With a fresh new year comes a fresh new perspective – and some pretty incredible things to look forward to here in Fairfax County.
Here’s a preview of what’s new in 2022 in Fairfax County. What are you most excited about for the new year?
Image courtesy Capital One Center
Fairfax County attractions are working on some exciting things for the coming year, from new exhibits to performing arts and even some pick-your-own experiences and putt-putt in the sky!
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon will unveil an all-new exhibit at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum entitled “Becoming Mount Vernon” in February 2022 that will take a broader look at how Mount Vernon came to be, from Native Americans through Washington’s ownership and into preservation efforts. New specialty tours include the Founding Flowers garden tour and the Hamilton: The Musical tour. Also new: a free app that pairs with virtual reality devices to give users an immersive tour of the property.
- George Mason’s Gunston Hall is restoring its magnificent river-side garden, which will enhance the authenticity of the historic property, reveal much about the Founding Father himself, and provide an educational setting as distinctive as Mason’s original garden design for the signature landscape feature of his home – the Home of American Rights. The restoration is the culmination of more than four decades of archaeological research.
- By now, hopefully, you’ve heard about the incredible lifestyle and entertainment options that Capital One Center has brought to Tysons, including The Perch, a 1.2-acre Skypark located 11 stories above the region’s newest performing arts center, Capital One Hall. This spring, there’s even more fun to be had at The Perch, when an 18-hole mini-golf course will open for business, as well as an innovative food truck experience featuring a double-decker London tour bus, an Airstream, and a vintage Flxible bus. (ICYMI: Video of when they craned the food trucks up, Mission Impossible-style!) Also, keep an eye out for the second annual Perchfest event and a slew of restaurant announcements at the Center, slated to open in late 2022.
- The Workhouse Arts Center has a slew of exciting announcements coming down the pike, including a new performing arts season comprised of live main stage productions, matinee family productions, stand-up comedy, and more that will continue throughout spring 2022. Summer 2022 will bring back the popular Workhouse Brewfest and some major infrastructure improvements are on deck for the near future that will bring vibrant commercial and performing spaces to the campus.
- When the Gibbs family decided to open Hidden Gems Farm in Centreville, it was initially to create better food and products for their family. Eventually, they wanted to share that with the community. Today, Hidden Gems Farm is truly a bespoke treasure in Fairfax County, offering the public intimate Pick-Your-Own opportunities for blueberries, strawberries, sunflowers, and pumpkins seasonally, animal interactions, food products, and a line of home and beauty goods made from goat’s milk.
Image by Anne Chan Photography, courtesy Bloomingdale's
From new shopping experiences to some new heart-pumping fitness centers, you can enjoy a number of retail and sports-related activities this year in Fairfax County:
- Trendy urban village Mosaic recently landed the first-ever location of Bloomie’s, an exclusive retail experience from Bloomingdale’s. The highly curated boutique concept also serves up cocktails, coffee, & small bites from the Cuban-style Colada Shop, plus a monthly calendar of lifestyle services.
- Luxury landmark Tysons Galleria is unveiling new dining & entertainment options that include a CMX CinéBistro, a Bowlero, an outdoor plaza & streetscape, showrooms for retailers like Arhaus and Crate & Barrel, and upscale common areas for recharging or resting.
- Aslin Beer Co, known for its innovative brews and sour ales, has launched its own coffee brand that will focus on the consumer, farmers, and the planet through sustainable sourcing, environmentally friendly packaging, and advanced brewing methods. Leading the charge for Aslin Coffee will be Danielle “Dani” Moreno, a Culinary Institute of America graduate. Beans are available on AslinCoffee.com and at both tasting rooms until physical locations open later this year.
- For fitness lovers, Vertical Rock Climbing & Fitness brings bouldering to Tysons, with the opening of a new facility in April of 2022. The center will offer one-of-a-kind training, 9,000 sq. ft. of bouldering terrain and a 2,000 sq. ft. coffee bar and full café. In Reston, it was announced that The St. James Performance Club will open at Reston Town Center in spring of 2022, an extension of its flagship location in Springfield and offering state-of-the-art training equipment, services, and classes.
Image courtesy George Washington's Mount Vernon
Fairfax County is home to a number of wonderful craft breweries and unique wineries, but the insatiable thirst for local Virginia beer, wine, and spirits means that the scene continues to grow. Check out some of the new opportunities coming that will keep your glass (more than half) full this year:
- Merrifield-based Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. celebrated its third anniversary in 2021 by announcing it will open a second location in Fairfax County in the spring of 2022. Settle Down Easy – Oakton Tasting Room will specialize in SDE Belgian drafts, but also serve up a rotating selection of other Fairfax County breweries, in addition to local wine and cider. Gourmet paninis and other fresh fares will be served up by The Fermented Pig, in an exclusive partnership that gives the local vendor its first-ever brick-and-mortar space.
- Juicy Brewing Co., a new startup brewery, aims to open a small taproom in Herndon in early 2022 and will feature a mix of fruity sours to hazy IPAs.
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon has released its first-ever 18th century-inspired beer in a partnership with Northern Virginia brewery Dynasty Brewing. Inspired by George Washington’s love of porter, the first two releases are Mount Vernon Virginia’s Porter and Mount Vernon Rye Cask Aged Porter. The latter beer was aged in barrels previously used for whiskey production at George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill. In March 2022, seasonal beers inspired by Washington’s Rules of Civility will be released regularly. Beers can be purchased at the Shops at Mount Vernon.
- George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, located 3 miles from the Mount Vernon estate, still produces Washington’s famous Rye Whiskey using his 18th-century recipe and methods. While the site has begun doing limited spirits tastings, visitors will be able to enjoy a new, permanent tasting room on the property in 2022.
- Coming soon to Tysons will be Northern Virginia’s first roaming outdoor lifestyle experience - a Biergarten made of shipping containers with varied food and drink concepts called Shipgarten.
- Also, coming to Herndon: the 2,000-sq-ft, Bavarian-style Herndon Biergarten with 60+ drafts and rooftop deck.
- Visit Fairfax has launched a new digital passport that allows guests to check in at area breweries and wineries to collect deals and incentives. Fairfax County’s Locally Poured Field Guide can be added to users’ phones at no cost and easily shown at participating taprooms for redemption.
Image by Kip Dawkins Photography for Archer Hotel Tysons
Weekend getaways, vacations, and even staycations have never sounded better after the few years we’ve mutually endured. And lucky for you, Fairfax County has some brand-new additions to its vast hotel collection, as well as some stunning renovations waiting to be enjoyed. Here are a few hotels to consider for your next trip:
- The Archer Tysons is a 178-room boutique hotel in Tysons, and only the seventh property for the award-winning boutique brand that places major emphasis on local discoveries, with a distinct nod to the destination each property calls home. The Archer Tysons greets guests with a spirit of casual elegance - lofted ceilings, exposed brick, and industrial-chic design – and hones in on the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand featuring an impressive variety of Virginia-focused art and products. Nestled in Tysons' up-and-coming neighborhood, Scotts Run, and adjacent to the new Capital One Center complex, The Archer Tysons also features a buzzy hotel bar called AKB, stylish event space, and unique design palettes.
- The Watermark Hotel is a 300-key, all-suite elevated residential-style property located at Capital One Center, the new entertainment complex at the corporation’s headquarters in Tysons, Virginia. The hotel has been thoughtfully designed with oversized suites, upscale furnishings and convenient access to Northern Virginia & Washington, DC’s amenities. The property’s lobby opens up to The Perch and is also home to Wren Tysons, a Japanese American fusion dining experience, which was already included in a round-up of the “Hottest New Restaurants Around DC” by Eater.
- The Archer Falls Church joins Washington, DC-area’s innovative retail and entertainment district, Mosaic, as its headquarter hotel property. This transformation of a former Hyatt House to the new Archer brand will feature chic new interiors, dramatic lighting, locally curated art and fabulous finishes, touches and trims, a new lively bar under the AKB brand, redesigned suites and guest rooms, complimentary amenities and thoughtful touches like turndown treats, bathrobes and slippers, and a drink + dine credit for direct bookings. The hotel will remain open for guests throughout the renovations, which are currently underway.
- Tysons Corner Marriott recently completed a $25 million floor-to-ceiling renovation. Some of the enhancements included a new lobby, 400 fully transformed guest rooms, over 12,000 square feet of reimagined event space and two additional event spaces, a state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bikes, a refreshed dining space inspired by a sophisticated Gastropub, and the addition of a 24-hour M Club for Marriott Bonvoy members.
Image of Bluestone Lane, courtesy The Boro
Lest you get hungry after enjoying all of this fun, try a few of these exciting new restaurants coming to or already opened in Fairfax County:
- Popular Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão will be opening at Reston Town Center in mid-2022
- Chevy Chase, DC favorite Little Beast recently opened a location at RTC West, also offering cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery
- Shake Shack will be opening at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in 2022
- In Tysons at The Boro, look for new additions to include taco & tequila favorite El Bebe, brunch staple Circa, and the already-opened, Australian coffee shop Bluestone Lane, among others
- If you haven't been by Lily's Chocolate & Coffee in Vienna yet, give this gorgeous Instagrammable cafe a shot. It's the only place in the USA to serve Lokma, an Iraqi dessert.
- Jake's Ice Cream, an artisanal small-batch ice cream shop partly staffed by differently-abled adults, opened in Falls Church this past year.
- KitchenCray Cafe, a Black-owned restaurant with a modern take on Cajun and Soul food, opened its Alexandria location last year and is quickly becoming a hidden gem in the southern part of #FXVA.
- Honest Grill, a premium Korean BBQ spot in Centreville, features high-end meats that aren't always available in the area.
Image courtesy WMATA
- For the first time since Dulles Airport opened in 1962, travelers will have a fast, easy, inexpensive rapid transit option for getting from Dulles to parts of Fairfax County and other points throughout Northern Virginia and Washington, DC when the Silver Line Metrorail extension opens - sometime this year!