Quantico, VA is located 40 miles south of Washington, DC in Prince William County--25 miles north of Fredericksburg and 25 miles east of Manassas. Its name, “By the Big Stream,” originated with the Native American Indians who inhabited the area in the 1500’s and aptly describes Quantico’s location on the banks of the Potomac River. The area has historical significance, witnessing Spanish visitors in the 16th century and having seen both Revolutionary and Civil War action, before it became the site of the Marine Corp Base in 1917.
Approach Quantico by taking I95 Exit 150/Joplin Road/619. Travel down Joplin, cross over Route 1/Jefferson Davis Highway, and pass the Marine Corp Monument, a tribute to the Battle of Iwo Jima. Prepare to make a stop at the Base gate, directly under the arch reading, “Quantico, Crossroads of the Marine Corp.” You’ll be asked to provide a photo ID and reason for your visit by the MP’s who greet you since the military has been tasked with supervising jurisdiction of the tiny town.
You’ll know you’re there when you see the gilded “Welcome to Quantico” sign and cross over the Amtrak Train station. The colorful streets are lined with restaurants from Pizza parlors to Bap Zip Burrito House, a Korean diner with a Mexican twist, boasting high reviews on Google. The shops lining Main Street cater to the military’s daily needs like tailoring, dry cleaning, and barber shops.
“Q” Town, as it is affectionately known, is surrounded by the Marine Base on three sides and the Potomac River on the other. 480 residents inhabit its 11 streets which span roughly .1 square miles.
Types of Homes in Q Town
Q Town homes display a wide variety of styles; Modest ramblers with welcoming front porches, townhouses, red brick apartment buildings, and waterfront homes are examples. Recent sales reflect an average sales price in the $170K’s for a small bungalow. Connected by sidewalks, the neighborhoods feel like a throwback to the ‘50’s. Time has stood still on the streets of Q Town.
Don’t miss the River Road park on the Potomac. With a wide view across the water to Maryland, it’s easy to spend a lazy day there with friends and family watching boats pass by or take off from the Quantico Yacht Club. This public park boasts a picnic area, basketball courts, and a substantial dock for fishing.
Despite its tiny size, there is a lot going on in quirky little Q Town. Memorial Day activities include concerts, fireworks, and the Quantico Fishing Tournament. The Arts and Crafts Show, Salute to the Troops Concert series, community picnic, Father’s Day Flotilla Canoe and Kayak event, Racer Quest (for disabled vets), and the annual Christmas Parade are among the festivities that Q Town hosts.
Quantico Marine Base
Just outside sleepy Q Town, the immediate area is bustling with activity from the Quantico Military Base. One of the largest military bases in the world, USMC Base is home to The Basic School, Officer Candidate School, the Marine Corps University, the DEA Training Academy, NCIS, and the FBI Academy and Lab. Approximately 10,000 active- duty and their families, 2200 civilian employees, and 1200 students work, live, play, and study there. An events center, chapel, MCB Commissary, Medal of Honor golf course, and the Clubs at Quantico are notable amenities on Base.
Things to do near Quantico, VA
Take advantage of the vast amenities within a 3- mile radius outside the Marine Base gates. Into Triangle, north-ward into Dumfries and south toward Stafford, there are a wide variety of activities that make the Quantico area a destination for residents and tourists alike.
National Museum of the Marine Corp
This is a “don’t Miss” attraction. Completed in 2006, the museum is under-going expansion through 2017. Located on Jefferson Davis Highway/Route 1, it draws over 500,000 visitors each year. You’ll notice the 210-foot tilted metal spire of the Museum as you approach Exit 150/Joplin Road/619 on I95. The structure is an architectural interpretation of the Iwo Jima Memorial. Inside are interactive exhibits that simulate boot camp, the climate, and sounds that Marines have experienced during historic battles. The shaded grounds are a solemn tribute to Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice on active duty.
Quantico National Cemetery
Meticulously maintained, the cemetery is reserved for honorably discharged vets of the U.S. Armed Forces and family members with restriction. Located on Joplin Road, the grounds have been utilized by the military since the 1700’s—first by the Navy and later by the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Prince William Forest Park
Enjoy the hiking, picnic pavilions, nature programs, camping, cabins, and RV facilities here. It’s the largest protected are in the DC Metro region. This national Park of over 16,000 acres also has a rich history; it was inhabited by African Americans after the Civil War, the site of mining in Virginia, formally developed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the early part of the 1930’s, and used by the OSS during WWll.
Forest Greens Golf Course
Less than a mile from the I95 Exit 150, Forest Greens is a great place to “T” off. It’s hard to believe that you are so close to the interstate when you play this tree -lined, 18 hole, public course. Complete with a club house, beverages and a café are there to enjoy. The fully stocked club house offers rentals and lessons—adult as well as junior.
Locust Shade Park
This gem of a park sits quietly next to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. A large amphitheater is the site for live performances—from ballet and concerts to reptile exhibitions with snake handling. A golf driving range, miniature golf course, batting cages, tennis and volleyball courts, playgrounds, and miles of scenic nature trails provide a wide range of activities. Rental opportunities include picnic pavilions as well as kayaks, canoes, or paddle boats to enjoy the 8 acre lake. Fishing is also permitted but remember to purchase your license!
You can’t visit Quantico without dining at least at one of the area’s beloved restaurants. The Globe and Laurel Restaurant was opened in 1968 by Major Rick Spooner and relocated 3 times. It’s been mentioned in newspapers, books, and television news and programs to include the History Channel and Food Network. Currently situated on Jefferson Davis Highway/Rt. 1, south of the Marine Base, the Globe and Laurel is open for lunch and dinner. This pub is flanked from floor to ceiling with military and law enforcement memorabilia, almost a museum in itself. Don’t miss the Semper Fi steak. The Embassy Cigar Lounge adjacent to the restaurant offers a relaxing atmosphere to try your favorite smoke.
Zum Rheingarten is located directly across from the Globe and Laurel. A family-run business, it has been serving traditional “Old World” German food for years. While it’s closed on Monday, this cozy place with hand-painted murals adorn the walls is opened other days for lunch and dinner. An assortment of German beer, wine, and tasty offerings including kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Jagerschnitzel vom Schwein (breaded pork cutlets with hunter sauce), and Locksfilet (salmon in dill), among them will please anyone familiar with authentic German food. Vegetarian dishes are also available.
To the north of Quantico you’ll spot Harold and Cathy’s Café in the wayside of Route 1. A diner catering to breakfast and lunch, it’s open from 7:00am-2:00pm every day including weekends. Harold and Cathy’s is a no frills place with hearty food. Try the French Dip for lunch.
Neighborhoods Near Quantico, VA
The two large counties surrounding Quantico—Prince William and Stafford—offer a wide range of housing options from rental apartments to single family homes.
Triangle, in Prince William County, is a small and eclectic area of 2.6 square miles just outside the Marine gates, developed in the mid 1900’s as the Marine Base expanded. Its population today totals around 9,000 people. Triangle’s Graham Park Shores is a neighborhood that attracts buyers who appreciate the mature tree lined streets, large lots, diversity of home styles, and proximity to the water (Quantico Creek). Home prices in Graham Park Shores average $488,000 for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on a half- acre.
Triangle experienced an upsurge of new building starting around 2006. Newer single family neighborhoods include, among others: Cramer Ridge, Stonewall Manor, and Moncure Woods. You can expect to spend an average of $520,000 if you buy a home in one of these developments. Potomac Highlands offers attractive garage townhomes priced in the mid $260K’s.
An established community to the north of Triangle is Montclair in Dumfries, VA, featuring both single family and town homes of various styles. Montclair’s amenities—golf course, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, sidewalks, and man-made lakes and beaches—and close proximity to Quantico and the FBI, make it a popular choice for buyers. The average price for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath single family home in Montclair is approximately $410,000 and $262K for a 3 bedroom, 3 bath townhome.
In North Stafford, 3 miles south of the Marine Base on Jeff Davis Highway/Rt. 1, the Dogwoods townhome community offers a convenient location. Garage townhomes are available for an average sales price of $262,000.
Widewater Village, a gated single family development, is sought after for its amenities and close proximity to Base (8 miles) and I95. The HOA covers a community pool and clubhouse, sidewalks, tot lots and added parking lot in addition to lawn care. The community is comprised of Colonials, split levels, and ramblers on quarter acre lots. The most recent statistics indicate that you’ll pay about $315,000 for a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home in Widewater Village.