Another place that’s really nice for a run is Lake Accotink (7500 Accotink Park Rd., Springfield; 703-569-0285). It was originally created for drinking water during the first part of the last century, but now it’s a recreational lake and people can go boating and fishing. There are also lots of picnic areas and concerts in the park.
Fair Oaks Mall (703-359-8300; shopfairoaksmall.com), in Fairfax, is very close to my house, and I’ve invested a lot of money there over the years at Macy’s. It’s not as large as Tysons Galleria, so for some people it’s more manageable.
For good coffee, there’s Saxbys (10637 Braddock Rd., Fairfax; 703-278-5400) in the University Shopping Center. It’s very homey and has great coffee and pastries.
George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (4400 University Dr., Fairfax; 703-993-8888) has wonderful programs featuring different things—classical music, holiday performances, and an annual event showcasing the arts programs at the university.
Michael Hensley owns Victoria’s Cakery in Fairfax, a business started by his mother in 1984. A former industrial designer, he took over the store in 2002.
I like the Auld Shebeen (3971 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax; 703-293-9600) a lot. It’s an Irish pub just down the street from my shop. There’s good food and a great atmosphere, and on weekends it usually does Irish music. At night it gets a good crowd.
Dogfish Head Alehouse (13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Fairfax; 703-961-1140) is a pretty good place for a date. It’s a little ale pub. They brew their own beers and also have a lot of local beers, so there’s plenty to choose from. They have awesome crab dip, and I’ve had the fish and chips, which was good.
My kids love to go to Van Dyck Park (3500 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax; 703-385-7858). My son is almost three, and he loves to watch the older kids on the skate ramp. They have the typical swings and slides, and there are always a ton of kids around.