Fairfax by car
City of Fairfax is a relatively small enclave of only 21,498 people (2000) in over 1-million Fairfax County. It's located 20 miles west of Washington, DC and is a part of the large Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
I drove to Fairfax from Richmond, Virginia on the way to Washington Dulles International Airport in my last day on American soil. Having Nat as a navigator (better than GPS) I don't know how I got there driving in the tangle of interstates and highways of the metropolitan area. However, from Washington, DC it's simple: take I-66 East and exit 60 to Route 123 South and you are in the City of Fairfax.
To get to the very compact Fairfax Historical District drive Route 123 South, cross Route 29 (or turn right for delicious breakfast served all day at 29 Diner round the corner), cross Route 236 (North St.) and at the next crossroad turn left to Main Street. Fairfax Museum and Visitors Center (9 am - 5 pm) is 0.4 mi away on right (10209 Main Street). Get a map and travel literature and walk back Main St. along historical buildings.
Let me add that Washington Dulles International Airport straddles the Fairfax-Loudoun County line. Some the runways are in Fairfax County, but the terminals, car hires, and most of the hotels are in Sterling (Loudoun County). The large airport is an entry point for many overseas visitors. I liked their special vehicles which connect terminals (picture 2).
On the way back to Europe after passing through customs I bought two bottles of original Kentucky Bourbon whiskey for my friends in duty free shop.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
The metro rail's western terminus is Vienna, Virginia (in Fairfax County) on the orange line. You ride the escalator to the top, put your card through the machine and you see the building forms a "T" shape. The south side is where you get on the CUE buses (transportation by a partnership between the city of Fairfax and George Mason University). On the north is where you get the metro bus. Hope springs eternal that metro rail will go all the way out to Dulles Airport some day.
The best way to get to GMU is...
The best way to get to GMU is to take the Metro and then hop on a local bus for short ride to the campus. Shuttle buses run very regularly (every 15 minutes, I think.) The following is taken from GMU's website: 'The Metro is the subway train system of the Washington Metropolitan area. The closest Metro train station to Mason's Fairfax campus is the Vienna station, at the end of the orange line.
The Metro train runs weekdays between 5.30 a.m. and midnight, and weekends between 8.00 a.m. and midnight. The train runs until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. To get around the city of Fairfax, there is a bus service called the CUE bus. It connects the GMU campus with the City of Fairfax and Vienna Metro station. GMU students ride the Cue bus for free with a GMU ID card, or each trip is 50 cents.
Dulles International Airport
Dulles International Airport is about 10-15 miles from Fairfax. It's very easy to get around the airport, but there is a lot of construction going on right now.
Take your personal vehicle or rent a car. Traffic can get hectic during rush hour!
Interstate 66 goes right...
Interstate 66 goes right through Fairfax/Fair Oaks. From there, you can take either Highways 50, 29, 123, or the Fairfax County Parkway.
DRIVE, do not walk! I tried it, it isn't worth the trouble. Beware of taxis. They don't speak English well nor know where they are going!!
Metro Bus covers the whole Washington, DC metropolitan area including suburban Maryland and suburban Northern Virginia.
The CUE bus takes you from the Vienna metro station and the George Mason University and points in between for 50 cents. As I understand it, students with proper I.D. go for half price.