Located just west of Washington D.C. is the small town of Sterling Park, Virginia. At a population of about 27,000, it is a quiet alternative to the hustle of the big city. While Sterling Park may be small, it has a lot to offer.
The town started, like many other places in the area, as a collection of thousands of acres of farmland owned by a handful of people. The ownership changed hands over the years, but it wasn’t until 1959 when the building of the town began in earnest.
The year 1959 was when construction was initiated on the Dulles International Airport, now the major feature of Sterling Park. Since then, the town has become known as both a great place to raise your kids and a good location to run a business.
The town features three high schools, three middle schools, 12 elementary schools, two colleges, and a number of corporate headquarters. But beyond that, there are plenty of hidden gems in the parks and local scenery that appeal to folks of all ages.
Here is a look at some of the most notable attractions in Sterling Park.
Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport was intended to be the major airport for travelers coming to and from Washington, DC. It replaced Washington National Airport as the main avenue of air travel after its construction was completed in 1962.
While it is now one of three major airports serving the Washington, DC area, today it remains one the busiest airports in the country, with over 60,000 passengers a day on average.
Many residents of Sterling Park rely on the airport for their livelihood, and in fact the town did not exist until Dulles became a part of the landscape. Sterling Park is similar to the old railroad towns of the west, popping up only after becoming a major transportation hub.
This park is a favorite among the residents of Sterling Park. It is very expansive, totaling 838 acres. It features a golf course, dozens of miles of walking trails, a boat launch, and much more. You can even take a kayak tour down the Potomac river.
Residents say there is nothing like watching the leaves change color in the fall as you float down the Potomac. For years, it has been a place where families and friends gather to enjoy the great outdoors.
Heritage Farm Museum
Sterling Park has its roots in agriculture, and it recognizes this with the Heritage Farm Museum. The museum has a lot to offer and is catered towards kids, offering summer camps and year-round field trips.
Some of the notable exhibits include the Waxpool general store, Ms. Su’s Schoolhouse, and the Claude Moore’s Children’s Farm. On the children’s farm, kids can have fun “milking” the resident cow, or head over to the schoolhouse and general store to pretend they are schoolteachers and shopkeepers from the early 1900s.
The museum also has an American Indian history exhibit, highlighting the people and culture that was here before us with preserved tools and pictures from the time.
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