Lorton is a great residential neighborhood with a growing amount of commercial options. It is a suburb outside of DC and a popular place to escape from the city life. There are several parks in Lorton that have water access and campgrounds. The last decade has seen more and more stores open up yet Lorton is still more suburban than most parts of Fairfax County. It has a VRE and Amtrak station in the neighborhood and is close to major highways if you prefer to drive. There are a few things to do at night in Lorton including a theatre, nightclub, and a few bars, but for the most part people go towards D.C. for the nightlife. Fortunately Lorton is just 20 miles outside of the city and although it may have a small town feel, you are just a quick drive away from downtown.
History of Lorton VA
Lorton was originally named after a village in England, which was the hometown of Joseph Plaskett, a local merchant. Plaskett opened the first general store in Lorton and also helped to establish a Post Office there in 1875. One of the first major developments in Lorton was in 1916, when the Lorton Reformatory was built after President Theodore Roosevelt had found that the prisoners from D.C. needed a more habitable environment than the current D.C. jails. Starting in the mid 1950s the United States saw the need to build anti aircraft missile sites and one of the three Fairfax locations for these was in Lorton. The Lorton Nike Missile site was used to prepare in response to a Soviet attack and the Lorton site was the only one in Fairfax whose missiles were armed with nuclear warheads. In 1973 the site was no longer in use but to this day it is a historical landmark. Lorton developed slowly but steadily over the last half of the 20th century and is now home to much larger commercial sector. In 2002 Fairfax County officially bought the land which housed the Lorton Reformatory and have developed it into a higher and better use.
Lorton is a suburb of DC and is a great place if you like the outdoors. It is more of a bedroom community than Arlington or DC because it is removed from the city by about 20 miles. Development over the last couple decades has increased the density however Lorton remains laid back. There are a range of people that live in Lorton who are attracted by the proximity to DC and the more affordable prices.
Shopping options in Lorton, Virginia
Although there are no major malls in Lorton, the neighborhood is home to several significant shopping centers. There is the Gunston Plaza Shopping Center, Lorton Market Place Shopping Center, Lorton Station Center at the VRE, and the Historic Downtown Occoquan center. Fortunately, Tyson’s Corner Mall in Fairfax is just a short drive away.
Recreation options in Lorton, VA
Lorton is a great place to enjoy the outdoors even though it is just 20 miles outside of D.C. It is home to numerous parks including Occoquan Regional Park, Pohick Bay Regional Park, Mason Neck State Park, several golf clubs, and numerous athletic fields. Occoquan Regional Park has over 400 acres of recreational space and has boating, fishing, batting cages, and athletic fields. Pohick Bay Regional Park has various water activities, camping, hiking, a Frisbee golf course, and an 18 hole golf course. Mason Neck State Park offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, hunting, and horseback riding. A great thing about all these parks is that they have live events year round including music, art, and theatre events.
Where do people live in Lorton VA?
In Lorton most of the housing are single family homes and town houses. In recent years there has been an increase in apartments and condo developments around Lorton. The area has grown significantly and prices are affordable for the DC area, but may not be that way for long.
Transportation options in Lorton Virginia
Lorton has all the transportation options you would expect from a suburb 20 miles outside of Washington, DC. While driving is a popular mode of commuting or getting around there is a VRE Station which runs from Fredericksburg to Washington, DC. Lorton also has an Amtrak station, that runs all the way from Florida up to the station in Lorton. The neighborhood has several bus routes that run through it including the Fairfax Connector Routes 171 and 307 and the Vamoose Bus service, which provides transportation up and down the entire east coast. Lorton is a great place to take a stroll around the neighborhood, but walking as a primary form of transportation is not recommended here. This neighborhood is a little too spread out and driving in your car is the preferable mode of transportation as the walk score here was only a 40 out of 100. That being said, Lorton is near three major highways including US-1, I-95, and Route 123. Overall Lorton is not that tough of a commute and if you do not want to drive you have several nearby options available to you.
Lorton Virginia Boundarie
Lorton is located in the southeastern part of Fairfax County and is recognized as a Census Designated Place. It is roughly 20 miles outside of Washington, D.C. and is about 12 square miles.
Entertainment & Restaurants in Lorton, VA
Lorton has a decent and growing selection of restaurant options such as Pan e Vino, Tokyo One Japanese Steakhouse, and Pollo Grill Restaurant and Tap Room. Over the last decade plenty of newer restaurants have popped up and that trend has continued to this day. Some of the local coffee shops include Caribou Coffee, The Daily Grind, and, of course, Starbucks.
Nightlife in Lorton, Virginia
Lorton is home to a theatre, nightclub, and a couple bars, but for the most part it is low key during the night. The Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre is a neighborhood favorite but be sure to make reservations if you would like the best seats. Across from the theatre is a nightclub called Skinifatz, which is known for its Karaoke nights and dance floor. Glory Days Grill is the popular bar in Lorton, although most people who go out favor downtown Fairfax, Arlington, or D.C.
Conclusion about Lorton, VA
Overall Lorton is a great community that offers a retreat from the city life but is still within a close proximity of DC. The growth over the last decade has helped to grow Lorton into a self sustaining suburb of DC. There are places to dine, shop, and go out at night, although not as many as closer in suburbs.