Set in the heart of Fairfax County, the city of Fairfax is large and in charge. Dating back to the early 1800s, the area was originally home to farmer’s who resettled from the Tiderwater region of Virginia, and at that time was known as the Town of Providence. Rich with history dating back to the Civil War era, in 1874 the area was renamed “Town of Fairfax” and was incorporated as a city in 1961, separate from Fairfax County.
Today, Fairfax is a hub for living, working and education, with quaint residential neighborhoods, a downtown government center, and the state’s largest public research university, George Mason University. In 2009, Forbes Magazine ranked the City of Fairfax as No. 3 in its “Top 25 Places to Live Well”, commending its top schools and high median income. In addition to its educational and economic stability, Fairfax offers its residents a wide variety of arts and culture, with a variety of annual festivals, show’s and celebrations.
There are several distinct subsets of Fairfax we’ve outlined below:
Fair Lakes: Nestled in the western corner of Fairfax, close to Fair Oaks Mall, sits the area known as Fair Lakes. Fair Lakes offers its residents easy access to the Fairfax County Parkway and Rt. 29, as well as a wide variety of strip-mall style shopping centers and a number of grocery stores, all within very close proximity. Housing prices are reasonable, relatively speaking of course, and the culture is diverse.
Fairfax Corner: A few miles from Fair Lakes, in between Rt. 50 and Rt. 29, you’ll find Fairfax Corner – a town center of popular restaurants, shops, businesses and the RAVE cinema – just down the street from Wegmans grocery store, Fair Oaks Mall and the government center. Immediately surrounding the town center are mid-rise apartments and condominiums, and just outside of the town center limits are a plethora of townhome subdivisions with varying amenities. Residents range from recent college grads to established families, retirees and anyone in between!
Fairfax City: The historic downtown of Fairfax is known as Fairfax City, which includes several quaint streets of mom-and-pop shops and restaurants, along with a few bars and churches. Surrounding these streets you’ll find the Fairfax County Courthouse, a number of big box stores, small business offices, a retirement home, and diverse housing options. Located in close proximity to George Mason University, downtown Fairfax City attracts college students during the school year, but it is certainly more than your average college town, boasting annual festivals (like the Chocolate Lovers Festival every February!), farmer’s markets and Civil War sites such as the Civil War Interpretive Center at the historic Blenheim farmhouse on Old Lee Highway.
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