Braddock Basics for Newcomers

Braddock Basics for Newcomers

Supervisor’s favorite places and events at Braddock District.

Lake Accotink Park is a perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of Fairfax.

Lake Accotink Park is a perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of Fairfax. Photo contributed


John C. Cook


Oak Hill Mansion, built in 1790, opens four times a year for the public to explore.


Historic Wakefield Chapel is maintained by the Fairfax County Parks Authority and is available to the public for rentals.

It is an honor to welcome you to Fairfax County and the Braddock District. As you will soon discover, this County is filled with activities, resources, and opportunities for all to enjoy. I would like to highlight a few in Braddock.

Autumn is the perfect time to explore Braddock’s lakes and parks. Lake Accotink Park has everything you need for a full day of fun. It offers mini-golf, boat rentals, a four-mile loop trail, carousel, and snack bar. Many families enjoy frequenting Royal Lake Park where playgrounds and basketball courts can keep children amused for hours. Residents can also go on a stroll or run on its 1.8-mile lakeside trail. Nature lovers and outdoorsmen will feel right at home here.

One problem we do have is choosing where to eat with so many wonderful restaurants nearby. University Mall, located right by George Mason University, has plenty of eateries, shops, a newly renovated Giant grocery, and the University Mall Theatres. One of its newer additions is the Oh! George Tables & Taphouse, where you can enjoy a craft beer with a wood fired pizza.

Fairfax Corner is another exceptional shopping center with popular restaurants including Ozzie’s Good Eats, Crafthouse, and Uncle Julio’s. After a meal you can watch a movie at the Cinemark Fairfax Corner 14 Theater, take the kids to the “splash pad,” or go shopping at the numerous boutiques throughout the main street-style center. We also welcomed several new restaurants to the community this year, including Chick-Fil-A, CAVA, and Waranku. The amount of restaurant choices here is pleasantly overwhelming.

HISTORY BUFFS will love visiting the historic Oak Hill Mansion and Wakefield Chapel. The Oak Hill Mansion in Annandale is a Georgian Style manor built in 1790. It is the last standing of three properties owned by the Fitzhugh family, who played significant roles in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. The mansion was also the site of a pivotal Civil War ambush called the “Oak Hill Kitchen Skirmish.”

Another popular historic landmark is Wakefield Chapel. Built in 1899, this place of worship was named after a Union soldier-turned-pastor named E.W. Wakefield. Visiting these sites helps you understand the significance Braddock played in the course of American history.

The Braddock district has a strong tradition of providing music and cultural events to the community. At George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena, locals can see the hottest musical acts and entertainers year round in the 10,000 seat stadium. Also on campus, is George Mason’s Center for the Arts. Every year students, faculty, and renowned international artists present the best of classical music, opera, jazz, world music, dance, theater, global music and dance, and more. There is never a lack of cultural events in Braddock.

FINALLY, a newcomer’s guide to Braddock would be incomplete without highlighting the unique educational opportunities in the area. Our elementary and middle schools receive top scores in standardized testing every year. Meanwhile our three top-rated high schools — Lake Braddock, W.T. Woodson, and Robinson — continue to win national recognition in sports, music, and education.

George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College offer first-rate higher education to Braddock residents and contribute immensely to the Braddock neighborhood.

I hope you take advantage of everything Braddock has to offer. If you have any questions on local government matters or the area please call my office at 703-425-9300. As always, I am honored and pleased to serve you as your Braddock District Supervisor.