Any advice to someone moving to Fairfax, Virginia?

Long story short:

Geneb got promoted, and we get to move to Fairfax in the end of October. (Fair lakes area). He does programming, I do painting (the latter is easy to do and make ends meet in South-west Virginia. Both subject matter and tourists with love of nature scenes abound.)


What is Fairfax like, other than the abundant cars and strip malls? Does one really have to travel to DC or one of the small historic towns an hour or so away to get their WCI (weekly cultural injection)? Is there much in a way of foreign food stores? Anything else that a mildly frazzled young couple that’s been living in a town of 10,000 for the past 4 years should know…?

You’re not too far from Global Food in Manassas. it’s a pan-Asian, Pan-Latino megastore and worth the trip.

Bring money. :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re about 22 miles from the National Gallery of Art. the Smithsonian, etc. If you’re not trying to get there between 8-9:30 AM or 4:40-6:00 PM, you can make the drive on Rt 66 in about 30 minutes.

You’re aslo about 7 miles(15 minutes) from the only decent BBQ in the DC area. Willard’s in Chantilly.

I live in Fairfax County (well Falls Church, a city within the county.) There’s plenty to do, which I will write about in more depth once I get off my phone and onto a computer shortly.

Horse country, if you ride. Fairfax Hunt is in Loudon county.


Like many things, it depends. There are lots of Asian markets in the area. Music venues are plentiful.

Where are you moving from?

I live in Loudoun County, about fifteen minutes from Fair Lakes (without rush hour). I like it here, and I do think there’s a lot to do, even outside DC. There are always cultural events going on, like music and community plays, plus there are a handful of good movie theaters that show stuff outside of the usual blockbusters. You’re also not too far from the Vienna Metro station, if you don’t want to drive into DC. As far as food, you’ll be very close to a Whole Foods, and there’s also a Lotte Plaza (excellent Asian grocery story) in both Chantilly and Fairfax. Plus, there are lots of different restaurants within a decent driving distance, everything from Indian to Ethiopian to Peruvian.

I’ve lived here for about three years, and other than the gridlock and somewhat cookie cutter nature of some areas, I like it a lot. Good luck!

That is a relief. Will check out the BBQ and the Plaza places when we’ll be down there mid-October to look at apartments.

Thank you, guys. :slight_smile:

I have been to the Bombay Gardens in Fairfax a few times and found it really good. They specialize in “Coastal cuisine,” which focuses on the seafood cuisine of the Arabian Sea coast from Bombay to Goa to Kerala.

We’re moving from Abingdon, VA.

I live close to where you’ll be moving and I’m from close to Abingdon originally (Russell County).

Not from Lebanon, by chance?

The VA Route 236 corridor between and in Fairfax and Annandale is one of the biggest Koreatowns in the country. Some businesses don’t even bother translating their signs into English because they get enough Korean speaking business it isn’t worth it.

You are within 50 miles of a huge slice of Civil War history. There are Civil War historic marker literally all over the place.

Castlewood area.

Thank you muchly.

You might like Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide. As far as grocery stores go, In Northern Virginia you can find lots of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Salvadoran, and Peruvian, plus the occasional Russian, German, or British. There is a Penzey’s Spices, where you can pay through the nose for five different kinds of cinnamon, each harvested from a different Asian mountain.

Fairfax and Loudon Counties are the two wealthiest counties the country. As a result, everything in the area tends to be pretty high-class, and there’s an enormous variety as far as shopping, restaurants, and such is concerned. Public schools are excellent and there are plenty of good private schools. There are nice parks and swimming pools. It is certainly true that the entire area has very suburban vibe. Outside of the ethnic neighborhoods, of which there are many, it’s hard to find any place that has a community feel.

The biggest downside is that traffic is awful, nearly all the time and everywhere. If you’re into bike riding, there’s an excellent network of bike paths. It’s probably the best that I’ve ever seen in America.

Centreville, near the intersection of I-66 and Route 28, is closer to you and is also a large/up-and-coming Koreatown. There’s a great H-Mart there, and there will soon be a Lotte opening up (or so I’m told); there are also a number of great restaurants and bakeries and coffeehouses, as well as a huge Korean spa if you like that kind of thing.

I enthusiastically second Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide for a great resource for picking good restaurants.

OTOH, take a drive down into Clifton and prepare to have your mind blown. (Also, get ice cream at Petersen’s Ice Cream Depot, it’s really good!)

Hi, neighbor! I spent five years in Bristol back in the 1990s. Is Alison’s Restaurant still there?

Be prepared for some serious sticker shock when moving up to Fairfax County, of course. But on the upside, whole new worlds are opened up to you. I’ll second Tom Tildrum’s recommendation of Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide for finding good ethnic restaurants of practically every variety under the sun. (And they are abundant in the area you’re moving to.) And the Blue Ridge is an hour away when you need a mountain fix.