10 Things to Do in Fairfax That You Shouldn't Miss

September 22, 2017 Marissa Gamble

Fairfax (/ˈfɛər.fæks/ FAIR-faks), colloquially known as Central Fairfax, Downtown Fairfax, or Fairfax City, and officially named the City of Fairfax, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 22,565, which had risen to an estimated 24,013 as of 2015.
Restaurants in Fairfax

1. NRA National Firearms Museum

11250 Waples Mill Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030-7550 +1 703-267-1600
Excellent
70%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 336 reviews

NRA National Firearms Museum

Small museum that highlights the long history of firearms.

Reviewed By D2821ITroberts - Heathsville, Virginia

Even if you don’t support the 2nd Amendment the history of firearms is spectacular. Those who enjoy firearms will be amazed at the inventory and match grade guns on display along with write ups and brief history of the weapons on display.
If you have ever just seen in a book guns this museum gives you up close looks of weapons from their inception.
Make sure you a lot three or more hours as you wonder the museum at your own pace and get a history lesson along your tour.

2. Burke Lake Park

7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-1929 +1 703-323-6600
Excellent
65%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 184 reviews

Burke Lake Park

Reviewed By cathy h - Annandale, Virginia

This is a great location for a high school cross country meet. We've been here numerous times for practices, practice meets, and regular meets. A nice, pleasant place to visit. Fairfax county residents do not pay admission. Military members stationed nearby have to show proof of residency, but are also free.

3. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA 22182-1643 +1 703-255-1900
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 587 reviews

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

The only national park dedicated to the performing arts, with spaces for indoor and outdoor performances.

Reviewed By Alberta S - Washington DC, District of Columbia

We went with a group of friends and sat upstairs in the balcony are. These were perfect seats, you could see everything with no obstruction. This is not a large building so the performance was intimate. Loved the rustic atmosphere.
This was a great location for a music performance.
The seating was comfortable. Parking was easy.

4. EagleBank Arena

4500 Patriot Cir, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4468 +1 703-993-3000
Excellent
40%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 97 reviews

EagleBank Arena

EagleBank Arena (formerly known as the Patriot Center) is a 10,000-seat arena on the campus of George Mason University. Managed by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the arena is home to Mason men's and women's basketball teams, concerts, sporting events, high school graduations, commencement ceremonies and more.

Reviewed By Gerry H - Norfolk, Virginia

Excellent show, excellent facility, free parking, well managed traffic flow, nad comfortable seats. The show was awesome. Favorite act was the pair on the
silk ropes.

OVO recently went to an arena forum and it helps the show. All acts were top cirq quality. I could do wo the clown.

5. Meadowlark Botanical Garden

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182-1992 +1 703-255-3631
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 264 reviews

Meadowlark Botanical Garden

Reviewed By Jeff_and_family - Vienna, VA USA

Meadowlark is a serene park to stroll and appreciate the flora. They have a huge variety of plants and flowers. Most have signage but in some cases you are left scratching your head to figure out what you are looking at. It's a marvelous place for photographers in warm weather with the flowers in bloom, and waterfowl in the pond. There are also koi and turtles in the pond, fun for the younger ones to see. I don't have young children anymore but I would think that a visit of any longer than an hour would bore them; there aren't activities or sites particular geared towards kids. There is a small Korean garden funded by donors.

In the winter they set up what must be hundreds of thousands of lights, some animated, for a stunning after-dark spectacle. I believe it takes them months to set it up. The walk is accessible, on a continuous asphalt walkway, but it's dark so someone who needs really solid footing may have an issue.

With their gorgeous natural backdrops, they host a lot of weddings and photo shoots for proms.

6. Fairfax Station Railroad Museum

11200 Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039-1011 +1 703-425-9225
Excellent
35%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 17 reviews

Fairfax Station Railroad Museum

Take a step back in time and discover the Fairfax Station Museum and the role it played in the history of Northern Virginia. A key element in the development of the regional economy from its completion on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad in 1854, it played a critical role in the American Civil War and was the center of local community life for almost a century until modern highways and rail transportation made local train depots a thing of the past. The Station was an important supply and medical evacuation site during the Civil War where Clara Barton, later the founder of the American Red Cross, assisted in relief and evacuation efforts in 1862 during the Second Battle of Bull Run. Museum displays, activities and events help preserve local history and promote railroading. Come explore Civil War history, railroading and the fascinating story of our local community.

Reviewed By Barb H - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

The docents at the museum are wonderful and friendly -- and they have a great program for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. You can do the museum in an hour, which matched my young granddaughter's attention span. Truly a hidden treasure to seek out and...MoreThank you so much for taking the time to give us feedback. We do try very hard to provide volunteer opportunities for local scouts as we know the benefit is mutual. Please come back and visit and tell your friends about us!

7. Blenheim

3610 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030-1804 +1 703-591-0560
Excellent
53%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 27 reviews

Blenheim

This 1855 estate is most famous for its attic which housed Union soldiers who left drawings on the walls.

Reviewed By Elizabeth M - Naples, Florida

Recently went to see the Blenheim House and was intrigued by the actual handwritten graffiti left by Union soldiers during the civil war. They are still working on restoring and uncovering the writings, but it was truly amazing to see. Would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in history. Our tour guide through the house was very knowledgeable and we had a wonderful tour since it was only myself, my sister and one other woman. No rushing and were able to take our time and truly enjoy all she had to tell us about the house. All the staff was very nice and very friendly. A must see if you are in the area.

8. Ox Hill Battlefield Park

West Ox Rd., Chantilly, VA
Excellent
30%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 23 reviews

Ox Hill Battlefield Park

Reviewed By Traveler O - Washington DC, District of Columbia

This small, quaint park is all that remains of the once large Ox Hill/Chantilly Battlefield from the Civil War. Efforts were undertaken by local/national preservation groups to prevent the large scale development of the field, but no avail. Money won over memories. This small plot of land is all that was spared. The walk itself is not long, but the park is well-maintained and clean. The interpretative signs do well to explain what happened here and there are even overlay displays showing where the battle took place compared to what was built over the ground where many young men fell on both sides. Foreboding feeling that the surrounding condos, offices, and shopping centers were essentially built over hills where soldiers died.

It's a worthy effort to preserve the significance of the area though. Read the signs, enjoy the walk, and take notice of the fencelines, stone markers, gravestones, etc. which help tell the story. If you read ahead on the Second Battle of Manassas/Bull Run and the Battle of Ox Hill/Chantilly, it helps paint an even clearer picture of the park and surrounding area.

A good stop for Civil War/military history buffs.

9. Fairfax Museum

10209 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030-2403 +1 703-385-8414
Excellent
31%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 38 reviews

Fairfax Museum

This museum focuses primarily on the city's Civil War battles.

Reviewed By jeffl499 - Alexandria, VA

Set in a beautifully restored mansion, the Fairfax museum promises to provide a panoramic picture of the growth of a small town into a major suburb. There is a lot of history to cover from 18th century plantations to the fastest growing suburban area in the US after World War 2. Unfortunately, the displays are minimal because of their location on the small second floor with only a few brush strokes to describe Fairfax. Residents and visitors deserve more to get an appreciation of this town. The Visitors Center was staffed by two people with no interest in visitors as they were glued to a computer monitor.

10. Fair Oaks Mall

11750 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA 22033 +1 703-359-8300
Excellent
36%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 19 reviews

Fair Oaks Mall

Reviewed By hbhakh - Roanoke, Virginia

Fair Oaks is a large, indoor mall with several anchors and a large number of smaller stores. There are some good restaurants attached. It's nice but nothing special. Go if you need to buy something.

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