Manassas occupies a modest 10 square miles of land, but its history is expansive. As a "bedroom community" to Washington, D.C., it offers transit and access to the center of American government, as well as to the nation's abundant museums, historical sites, and landmarks. Although in recent years its popularity has caused Manassas to feel the less-welcome effects of urban density-as well heavy traffic during peak business hours-the approximately 35,000 residents also realize that there are many advantages to living in such a busy and historically rich area.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Old Town Manassas centers on a historic train depot and features a Thursday and Saturday farmers market. Commuters come and go from the nearby Amtrak/Virginia Railway Express station. In the residential areas, about two thirds of homes are owner occupied. Manassas has a housing density of around 1,200 houses or condos per square mile.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The City of Manassas Department for Economic Development aims to create of new jobs, increase investment by attracting new businesses and expand existing businesses.
Businesses can easily employ qualified and skilled labor as there are a large number of workers in the 50 mile radius around Manassas. Furthermore, Manassas has well-planned transportation options. Being located just 30 miles away from Washington, DC, Manassas is surrounded by convenient highways including I-66, I-95 and I-495.
In recent years Manassas has been aggressively pursuing economic growth, following a master plan. Current top employers are Prince William Health System, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Micron Technology. Other major employers include Aurora Flight Sciences, BAE Systems, Colgan Air, Didlake Inc., High Purity Systems, Oberon, Payne Publishing and Verizon.
Manassas draws tourists from around the world thanks to its popular attractions, including:
- Manassas Farmers' Market: Located in Old Town Manassas, this market is open from April through November. Patrons can purchase and sample local produce, baked goods, coffee, honey, and a wide variety of other edible and non-edible items.
- Manassas Museum: The Manassas Museum is a large space dedicated to interpreting Northern Virginia history. Permanent and traveling exhibits tell the story of the various settlements in the regions, including their roles in the American Civil War.
- Manassas National Battlefield Park: Heralded as a "must see" for Civil War enthusiasts, history buffs, and school children, the Manassas National Battlefield Park offers individuals, families, and groups the chance to experience the Civil War through their own imaginations. Walking and driving tours through the park are offered year-round.
- Mayfield Fort: The Mayfield Fort structure is the last of its kind in the city of Manassas. Recently renovated, it offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the American Civil War.
- Old Town Manassas: Through an infusion of private and city donations, Old Town Manassas has undergone major revitalization since the mid-1980s. Today, this bustling and "walkable" area of the city is a thriving district with eateries, businesses, and historical landmarks.
- The Freedom Museum: Built to show vintage World War I and II aircraft and vehicles, the Freedom Museum is located at the Manassas Regional Airport. Flight memorabilia are included as part of this display.
- Old Dominion Speedway: The Old Dominion Speedway is the only place to find NASCAR, Winston Cup, and drag racing in the city of Manassas. Races are held throughout the year.
- Manassas Industrial School and Jennie Dean Memorial: The Manassas Industrial School was founded by Jennie Dean after the end of the American Civil War. As a former slave from Prince William County, Dean wanted to establish a school at which African-American males and females could learn viable trades. Today, an outdoor memorial to Dean and her school are located at the spot where the school stood.
With five excellent golf courses and an extensive system of parks, Manassas offers many opportunities for outdoor activity. In addition, residents and visitors can enjoy:
- Magic Putting Place: This 36-hole miniature golf course is ideal for families and couples.
- Harris Pavilion Ice Rink: Open all year, the Harris Pavilion Ice Rink offers ice skating, live outdoor concerts and performances and open-air ice skating (seasonal).
- Manassas Heritage Railway Festival: Held each June, the Manassas Heritage Railway Festival celebrates the history of railroad travel and commerce. Model trains, kiddie rides, and entertainment round out the celebration of the industry that helped shape Manassas' future.
- Manassas Wine and Jazz Festival: Held on Father's Day, this festival offers visitors the opportunity to sample local wines while listening to classical jazz standards and newer jazz compositions.