As evidenced by the astounding number of local museums and historical sites and the tiny number of bars and clubs in Fairfax, it’s easy to see that the city is still catching up with its newer, younger George Mason University neighbors. As the University is fairly new—it was established as its own university in 1979—the city is not as student-focused as other small-college towns but it still offers a lot to do in the way of sight-seeing and parks and restaurants.
Students feel that the main local attractions like Gunston Hall and Mount Vernon are great and fun to visit, but seeing them once is enough. After that, it’s pretty hard to find fun things to do every single weekend in the city of Fairfax. That’s why going into D.C. or even Old Town Alexandria are a popular options among students, as opposed to staying on campus during the weekends. In D.C. there are several other universities including Marymount University, Georgetown, George Washington University, and American University. Despite the short distance between the D.C. schools and Mason, there is little interaction between Mason and other universities. The best advice: Don’t get worn out trying to visit all the local attractions in one weekend; instead, spread out the visits to keep entertained for longer. There are more than enough shopping locations, historical sites and restaurants in close proximity to Mason to keep students entertained nearly every single weekend if they choose to go off-campus exploring.