Story Ideas & What's New
Visit Fairfax loves working with writers to help showcase all the beauty and history of Fairfax County. Visitors can have multi-generational experiences here, a romantic getaway, a kid-friendly adventure, or a relaxing weekend trip away. From arts to nature, to dining and shopping, to history and culture, we've compiled a list of some story ideas that could offer an interesting angle for your next assignment.
To workshop any of these story angles, or for further information, please contact Ali Morris at AMorris@fxva.com.
Complement Your DC Trip
In Fairfax County, you can delve deeper into America’s history – even after you’ve seen Washington, DC’s iconic monuments and memorials. Pair the two destinations together for a complementary experience. Take in the Washington Monument, but then learn why they created such a grand monument in George Washington’s name at his home, Mount Vernon. Or, visit the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in DC to learn about the history of air and space flight, but then head to Fairfax County to walk amongst the machines, planes, and space shuttles that powered this history at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. There are stories like this all around Fairfax County just waiting to be told.
Nothing will give you a taste of history more than exploring the fascinating historic homes of Fairfax County. Trace the steps of two famous George’s at the 18th-century homes of our nation’s president, George Washington, or the Father of the Bill of Rights, George Mason. Glimpse into the mind of Frank Lloyd Wright at his Usonian masterpiece, the Pope-Leighey House. Or dive into the diverse and captivating history of Woodlawn Estate, the first-ever site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Fairfax County is home to a multitude of sites and stories that celebrate the contributions of women to the United States. Visit two critical sites that celebrate the fight for women’s equality during the suffrage movement. Then learn about how one woman helped create America’s first national wildlife refuge for the protection of bald eagles and how another donated land and funding to create America’s only National Park for the performing arts. Finally, honor the forward-thinking women responsible for saving George Washington’s home, creating one of the earliest preservation organizations in the U.S.
The African American experience is intricately entwined in the rich tapestry of Fairfax County’s history and in America’s story. From one of the oldest thriving African American communities in the U.S. to the site of the first rural NAACP office to the last remaining African American school in Northern Virginia, and to several sites on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, Fairfax County gives you ample opportunities to reflect on the sacrifices and vital contributions that African Americans have made throughout our history.
With the Union capital of Washington to the east and the Confederate capital of Richmond to the south, Fairfax County was firmly in the center of the Civil War conflict and was the site of several important battles. Today, Northern Virginia is home to multiple museums, battle sites, and poignant historic venues telling the story of the most turbulent time in American history. Pair this with a visit to some of DC’s most iconic monuments and memorials and don’t miss the soaring new National Museum of the U.S. Army, located near Fort Belvoir.
Wildlife & Outdoor Recreation
If you enjoy Mother Nature, then you’ve come to the right place. At Fairfax County’s 400+ parks, marshes, and gardens, you can rent a canoe or kayak, hike, bike, or horseback ride on nature trails. Or witness the mighty power of the Great Falls rapids. Located along the “Atlantic Flyway,” bird lovers can watch millions of birds of prey, songbirds, and waterfowl migrate through the region or reflect on the nation’s symbol at America’s first-ever bald eagle refuge at Mason Neck.
Take your taste buds on a tour around the world without ever leaving Northern Virginia. Fairfax County - and its surrounding localities - boasts an exceptional and staggering array of globally inspired cuisine, from Uyghur and Australian to Afghan and Ethiopian. In fact, here you will also find many exclusive concepts - the first Iraqi dessert shop in the U.S. that specializes in lokma and one of the only places in the States that serves an all-day Pakistani breakfast.
Made in Fairfax
Home to an incredible and diverse group of artisan makers, Fairfax County embraces locally made products and the people who create them. From creamy peanut butter made with Virginia peanuts and blended with a variety of flavors like espresso, bee pollen, and turmeric, to meticulously painted tea towels featuring the landmarks of the region, to handcrafted chocolate made from sustainably-sourced cacao beans, there are a variety of gift ideas or unique experiences in Fairfax County to satisfy your urge to buy local.
Beer & Wine Profiles
Known as the “Gateway to Virginia’s Wine Country,” Fairfax County’s two uniquely historic vineyards are easily accessible during a stay in the Capital Region and give visitors a taste of why Virginia is considered an up-and-coming wine destination. The craft brew scene continues to boom and many local brewmasters work with local makers to craft delicious beer profiles, using cacao husks from a neighboring chocolate factory or single-origin coffee beans from the neighborhood roastery. Pair these with unique concepts like a hazy IPA made with 50 lbs. of gummy bears or a spicy ale blended with jalapenos and honey.
Arts & Culture
From an incredibly unique prison-turned-arts center with ties to women’s suffragists and the only public Frank Lloyd Wright home in Virginia to America’s only national park dedicated to the performing arts, Fairfax County showcases the talent of an amazing array of artists and performers. Pair this with larger-than-life murals, self-guided public art walking tours, or a venture to see an intricately designed, handcrafted Korean Bell Garden for an arts experience you’ll never forget.
Hands-On Educational Fun
Get hands-on at Fairfax County’s array of immersive and educational attractions. From stepping into the shoes of George Washington at Mount Vernon’s digital “Be Washington” interface and the G-STEM activities at the National Museum of the U.S. Army to the simulator rides at the National Air and Space Museum and the Experiment Bar at the Children’s Science Center Lab, kids and adults will be having so much fun they might not even realize they’re learning!
Embrace a luxurious getaway with a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, conveniently attached to Tysons Galleria, known as the “Rodeo Drive of the East Coast.” Browse brands like Versace, Chanel, or Rolex and end your day with a spa treatment and wine tasting at the hotel. A short drive away, dine at one of the region’s most exclusive restaurants, L’Auberge Chez Francois, or visit one of Fairfax County’s two stunning wineries.
One & Only's
Washington, DC isn't the only place to find one-of-a-kind experiences. Northern Virginia, just around the corner, offers a long list of attractions that can only be seen in Fairfax County. From the only National Park for the Performing Arts (Wolf Trap) to the only public Korean bell pavilion in the Western Hemisphere (Meadowlark Gardens' Korean Bell Garden) to the only place you can see the iconic Space Shuttle Discovery at an arm's length (Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center), Fairfax County is a unique destination that appeals to any type of traveler.
Behind every destination is a story. In Fairfax County, these stories are found in the everyday people who live, work, and play here. These people come from every corner of Fairfax County and are bound together by passion, craftsmanship, and authenticity. Learn why the pilots of the fastest jet in the world couldn't talk about the earth-shattering records they were breaking. Find out what three-ton object sets one Northern Virginia garden apart from all others. Hear how George Washington's famous rye whiskey was distilled in the 18th Century. Add lesser-known attractions to your travel to-do list, including a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece and a former prison-turned arts center. From the park rangers and chefs to the museum docents and town mayors, meet these passionate experts who know Fairfax County best. Watch, learn, and see which story speaks to you at http://www.fxva.com/storytellers.
Skinniest Park in Virginia
Fairfax County, Virginia is home to the "skinniest park in Virginia" -- the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. This trail is one of the longest parks ever, with 45 miles of paved trail for walking, running, bicycling, and skating, with an additional adjacent 32 miles of gravel trail for horseback riding! Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the multi-use W&OD Trail runs from just east of Fairfax County all the way west through Purcellville, Virginia.
Sustainable Farm Practices
Arcadia Farm is located only a short distance from Washington, DC, on the grounds of Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House. Not only is Arcadia a working farm that is open to the public, but it is also an educational non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the National Capital Region. They have three unique programs. The first is Education and Community Engagement, where new and aspiring farmers learn how to grow food on the grounds using environmentally conscious methods and students learn about healthy eating and growing practices. The second is Environmental Stewardship, where the food is grown using only sustainable growing practices such as cover cropping, composting, no synthetic sprays and more. The third program is Food Access, which provides affordable food to low-income, low-food access communities through Arcadia's Mobile Market bus. Arcadia is also responsible for all of the catering done at Woodlawn Estate events, and also has developed the Farm to School program, which connects schools with healthy, local food for school meals and provides hands-on food & farm education.
Play for All Abilities
Clemyjontri Park, located in McLean, Virginia is a one-of-a-kind, 18.5-acre park that features a two-acre playground for all children, including those with disabilities. The unique layout and educational aspects of the playground were designed to blur the line between physically able and physically challenged children, thus giving the latter the ability to succeed. The playground hosts 200,000 visitors a year. With a carousel strategically placed as the central axis, the playground is broken up into four "rooms" - the Rainbow, Schoolhouse, Movin' and Groovin' and Fitness & Fun - that promote various stages of development.