For those who want to experience the best of nature in the Washington area, Great Falls Park, including its waterfall, is a must-see.
There is no direct public transportation to Great Falls. However, it is 5.5 miles from the Tysons Corner metro station on the Silver Line of the Washington DC metro system. A taxi from the metro station costs approximately $15.
You're probably going to need a car. There is a dearth of sidewalks and the winding roads are rarely attempted by cyclists. That said, avoid driving between 3 and 6 PM on weekdays.
In Great Falls Park, there are several viewing platforms that provide vantage points overlooking the falls.
Great Falls contains three contiguous parks on the banks of the Potomac. From East to West, they are Great Falls, Riverbend and Seneca. Popular activities in the parks include hiking, boating, fishing, picnicking, disc golf, and hunting.
- 1 Great Falls Park, ☏ . 7 AM until dark. Great regional park, hailed as Northern Virginia's backyard and very popular for picnics and barbecues. Common activities include hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. There can be lines into the park on weekends, especially on holidays like Fathers' Day and Labor Day, so plan ahead. The park has several marked trails, including the very popular Billy Goat Trail. $5 per vehicle.
- Riverbend Park, 8700 Potomac Hills St, Great Falls, VA 22066 (From Great Falls Park entrance road, turn right on Georgetown Pike, right on River Bend Road, right on Jeffery Road, and right at the park entrance). Did you get turned away from Great Falls Park on an overcrowded weekend, and need an alternative location for your Fathers' Day barbecue? Head straight to Riverbend Park, Great Falls' best-kept secret, just up the river. Picnics, barbecues, hiking by the Potomac.
- 2 Seneca Regional Park (Go up Seneca Road until it ends, park in the dirt lot by the roadside). Sunup to sundown. Far less crowded than Great Falls Park. Walk for miles in the undeveloped forested hills along the Potomac. Not to be confused with the Maryland parks Little Seneca or Seneca Creek. Free.
- Katie's Coffee House, 760 Walker Road, ☏ . Pub by night, this coffeeshop is open six days a week and hosts a vintage car meet on Saturdays.
- The Old Brogue Irish Pub, 760 Walker Rd. A Great Falls classic. It's been expanding its menu and you can find all manner of cuisines here, but still the Brogue stays true to Irish roots and its atmosphere as a crowded, noisy pub. There's also a homey dining room in the annex. $$.
- Izumi Sushi, 9861 Georgetown Pike, ☏ . Big, crowd-pleasing menu of Japanese and Chinese options. Speedy service.
- L'Auberge Chez Francois, 332 Springvale Rd, Great Falls, VA 22066, ☏ . A high-end French restaurant. Dress code. 6-course prix-fixe dinner: $70-80.
- Dante, 1148 Walker Rd, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Mon–Fri 11:30am–1:30pm, Mon–Sat 5pm–9pm. Formal Italian restaurant in a historic house. Eat on the terrace in fair weather.
Visit the Old Brogue for a frosty pint of Guinness.
An average of 7 drownings per year occur in Great Falls Park, most of them alcohol-related. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is illegal within the park. The Potomac river is notoriously dangerous for swimmers.
|Routes through Great Falls|
|Winchester ← Reston ←||W E||→ Tysons → Alexandria|