Great Falls is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 15,427, an increase of 80.5% from the 2000 census. The 2017 median home price for Great Falls was approximately $1.2m.
Early farm settlements began to form in the area as early as the late 1700s.
Early on, the village was known as Forestville (unofficially, since there was already a Forestville with a Post Office), but was named Great Falls in 1955.
Located on Virginia State Route 7 in Northern Virginia, Great Falls is 15 miles (24 km) west-northwest of downtown Washington, D.C. and 10.5 miles (16.9 km) north of Fairfax, the county seat.
The Great Falls of the Potomac River, the community’s namesake, are on the east side of the CDP.
As a suburb of Washington, D.C., Great Falls is a part of both the Washington Metropolitan Area and the larger Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. It is bordered on all sides by other Washington suburbs, including: Darnestown and Travilah, Maryland to the north, Potomac, Maryland to the east, McLean to the southeast, Wolf Trap to the south, Reston and Dranesville to the southwest, Sterling to the west, and Lowes Island to the northwest.
Although Great Falls is primarily a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., one major attraction is Great Falls Park which overlooks the Great Falls of the Potomac River, for which the community and the park are named. George Washington was involved with building a canal around the falls on the southwest, or Virginia, side, called the Patowmack Canal, which did not become commercially viable. Remnants of the canal and of a village around the canal named Matildaville are still visible in the park. The Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad extended along Old Dominion Drive to Great Falls Park in 1906.
River Bend County Park is another gathering area in Great Falls, as is the Village Green, which hosts community celebrations around Easter (Spring Festival, including an Egg Hunt), Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (Tree Lighting), as well as concerts in the summer.
Today there are about 210 homes for sale in Great Falls at a median listing price of $1,247,000.