Lorton is a census-designated place in Fairfax County, Virginia. Until November 2001, Lorton was the site of the Lorton Reformatory, today a Workhouse Art Center. Gunston Hall is a beautiful Georgian mansion built in 1759 for the US Founding Father George Mason. Mason Neck State Park is located on a peninsula between Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and the Potomac River, and is great for observing bold eagles. Occoquan Regional Park is located along the Potomac River tributary and was once a site of eight brick-making kilns. Lorton is one of the two stations that serve Amtrak's Auto Train which carries passengers and their vehicles to Sanford, Florida. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
Gunston Hall is a beautiful Georgian mansion in Mason Neck, Virginia, near the Potomac River. It was built in 1759 for the US Founding Father George Mason. It was located on a 5,500-acre plantation. It is not far from George Washington's home. The house interior design has elements of rococo, chinoiserie, and Gothic styles. Ornate decorations were very unusual for Virginia at the time, when décor tended to be simple. After Mason died in 1792, Gunston Hall remained a private residence for many years. It is now a house museum open to the public and owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The house and grounds are listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-550-9220
2.Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Virginia
The Workhouse Arts Center is a non-profit organization in Lorton, Virginia that provides studios for visual and performing arts, exhibition space and arts education programs. The Workhouse is located on 55 acres of land in the Occoquan Workhouse part of the historic D.C. Department of Corrections Lorton Reformatory. The Workhouse consists of studios for more than 100 professional and emerging artists, cooperative studios, performance and theatre venues, a main gallery building, gallery space in each studio and event space. The Workhouse also includes Lucy Burns Museum. The Workhouse Arts Center opened to the public in September, 2008, after several years of adapting a former Lorton Reformatory facility which closed in 2001. One of the former prison inmates was Lucy Burns, a member of the Silent Sentinels and a leader of women’s suffrage. IN her memory, a small museum was opened as a part of the Center.
9518 Workhouse Rd, Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-584-2900
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3.Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, Virginia
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Mason Neck State Park is located on a peninsula between Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and the Potomac River, near the town of Lorton, Virginia. The park covers 1,814 acres and is home to bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, white-tailed deer and many other species of wildlife. Mason Neck State Park is one of the best locations in Virginia to view bald eagles. The best time to observe them is in the mornings and evenings. The park is day-use only, and has a visitors’ center, hiking trails, three miles of paved multi-use trails, a large picnic area, a playground, and a canoe launch. Canoe, kayak and bikes are available for rent. Most visitors come to enjoy guided canoe trips of Kane's Creek and Belmont Bay and to observe bald eagles. The park's combination of ecosystems that include wetlands, forest, open water, ponds and open fields make it great for environmental study.
7301 High Point Rd, Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-339-2385
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4.Occoquan Regional Park, Lorton, Virginia
Occoquan Regional Park is located along the Potomac River tributary, in Lorton, Fairfax County, Northern Virginia. The park was opened in 2018 and is operated by the NOVA Parks agency of Northern Virginia. The park is densely forested and has a well-preserved Civil War arsenal. At the park's center is a large, beehive brick kiln, the last of eight kilns that were used during the turn of the last century to produce bricks for Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. The bricks were mostly made by prisoners from the neighboring Lorton Reformatory. The park also includes the Jean R. Packard Center, a wedding and events facility and a Brickmakers Cafe. There is a paved bike path that runs through the park, a five km loop trail, several sport fields and a public marina.
9751 Ox Rd, Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-690-2121
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5.Workhouse Prison Museum, Lorton, Virginia
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Workhouse Prison Museum is a small museum in the Lorton Reformatory, a former prison in Lorton, Virginia. The museum tells the story of a dark but crucial chapter in the American women's suffrage movement. This former workhouse prison by the Occoquan River, which opened in 1910, became famous for horrible treatment of the suffragists who were imprisoned during the First World War. The cruel treatment of imprisoned women resulted in public support for the suffragist movement and as a result on January 9, 1918, President Wilson finally decided in favor of a constitutional amendment granting the vote to women.
9518 Workhouse Rd, Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-584-2900
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6.Lorton Station, Lorton, VA
Lorton station is a northern railroad terminal for Amtrak's Auto Train in Lorton, Virginia. This train runs between Lorton station and Sanford station in Florida. Auto-Train was established in Lorton in 1971, and the station house was completed between 1972 and 1975. There was a gift shop at the station located in a former caboose and boxcar previously owned by the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. The station closed in 1981 and was reopened in 1983 when Amtrak took over. The current station features a large waiting area designed in Art Deco style, with glass walls, a small gift shop, a snack bar, and a children's playground. There is one 1,480 feet long low level platform for Auto Train boarding and six vehicle ramps for boarding vehicles.
?8006 Lorton Road; Lorton, VA 22079
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7.Pohick Bay Golf Course, Lorton, Virginia
Pohick Golf Course is one of Northern Virginia’s most challenging and scenic golf courses. It is located next to Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton. It offers 18 holes that run 6,400 yards from the back tees, with bent grass from tee to green. Pohick Bay Golf Course has soft rolling terrain and several serious water hazards. Players can relax after a round at the snack bar and sign up for one of our tournaments and golf outings. Pohick’s golf membership is very flexible and offers great value, including special rates for golfers over 55 and under 17.
10301 Gunston Rd, Lorton, VA 22079, Phone: 703-339-8585
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7 Best Things to Do in Lorton, VA
- Gunston Hall, Photo: adisak/stock.adobe.com
- Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Virginia, Photo: Seventyfour/stock.adobe.com
- Mason Neck State Park, Lorton, Virginia, Photo: JMP Traveler/stock.adobe.com
- Occoquan Regional Park, Lorton, Virginia, Photo: kosmos111/stock.adobe.com
- Workhouse Prison Museum, Lorton, Virginia, Photo: Matthew Carroll/stock.adobe.com
- Lorton Station, Lorton, VA, Photo: Poorisit/stock.adobe.com
- Pohick Bay Golf Course, Lorton, Virginia, Photo: freebird7977/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: xalanx/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Workhouse Arts Center
Many people would argue that without art, life as we know it would lose a lot of value and meaning. Art is what separates us from animals; our capacity to create and express our own thoughts and emotions in so many different ways, as well as our ability to see, feel, hear, touch, and interpret the creations of others, are big parts of what make us human.
People of all ages and from all walks of life can enjoy and experience art, and we all have our own views and ideas about what constitutes a work of art and which kinds of pieces truly move and inspire us. If you’re looking to feel inspired and amazed by the artistic efforts of others, as well as perhaps improving your own artistic skills, the Workhouse Arts Center is the place to be.
Workhouse Arts Center - Art Education and Exhibitions in Virginia
Located in Lorton, Virginia, the Workhouse Arts Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to both visual and performance art, along with art education. Home to multiple gallery spaces, studios, performance venues, and more, the Workhouse Arts Center is a real hub for arts and culture in Fairfax County.
- Tours of the Workhouse Arts Center - Visitors to the Workhouse Arts Center can choose to take part in a guided tour of the campus or simply grab one of the maps provided and head off on their own adventures. The guided tour is a great option for those who want to be led around by a professional guide, learning all about the campus along the way and hearing tales of its history, while the self-guided tours are a better option for those wishing to simply make their own way around and spend as much or as little time in each section of the center as they wish. All guided and self-guided tours of the Workhouse Arts Center are totally free, meaning that the many pieces and displays at this Virginia arts venue are fully accessible to everyone.
- Classes at the Workhouse Arts Center - Education is a big part of the program at the Workhouse Arts Center. In fact, this center was founded on the core belief that an understanding and appreciation of art is an essential part of being human and understanding the world as a whole. This is why the Workhouse Arts Center offers a huge range of classes throughout the year, mainly focused on art instruction. These classes will give you the tools and knowledge you need to better express yourself artistically, as well as better appreciating the works of others. Classes come in great variety, including specific classes for individual mediums like ceramics, glass, painting, photography, textiles, and more.
- Exhibitions and Events at the Workhouse Arts Center - The Workhouse Arts Center is one of the best locations for art of all kinds in Virginia. Whether you’re interested in classic watercolor paintings, vibrant new forms of expression, performance art, or something else altogether, you’ll find a huge array of amazing pieces and demonstrations throughout the 55-acre campus of the Workhouse Arts Center. As well as art being on display at all times, the center also organizes and hosts a huge range of special events and programs including kids art camps, 'Art of Movement' wellness sessions, 'Create + Sip' experiences, in which budding artists can enjoy a glass of wine while also expressing themselves creatively, all under the guidance of one of the center’s expert artists.
Visiting The Workhouse Arts Center
The Workhouse Arts Center is the perfect place for anyone with even the slightest interest in the arts and creative expression of all kinds. If you're interested in visiting the center's museum and galleries, participating in a tour, attending a class or special event, or stopping by for another reason altogether, here's all you need to know about the Workhouse Arts Center:
- Location - The Workhouse Arts Center is situated at 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA 22079.
- Getting There - Getting to the Workhouse Arts Center is relatively simple via car, with plenty of open-air parking spaces dotted around the campus. Most of the parking is free at the Workhouse Arts Center, but fees may be necessary on special occasions.
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