Fairfax Travel Guide

  • Hyatt Fair Lakes
    by cjg1
  • Hyatt Fair Lakes
    by cjg1
  • Hyatt Fair Lakes
    by cjg1

Fairfax Things to Do

  • Fairfax Corners

    Fairfax Corners is an outdoor mall that is surrounded by several chain restaurants. Stores and restaurants such as REI, White House/Black Market, Chicos, PF Changs, Chipolte Grill and California Pizza Kitchen are here at this mall.We stopped here to shop at REI for some outdoor supplies for an upcoming trip as well as White House Black Market for...

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  • Fair Oaks Mall

    The Fair Oaks Mall is a typical suburban shopping center with food options and stores. We found ourselves in the mall on several occasions to do a bit of shopping and to grab a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory.The mall has a food court area, JC Penny's, Sephora, Jos. A Banks, Macy's and a variety of other stores ranging from inexpensive to...

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  • Old Town Hall

    When it was built at the turn of the last century, what is now called the Old Town Hall was the centre of cultural life in Fairfax. Its architecture is a mixture of styles. The city now uses the hall to rent out for special events and even private folks with enough money can rent it out for things like wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, etc.

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  • Old Courthouse

    George Mason petitioned the Virginia General Assembly in 1790 to put the court house in a more central location in the county. It is located slap in the middle of town where Little River Turnpike and Ox Road cross, a stone's throw from the newer, more state of the art complex. During the War for Southern Independence, it was occupied by the Union...

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  • National Firearms Museum

    The collection includes actual artifacts that were with the Pilgrims as they left the good ship Mayflower, marched with the American militamen at Lexington and Concord, camped near Gettysburg with Robert E. Lee, helped a young Annie Oakley put food on her family's table, or stood on the winner's platform at the Olympic Games.The museum is open from...

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  • George Washington's Mount Vernon

    Mt. Vernon was home to George Washington for over 45 years. The estate, called Little Hunting Creek Plantation, was originally granted to Washington's great grandfather in 1674. George Washington inherited the property in 1761 upon the death of his brother Lawrence's widow.The home has been restored to its 1799 appearance. The preseervation...

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Fairfax Hotels

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Fairfax Restaurants

  • Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

    Another Cheese Cake Factory within a week, can you tell I’m becoming addicted? Well this one was a lucky one since I did not know there was one in Fairfax, a town only a few minutes from where we are in Herndon. We were going shopping at the big Mall in Fairfax, when we decided to have a small meal at the Cheese Cake Factory on the ground level of...

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  • Always a Favorite

    We were headed back to our hotel after a long day and discussing food options. Out of the corner of my eye I spied The Cheesecake Factory. I must admit I am addicted to this place so I made a U-turn. The restaurant is located in the Fair Oaks Mall. This location is just like another others in the chain with large dining areas, a bar and a take out...

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  • Inexpensive, good food in historical...

    Nat (b1bob) chose this restaurant for our last meal on American soil in the end of our fantastic southern odyssey just before flight back to Poland from nearby Dulles Airport. And it was a perfect choice, thanks Nat. The building is a preserved streamline modern diner and quite popular place as I noticed. The smoking section, with tabletop...

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Fairfax Nightlife

  • America's National Park for the...

    Funds for the construction of a 6800 seat outdoor theater and 100 acres to build it on were donated by Catherine Filene Shouse. Congress accepted the donation in 1966 and the Filene Center (Wolftrap's larger venue) opened in 1971.In 1981, Mrs. Shouse donated lands and funds for the construction of the Barns at Wolftrap, thus creating a year round...

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  • For the artsy crowd

    If the performing arts are your thing, the art centre is for you. The Centre for the Arts includes many studios and theatres, as well as a 2000-seat concert hall. Students can enjoy the benefit of free or discounted tickets. As to the modern art, I only snapped it because it looked curious to me. I will never understand why people would actually...

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  • At George Mason University

    The Center for the Arts is an umbrella for the productions, presentations, and exhibitions of the college's departments. It also houses the Great Performances at Mason Series.

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Fairfax Transportation

  • 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....

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  • Metro Rail

    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...

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  • CUE buses

    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.

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Fairfax Shopping

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  • As Seen On TV Fair Oaks Mall Fairfax, VA

    **WARNING** Stay far away from this store. I purchased an ab machine for over $100 at the As Seen On TV Store in the Fair Oaks Mall and came home to put it together and when I opened the box it had a cheap plastic piece that was already BROKEN. I took the product back to the store IN THE SAME DAY and was told that I could NOT receive a refund, only...

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  • Accesories

    Charming Charlie is located in the Fair Oaks Mall. The store sells women's clothing hoes and accesories at reasonable prices. My wife is a fan of this store and we always stop in when we are in the area.What my wife likes about this store besides the great prices is the store's layout. The items are arranged by color; all the blue items in one...

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  • Shoe shopping....

    Baker's is a shoe store for woman. Liz saw some shoes in the window and decided to go inside nevermind the big Sale sign. The salesman was in for it; she had him running around to get her shoes in her size. I must admit there were several very nice pairs in the store from sandals, to heels, to boots.After trying on many pairs; Liz decided on four...

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Fairfax Local Customs

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    by matcrazy1 Updated Sep 30, 2006

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    In Georgetown (Washington, DC) while Urszula was doing window shopping almost a month before my visit to Fairfax I was talking with a middle-aged guy, met on a street, about places to visit around US capital. I asked him, among others, about Fairfax. As I remember well the very sympathetic guy was from Boston. He told me that Fairfax County is a synonym for horrible suburban sprawl and home to George Mason University, generally rather not interesting from the visitor's point of view.

    Fairfax is an independent city forming an enclave within the confines of over 1 million people Fairfax County. The administrative division works quite different in the USA than in Europe. Passing through large urban area in Northern Virginia I never knew whether I was in Fairfax city, Fairfax county or maybe in Falls Church, Arlington, or say Alexandria. Drivers use number of exits and routes not names of cities/towns to navigate.

    Now I know, Fairfax city and county being quite a rural community of farms and small estates in the early 1950s, grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s (including an almost 700 percent increase in population during the '50s). Today it is a highly urbanized area, a part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

    BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA FAIR OAKS MALL, FAIRFAX BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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Fairfax Tourist Traps

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    by matcrazy1 Written Sep 28, 2006

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    We caught local traffic jams a few times driving from Dulles International Airport via Fairfax County to Arlington in afternoon rush hours which added at least half an hour to our drive time. Well, I remember jammed route of unusual 4-digit number 7000. That's why I drove much earlier to the airport not to miss my plane back to Europe.

    RUSH OURS
    On weekdays 7.00 am - 9.00 am and 4 pm - 7 pm. Those afternoon's hours worked worse for me than the morning ones.

    Unique Suggestions: 1. USE INTERSTATES
    The traffic jams were caused by traffic lights on our multilane highway (US-50). When we caught the interstate (I-66) it went much better (there was low traffic exclusively on right lanes to some, more popular exits). My recommendation is to use interstates, I-66 in Fairfax County as often as possivle to avoid numerous traffic lights which make traffic very slow. Although sometimes it looks strange: completely empty streets in City of Fairfax and crowded interstate. Anyway traffic goes faster on the interstate unless any lane or any ramp is closed due to accident (I didn't see any in Northern Virginia).

    2. CHECK CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS
    If you have access to internet you can check it just before your drive here.
    Listen to the local radio stations to catch up-to-date info. When I noticed my satellite radio in a car driving in rush hours in this area, I easily find info for commuters on each news station.

    3. DRIVE IN 2 OR MORE PERSONS IN A CAR
    And use HOV Lanes or High Occupancy Vehicle lanes marked clearly (signs and rhomus painted on the lane) along I-66 and I-395 (not in Fairfax but in Arlington) where they have like seperate freeways with seperate exits and ramps. You save time in rush hours.

    Most of locals drive alone and theey have to hate those HOV Lanes which steel them a lane exactly when they are in a hurry. I liked them :-). In western part of the USA like in southern California HOV Lanes are called and signed as Car Pool lanes. Those lanes in Arlington and Northern Virginia were HOV Lanes exclusively in rush hours (read the time indicated on signs), whereas in California usually 24 hours.

    Fun Alternatives: 4. USE GPS navigation with traffic satellite service - my recommendation
    If you have GPS in a car and smart software you are lucky, the software do it for yourself and choose the faster itinerary for you at any time. GPS is the most usuful just in such area of high traffic like Fairfax County and Northern Virginia.


    Use efficient metro system in Northern Virginia - my recommendation.

    RUSH HOURS TRAFFIC OUT OF RUSH HOURS, NORTHERN VIRGINIA RUSH HOURS TRAFFIC, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRAFFIC, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TANGLE OF FREEWAYS, NORTHERN VIRGINIA
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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Fairfax What to Pack

  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    by cjg1 Written Jun 4, 2010

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    Luggage and bags: Most of our trips to the area are weekend road trips so a small rollaboard or overnight bad will suffice.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: We pack according the season and weather forecasts. DC in the winter can be frigid so plenty of warm clothing and layers are a must. In the summer months the area can be stifling hot and very humid so light, breathable clothes are best. Comfortable walking shoes are always a must. We always pack umbrellas; just in case of rain.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Shampoo, Hair gel, Razor, shaving cream, contacts, glasses, deodorant, toothpaste, aspirin, cologne, brush and body wash.

    Photo Equipment: Digital camera, charger, memory card reader and video camera

    Miscellaneous: Laptop

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Fairfax Off The Beaten Path

  • McLean

    McLean is rather an upmarket bedroom community in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. It has become a tradition to visit a university friend up here and go to Slade's American Grill. This one is located at Tysons Corner. There used to be one in Arlington's Ballston Common, closer to the metro line. However, as long as there's a...

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  • Fairfax Station Railroad Museum

    Fairfax Station is a fully restored railroad station that now houses a museum. On the third Sunday of every month Northern Virginia NTRAK operates a layout here.The museum is located at: 11200 Fairfax Station Road in Fairfax Station. It is open to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 PM.

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  • Cinema Arts Theatre-...

    Cinema Arts Theatre- independant, foriegn and 2nd run mainstream movies. Really interesting selectio of flix and cheap!Located in Fair City Mall in Fairfax (in the corner next to Marshalls.) For directions see their website.

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Fairfax Sports & Outdoors

  • b1bob's Profile Photo

    by b1bob Written Mar 14, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Patriot Centre is the home of the George Mason Patriots basketball team. As the only NCAA sport of any national acclaim here, the Patriots are a better than average team. Several times, once when I attended there, they made the NCAA playoffs affectionately called "The Big Dance". When the GMU Patriots (not to be confused with a certain NFL team in New England) are away or in the off season, it is used for concerts and other special events. At the end of every semester, George Mason University holds its graduation ceremonies here. It was in this building on 18 May 1991 that my education was officially complete.

    Patriot Centre

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Fairfax Favorites

  • Nat, Christmas and one nasty woman

    Well, as I already stated, I didn't visit typical for a visitor points of interest in Fairfax. I was only doing shopping in huge Fair Oaks Mall and I ate at 29 Diner. So, my foundest memory from Fairfax is surely Nat's (b1bob) company and our talks :-) as well as impressive Christmas decorations with large Christmas tree in Fair Oaks Mall. I was...

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  • Student Union Building 1

    Student Union 1 is where many of the university's administrative offices were. Many were in the top floor and some (mainly student government and newspaper) offices were on the first floor. The ground floor had a mini market and a restaurant that was an adequate alternative to the dining hall.

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  • Statue of George Mason

    George Mason (for whom the university was named) was one of the lesser-known founding fathers of the United States of America. His "Fairfax Resolves" outlined the colonists' constitutional objections to the Boston Port Act. His Declarations of Rights were a prelude to the first part of the Declaration of Independence and was the basis of the...

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Map of Fairfax

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