Welcome to Potomac Banks

You're invited to plan a trip to Potomac Banks. An area in southern Fairfax County steeped in history, culture, museums, natural resources and other attractions that tell the tale of the history of America. A visit here will place you in one of the most historically rich areas in the entire United States where you will find unique stories that make up the fabric of our local community and our nation as a whole.  

 
 
 
 

View the South County Tourism Destination Development Assessment Report


Potomac Banks Area Attractions

Revolution. Freedom. Innovation. Civil War. The attractions along this area near the Potomac River played a unique and powerful role in some of the most defining moments in U.S. history. For an authentic look into that past, look no further than the area's historic sites, museums, and living history displays. We open up the history book for you to walk in the footsteps where history was made.

River Farm Exterior - South County Page

American Horticultural Society – River Farm​
7931 E. Boulevard Drive 
Alexandria, VA 22308
703-768-5700
Open to the public from 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday. (free public access to River Farm)
Saturdays, 9am-1pm (April – October)

River Farm is the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. Situated on 25 landscaped acres overlooking the Potomac River, it is an idyllic escape within the Washington, D.C. area. 

Arcadia - South County page

Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture
9000 Richmond Highway 
Alexandria, VA 22309
571-384-8845
Open By Appointment Only

Arcadia is a non-profit sustainable farm that teaches military veterans to be farmers; introduces school children to food at its source; and grows food for under resourced neighborhoods in the metropolitan DC area.  Arcadia is dedicated to creating a more equitable, sustainable food system that supports public and environment health, from our farm forward. 

Gunston Hall mansion - south county page

George Mason's Gunston Hall
10709 Gunston Road
Mason Neck, VA 22079
703-550-9220
Open 9:30am-5pm every day except New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

Gunston Hall is a 554 acre historic site and the home of founding father George Mason. Whether you choose to explore the grounds, go on a guided tour of George Mason’s home, or attend any of our family-friendly events, every member of your group will thoroughly enjoy a visit to Gunston Hall.

George Washington Memorial Parkway - Dyke March

George Washington Memorial Parkway
George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 289-2500

This national treasure connects dozens of sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife while providing a scenic place to play, bike, hike, and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area. The parkway stretches from Great Falls Park in the north to George Washington's Mount Vernon in the south. National Park sites along the parkway include Arlington House, Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Great Falls Park, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, Fort Hunt Park, and many others.

Mount Vernon mansion - south county page

George Washington's Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Highway
Mount Vernon, VA 22121
703-780-2000
Open 365 days a year 9am-5pm

George Washington's Mount Vernon includes not only the Mansion - George and Martha Washington's home - but also a host of colonial era buildings, beautiful gardens, a working distillery and gristmill. The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center features 25 galleries and theaters, more than 700 artifacts, and interactive displays that introduce visitors to the real George Washington. 

Gum Springs Museum and Historical Society - south county page

Gum Springs Museum and Historical Society
8100 Fordson Road 
Gum Springs, VA 22306
703-799-1198
Open Tuesday through Friday 11am-4pm and Saturday 1pm-3pm

The community of Gum Springs is the oldest African American community in Fairfax County.  It was a free African American community pre-dating the Civil War.  The community has been in continuum to present day despite slavery, segregation, and the institution of Jim Crow. It is the aim of the Museum to display a dynamic exhibit of the history of the Gum Springs Community. The Museum is features an photographic exhibit of Gum Springs' residents and founding families. Many of these photos are close to 100 years old, some older.

Historic Huntley - south county page

Historic Huntley
6918 Harrison Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306
703-768-2525
Open dawn to dusk from March through November. The site hosts tours during specific hours and days.

Huntley was the country home of Thomson Francis Mason, a grandson of George Mason and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Huntley property contains a remarkable collection of buildings and has been called "one of Virginia’s undiscovered architectural treasures."

National Museum of the United States Army - south county page

National Museum of the United States Army
1775 Liberty Drive 
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Opening 2020

The Museum shines a unique light on the symbiotic relationship between Army and society, highlighting the Army’s direct influence on our nation socially, technologically, scientifically, financially, and culturally. The Museum will immerse visitors in 245 years of American Soldiers’ experiences wiith its various galleries, simulations and virtual reality experiences. Free admission, timed-ticket required to secure entry.

Turning Point Suffragist Memorial

Turning Point Suffragist Memorial
9751 Ox Road
Lorton, VA 22079
703-584-2900
Hours vary, check website for details

The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial honors the millions of suffragists who fought more than seven decades to win the vote for women. Their story is another hidden piece of women’s history even though it was a national campaign that included incidents of arrests, jail, torture and even death. The garden-style memorial ensures that the suffrage story is elevated to its proper place in history.

Workhouse Arts Center - south county page

Workhouse Arts Center (Workhouse Arts Foundation)
9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA 22079
703-584-2900
Hours vary, check website for details

The Workhouse Arts Center is a vibrant multidisciplinary arts center that offers visual arts exhibitions, performing arts events and concerts, festivals and celebrations, and houses approximately 85 resident and associate artists in a variety of mediums who work and exhibit on campus. In addition, the Workhouse presents the Lucy Burns Museum which houses artifacts, stories, photos, and prison cells relating to the suffrage history in the US and 91 years of prison history.

Woodlawn Estate and Pope-Leighey House - south county page

Woodlawn & Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House
9000 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA 22309
703-780-4000
Houses available for tours Friday-Monday 11am-4pm
Group tours available by appointment

At this historic site, we are dedicated to filling in the gaps of our site's cultural heritage, especially the stories of the enslaved, Freed Black communities and their descendants. On site you'll find a mansion, built in 1805, with connections to George Washington and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Pope-Leighey House.

Potomac Banks Parks, Outdoor Recreation, and Activities

Whether looking for activities to enjoy alone or with friends and family, South County has plenty to see and do on any given day.  Browse the locations below and see what awaits you on your next visit one of America's most historic areas.

  • 9200 Old Dominion Drive

The over 40-mile-long Cross County Trail (Fairfax CCT) runs through some of the county's most scenic areas, beginning at Great Falls Park on the mighty Potomac River and extending south to the Occoquan River and Laurel Hill, formerly known as Lorton Prison. Here, hikers, joggers…

  • 4710 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway

Grist Mill Park provides more than 75 acres of playing fields, garden plots, an off-leash dog area, a playground, an historic barn, parking, trails, and forest. It provides opportunities for park users to attend programs, camps, concerts, and sporting events; practice; exercise…

  • 3701 Lockheed Boulevard
  • 703-768-2525

Huntley Meadows Park, the largest park in Fairfax County, contains 1,554 acres of diverse habitat including wetlands, meadows and mature forest. In fact, in 1978, beavers built dams on Barnyard Run in the park and created the most important non-tidal wetland still remaining in…

  • 8701 Laurel Crest Drive
  • (703) 493-8849

Come experience Laurel Hill Golf Club, Northern Virginia's newest premier daily fee golf experience! Designer Bill Love, whose credits include the Iron Forge Course at Penn National and Hunting Hawk in Glenn Allen, Virginia, has created an impressive 18-hole course at Lorton…

  • 7301 High Point Rd.
  • (703) 339-2385

Mason Neck State Park is located on a peninsula formed by Pohick Bay, Belmont Bay and the Potomac River. In addition to being an active heron rookery, the park attracts several other migrating and non-migrating species of birds, including whistling swans and several species of…

  • 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane
  • (703) 642-0128

If you love fresh produce and home-baked goods, we have some great news for you. Whether it's honey straight from the hive, fresh cut flowers, or pasture-raised meat, you will find it all at the open-air Farmers Market of Mount Vernon.

  • 10406 Gunston Road
  • (703) 339-8009

The Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) offers 13.4 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of horseback riding trails and 6.6 miles of mountain biking trails. It is the site of 2 fishing ponds, (one of which is universally accessible), 800 acres of forest and meadows…

  • 2017 Belle View Boulevard
  • (703) 768-3224

The Mount Vernon RECenter is more than just a gym. This Fairfax County Park Authority recreation facility contains a 25-meter heated indoor pool with poolside spa, a child play area with play features, locker rooms with showers and a sauna. It also contains a fitness center…

  • 9751 Ox Road
  • (703) 690-2121

This spacious park is scenically located on the Occoquan River diagonally across from the Town of Occoquan. It offers 400 acres of recreational space and a touch of the past with its historic brick kilns and the memory of imprisoned women suffragists.

  • 6501 Pohick Bay Dr.
  • 703-339-6104

Pohick Bay is a water-oriented park 25 miles south of the nation's capital. The park occupies a spectacular bayside setting on the historic Mason Neck peninsula in Fairfax County. In early times, George Washington visited the area frequently. The area was also a hotbed of Civil…

  • 10301 Gunston Rd.
  • 703-339-8585

Pohick Bay is often named one of the area's most challenging courses. This scenic course is located on the Mason Neck Peninsula in Lorton, and includes a practice facility, featuring a driving range with sand traps, practice putting and chipping greens, and lessons from PGA pros.

  • 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy
  • (304) 535-4014

The National Park Service describes the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail as the “ultimate American heritage experience.” This trail system links the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, allowing visitors to traverse these historic pathways and waterways by…

Potomac Banks Historic Districts And Preserves

These irreplaceable reminders of our nation's past stand as reminders of where we came from.  Under protection from Fairfax County, the land where these sites reside are being preserved for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

  • 8600 Accotink Road
  • (703) 324-1380

Like many rural houses, Mount Air has had a succession of owners and building campaigns. Several maps prepared by George Washington showing his neighbors' properties include this site. The main portion of the present house dates from 1859, when it was rebuilt following a fire…

  • Old Colchester Road
  • (703) 324-8702

Old Colchester Park and Preserve along the Occoquan River contains some of the most significant archaeological and natural resources in Fairfax County’s park network. There is no parking, there are no facilities, and there are no marked trails. Archaeological investigations began…

  • 9301 Richmond Highway
  • (703) 339-6572

In 18th century Virginia, the parishes of the established Church of England carried out many essential civil responsibilities such as caring for the poor, procession of land, and collecting levies. Truro Parish, the administrative office serving Pohick Church, was founded to…

Virtual Tours of Potomac Banks Sites

Woodlawn Estate

Get a glimpse of the grounds surrounding the first property managed by the National Trust…