rom their beloved Fairfax County homes at Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall, George Washington and George Mason led the patriots in the cause of freedom during the 18th century. In the 21st century, Fairfax County draws visitors from around the world – whether they have an interest in the Civil War, national monuments or even such modern pursuits as shopping or outdoor recreation.
Fairfax County's historical sites tell the wonderful story of the development and growth of our nation. George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens is the most visited historic home in America. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason, paints a vivid picture through tours and exhibits, of how this founding father was instrumental in developing strategies that allowed our young nation to prosper. The history doesn't stop at our founding father's doorstep as multiple Civil War sites await your exploration such as Sully Historic site, St. Mary's Church, Chantilly Battlefield, and multiple Civil War trails in and around Historic Herndon and Centreville.
If you want a more futuristic journey while in Fairfax County, the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center is the place for you. Over 120 aircraft, 135 spacecraft, and many other historic artifacts are on display. There is also an IMAX Theater, flight simulators, and informational programs going on throughout the year to give visitors one of the most complete museum experiences found anywhere.
With its close proximity to Washington, D.C. many visitors to Fairfax County are surprised to find out that over 30,000 acres of parkland have been set aside so that nature can still be enjoyed today as it has been since Fairfax County's founding. Great Falls National Park greets visitors with cascading rapids and several 20-foot waterfalls, with a total 76 foot drop in elevation over a distance of less than a mile. Nature lovers can find seclusion amidst Northern Virginia's urban environment by visiting prime wildlife sanctuaries such as Huntley Meadows Park, Mason Neck State Park and Wildlife Refuge, Burke Lake and Pohick Bay Regional Park. Fairfax County is even home to the only national park dedicated solely to the performing arts. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts allows concertgoers to experience the great outdoors while enjoying music from some of the most famous musical artists in the world.
Fairfax County also offers a shopping experience to visitors that some claim is the best on the East Coast outside New York City. The county's six regional malls (Tysons Corner, Tysons Galleria, Fair Oaks Mall, Springfield Mall, Dulles Town Center and Landmark Mall) plus its many dedicated shopping areas such as Reston Town Center, Fair Lakes and Fairfax Square offer an array of shopping from Nordstrum's, Bloomingdales and Macy's to small specialty boutiques stores to large discounters like Old Navy, DSW Shoes, Target, and Walmart.
Whether you are staying in Tysons, Springfield, Reston, Centerville, or Herndon you'll find everything you need from exquisite dining to superb shopping, entertainment and historical experiences.