|AT A GLANCE|
|Median Home Price||$660,175|
Vienna is no stranger to MONEY’s list: this quaint D.C. suburb ranked no. 3 in 2013, the last time we ranked small cities. It has a vibrant downtown, with mom-and-pop shops, locally owned restaurants, and historic buildings like the Freeman House, a country store built in 1859. Plus there’s plenty of outdoor recreation, including biking and walking paths along the 45-mile W&OD Railroad track, and low unemployment due to the town’s proximity to Tysons Corner (the two overlap), where Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, and Hilton Worldwide are headquartered.
However, as Tysons undergoes a major transformation from being a mostly commercial area to one with a healthy mix of commercial and residential living—Fairfax County projects Tyson’s population could soar from 21,803 people today to more than 100,000 by 2050—Vienna is bracing for potential overcrowding, higher living expenses, and increased traffic in an area already known for brutal congestion. The shift could also raise housing costs, which are the town’s main drawback; the median sale price now exceeds $660,000.—Daniel Bortz