Let the countdown commence! In celebration of stepping into 2022, we're reflecting on the Top 9 Fairfax County captures of this past year as voted on by our Instagram followers. Here's our official countdown of 2021's best photos in #FXVA, from fiery sunsets to vibrant fall foliage. Be sure to follow us at @VisitFairfax - and to tag us in your adventures for a chance to be featured!


9) Spooky Season at Burke Nursery & Garden Centre

Photo credit: Burke Nursery & Garden Centre

Fall in Fairfax County is a BIG deal. It's the start of an epic festival season, stunningly beautiful foliage, and of course tricks and treats during the spooky season. It's no wonder that this pumpkin playground at Burke Nursery and Garden Center made the Top 9 roundup. Their annual Fall Farm Market brings fresh apple cider, gourds, locally-sourced organic honey, mulling spices, corn stalks, Halloween Decorations, and more delicious goodies! 


8) Fountainhead Regional Park's Autumnal Brilliance 

Photo credit: @trav.arnold

Every October in #FXVA, something magical happens. As the air gets crisp, our acres of green landscapes melt into yellow, orange, and red brilliance! Fountainhead Regional Park is a great place to watch this natural wonder happen from the gentle waters of the Occoquan Reservoir. The park has access to private boat launching for larger boats as well as access for canoes and kayaks. What a wonderful place for an autumn paddle!


7)  Reston's Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom 

Photo credit: @cris_hansford

The Cherry Blossom Festival season is a beloved DC Metropolitan tradition that celebrates the gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Tokyo to Washington DC in 1912. The blooming beauties have become a symbol of spring and a period of renewal that comes with the season. Aside from our nation's capital, the cherry blossoms also make an appearance around several spots in Fairfax County. This towering tree in Reston captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike this April. 


6)  Magical Sunsets at Huntley Meadows Park

Photo credit: Dave of @est__73

The proof is in the pudding: this is the second year in a row that a sunset shot at Huntley Meadows Park has made its way onto our Top 9 roundup! Not only that but the photo was shot by the same photographer, Dave, who consistently submits amazing photos around Fairfax County. Winding boardwalks, wildflower speckled meadows, amazing wildlife sightings, and fiery-orange sunsets make the magic at this local park undeniable. 


5) Fall Festival Season at Cox Farms

Photo credit: @coxfarmsva

Each October, the Fall Festival at Cox Farms draws visitors from all over the region! From their world-famous hayride to the corny Cornundrum and Fields of Fear, there's no shortage of festive fun (and haunts!) to be had there. Not to mention, tons of fall-themed photo ops - like the one pictured here in this photo landing at number five!


4)  A Biker's Bucket List Experience: The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail

Photo credit: @bikesbrewsbogeys

Bikers, add this one to your bucket list! Often called the "skinniest park in Virginia," the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail is a 45-mile paved trail that runs through #FXVA. Aside from biking and walking, there are tons of stops along the way that make your journey worthwhile. From breweries to chocolate shops, it's easy to discover your next adventure on the W&OD Trail.


3) Petal Peeping Paradise

Photo credit: Donna Moulton

Isn't it the best when spring is in full bloom? We think so too. Aside from the glorious gardens in Fairfax County, our local residents also have beautiful blooms on their properties. Each year, the Garden Club of Fairfax hosts Historic Garden Week - a week-long celebration where locals with picturesque historic homes and gardens open their gates for the public to visit. Details are TBD for 2022, but here's last year's article to get a taste of what there is to look forward to this year. 


2)  Tacky Christmas Lights Galore!

Photo credit: Holly's Tacky Christmas Lights

Flashing lights, animatronic reindeers, blow-up decorations, projector illuminations, and more! Fairfax County residents take their "Tacky" Christmas Lights very seriously every holiday season. From handmade props to toy trains, the most decked-out Christmas light displays in our local neighborhoods get better and better every year! It's no surprise the beloved tradition snagged the second spot on our list.


1)  A Day of Remembrance

Photo credit: @wwwchris

Topping our list as the most-liked photo of 2021 is this beautiful capture of the Pentagon, Air Force Memorial, and Remembrance Lights by the Tunnel To Towers Foundation in observance of the tragic incidents of September 11, 2001. This day, and every day, we pay homage to those who were lost and the first responders who bravely stepped in during a time of crisis.


Thank you to everyone who submitted their photos and tagged us over the course of 2021. Wishing everyone reading this a wonderful new year, filled with amazing adventures, delicious food and drinks, beautiful shots, and safety. Make sure to tag us in your photos using #FXVA! Who knows - you may be featured in next year's roundup. What were your favorite memories in Fairfax County this past year?  Let us know in the comments below.