McLean is home to many diplomats, businessmen, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the Central Intelligence Agency. It is the location of Hickory Hill, the former home of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. It is also the location of Salona, the former home of Light-Horse Harry Lee, the Revolutionary War hero. It is located between the Potomac River and the town of Vienna. McLean is often distinguished by its luxury homes and its nearby high-profit shopping destinations: the Tyson’s Corner Center and the Tyson’s Galleria. The two McLean zip codes – 22101 and 22102 – are among the most expensive ZIP Codes in Virginia and the United States.
The community received its name from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of The Washington Post. Along with Stephen Benton Elkins, in 1902 he bought the charter for the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad. Completed in 1906, it connected the area with Washington, D.C. The community itself was founded in 1910, when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.