Opposite of Washington DC and over the Potomac is the animated neighbouring Metropolis of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County. A centre of learning, intelligence, the arts and industry next to the nation’s capital, with all that occurs here, the region numbers at near 1.5 million, and continues to grow every year. Read on for some of our favourite ways to spend the summertime in and around Fairfax County.
Visit the majestic George Washington Masonic National Memorial, and learn about founding father George Washington, as well as his relationship with the Freemasonry. Here, a history of freemasonry, the Knights Templar and the life of George Washington are all available for visitors to walk through. On the ninth floor is an observation deck, providing a lovely view of Alexandria and the surrounding region. Tours for groups are available by appointment in advance.
The history and presence of George Washington at his plantation is as much tradition as is the public’s relation and ability to freely explore its grounds. In fact, this was his vision since 1794, when Washington himself expressed no qualms over people exploring Mount Vernon. Here, visitors can tour life in every aspect of Mount Vernon including Washington’s household, his life, dine on local Virginia cuisine, a functioning gristmill and distillery, a farm, multiple curated gardens, life for the enslaved on his property and the Washington Library. Tours by staff and self-guided tours via mobile phone links are all available, but be sure to check on the details of your planned visit as some opportunities are by advance appointment only.
A Fairfax tradition of over 39 years, the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is a festive way for visitors to enjoy a day of fun memories with a wide range of activities. Enjoy delicious food from local restaurants and try daring fair inventions, shop for arts and crafts with small vendors, share games and rides with friends and family, take a moment to hug a furry friend at the petting zoo and listen to live music. This community festival has seen some pretty big names perform at one of the biggest parties in Northern Virginia, including Better Than Ezra, Smash Mouth, Cracker and EVERCLEAR.
Celebrate the nation’s birthday at the Capital surrounded by pride and our nation’s bravest. The Fourth of July at Arlington includes a patriotic Car Parade, live music, food and fireworks over the Potomac to culminate the day. Numerous smaller neighbourhood events also take place on this day for those wanting a smaller scale celebration, including bike rides, barbecues and ringing the famous bell of Arlington’s Constitution Garden Park. With the area’s national significance in government, our members of the armed forces and a strong sense of community, Arlington is a great place to spend the Fourth of July with family, friends and all.
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