Located in the Northern Virginia portion of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Chantilly is about 25 miles from Washington D.C. Found in western Fairfax County, Virginia, Chantilly is the spot where US Route 50 intersects with Virginia State Road 28, providing access to the Dulles, Reston and Tysons Corner technology corridor, as well as several other major employment sectors in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. This makes it an excellent location for commuters who work in the area.
Chantilly takes its name from the Château de Chantilly,which is located just north of Paris, France. Originally a plantation, and later a mansion and farm, the town started to grow in the 19th century. Chantilly, Virginia was the site of a major battle during the civil war, the Battle of Chantilly, also known as the Battle of Ox Hill.
Chantilly has a population of a little over 20,000 people. As a growing community, it’s a wonderful spot for single families. Located next to Centreville, Chantilly is positioned near many important cities in Virginia and Washington D.C, including Alexandria, Colchester, Dumfries, Middleburg, Georgetown, Warrenton and Leesburg.
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
Ellanor C. Lawrence Park can be found in Chantilly, Virginia, just north of Centreville. The park has a long history, dating back some 8,000 years. Originally held by Native Americans, and later settled on by three prominent European families, the land was eventually deeded to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 1971. It was at this time that the Ellanor C. Lawrence Park was established as the 640 acre nature park we know today.
The park preserves the cultural and natural history of western Fairfax County. On the eastern side of the park, visitors can take in this history through the Walney Visitor Center, where they have the opportunity to see a number of historic buildings, including Walney, an 18th century farmhouse, Cabell’s Mill and the 19th century stonehouse, Middlegate. Today, Cabell’s Mill is a popular spot for weddings for Chantilly and Centreville locals.
The park has a number of trails for hiking, as well as playgrounds, athletic fields for soccer, baseball and softball, a fitness trail and even locations for fishing. A number of wild animals make their homes in the park, which contains a number of oak-hickory and cedar trees, streams, meadows and the aforementioned pond, all of which sustain the natural beauty of the park.
National Reconnaissance Office of the United States
In addition to being an excellent spot for commuters to the D.C. area, Chantilly is also the home of the National Reconnaissance Office of the United States. As a result, many of the residents of Chantilly have government jobs. The NRO is one of the “big five” intelligence agencies in the country, being responsible for designing, building and operating reconnaissance satellites for the federal government, as well as providing satellite intelligence to a number of government agencies.
Chantilly is also where the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located, an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It has a number of exhibits for visitors to explore, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Enola Gay. The annex features a restoration hangar, where visitors can take a behind the scenes look at aircraft being stored there, as well as a collection of archives pertaining to aeronautics and space flight. The center also includes a conservation library designed to give conservators room to work on preserving artifacts, as well as a specialized area for analyzing artifacts.
A large number of events are also held within the annex, including special lectures, book signings, sleepovers and other events for children. The museum is still collecting exhibits, but currently has over 300 on display for residents of Fairfax County to enjoy.