White House in Washington, DC

Fairfax, Virginia

Living in Fairfax

A tale of contrasts, a 45-minute ride divides George Mason University’s two campuses in Fairfax, Virginia and Washington, DC. Fairfax offers a quiet beautiful area while the DC boasts the nation’s capital among a bustling metropolis. Known as a quiet, safe place, Fairfax ranks #3 on Forbes’ Top 25 Places to Live Well (2009). DC boasts some of the most amazing attractions in the world, including the (free) Smithsonian museums. And don’t forget the White House and Capitol building, which are the backbone of American government.

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Dining in and around town 

In both DC and Fairfax, there are thousands of restaurant choices to choose from that will satisfy any food craving. Indulge at upscale Italian spots like Dolce Vita and Bellissimo. Branch out at the modestly-priced Choolaah Indian BBQ or find American options like Artie’s and Coastal Flats. If you stay close to the Mason campus, you can choose from more than 25 on-campus restaurants with plenty of vegetarian, halal, gluten-free and Kosher options.

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Exploring Fairfax

Discovering your new home

Shopping your favorite brands

There are a number of great shopping areas in the Fairfax area, all with a wide array of options:

  • Fair Oaks Mall
  • Fairfax Corner
  • Old Town Plaza
  • Fairfax Shopping Center
  • Fairfax Square
  • Mosaic District

Getting around the city

Washington, DC has the second highest percentage of public transit commuters in the country (behind only New York City). It’s not hard to get where you need to go using the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The Fairfax Connector has a stop at the Mason campus and goes all the way into DC. You can also connect to the DC Metro from Fairfax. If you want to drive from Fairfax to DC, it’s only about a 45-minute ride.


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Mason life

Activities and attractions in Fairfax

What to see and do in Fairfax

As you can imagine, our nation’s capital has a great deal of historical landmarks to visit such as:

  • Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
  • White House tour
  • Angelika Film Center and Cafe
  • Kennedy Center

Sports in Virginia

While there are no professional sports teams in Fairfax, you can take the short ride to DC for just about any sporting event you would like to attend, including baseball’s Nationals, basketball’s Wizards, hockey’s Capitals and football’s Redskins.

Annual festivals and events

While in Fairfax, there are some great festivals to take in, such as the city’s Chocolate Lovers Festival, National Cherry Blossom Fest and the Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts. In DC you won’t have to go far to find a great festival filled with fun events. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival, DC Jazz Festival and Capital Fringe Festival are all big annual events. 

Careers in Fairfax

Find your perfect job

Fairfax after dark

When the sun goes down, check out these nightlife hotspots around campus:

  • The Auld Shebeen
  • Ned Devine's Irish Sports Pub & Restaurant
  • Fado Irish Pub
  • Hopsfrog Grille
  • Patriot's Pub & Grill
  • Grafton Street Restaurant & Pub
  • The Local Eatery and Pub
  • Davis's Pub
  • The James Joyce Pub
  • Full Moon Pub & Grill
  • Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub
  • Fado Irish Pub Annapolis
  • Primetime Sports Bar and Grille
  • Dolce Vita Ciccheti Wine Bar
  • Phoenicia Resto & Lounge
  • Revolution
  • Fat Tuesdays Raw Bar
  • The Hideout
  • Swift Run House Concert Series
  • The Auld Shebeen

Work where you live

Here are some of the best places to work in the Fairfax/Washington, DC area:

  • Avian
  • Department of State
  • Edelman Financial Services
  • Redfin
  • The Midtown Group
  • Novetta
  • NASA
  • Next Century