15 Best Things to Do in Falls Church, VA

Falls Church, VA skylin
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The City of Falls Church, Virginia, is a crossroads community nestled at the intersection between Leesburg and Alexandria and the road to the Little Falls on the Potomac River.

Dubbed as the “The Little City” with an area of 2.2 square miles, the City of Falls Church is an independent, full-service city just six miles from the nation’s capital.

Incorporated in 1875, the city takes its name from the Falls Church, an episcopal church built in 1733.

This church likewise got its name from its proximity to the Great Falls of the Potomac River.

According to the 2020 census, the city has a population of 14,658 and is known for its urban village community.

Are you curious about what else makes this little city enormously unique?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Falls Church, VA:

Take a Trip Back to Memory Lane at the Historic Falls Church

Exterior of Falls Church
Southerngs, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The City of Falls Church was a farm community developed around the Episcopal Falls Church.

George Washington's father founded this landmark church.

George himself served on the vestry in his time.

Completed in 1734, the church was once a simple wooden building with floors laid with pine planks.

Decay forced its reconstruction into a new brick building decades later.

Historians say its interior was renovated four times since the 1800s.

It stands as the oldest remaining church building north of Quantico in Virginia.

Aside from the necessary repairs made after the Civil War, its structure remains original.

Enjoy a Meaningful Family Tour at Cherry Hill Farmhouse

Exterior of Cherry Hill Farmhouse
ProfReader, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Completed in 1845, the Cherry Hill Farmhouse used to be a 73-acre historic family farm.

In 1973, the Cherry Hill Farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This present-day farmhouse boasts its Greek Revival design and is furnished with mid-19thcentury antiques.

Its aesthetic primarily reflects the life of the Blaisdell family, who once lived at Cherry Hill.

Throughout the year, the farmhouse offers a variety of activities for its visitors, such as Open House tours, private tours, reenactments, concerts, and even hands-on interactive programs.

These programs are tailored to specific age groups, including special badge programs for Girl Scouts.

The farm also organizes week-long summer camps allowing children to peek into the life of the Blaisdells' daughter, Annie, in mid-19th century Virginia.

They will enjoy farming, cooking, clothing, and other crafts among the activities.

The City of Falls Church now owns and maintains Cherry Hill Farmhouse.

Jive to the Music and Tap to the Beats at the State Theater

The State Theater is another place where the rich past and present of Falls Church collide.

Built in 1936, the State Theatre first operated as a movie house until its closure in the later 1980s.

It reopened again a decade later following a multi-million-dollar restoration.

Now it is a restaurant and venue for live music and other private events.

On its official website, it identifies itself as a “historical theatre converted to a live music venue.”

It’s located just a kilometer away from the East Falls Church Metro Station.

While the State Theatre operates on a general admission basis, guests can rent its Sky Suite to experience its live shows in an intimate setting.

This spacious suite could accommodate up to twenty guests, presenting a panoramic opening that looks out on the entire venue.

It’s perfect for private parties such as birthdays and fan meetings.

This historic theatre preserved its complete and authentic theatrical stage, including the 200 balcony seats and lobbies.

Explore the City’s Historic Sites in a Victorian Walking Tour

The City of Falls Church indeed is a hub for historical attractions.

This Victorian Walking Tour lets you explore the city’s Victorian-era legacy through the different homes and churches along Easter Broad Street, between Roosevelt and Washington Streets.

The city government provides guests with a self-guided walking tour map of Falls Church Victorian architectural styles both for locals and tourists.

Some sought-after attractions include the George Ives House, where the Falls Church Mayor lived in 1879, and the Charles Tinner House.

The Tinner family occupied many of the houses in Tinner Hill St. for a hundred years.

All the houses featured in the tour are private residences except for Cherry Hill.

Dive into the Arts in Artspace Falls Church

The ArtSpace Falls Church is a 95-seat art gallery that doubles as a theater for adults' and children's productions, dances, concerts, and art shows.

It serves as a home to the thriving artistic community covering various branches of art such as visual, performing, and literary arts.

Creative Cauldron, a non-profit arts organization, manages and operates ArtSpace.

It offers affordable and accessible educational art programs for many enthusiasts.

You can check out ArtSpace at Maple Avenue, Falls Church.

Get an Authentic Taste of Vietnam at Eden Center

Entryway of Eden Center
Flickr user: Dewita Soeharjono Jakarta https://www.flickr.com/people/dewita-soeharjono/, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you craving bright, healthy and flavorful Vietnamese cuisine?

Whether you'd like a heart-healthy Pho or sumptuous Banh Mi, you’re bound for a gastronomic adventure visiting Eden Center—Northern Virginia’s premier Asian Center.

This food and entertainment center is at Wilson Boulevard at Seven Corners in Falls Church and contains over 120 stores.

Vietnamese families themselves operate each store.

Sweets in Eden Center
The Hippie Triathlete from Encinitas, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The center is also famous for its Eden Center Clock Tower, a replica of downtown Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), the largest city in Vietnam.

This center reminds Vietnamese immigrants in the area of the beauty of their Asian heritage.

When you visit Eden Center today, take a photo with their Lion Arch at the gateway entrance.

Bring your family to their annual Tet Festival and Moon Festival and enjoy a night filled with beautiful lantern displays, cultural performances, mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes, and many more!

Shops at Eden Center
Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shop Local at Falls Church Farmers Market

Are you looking for fresh, organically-grown produce?

Look no further!

Falls Church Farmers Market is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., easily accessible from the east and west of Falls Church Metro Stations.

In 2010, the American Farmland Trust recognized them as “America’s Favorite Farmer’s Market.”

In 2012, the Virginia Living and Northern Virginia magazines dubbed them the “Best Farmer’s Market.”

This Farmer’s Market features over 50 vendors during its peak season and around 40 during winter.

Whether you’re a pescetarian, vegan or a regular eater, their vast selection of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, condiments, and meats will make grocery shopping a fun and convenient experience.

Also, they have a Chef Series where neighborhood chefs create dishes using locally-sourced ingredients!

The Falls Church Farmers Market is year-round on Saturday mornings.  

Don’t forget to schedule your trip ahead!

Practice Your Golf Swing at Jefferson District Golf Course

Are you ready for your first tee?

At Jefferson District Golf Course, you can enjoy a beautifully landscaped nine-hole executive course that features a gently rolling surface.

It has ponds which make it ideal for golfers who prefer walking.

Regular golfers find the pace of play here slow.

Nonetheless, the course offers a challenging round of golf.

The course’s clubhouse has golf clubs and pulls and power carts available for rent.

Relive the Bravery of African Americans at the Tinner Hill Historic Site

Welcome sign of Tinner Hill Historic Site
Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Tinner Hill Historic Site is a testament to the long African American struggle to gain equality and civil rights.

This monument, built on Tinner Hill Road, traces the segregation line that inspired the first rural chapter of the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The site was once the home of Joseph and Mary Tinner.

They were African Americans who lobbied the city government to strike down a 1915 ordinance to segregate Falls Church.

The ordinance forced all African American families to live in a small area of the town.

History marker of Tinner Hill Historic Site
Ser Amantio di Nicolao, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two years later, in 1917, the US Supreme Court ruled that residential segregation ordinances were unconstitutional.

Here, you will also see the famous “Zig Zag Sculpture,” a historical marker, and a functional art bench crafted by Martha Jarvis.

It is made of polished stones mixed with pink granite—a rare stone found in Falls Church, quarried by Charles Tinner and his family.

This Zig Zag Monument runs along the original line dividing the Tinner Hill neighborhood into the City of Falls Church and Fairfax County portions.

The monument is a remnant of the division imposed on the black community of Falls Church in 1887.

At present, the park is open for both walking and self-guided tours.

Flip through Records at CD Cellar

Do you have CDs, LPs, or DVDs to sell or trade?

CD Cellar is the perfect place for you!

CD Cellar is Mid-Atlantic’s largest Record store, which has sold and traded tens of thousands of LPs, CDs, and DVDs since 1992.

They first opened their doors at their flagship store in a basement at Broad Street, Falls Church.

Because of its growing musical collection, the store moved to a more prominent above-ground location on Park Avenue in 2016.

Its staff also goes the extra mile for its customers by ordering items not available on-hand.

Embrace Nature’s Beauty at Cavalier Trail Park

If you want some downtime within the city, a community park like Cavalier Trail Park is a great place to visit.

The park spans 4.7 acres, and it has many amenities such as a basketball court, park benches, two tennis courts, bike and hike trails, grills and park benches.

Its vast area and strategic features allow for an extensive set of recreational activities like biking, birding, picnicking, and basketball.

Also, the city’s efforts to establish and maintain the woodland in the area provide an opportunity for visitors to enjoy nature and relax.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Experience Recreational Driving at George Washington Memorial Parkway

Aerial view of George Washington Memorial Parkway's road
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Just 15 minutes away from Falls Church, the George Washington Parkway is a 40-km parkway that connects historic sites from Mount Vernon to Great Falls.

It was initially a living memorial to the 36th President of the United States, George Washington.

Among the nearby parks you can visit is the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac River.

Road sign of George Washington Memorial Parkway
DCStockPhotography / Shutterstock.com

It is divided into two areas.

The first half features a granite monolith, surrounded by a serpentine pattern of the trail, while the second half is a grass meadow and grove of white pines.

Friends and family can enjoy the serene setting perfect for picnics, kayaking, and bird watching.

Watch the Sunset at Riverside Park

They say you can never watch too many sunsets.

Riverside Park is between the Parkway and the Potomac River, offering a spectacular view of the sunset and the calm waters.

It’s also a perfect spot for viewing migrating songbirds like the eastern kingbird, downy woodpecker, and orchard oriole.

You can also enjoy biking and picnicking while sightseeing.

What's the best part of Riverside Park?

It gives you easy access to Mt. Vernon Trail.

Gear Up for a Scenic Adventure at Mt. Vernon Trail

Scenic view of Mt. Vernon Trail
Robert A. Powell / Shutterstock.com

The Mt. Vernon Trail is an 18-mile paved trail that travels along George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

You can reach it by car, public transportation, on foot, or by bicycle.

It opened to the public in 1972 as a gravel path until it was subsequently paved.

Today, the trail’s surface is made of asphalt and boardwalk, which is great for running, cycling, and walking for your pets!

The trail parallels the George Memorial Parkway and the Western bank of the Potomac River, giving magnificent views of Washington, D.C.’s skyline.

A trail map will help you find the designated restrooms, water fountains and trash bins.

Paddle a Boat at Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

Scenic view of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
LLoughran / Shutterstock.com

Dyke Marsh is a freshwater tidal marsh in Fairfax County on the Potomac River.

It spans 485 acres, making it one of the biggest remaining freshwater wetlands in Metropolitan Washington.

The preserve is home to 300 species of flora and more than 270 species of fauna.

The waters of Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve
LLoughran / Shutterstock.com

You can explore the preserve by boat or on foot.

Among the primary activities here include canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

A volunteer group called Friends of Dyke Marsh mounts a variety of fun activities for the public, such as a bird walk coupled with insightful lectures.

If you wish to come to Dyke Marsh, you can do so via a private vehicle or bus from Huntington Metro Station.

Final Thoughts

Falls Church is a city rich in historical heritage.

However, the creativity of its modern attractions lets you live fully in the moment.

If you want to add a new destination to your bucket list, don’t count out Falls Church, VA.

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