Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County, Virginia)

At a Glance

Welcome to Northern Virginia, Gateway To The Nation’s Capital! Just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Northern Virginia, including Arlington, Alexandria and the eastern portion of Fairfax County, once comprised the original District west of Potomac as laid out by George Washington. Northern Virginia lies closest to the monuments, museums and other attractions at the core of the Washington, DC which is only minutes away by metro or car across one of several crossing points under and across the Potomac.

Many of the Capital area’s most famous attractions are found in Northern Virginia. These attractions span the time from the colonial period to the emergence of America as the preeminent national power in the twentieth century.

Today, spawned by this post war preeminence and growth of the US as a world power, technology given birth by military and other governmental research has created what has become a thriving national center developing new mediums for communicating and leading the nation into the 21st century. This growth has transformed a rolling tree covered rural farming area into a region that is home to over one and a half million people who live and work in Northern Virginia and the metro area while maintaining links with its historic past. Come to Northern Virginia “Gateway to the Nations Capital” to see all the Capital area has to offer.

Places to Stay

Northern Virginia has over 200 hotels and motels from luxury to budget to meet all your travel needs. Many are conveniently located just off I-95 and the Beltway (I-495). Check out the Virginia lodging section of the this guide or one of the links below for more information on Northern Virginia lodging.

Places to Eat

Northern Virginia offers over 1,500 restaurants from fast food to fine dining. The area, particularly Arlington and Alexandria offer many ethnic restaurants indicative of the multi-culturalism found in the Washington, DC – Northern Virginia area. Check the links below to for access to dining in Northern Virginia.

Places to Go

From the colonial period the influence of George Washington and the founding fathers is found here in abundance. George Washington truly does sleep in Northern Virginia. He and his devoted wife Martha are interred at his colonial estate, Mount Vernon, on the shore of the Potomac in southern Fairfax County. The history of Washington and the colonial and revolutionary war period can also be found nearby at other Washington related sites such as Woodlawn Plantation, River Farm and Gunston Hall, the estate of Washington’s contemporary, George Mason, who is called the father of the bill of rights. At Great Falls of the Potomac in eastern Fairfax County remains can be found the remains of the town of Matildaville and the Patowmack Canal who’s founder was George Washington.

The Civil War’s first conflicts were fought in Northern Virginia at Manassas (Bull Run) in 1861. The second Battle of Manassas occurred in the same area in 1862. The area is preserved and offers a visitors center and museum depicting the two conflicts at the site. The commander of the Confederate forces General Robert E. Lee, and his wife Mary Custis Lee, the great granddaughter of Martha Washington, lived in the family estate, now known as Arlington House, from 1831 to 1861. The home with a commanding view of the city of Washington from the western side of the Potomac, was to become the site of one of the most hollowed grounds in our nation, Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of military and other national leaders such as John F. Kennedy and a reminder of high the price of freedom..

Along the Potomac on the eastern edge of Arlington Cemetery is the Pentagon, the world largest office building and a symbol of the emergence after World War II of the US as the leading non-communist nation in the cold war period. See these and the many other attractions that Northern Virgiina and Washington, DC have to offer on your way throught the I-95 corridor.

Getting Around

By car, Northern Virginia and the Capital Region are easily accessible from the I-95 corridor which dissects the area. I-95 becomes I-495 (The Capital Beltway) and encircles Washington, DC and the inner suburbs of Virginia and Maryland, providing easy access to Washington and suburban attractions. From I-95 (northbound) approaching from south of Washington, DC, I-395 runs from the Capital Beltway into downtown Washington, DC through the portions of Fairfax County, Alexandria and Arlington. Also from the west I-66, runs from the intersection of I-81 in the northwestern area of Virginia near Front Royal, through the Virginia suburbs (Arlington and Fairfax counties) to across the Potomac River terminating near the Lincoln Memorial on Constitution Avenue in downtown Washington, DC.

Access to the area is also provided by US Routes 50 and 29 from the east and west and US Route 1 form north to south. It is highly recommended that visitors avoid these roads during rush hours during the week.

Links

Need more? Try these links for additional information about Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County, Virginia).

The I-95 Exit Information Guide
“Flat out, the single best website for auto travelers on the Net” — Yahoo’s Internet Life Magazine

See DC Stay VA
SeeDCStayVA, a travel guide to the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area from the Virginia side of the Potomac. Check here for detailed information about area attractions, hotels, dining, transportation and other valuable information.

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