Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Fun facts about Northern Virginia

The Northern Virginia region is located just west and south of Washington D.C. Often referred to as "NoVa", the area consists of several counties and cities, and it is a region rich with historic value and beautiful landscape. Northern Virginia was a key region in both the Revolutionary and Civil War eras and many prestigious Americans hailed from Northern Virginia.

In modern times, the area is booming in terms of growth and its residents reflect a diversity of different backgrounds; in 2011 the population of Northern Virginia was just over 30 percent for the entire state. Many companies have offices in the region and are contracted to help support government and military operations and initiatives. 

Northern Virginia is also home to many historic museums, plantations, grand homes, parks, landmarks, architecture and places of interest, including Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, Mount Vernon, Carlyle House, and Oatlands, to name a few.

Arlington House, once home to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, is located in Arlington Cemetery

Fun Facts about Northern Virginia

  • Fairfax County has a population of over 1 million residents, and its population is bigger than a few states. It also boasts some of the top public schools in the nation.  
  • Old Town Alexandria is one of America's oldest cities and many original structures remain for visitors to tour and enjoy. In the 1700s Alexandria was a part of Washington D.C., but in 1847 was returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary in Old Town Alexandria opened in 1792 and continuously was operated by the same family until 1933 when the Depression hit and the business was forced to close its doors. Today it is a museum. Martha Washington was a customer and her order is on display.
If you visit Old Town Alexandria, I highly recommend touring the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary
  • Northern Virginia is the largest sub-region within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan region.
  • George Washington and Robert E. Lee were both parishioners of Christ Church in Alexandria.
Still an active parish, visitors can also tour Christ Church
  • Woodlawn Plantation was originally a part of Mount Vernon, but was given to George Washington's nephew and his new bride. Today visitors can tour this historic grand home.
  • George Mason, who penned the Virginia Declaration of Rights, resided in Northern Virginia on a plantation called Gunston Hall. This declaration influenced the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Bill of Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (France).
  • Each September Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, hosts an annual 18th-century craft fair full of crafts, living history, authentic 18th-century entertainment and a visit from President Washington himself.
  • The National Air & Space Museum has a second museum located in Chantilly, Va. It houses the Shuttle Discovery. When NASA retired the Discovery, she was flown in atop of a Boeing 747.
This was an amazing sight. I got so excited I dropped my video camera the first time she flew over but managed to get this distant shot.
  • The key to the Bastille hangs on a wall at Mount Vernon where Washington placed it. It was given to him by the Marquis de Lafayette.
  • In Virginia, the Orange Metro line goes as far west as Vienna and the Blue train goes as far south as Springfield, Va. A new Metro line, called the Silver Line was opened in summer 2013 and runs partially through NoVa; in time this rail will be extended out to Dulles International Airport.
  • As you go further west, despite the massive building going on in NoVa, there are still lots of farms to the west and south. One of my favorite times of the year is spring, which means time for the tulip festival at Burnside Farms (more photos of this event on my photography blog).
Taken during a 2013 visit to Burnside Farm

I hope you enjoyed some of these fun facts about Northern Virginia. Thank you for visiting! 

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Related article: Fun facts about Washington D.C.


  1. Replies
    1. Soon as you get here! Come on down...
      I think you'd love these small museums, great stuff.