Fairfax, Virginia is just a stone’s throw away from the capital of the United States. In addition to all of the nearby attractions in Washington, DC, Fairfax boasts quite a number of things to do as well. From outdoor activities to museum, the city and surrounding Fairfax County offers a little bit of everything. Anyone with a sweet tooth will love a visit to Fairfax with its sweet shops like Artisan Confections, Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates, and Victoria’s Cakery.
1.Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
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The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, established in 1992, span across ninety-five acres of unique native collections of plants and ornamental display gardens. Visitors can explore the local fauna and flora among the winding walking paths, forests, and lakes. Amazing views of the area’s Piedmont hills can be seen as well. Guests can also explore a restored log cabin from the eighteenth century, the Korean Bell Garden, and the Atrium, containing an interesting indoor tropical garden. The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens also host several events throughout the year, including the yearly Winter Walk of LIghts with dozens of different light displays.
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct, Vienna, VA 22182, Phone: 703-255-3631
2.Children's Science Center Lab
© Children's Science Center Lab
The Children’s Science Center Lab in Fairfax is an interactive center for exploration, designed for children, school groups, and families. It is a place where kids can learn about mathematics, engineering, technology, and science in a fun and exciting way. The Lab features both dynamic platforms and traditional interactive exhibits for learning that include activities that frequently change. Visitors can sit down at a stool and order from the rotating choices of experiments at the Experiment Bar. These experiments demonstrate the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, biology, and more. Among the many other exhibits and platforms is the Inspiration Hub.
11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA 22033, Phone: 703-648-3130
3.Cold War Museum
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The Cold War Museum in the city of Fairfax, Virginia is home to several different exhibits on various topics related to the Cold War. The museum also houses a main gallery, a small theater, study areas, a library, a gift store, and a picture gallery. The central hall at the Cold War Museum is full of exhibits. This hall includes various objects from the Berlin Airlift, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs, the U-2 Incident, the USS Liberty, the USS Pueblo, and the USMLM. Links to newsletters, photograph galleries, virtual exhibits, and other collections can be seen online as well.
7142 Lineweaver Rd, Vint Hill, VA 20187, Phone: 540-341-2008
4.Community Farmers' Market
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The Fairfax Community Farmer’s Market is a large outdoor market where farmers and other vendors can showcase and sell their crafts, meats, vegetables, fruits, and other products. The Saturday Community Market is open from eight in the morning until one in the afternoon, typically running from the middle of May to the end of October. The Community Farmer’s Market takes place whether the weather is rain or sunshine. The market on Saturdays includes plants, vegetables, fruits, honey, jams, flowering baskets, and cut flowers. Visitors can also find fresh-squeezed juices, kettle corn, bakery items, teas, coffees, cheeses, dog treats, and much more.
10500 Page Ave, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-430-6164
5.Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
© Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
The Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, owned and operated by Historic Fairfax City Inc., is dedicated to the promotion of the preservation and appreciation of the artifacts and local history of Fairfax, Virginia. The regional history museum and visitor center for the state of Virginia is housed inside of a school building that dates back to the year 1873. The museum displays information and exhibits about Fairfax during the time of the Civil War. Walking tours are also available of Historic Fairfax during the springs and fall seasons, including sites like the Ford House, the Fairfax County Courthouse, and others.
10209 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-385-8414
6.Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
© Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
The Fairfax Station Railroad Museum offers visitors and locals alike in Fairfax a chance to journey back to the past and explore the role the Fairfax railroad station played throughout the history of northern Virginia. Since its completion in the year 1854, the station played a key role in the development of the economy of the region. It was also a center for the local community and was critical during the Civil War. The events, activities, and displays of the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum help with the preservation of local history, as well as promote the railroad.
11200 Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station, VA 22039, Phone: 703-425-9225
7.De Clieu Coffee & Sandwiches
© De Clieu Coffee & Sandwiches
De Clieu Coffee and Sandwiches is dedicated to offering its customers delicious tasting coffee made from high quality Arabic beans. The coffee shop and cafe supports local roasters who make high quality coffee while also maintaining a carbon footprint that is small in size. The coffee beans are roasted in small batches, with a focus on naturally processed Indonesian and African coffees. The coffees feature subtle chocolate notes and intense fruit flavors. Coffee beans are freshly roasted to bring out the flavors. De Clieu is open 7:00am to 9:00pm Monday through Saturday, and 8:00am to 8:00pm on Sundays.
10389 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-591-0309
8.The Auld Shebeen
© The Auld Shebeen
The Auld Shebeen brings “the spirit of The Shebeen” to Fairfax, Virginia. It is the only authentic Irish restaurant and pub in the city, and offers a menu that combines American cuisine with traditional Irish recipes. Guests can find several traditional Irish dishes, including the restaurant’s signature Guinness Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, and many other house specialties. A special menu for Brunch on the weekends is also available from 11:00am until 3:00pm. The Main Level of The Auld Shebeen boasts a low-key atmosphere, while The Cellar provides more of a party vibe.
3971 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-293-9600
© Victoria's Cakery
Victoria’s Cakery is a family-owned and operated business that first opened its doors to the public in the year 1984. The cake shop and bakery is open Monday to Friday, from 9:00am until 5:00pm. It is also open on Saturdays from 9:00am until 2:00pm, and is closed on Sundays. The long-standing bakery produces a large variety of creative cakes, desserts, bread, and more baked goods. Among the offerings at Victoria’s Cakery are gluten-free and healthier options, so customers can get their sweet tooth fix without feeling too guilty or if they follow a gluten-free diet.
10430 Main St, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-273-0800
10.Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
© Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is the country’s only national park that is dedicated to the presentation of the performing arts. The park offers something for nearly any taste or age of visitors when it comes to the shows it hosts. From the month of May until the month of September, several amphitheaters throughout Wolf Trap present a variety of performances, such as country music, popular music, jazz, opera, dance, and musicals. Visitors can enjoy an array of experiences, including performances at the Theatre-in-the-Woods or Filene Center, a walk on the trails, and ranger-guided programs.
1551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA 22182, Phone: 703-255-1800
11.Abunawas Cafe & Hookah Bar
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The Abunawas Cafe and Hookah Bar is a business made up of partners from the Middle East. They combined all of their many different ideas together to create a very comfortable and ideal environment for their customers to be happy with the some of the best service, as well as perfectly prepared hookahs. The building was purchased in 2013, and the team behind Abunawas worked hard to renovate the entire place, this included furniture, new televisions, wall painting, hookahs, ice cream, and much more. The Abunawas Cafe and Hookah Bar is open seven days a week, from noon until two in the morning.
3218 Old Pickett Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-537-0329
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Artisan Confections places a strong emphasis on using high quality ingredients when making their handmade chocolates. These chocolates are known for being elegant in both flavor and design. The owners of the chocolate shop carefully select only the best local and organic ingredients available, from organic mint sourced from a farm in Maryland to French Valrhona chocolate to bourbon from a distillery in Virginia. These ingredients are used to craft delicate, smooth confections that are fresh enough to have a shelf life. All of the confections offered at Artisan Confections are created by hand in only small batches.
2910 District Ave, Fairfax, VA 22031, Phone: 703-992-6130
Blenheim is a historic Greek Revival-style, central-hall plan brick farmhouse that was built back in the year 1859, just before the Civil War, by Albert Willcoxon. The historic house is of national significance due to its large volume of quality and quantity of examples of inscriptions from the Civil War. Visitors can explore Blenheim by joining the guided tour at 1:00pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. Over 122 signatures, thoughts, games, and pictographs were left on the walls inside the historic home by Union soldiers during the time of their 1862-1863 occupation of the area of the Fairfax Court House.
3610 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22030, Phone: 703-591-0560
14.Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates
© Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates
Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates was established as the Every1 Can Work non-profit foundation’s first business enterprise. The doors of the coffee and chocolate shop first opened in the Fairfax community on October 1st of 2013. Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates provides customers with an early morning variety of tea, coffee drinks, and pastries that are freshly baked every day in the shop’s own kitchen. There is also a friendly and inviting sitting area in the shop where customers can sit, relax, and take advantage of free wireless internet as they taste the delicious creations from the kitchen.
9639 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22031, Phone: 703-278-2627
15.Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company
© Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company
The Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company is the city of Fairfax’s very first nanobrewery. The brewery is a down-to-earth business that is run by some very down-to-earth people. The Chubby Squirrel is focused on crafting honest, good beer, as well as honest, good food. They are committed at doing the basics of brewing beer well, along with also producing a handful of more off-the-wall beers. The brewery adds as little as possible in order to craft some of the best “old-style” beers possible in the area. The food menu includes pretzels, poutine fries, and perogies among other options.
10382 Willard Way Fairfax, VA 22030, 571-989-1082
15 Best Things to Do in Fairfax, Virginia
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of CTHOMAS - Fotolia.com
- Children's Science Center Lab, Photo: Children's Science Center Lab
- Cold War Museum, Photo: Courtesy of remus20 - Fotolia.com
- Community Farmers' Market, Photo: Courtesy of irphotographie - Fotolia.com
- Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, Photo: Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center
- Fairfax Station Railroad Museum, Photo: Fairfax Station Railroad Museum
- De Clieu Coffee & Sandwiches, Photo: De Clieu Coffee & Sandwiches
- The Auld Shebeen, Photo: The Auld Shebeen
- Victoria's Cakery, Photo: Victoria's Cakery
- Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Photo: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
- Abunawas Cafe & Hookah Bar, Photo: Courtesy of mettus - Fotolia.com
- Artisan Confections, Photo: Courtesy of tarczas - Fotolia.com
- Blenheim, Photo: Blenheim
- Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates, Photo: Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates
- Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, Photo: Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of spiritofamerica - Fotolia.com