Potomac Banks Attractions

Revolution. Freedom. Innovation. Civil War. The attractions along this area near the Potomac River here in Northern Virginia 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
Open to the public for free, Monday – Saturday
(call for hours)

River Farm, part of George Washington’s original five farms, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.


10 Ways to Experience Mount Vernon

  • 6 minute read

Fairfax County is blessed with an enormous array of incredible attractions, but it goes without saying that George Washington’s Mount Vernon is one of the most popular sites in the county. In fact, as the residence of our first…


10 Must-See Experiences at the National Museum of the U.S. Army

  • 6 minute read

The National Museum of the United States Army, located on the publicly accessible area of Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax County, is the first comprehensive and truly national museum to capture, display and interpret the Army's…


Women's History in #FXVA: The Women Who Saved Mount Vernon

  • 6 minute read

One of the most treasured historic estates in America (and possibly the world) is George Washington's Mount Vernon. Given the popularity and reverence of POTUS 1 back in the day, one could easily assume that plans would have been in…

Food & Drink

Finding Art, Nature & History in Burke & Lorton

  • 7 minute read

The Ox Road (Route 123) corridor running from Fairfax Station to Pohick Bay can sometimes be overlooked as a commuter community or military neighborhood due to its proximity to Fort Belvoir and access to Interstate 95. And when you travel…

Things to Do

7 Best Things to Do in Lorton

  • 5 minute read

With its stunning natural beauty, fascinating history, and arts and culture scene, Lorton is a unique and eclectic part of Fairfax County to explore and play. Whether you're a naturalist, history buff, golfer, beer drinker, or anything…