If you’re interested in the history of the Fairfax area, you’ll be happy to know that there are many historic sites that are perfect for visiting on a weekend afternoon. Here are a few of the most popular and interesting  sites to check out this weekend.

Mount Vernon. The former home of first president George Washington is one of the most popular historic sites in the area. The 18th century plantation features a grand home, lush gardens, sprawling grounds and a museum filled with the home’s original art and artifacts. You can even explore Washington’s original distillery and learn about its importance to his income at the time.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The companion facility to the National Air and Space Museum in DC is located in nearby Chantilly and features two large hangars displaying thousands of aviation and space artifacts. Don’t miss the museum’s main attractions: the  Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery.
Great Falls Park. Explore the Patowmack Canal, which was created by George Washington to make the Potomac River navigable to as far as the Ohio River Valley in order to bring the American people closer together after the Revolutionary War. The canal was created in 1785, so it’s a fascinating attraction that local history buffs love to explore while visiting Great Falls Park.
Gunston Hall. The 5,500-acre former tobacco plantation owned by George Mason, an American planter, politician and delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787. The exhibits include highlights from Mason’s civic career, as well as his famous document The Virginia Declaration of Rights. In addition to the main house, you’ll also explore outbuildings like a kitchen, dairy, smokehouse, and laundry.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Harvard-trained economist Gardiner Means and social historian Caroline Ware purchased the 74-acre farm that now houses the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in 1935, and over the next 50 years, they became engrained in both Washington’s political scene and their life on the farm. In 1980, the couple donated the land to the  Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), with the hopes that it would become a public garden. Today, the gardens feature local trees, an azalea garden, a lilac collection, and a Siberian iris and native tree trail, plus much more.