McLean, Virginia is a city in Northern Virginia that’s located only 11 miles from Washington D.C. Because of its close proximity to the nation’s capital and the CIA, many of McLean’s residents are government officials, diplomats, members of Congress, or businessmen. The city is also known for its many nature preserves and national scenic walking and hiking trails.

With the Potomac River nearby, there are many opportunities to kayak and participate in other water sports. Lastly, there are several fantastic eateries in McLean that offer international cuisines.

1. Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park
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Great Falls Park is situated on 800-acres of land near the banks of the Potomac River. The park is open from sunrise to sunset and visitors who drive here, must pay a parking fee. Up to 600 vehicles can park inside the lot, and on busy weekends, this lot fills up quickly. Although camping is not allowed at Great Falls Park, many visitors come to hike, kayak, rock climb or go white water rafting. In total, there are 15 miles of hiking trails surrounding the park. The parks waterfalls, or falls, stretch over several cascades and total 76 feet in length.

9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, Phone: 703-757-3101

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2. Things to Do in McLean, VA: Tysons Corner Center

Things to Do in McLean, VA: Tysons Corner Center
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Tysons Corner Center is a giant shopping mall that features upscale shops and eateries, a cinema and an outdoor plaza. It’s the ninth largest mall in America and the largest in the metropolitan area. Doors opened in 1968, and it was the first and only fully enclosed indoor shopping mall in the area. Sometimes referred to as Tysons 1, this mall is located a short distance away from Washington D.C.’s Central Business District. It’s also a neighbor to Tysons Galleria Mall, which is referred to as Tysons 2. Tysons Galleria mall opened in 1988, just 20 years after the opening of Tysons Corner Center.

1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons, VA 22102, Phone: 703-893-9400, (website link)

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3. Scott's Run Nature Preserve

Scott's Run Nature Preserve
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Scott's Run Nature Preserve is a 336-acre preserve and is bordered by the Potomac River. It’s also part of the Potomac Gorge, which has some of the rarest ecosystems in the mid-Atlantic. With the erosive forces of the Potomac River, this preserve now has rocky cliffs, steep hills, and narrow valleys. So, this landscape makes for some difficult hiking. In fact, Scott’s Run has some of the most challenging hiking trails in all of Fairfax Country. Besides hiking, visitors can partake in nature programs, such as spring wildflower walks, birdwatching programs, and watershed programs for children.

7400 VA-193, McLean, VA 22102, Phone: 703-759-9018

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4. Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail

Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
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The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail is often abbreviated as PHT. This trail is a designated corridor that connects trails and historic sites in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and D.C. The network of trails extends over 710 miles and passes through landmarks such as the Potomac River, the upper Ohio River watershed, and part of the Rappahannock River watershed. The Potomac Heritage Trail has many other side trails, offering hikers alternative paths that run on both sides of the river. Besides hiking, bikers can also ride along these trails and kayaks and paddle boards can be taken down the river.

101 Seneca Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066, USA, Phone: 703-777-0343

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5. McLean Community Center, McLean, VA

McLean Community Center, McLean, VA
© McLean Community Center

The McLean Community Center (MCC) was constructed and funded exclusively by McLean’s residents. To continue serving the Greater McLean community, the center relies on donations, program fees, and volunteers. Programs at MCC are available for both children and adults, such as classes, camps, theatre performances, and cultural and artistic shows. In addition to these programs, MCC is the sponsor of some of McLean’s community activities, like McLean Day, celebrated during May, as well as the 4th of July fireworks show. The McLean Community Center is also home to the Old Firehouse Teen Center, that supports and empowers local youth.

1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, VA 22101, Phone: 703-790-0123, (website link)

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6. Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church

Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church
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Holy Transfiguration Church, is a Christian Church with Eastern European and Middle Eastern roots. And so this Church reflects the culture of the immigrants who founded it. The word Melkite was the nickname given to Greek Catholics from the Middle East. As such, it was fitting to include this word in the Church’s full name. Members of this Church believe in a very distinctive tradition. Their tradition stresses a life of worship, service, and fellowship. Also, they are called to live a private life of prayer, fasting, and spiritual warfare. Finally, the Church offers programs like Sunday school, youth and adult education, and a youth group.

8501 Lewinsville Rd, McLean, VA 22102, Phone: 703-734-9566

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7. Fort Marcy, McLean, VA

Fort Marcy, McLean, VA
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Fort Marcy is a public park that is managed by the National Park Service. This park belongs to the historical George Washington Memorial Parkway. The fort was completed in 1862 and was an incredible feat because large amounts of earth had to be moved. This was done in order to make available space to build trenches, earthwork walls, mortar platforms, and gun embrasures. Much of what was built in the makings of Fort Marcy, still stand today. And next to Fort Marcy stands Fort Ethan Allen, where visitors can take a self-guided walk to observe the historical connection between these forts.

700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA 22101, Phone: 703-289-2500

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8. Rocco's Italian Restaurant

Rocco's Italian Restaurant
© Rocco's Italian Restaurant

Rocco's Italian Restaurant was established by the Juliano family in 1977. Father, John Joseph, mother, Mary, known as Mrs. J., and son, John Rocco went into business together. Mrs. J. was responsible for the creation of the restaurant’s sauce recipes. And over 40 years later, these sauces are just as popular as they were on day one. Besides their famous sauces, Rocco’s also serves up many classic Italian dishes for the entire family to enjoy. In addition to providing dine-in service, Rocco’s also has a catering service. They offer catering for events like weddings, rehearsal dinners, office parties, and corporate luncheons.

1357 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, Virginia 22101, Phone: 703-821-3736

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9. Mylo's Grill

Mylo's Grill
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Mylo's Grill is a family-owned Greek restaurant and bar that opened in 2010 by father and son, Damon and Chris Mylonas. Together they have a combined 60 years of experience working in the restaurant industry. And 20 of those years were spent working as a dynamic duo. Besides offering traditional Greek dishes, Mylo’s also specializes in American cuisine. Guests can take a seat in the casual dining area or at the bar and order items from the full menu. The food menu includes a list of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. They also have a wine menu with plenty of options to please their diversity of restaurant guests.

6238 Old Dominion Dr., McLean, VA 22101, Phone: 703 533-5880

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