Modern Hotel at George Mason University
As the legend goes, Virginia delegate George Mason told the Constitutional Convention that he'd rather cut off his right hand than sign the US Constitution in 1787 because it lacked a declaration of rights. Later, Mason would work alongside James Madison to father the Bill of Rights, which granted many of the freedoms still enjoyed by Americans today. The Mason Inn in Fairfax, Virginia, honors Mason by displaying in the lobby a copy of the Virginia Declaration of Rights that he drafted and by replicating the script of his handwritten letters on the guest-room carpets. It makes sense that the inn is the official hotel and conference center of George Mason University and set right on the campus’s south side.
The LEED-certified Gold hotel reflects its natural wooded surroundings with earth-tone interior designs made with a mix of stone and cedar wood. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the campus, the guest rooms create a contemporary ambiance through the flat-screen TV and tall, slender lamps.
Head to Boxwoods, the onsite restaurant, for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Boxwoods’s menu changes seasonally, serving farm-to-table fare such as roasted-pork sandwiches and pretzel-crusted chicken. The restaurant's chef also partners with area vineyards to supply a robust selection of regional wines. For an after-dinner cocktail, drop by The Well lounge, where guests relax in a laid-back atmosphere complete with leather club chairs.
The Mason Inn offers a complimentary shuttle to destinations around George Mason University, but a lot of venues are within walking distance, including the Center for the Arts and the Patriot Center, where concerts and basketball games are held.
Fairfax, Virginia: Historic Small Town Rich in Culture and Close to DC
Located less than 30 minutes from Washington, DC, Fairfax still maintains a small-town charm and a tight community, allowing Forbes magazine to recently rank it No. 3 in its list of Top 25 Towns to Live Well. The city is also steeped in history, which you can see in some of the 19th-century buildings around town, including the brick schoolhouse built in 1873 that now contains the Fairfax Museum & Visitor Center. Head here to see a collection of Civil War artifacts and exhibits.
George Mason University sits just outside the city limits in the larger region of Fairfax County and encompasses many of the area's cultural attractions. Highlights here include the Center for the Arts, which hosts performances ranging from live shows from the CollegeHumor team to grand-piano concerts. First-time students and their interested parents will want to stop at the Johnson Center, which doubles as the campus’s student union and library. Here, you can catch a movie, grab lunch at the food court, or study at one of the three computer labs.
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