By Paige Keyser, Air Force Spouse
Welcome to the Crossroads of the Marine Corps!
There are approximately 4,000 military service members and their families living in Quantico VA. It is home to the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Training and Education Command (TECOM). The TECOM includes the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS), The Basic School (TBS), Marine Corps War College and the Weapons Training Battalion. The FBI Academy, the Naval Investigative Service (NCIS), Marine One and the Quantico Marine Corps Band are also located at MCB Quantico. The Air-Ground Museum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and the Quantico National Cemetery are all located on or near MCB Quantico.
Where is Quantico Virginia?
Marine Corps Base Quantico is located in northern Virginia and is part of the National Capital Region. The base sits approximately 37 miles south of Washington D.C. and 24 miles north of Fredericksburg.
Base housing on MCB Quantico is managed by Lincoln Military Housing. Lincoln offers more than 1,000 three- and four-bedroom homes within nine communities on Quantico. Neighborhood amenities include swimming pools, playgrounds, basketball courts, and a large 15,000 square foot community center with an Internet café and fitness facility. They also offer 24/7 maintenance and community events throughout the year. There can often be a long waitlist for housing, and many opt to live off base.
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The options for off-base housing in Northern Virginia can be overwhelming! When searching for a home, make sure to research schools as well as commute times. The areas north of base include Montclair, Southbridge and Lake Ridge which are located in Prince William County. Areas south of Quantico to consider are Garrisonville, Stafford, and Fredericksburg. If you have school-age children consider Stafford and Spotsylvania counties which have excellent school systems. The further north you go the less affordable housing will become. Lorton and Springfield are options in the southern part of Fairfax County, which also has a highly rated school system.
Quantico VA Weather
There are four distinct seasons in the Northern Virginia area. Winters are relatively mild with an average snowfall of 11 inches at with most falling in January and February. Springtime is beautiful in Virginia! Be sure to take a trip into D.C. to enjoy the cherry blossoms by the Tidal Basin. Summers can be very humid with temperatures rising above 100 on some days in July and August. In September and October, the temperatures become milder, and the leaves start to change. It’s a great time to take a drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy the fall foliage.
BAH & Cost of Living
Your BAH will definitely stretch further in the Quantico area than it will if you live further north in Fairfax County. The median home value in Stafford County is $340,900. Home values for the area surrounding Quantico have gone up 4.0% over the past year and it’s expected that home values will continue to rise another 3.3% within the next year.
ON Base Amenities
MCB Quantico amenities include a commissary, MCX, the Inns of the Corps lodging, the Clubs at Quantico and Crossroads Events Center, and the Medal of Honor Golf Course with Mulligan’s restaurant. The Barber Physical Activity Center (BPAC) is a 57,000 square foot facility with group exercise rooms, a spin studio, three racquetball courts, weights and machines, a TV and Wi-Fi lounge, smoothie bar, child care, and saunas.
The base also includes an Auto Skills Center, bowling center, a marina on the Potomac River with over 100 slips, Olympic size swimming pool with slide and diving boards, REC and ITT services, and a base theater. Medical services are provided through the Naval Health Clinic Quantico with three clinics on base that provide many non-emergency services.
CULTURE & CUSTOMS
With so many people living in and around Northern Virginia and the D.C. area that are originally from somewhere else, there are many restaurants serving international cuisine. Date night is a great opportunity to explore the flavors of the world by visiting the many restaurants in the area. Regional specialties to the area include blue crabs from Maryland, and peanuts and country ham from Virginia. Northern Virginia has a large number of wineries that produce every wine that Virginia offers. Be sure to take a trip to wine country and enjoy some Virginia wines!
The National Marine Corps Museum
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is located just outside the gates and has many interactive exhibits and artifacts that pay tribute to the U.S. Marines of the past, present, and future.
Leesylvania State Park
This state park is located along the Potomac River in Prince William County. It is the ancestral home of the Lee and Fairfax families and is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The park offers many land and water activities. It has a fishing pier, playground, boat launch, a snack bar and store, gift shop, and canoe and kayak rentals.
Located along the Occoquan River, this small town has a rich history and boasts many restaurants and shops to enjoy. It also hosts two Arts and Crafts shows a year, one in June and one in September.
Prince William Forest Park
One of Northern Virginia’s best kept secrets; Prince William Park offers many hiking trails, bike accessible roads and trails, campgrounds and over 100 cabins.
Locust Shade Park
Located near the Marine Corps Heritage Museum, this park has an eight-acre pond and marina with boat rentals, a 400-seat amphitheater with family entertainment in the summer, as well tennis courts, mini golf, a driving range, and nature trails.
Manassas National Battlefield Park
A 5,000-acre park that was the scene of two major Civil War battles offers ranger tours throughout the year and living history demonstrations during the summer months.
There are so many things to do in D.C.! Visit the monuments or museums, take a White House or Capitol tour, explore Chinatown or the Eastern Market, the options are limitless. Make sure to check out some of D.C.’s great restaurants while you are there. A visit to D.C. during the Cherry Blossom Festival is a must! Throughout the year there are many free, family-friendly festivals in the nation’s capital to enjoy, make sure to check some out!
Old Town Alexandria
Located along the Potomac River, Old Town is a nationally designated historic district and has over 200 restaurants and shops. Be sure to also visit the Torpedo Factory and enjoy the works of local artists. Take a walk along King Street, recognized as one of the ‘Great Streets’ of America.
Located halfway between Richmond and D.C., Fredericksburg has a large downtown historic district with many restaurants and shops. Be sure to visit the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Visit Historic Downtown Leesburg and enjoy the unique shops and restaurants. Additionally, the Marshall House, Morven Park, Ball’s Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery are in the area and offer a glimpse at the rich history of the area. Be sure to visit the over 40 wineries and tasting rooms located in nearby Loudoun County.
Shenandoah National Park
Take a drive along the 105-mile long Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. There are many trails and recreational activities within the park to enjoy the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you are into sports, D.C. is the city for you! The Washington Nationals baseball team, D.C. United soccer, Washington Redskins football, Washington Wizards and Mystics basketball, and Washington Capitals hockey all call D.C. home. Enjoy a game and also take advantage of special events and military discounts that the local teams have to offer.
The Jeff Rouse Swim and Sports Center on Mine Road in Stafford offers recreational and competitive swimming pools, over 5,000 square feet of workout space to include cardiovascular equipment, strength/functional training machines, and free weights.
There are also several local club sports available to include the Stafford Soccer Club and the Fish Swim Club. Stafford County Parks & Recreation also offers team sports for youth to include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.
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Author: Paige Keyser is a proud Air Force spouse who lives in northern Virginia with her husband and their two boys. She has spent the last 20 years exploring the world and the United States courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. She enjoys drinking coffee, wine, and good beer. And she spends way too much time surfing the web ‘researching’ topics she finds interesting.