Located in northern Virginia about 15 miles from Washington, D.C., the town of Vienna — population around 15,000 — has been ranked as the fourth-best place to live in America by Money Magazine and CNN/Money. Vienna's historic charm and its top-notch educational system are among the factors that draw people to the town.
Vienna's per capita income is significantly higher than the national average. Fewer than 2 percent of families live below the poverty line, a rate that is considerably lower than the national average.
Some residents, including many government officials and lobbyists, commute to Washington, D.C., for work; many others are employed by Vienna's relatively large number of private consultancy and financial firms. Major employers in Vienna include Navy Federal Credit Union, Westwood Country Club, and Contemporary Electrical Services, Inc.
Vienna has around 5,400 houses, of which more than 5,300 are occupied. Of the occupied houses, more than 4,600 are owner-occupied, while renters occupy around 750 houses. On average, a house in Vienna costs more than twice as much as the statewide median price.
Downtown Vienna was initially established along Church Street. Although that stretch still contains some shops and restaurants, the central area of downtown shifted one block south to Maple Avenue in the 1960s when Vienna's population boomed. Today, Maple Avenue is home to several shops, services, and restaurants. Maple is also a primary traffic artery to Tysons Corner, a major shopping center in the region.
Southern Vienna is being rebuilt, and new homes are greatly influenced by Vienna's tight zoning laws and the town's historic architecture. New houses in south Vienna represent various architectural styles from 1875 though the 1940s, including low-roofed Arts and Crafts bungalows, elaborate Victorians, rustic shingle-style homes, and columned plantation-style houses.
Most Vienna students attend schools located just outside the city limits, though several elementary schools are found within Vienna proper. Fairfax County is renowned for the quality of its public education system, which is consistently rated among the nation's best. James Madison High School, in particular, surpasses most other public high schools in the state in standardized testing and other measurements of academic achievement. In addition, the school has received a number of awards for its music program and its marching band.
The performance venues host a variety of local and touring acts, bringing in everything from lesser-known folk singers to major stage productions such as Riverdance. Wolf Trap is also home to the Wolf Trap Opera Company, which features younger singers, and the Children's Theater-in-the-Woods, which stages nearly 70 performances each summer. The facility includes two major performance spaces: The Filene Center, an outdoor venue equipped with 7,000 seats, and the Barns at Wolf Trap, which seats approximately 400 people.
Wolf Trap is also home to the Wolf Trap Opera Company, which features younger singers, and the Children's Theater-in-the-Woods, which stages nearly 70 performances each summer.
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