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Neighborhood Fairfax

Known for its historic charm and small town atmosphere, Fairfax features stately Colonials and brick sidewalks lined with mature oaks, maples, and flowering dogwoods. For all its old world grandeur, Fairfax has a youthful energy and is considered one of the healthiest college towns in the United States.

Fairfax is an independent city in the northern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the seat of Fairfax County. Located roughly 14 miles west of Washington, D.C., the city spans six square miles and has a population of 24,146 as of 2020. It is home to George Mason University and Fairfax University of America (formerly called Virginia International University).

The area was inhabited by Native Americans before the arrival of European settlers and farmers in the early 18th century. Fairfax was founded as the Town of Providence in 1805 and gets its present name from the 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Thomas Fairfax. It became an independent city in 1961.

What You'll Love About Fairfax

  • World-class recreation: Residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to leisure and relaxation. Sports fans will enjoy the EagleBank Arena (formerly The Patriot Center) is a 10,000-seat venue that hosts basketball games, concerts, and other events, as well as the Penderbrook Golf Club, which features an 18-hole, par 71 golf course with tight fairways, water hazards, and rolling terrain.

    The Fairfax Ice Arena is a premier indoor ice skating rink offering year-round public skating, competitive figure skating, and adult ice hockey sessions. The facility is home of the Fairfax Hockey League and the Skating Club of Northern Virginia.

    Other recreational facilities include Bowl America Fairfax and the Ultrazone® Laser Tag & Amusement Center, which offers laser tag and arcade games.

  • Rich history: The city is best known for the Fairfax Courthouse, which was constructed in 1799 and restored in 1967. It houses the Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center, which harbors records dating from 1742 through the 1900s. The Old Town Square features lush gardens and hosts community events and festivals.

    Ox Hill Battlefield Park was the site of a Civil War battle between Confederate and Union soldiers. The 4.8-acre park is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails program with  scenic walking paths and interpretive signs. The Site of Reid-Ballard House Marker is located just south of the park.

    The Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center features a brick farmhouse that was built in 1859 and features graffiti such as drawings, poems, messages, and signatures scrawled on the walls by soldiers during the Civil War. The Civil War Interpretive Center is housed in a separate building on the 12-acre grounds and features a replica of the house attic.

  • Upscale shopping and dining: Fair City Mall, Fairfax Corner, and Fair Oaks Mall feature major retailers, local boutiques, casual dining restaurants, and multi-screen cinemas. Retailers include JCPenney, Macy's, Pottery Barn, and Sephore while restaurants serve a wide range of cuisines from Hawaiian and Japanese to Brazilian and Mediterranean.
  • Vibrant arts and culture: The Hub Theatre  and the George Mason University Center for the Arts presents live performances featuring renowned artists and ensembles. Cinema Theatre Arts and University Mall Theatre are local and independently-owned film theaters.

    The Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center is housed in the former Fairfax Elementary School that dates back to 1873 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Children's Science Center Lab is an interactive museum where children can learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through fun exhibits and hands-on activities.

Real Estate In Fairfax

Fairfax offers spacious single-family homes, townhomes, and condos. The most desirable properties are situated on large wooded lots. Some of the condo and apartment buildings in the city feature exquisite red brick exteriors and provide access to shared amenities.

Notable neighborhoods in and around Fairfax include:

Fairfax Listings

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BRIGHT(MRIS/Trend) data last updated at May 19, 2024 10:47 PM ET

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