Fairfax (Virginia)

Fairfax, nicknamed Fairfax City by the locals, is an incorporated city, and the county seat of Fairfax County, in the state of Virginia. The city has roots dating back to the 1700s. It has character and an identity of its own not often found in the much newer and largely homogeneous exurban areas in Northern Virginia.

Get in

The intersection of US-50 and US-29 is located within the city. The two major highways join together to form Fairfax Boulevard for approximately 2.8 miles before separating. VA-123 and VA-236 both pass through the city. VA-236 is named Main Street in the city (though it diverts onto North Street for about three blocks in Old Town Fairfax) and then becomes Little River Turnpike once the city line is crossed. In addition, I-66 is on the outskirts of the city.

The nearest Metro station is Vienna/Fairfax-GMU. This is the Western terminus of the Orange line. There are numerous CUE buses from the Metro station to various points in Fairfax. Taxis are available at the Metro station and fare to any point in Fairfax is approximately $10-15.

Get around

The downtown section of the City is 4 blocks wide by 2 blocks long. There are numerous free public parking lots and parking decks surrounding the downtown section. The City encourages visitors to park and walk. No building is more than a 5-minute walk from a free parking lot.

The local bus system in the City of Fairfax is largely served by the CUE bus system, The Cue Bus The buses run between George Mason University, the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU metro station, and other locations within or just outside of the City of Fairfax. GMU students, staff and faculty with a valid ID ride free.

The City of Fairfax boasts many shops and restaurants, along with a few hotels. Outside of the downtown section, the City is populated mainly with suburban residences. Fairfax Boulevard, which runs along the northern border of the City, is populated with strip malls.


The Fairfax County Courthouse is the oldest and most historic building in Fairfax. Its design is used as a prototype for many Virginia courthouses built between 1800 and 1850. The first meeting of the Fairfax Court was held April 21, 1800. During the Civil War, the Courthouse was used by the Union forces as military headquarters which resulted in the damage or loss of several records. The original building of the Fairfax County Courthouse is now used as the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.

One of the oldest buildings in the city is a former elementary school. Built 1873, the Fairfax Elementary School remains the oldest two-story building the city has ever seen and was built for an outrageous $2,750. This building reflects a new era of free public education in Virginia and the growth of the Fairfax area. Throughout the years, the school building was used for housing special education and adult education classes as well as a police academy training center. The historic building was renovated and, on July 4, 1992, it opened as the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.

The Old Town Hall is the social and architectural cornerstone of Fairfax. Joseph Edward Willard had it built in 1900 as a gift to Fairfax. Built by Arthur Thompson, a local contractor, the classical revival style building retains much of its original woodwork. It now houses the Huddleson Library, as well as the Fairfax Art League, and can be rented for weddings, business meetings and other private and business-related special events.

The following buildings in the City of Fairfax are on the National Register of Historical Places:

Site Year Built Address Listed
29 Diner (Tastee 29 Diner) 1947 10536 Fairfax Boulevard 1992
Blenheim circa 1855 3610 Old Lee Highway 2001
City of Fairfax Historic District Junction of VA 236 and VA 123 1987
Old Fairfax County Courthouse* (now the Juvenile Court) 1800 4000 Chain Bridge Road 1974
Old Fairfax County Jail* 1891 10475 Main Street 1981
Fairfax Public School (Old Fairfax Elementary School Annex) 1873 10209 Main Street 1992
Ratcliffe-Logan-Allison House (Earp's Ordinary) 1812 200 East Main Street 1973
*The Old Courthouse and the Old Jail lie within the county enclave within the City.


The City hosts a wide variety of annual events:


Beginning in June 2005, Old Town Fairfax has undergone an extensive redevelopment.Old Town Fairfax Redevelopment Project Timeline The redevelopment added a new Fairfax City Regional Library, over 45,000sqft of retail and restaurant space, over 70,000sqft of office condominiums, and 85 upscale residential condominium units.Old Town Village Redevelopment

Tyson Corner Center and Tyson Galleria, two large shopping malls, are located approximately 6 miles north of the City on Rt. 123.


Fast Food

Casual Dining

Fine Dining



Go next

Routes through Fairfax

Middletown Centreville  W  E  Vienna Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. Falls Church  N  S  Centreville Charlottesville
Winchester Chantilly  W  E  Falls Church Washington, D.C.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.