Sterling is a census-designated place (CDP) in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 United States Census was 27,822. It is located northwest of Herndon, east of Ashburn, and west of Great Falls, and includes part of Washington Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office LWX (serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area), as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments
Communities within Sterling:
- Broad Run Farms is a residential area north of Virginia State Route 7 and 28 that was founded in 1952. It shares the ZIP code of 20165 and calls itself, alternately, Sterling, or Potomac Falls. As an area much older than the surrounding recent growth, it has features unique to the region, including large lots, highly wooded old-growth trees, a wide variety of housing and a voluntary civic association. The Potomac River forms its northern border, and Broad Run its southern. A U.S. Senate lawyer bought the Miskel farm in 1950 and later subdivided it, founding Broad Run Farms.
- Cascades is a 2,500-acre (1,000 ha) planned community within the 20165 ZIP code. The area is located in the northeastern-most part of Loudoun County, Virginia, between the Fairfax County line to the east, the Potomac River to the North, and Algonkian Parkway to the south. Located just north of Route 7, along the Algonkian Parkway, approximately 6500 homes comprise the community.
- CountrySide is a housing development in Sterling (20165 ZIP code), bounded by the Potomac River to the north and by Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) to the south. This subdivision was conceived in the middle 1970s when 1,000 acres (400 ha) of farmland was divided in preparation for a planned housing development. Homes construction began in 1983 and continued through 1991. Today, CountrySide covers about 3.75 square miles (9.7 km2) and consists of 2,539 homes, which includes 1,269 single-family homes, 1,168 town homes, and 102 condominium units.
- Dulles is an unincorporated census-designated place located in Loudoun County, also part of the Washington Metropolitan Area with ZIP code 20166. The headquarters of Orbital ATK (on Warp Drive), ODIN Technologies, the former headquarters of MCI Inc., and AOL are located in Dulles. The usage of Dulles as a community name began in the mid-1980s when Loudoun County economic development officer Pam Treadwell successfully lobbied the United States Postal Service to allow Sterling businesses and residents to use Dulles as an alternate address. Dulles Town Center is a census-designated place located within Dulles, which contains the Dulles Town Center shopping mall.
- Lowes Island is an advertised portion of the legal subdivision of Cascades, but is not a legal subdivision itself. While newer residents use the city address "Potomac Falls, VA", the post office will recognize either "Potomac Falls, VA" or "Sterling, VA" as a correct mailing address. Almost 50% of the Lowes Island geography is taken up with the Trump National club grounds and a golf course.
- Potomac Falls is an unincorporated census-designated place also located in Loudoun County. Potomac Falls lies along the Potomac River and is in the northernmost portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20165, bordering Maryland. The village consists of the communities Glen Heather, Calvert's Glen, Cascades, CountrySide, Lowes Island, Rivercrest, Potomac Hunt, Great Falls Forest and Great Falls Chase.Great Falls Chase, is also a new addition to what was previously known as Great Falls Forest. Development of Potomac Falls began in the late 1980s, and is essentially complete today. Potomac Falls borders Great Falls and Fairfax County to the southeast and has several shopping areas, schools, and community centers. Potomac Falls is also home to three 18-hole golf courses including Trump National Golf Club and is home to the Potomac Falls High School Panthers.
- Sterling Park is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. The land where Sterling Park was built was mainly made up of a few very large farms. When construction of Dulles International Airport began in 1959, land prices began to rise. Construction of homes priced $14,800 to $22,500 was completed by 1967. Sterling Park was one of the first planned communities built in eastern Loudoun County and was a popular place for government workers to settle with their families outside Washington, D.C. Sterling Park also contains a variety of businesses, churches, parks, a community center, a semi-private golf club with schools, tennis courts, and two swimming pools. It is the home of the Park View High School Patriots.
- Sugarland Run is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. Built in the 1970s in the style of Sterling Park. The housing around Sugarland Elementary School consists of town homes, apartments and single-family homes, while the housing around Meadowland Elementary is predominately single-family homes. It is one of the few communities in the area with contemporary style houses. Sugarland Run has over 26 miles (42 km) of walking paths. There is also a community swimming pool and playground situated across from the lake. The swimming pool is 75 feet (23 m) by 160 feet (50 m), with a large diving well and a separate baby pool. It is the home of the Dominion High School Titans.