Fairfax County is a suburb of Washington, DC, in Virginia. It borders the small urban county of Arlington and the historic city of Alexandria. It often trades places with next-door neighbor Loudoun County as the nation's wealthiest county.
In Virginia incorporated cities are politically completely independent of their counties. County law does not apply in incorporated cities (but may apply in incorporated towns); the only local law in incorporated cities is city law.
- Annandale Home to DC's "Koreatown" and some of the best Korean food you'll ever have outside of Korea.
- Centreville and Clifton
- Fairfax — the county seat of Fairfax has a lovely small town-seeming downtown.
- Falls Church & West Falls Church — Vietnamese and Cantonese dining par excellence.
- Great Falls
- Lorton Home of the Amtrak Auto Train which carries passengers and automobiles to and from Florida.
- McLean CIA Headquarters amidst a sea of McMansions and Republican congressmen.
- Reston The country's first modern planned city. Its founding in 1964 was the start of the modern Planned City movement, resparking the "New Town" concept.
- Springfield "All roads lead to Springfield" — Not a fabulous destination—more of an urban/suburban mess—but there are still some really great Asian and Latino restaurants sprinkled throughout all the strip malls.
- Vienna — Sachertortes, great beer, mountain scenery, skiing, lederhosen, the waltz—wait, just kidding! But it's home to the big Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center, and is right next to Tysons Corner Mall.
- Washington Dulles International Airport is at the West end of Fairfax County, located on the Dulles Transportation Corridor, Route 267 .
- Reagan National Airport is at the East end of Fairfax County.
- From Washington, DC go South on I-395 or I-66. Or cross on Memorial Bridge, Key Bridge, or Chain Bridge, to the George Washington Parkway. Or take I-295 South to I-95 South/I-495 West, and cross the Wilson Bridge.
- From the Northeast including Southeast Washington DC, Prince George's County, and Baltimore: take I-95 South/I-495 West, across the Wilson Bridge. Or, take the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (I-295) South, connect to I-95 South/I-495 West, and cross the Wilson Bridge.
- From the Northwest (Montgomery County, MD) take I-495 South, across the Legion Bridge.
- From the South (Richmond, VA) take I-95 North.
- From the West take I-66 East.
- The National Capital area (including Fairfax County) is the 9th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., but has the 5th worst traffic congestion in the U.S.
- Both I-95 and U.S. Route 1 pass through Fairfax County, on their way from Maine to Florida.
- I-95, the major North-South Interstate on the East Coast, joins the I-495 Beltway to points South, at the Springfield Interchange (a.k.a. the Mixing Bowl).
- The Southwestern portion of the Capital Beltway (I-495) runs through Fairfax County. The Legion Bridge connects to Montgomery County, MD, in the North. The Wilson Bridge connects to Southeast Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, MD, to the East.
- I-395 runs from the Springfield Interchange Northeast to Washington, DC.
- I-66 runs from the West to Washington, DC.
- U.S. Route 1, the original North-South highway on the East Coast, runs due North through Alexandria and Arlington to Washington, DC, and South to Prince William County, VA, passing through downtown shopping districts all the way.
- U.S. Route 50, the original East-West transcontinental highway, passes through Fairfax County on its way from California to Maryland. It joins I-66 to cross into Washington, DC, on the Roosevelt Bridge.
- Fairfax County Parkway is a North-South highway, West of the Beltway.
- Inside the Beltway, major streets move in seemingly random directions, with heavy stop and go traffic. It may seem as though they're all named Chain Bridge, Lee, and/or Jackson!
- George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
- Gunston Hall, the Colonial estate of George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
- Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
- Mason Neck State Park.
- George Washington Memorial Parkway (in part).
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
- National Firearms Museum. At the National Rifle Association Headquarters, in the City of Fairfax
- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - National Air and Space Museum, ☎ +1 202 357-2200. 14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly. Located near Dulles International Airport, this museum houses many air/spacecraft, including the SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane, the Concorde supersonic jet and the space shuttle "Enterprise". Parking is available for $12/vehicle. Or take the 983 Fairfax Connector bus from the Wiehle-Reston East station on the silver Metro line.
Biking and Walking
- The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail
- The Fairfax Cross County Trail
- The Mount Vernon Trail
- The Custis Trail
- Fair Oaks Mall, 11750 Lee Jackson Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033. Anchored by Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Sears, and JCPenney.
- Fairfax Corner, Monument Dr. & Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22030.
- Fairfax Square, 8075 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182. Designer shopping including Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes of Paris, and Elizabeth Arden's Red Door Salon & Spa.
- Reston Town Center, 11921 Freedom Drive Suite 100, Reston, VA 20190. Designed as a traditional downtown cityscape, not an enclosed mall. Dine al fresco at Fountain Plaza in the Summer, or skate in the outdoor rink in Winter.
- Springfield Mall, 6500 Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA 22150, ☎ +1 703 971-3600. Anchored by JCPenney, Target, and Macy's.
- Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Suite 105, McLean, VA 22102, ☎ +1 703 847-7300. Since 1968, one of the first super-regional malls in the country, still one of the premier shopping malls on the East Coast. Anchored by Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, and Macy's.
- Tysons Galleria, 2001 International Drive, McLean, VA 22102, ☎ +1 703 847-7300. Upscale shopping and dining at designer retailers including Gucci, Cartier, Chanel and Versace. Saks Fifth Ave, Neiman Marcus!
- Grevey's Restaurant, 8130 Arlington Blvd Falls Church VA, ☎ +1 703 560-8530.
- Sunset Grill, 7250 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA, ☎ +1 703 658 0928. "The inland beach bar"
- Sweetwater Tavern, 3066 Gate House Plz Falls Church Va, ☎ +1 703 645-8100.
- Vienna Inn, 120 Maple Ave E Vienna, Virginia 22180 (Off 123 5 minutes from Tysons Cornor), ☎ +1 703 938-9548. Hole in the wall bar, around since 1960. Very popular with locals, cheap and terrific food, especially their chili dogs.
- Washington Suites Alexandria, 100 S. Reynolds Street Alexandria, VA 22304, ☎ +1 703 370-9600. Check-in: 3:00, check-out: 12:00. Located in the West End of Alexandria close to Springfield, Fort Belvoir, Old Town Alexandria, 9 miles from Washington DC.
- Next-door Arlington features the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery.
- Alexandria also borders Fairfax, and has a beautiful historic district on King St, by its port on the Potomac.
- Washington, D.C. is just across the Potomac River, featuring the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian Institution, White House, US Capitol Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and much more.