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Fairfax

Discover American Civil War sites, historic buildings, shopping districts and a schedule of vibrant festivals at this independent city within Fairfax County.

Get ready to mix history with entertainment and recreation in the city of Fairfax. Explore Civil War heritage sites and visit architecturally impressive buildings. Shop at modern malls and attend festivals aimed at everyone from art lovers to chocolate fanatics. Fairfax sits in northern Virginia and dates back to the 1700s, when it was established by migrating farmers.

Today, the city’s beating heart is the downtown district called Old Town Fairfax. Start your visit at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center. Browse the exhibitions that retrace the city’s history and pick up information about significant landmarks. Buy a ticket to go on a guided walking tour of the Old Town held on the second Saturday of the month from May to September. Alternatively, use the free self-guided walking tour brochure available from the visitor center.

Go to Old Town Square and check out the Old Town Hall, inaugurated in 1900 and distinguishable by its classical revival-style façade. Nearby is the early 19th-century Fairfax Courthouse, which operated as Civil War military headquarters. Learn about the activities of Main Street during the 19th and 20th centuries at Ratcliffe-Allison House.

Spend an afternoon browsing the boutiques and relaxing at the sidewalk cafés of Old Town Plaza. Dine at downtown restaurants that range from well-known chains to Asian cuisine, steakhouses and wine bars.

Time your visit to coincide with the city’s eclectic cultural events. Chocoholics will rejoice at the Chocolate Lovers Festival while book lovers will appreciate the Fall for the Book Festival. Experience Irish traditions at September’s Irish Folk Festival. Attend free music shows during the Summer Concert Series and Rock the Block.

Be sure to visit attractions outside of the city center. Follow in the footsteps of American Civil War soldiers at Historic Blenheim and Civil War Interpretive Center. See a through-the-ages exhibition of firearms at the National Firearms Museum. Enjoy shaded walks in Daniels Run Park and Van Dyck Park.

Fairfax is about a 45-minute drive from Downtown Washington D.C. Get here by taking the metro to Vienna-GMU Station and then catch a bus from there. Several free parking lots are available to those arriving by car.

Top hotels in Fairfax

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hyatt Regency Fairfax
Hyatt Regency Fairfax
4 out of 5
12777 Fair Lakes Cir, Fairfax, VA
P4,577
per night
4 Apr - 5 Apr

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Ox Hill Battlefield Park and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Fair Oaks Mall. Eleanor C. Lawrence Park is 2.9 ...

4.2/5Excellent! (2,065 reviews)

"The location was great. Having an in-room microwave and refrigerator was very convenient. The walls are very thin and could hear some loud neighbors as if they were in the room with us. I called the front desk and they had security address the issue immediately. Great service!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2020

Hyatt Regency Fairfax
Hyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield
Hyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield
3 out of 5
P7,577
per night
1 May - 2 May

Situated in the shopping district, this hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Pentagon and Iwo Jima Memorial. Arlington ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,394 reviews)

"This hotel is wonderful; it is in a very convenient location in Mosaic. You can walk to many restaurants and shops. I stayed in the location because it was close to a business meeting, but will definitely stay there again! The hotel has complimentary parking in a parking garage directly across from ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2020

Hyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield
Best Western Fairfax
Best Western Fairfax
2.5 out of 5
P3,242
per night
1 May - 2 May

Located in the heart of Fairfax, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Ratcliffe-Allison House and Pozer Garden and within 3 miles (5 km) of George Mason University ...

4/5Very Good! (1,917 reviews)

"Staff very friendly and efficient. Very clean property!"…"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2020

Best Western Fairfax

Popular things to do in Fairfax

White House
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White House

Explore the home and workplace of the president of the United States. See entertainment areas and state rooms and learn about the history of this famous building.

National Mall
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National Mall

Washington’s famous strip is teeming with American history in each and every monument and museum that you’ll see.

Washington Monument
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Washington Monument

At the heart of the National Mall, this dedication in honour of the first American President is a famous feature on the cityscape.

Top activities in Fairfax

DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi
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DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi

86% of travellers recommend
P2,494
Per adult
Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York
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Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York

90% of travellers recommend
P8,600
Per adult
DC at Dusk Night Tour
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DC at Dusk Night Tour

94% of travellers recommend
P2,952
Per adult
Best of DC – With Access to US Capitol & National
Image for Best of DC – With Access to US Capitol & National

Best of DC – With Access to US Capitol & National

90% of travellers recommend
P6,361
Per adult
Washington, D.C. Day Trip with Transportation from NYC
Image for Washington, D.C. Day Trip with Transportation from NYC

Washington, D.C. Day Trip with Transportation from NYC

94% of travellers recommend
P7,331
Per adult
Private Wine Tour Transportation
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Private Wine Tour Transportation

P3,399
Per adult