileage markers and also has fitness stations along the way. For golfers looking for a course that’s convenient and reasonable, the South Riding Golf Club sits right in the middle of the community. The Pleasant Valley Golf Club, under the same ownership, is just a couple miles east. Tennis courts, some with lights, are scattered throughout the community, along with basketball courts, volleyball courts, soccer fields, and a new mountain biking course in the planning stages.
SOUTH RIDING AREA SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES
Parents will find that there are plenty of local sports leagues, scouting troops, and service organizations to keep kids busy beyond the choices of activities offered at the various schools. Churches serving almost every religious affiliation are within close proximity, many meeting at the local schools. A large 1,200 seat Catholic Church a few miles west of South Riding is due to be complete in June 2021, while a Baptist Church completed in 2009 sits in the center of the community not far from Town Hall. Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian, Mormon, and various thriving community and Bible churches all have a presence in or right near South Riding. There’s a Hindu temple right outside the community and synagogues just to the north in Ashburn.
With so much to do and get involved in, you can understand how South Riding is one of the most popular communities in northern Virginia and has maintained its property values. In addition, the community is served by top-ranked Loudoun County public schools, including 4 elementary schools (Little River, Hutchinson Farm, Liberty, and Cardinal Ridge), J.M. Lunsford Middle school, and Freedom High School. Paul VI Catholic High School is also relocating from Fairfax County. They will open their new campus along Braddock Road right across the street from one of South Riding’s southern entrances in the Fall of 2020. For younger children, there are now plenty of daycare centers, preschools, and Montessori schools in or within a few miles of the neighborhood. Toddlers and elementary-aged kids also love the many playgrounds scattered throughout the community.
A GROWING RESTAURANT AND RETAIL SCENE IN “DULLES SOUTH”
Retail and restaurant offerings have started to catch up to the growth of the community, with Dulles Landing opening just north of the community across Route 50. Here you will find a Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Michael’s, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and DSW — along with other stores, small businesses, and fast-casual restaurants. Avonlea, a mixed-use development just west of South Riding, is in the planning stages and promises to bring more retail and dining to the area. Of course, there are a couple of shopping centers in South Riding itself which give residents a choice of both Giant and Food Lion grocery stores. Various sit-down restaurants like Ford’s Fish Shack and Wine Styles wine bar are popular spots for adults to relax after a busy week. One of the shopping centers is anchored by Home Depot. Of course, no community would be complete without a Starbucks, and there’s a small one near Food Lion — and another just a couple of miles away at East Gate shopping center near the Harris Teeter.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND COMMUTING FROM SOUTH RIDING
Even the Dulles South Public Safety Center is the first of its kind in Loudoun County, combining a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office stationed full Fire/Rescue Station. Sitting in the heart of the community, it gives residents a sense of safety and comfort. Residents have enjoyed the benefit of road improvements in the area over the past decade. Route 50 completed a long widening project a few years ago which has greatly reduced morning and evening rush hour gridlock. And with the newly expanded Loudoun County Parkway now offering direct access north to Ashburn — and roads like Old Ox being widened — South Riding is more accessible than ever.
The Loudoun Gateway Metro station on the Silver Line is set to open in 2020. This makes the Metro more accessible, with just a 10-15 minute drive up Old Ox Road. In the meantime, many residents utilize one of the local Park and Ride stations to make daily work commutes easier. For both business and pleasure travel, getting to Dulles International Airport is a convenient 15-20 minute drive. For times when you want to relax and get away from the hustle-bustle of northern Virginia, you can venture westward on the older part of Route 50 to encounter the beautiful rolling landscape. You’ll find historic estates, horse farms, small towns, antique stores, and many wineries on the drive to Middleburg and the more rural parts of western Loudoun County.
With a great location and so much to offer, you’d be wise to consider making South Riding your own “new hometown.” Contact Us today if you’d like to have our help finding the best homes in this or any of Dulles South’s other family-friendly neighborhoods.