Northern Virginia's Fairfax County, the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington DC metropolitan area, lies just across the Potomac River from the Capitol. Since it is home to half of the area's Fortune 500 companies and a handful of government intelligence headquarters (The Central Intelligence Agency, to name one), hotels, restaurants and convention and meeting venues in Fairfax County are well suited for corporate and government meetings at the highest level.
The county is served by three major airports: Ronald Reagan National, Dulles International, and Thurgood Marshall/Baltimore Washington International. Three major highways also meet here, offering convenient access to Washington DC and the surrounding areas – Interstate 66, 495 (Washington's infamous "beltway" or "outer loop") and 95. The metro makes several stops in Fairfax County, making it easy for business and transient travelers alike to travel quick and easily in and out of DC.
There are 105 hotel venues in Fairfax County, ranging from economical to luxury with nearly every major hotel chain represented; 20 offer more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space. There also several distinctive meeting and social venues in Fairfax County that boast Northern Virginia charm and history, such as the Mount Vernon Inn, Cabell's Mill, the American Horticultural Society at George Washington's River Farm, the Chantilly National Golf and Country Club and the Cherry Hill Farmhouse.
Tysons Corner, the mecca for world-class shopping and dining venues in Fairfax County, attracts an average of 55,000 visitors per day. Mostly known for its upscale, luxury retail, there are few stores that can't be found at Tysons Corner. Furthermore to its myriad of shopping is its concentration of office space, which happens to be the largest in the county. Transit improvements are on the horizon in hopes of further urbanizing the area. What will soon be the "silver" line of Washington DC's Metrorail system will further enhance its reputation as Washington's second-city metropolis.
In addition to being an economic powerhouse, many consider Fairfax County to be a nature-lover's paradise. Great Falls Park is conveniently situated along the banks of the Potomac River, and the $5 entrance fee is nothing for 15 miles of hiking trails, scenic viewing platforms overlooking the falls and ample picnic areas. Rock climbers frequent the cliffs, runners speed along the trails and kayakers cascade down the river. A variety of activities are available for active groups looking for an outdoor challenge.
If Fairfax is too far from the city you can search for Washington DC event venues and find plenty of information about DC meeting planning.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons user : Aurbanski