They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but these awe-inspiring images of Fairfax County are bound to leave you speechless! Each year, talented locals and visitors alike take captures that showcase the diversity and beauty of our natural landscapes and attractions through photography. Here's the official countdown of the Top 9 photos of 2020 in #FXVA as voted by our Instagram followers. Follow us on Instagram at @VisitFairfax for more daily inspiration and maybe you'll see your photo here in the future!

9) Space Shuttle Discovery

Photo Credit: M. Arvind Photography

The Space Shuttle Discovery is an iconic artifact of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which houses the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world. Standing tall in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, adjacent to the Dulles International Airport, Discovery immediately captures everyone's attention upon walking into the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar. It's no wonder that it grabbed the attention of Instagrammers as well! Although the museum is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, you can take a virtual tour in the meantime. 


8) National Park Week

Photo Credit: 1) Dave of @est__73, 2) Mehmet Toroglu, 3) PhotosbyBlaine, 4) Na Lu, 5) Praveen Ponna

The cameras don't lie - Fairfax County is an amazing place to celebrate National Park Week! If you're looking to experience these incredible scenes for yourself, be sure to check out our hiking trails for a picture-perfect walk through nature. 


7) Fairfax Tacky Christmas Lights

Photo Credit: Holly Zell of Holly's Tacky Christmas Lights

During the holiday season, Fairfax County's residents take "Deck the Halls" to new heights with their at-home Christmas light displays. Seriously - you can probably see some of them from space! Be sure to bookmark Where to Find the Best Tacky Christmas Lights in Fairfax County and check back next year to join in the fanfare! 


6) Great Falls Park

Photo Credit: Aaron Facciolini

The view at Great Falls Park is unlike any other in Fairfax County. The mighty roar of the thunderous waves, steep cliffs, and miles of trails make you feel so small in comparison. Pastel pinks, yellows, and blues decorate the sky over the rapids in this amazing photo. In this moment, it appears as if time stands still. 


5) Burke Lake Park

Photo Credit: Sven Rajala

Who can resist these cotton candy skies at Burke Lake Park? This scene looks as if a dreamy watercolor painting came to life. Lucky for us, we get to witness the moment through this perfectly-timed snapshot. 


4) Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Photo Credit: Tom Stovall

At Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, beauty and discovery flourish during autumn throughout its 95 rolling acres. Since the complex is home to plants that are native to each of Virginia's geographical regions, a visit is like seeing the entire Commonwealth in spectacular fall colors in just one beautiful and expansive garden! It's clear from this fan-favorite capture that Meadowlark's unmistakable beauty is well-deserving of a seat at the top-nine table. 


3) Spring St, Herndon

Photo Credit: Holly Zell 

Let’s face it: 2020 was a pretty scary year. If there ever was a proper time to embrace that spookiness, it was Halloween! For the first time ever, Holly Zell of Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights put together a map of the best home haunts in Fairfax County. Skeletal pirates spooked passersby from the roof to the mailbox of this historic Herndon home. Check out more of the featured homes in our round-up from this past year, featuring some of Holly's favorites. 

2) Burke Lake Park

Photo Credit: Fairfax Parks

Making its second appearance on the list, Burke Lake Park takes another spot in our countdown for its amazing fall scenery. Every autumn, green spaces melt into breathtaking golds, reds, and oranges. Plus, the reflection in the 218-acre lake means double the fall foliage! Be sure to follow our friends at the Fairfax County Park Authority (@fairfaxparks) for more park scenery and outdoor fun all year long. 


1) Huntley Meadows Park

Photo Credit: Dave of @est__73

Huntley Meadows Park is best known for its winding boardwalks, wildflower-speckled meadows, tranquil trails, and animal sightings. However, its best-kept secret is the splendor of fiery sunsets as they reflect off of mirror-like waters at the end of the day. It's no wonder the scene snagged the top photo of the year! 


There you have it - the top 9 photos of Fairfax County in 2020! This new year will bring more adventures, beautiful scenes, and togetherness. Be sure to savor every moment, and tag us in your photos using #FXVA! Who knows - you may be featured in the 2021 roundup! Where are your favorite places to take photos in our region? Let us know in the comments below.