Accent East Group Travel Trade Show and FAM Tour offers a hidden gem full of untapped potential
This year, the Accent Travel Network is hosting its annual fall Accent East Group Travel Trade Show in Fairfax County, Virginia from November 3-5, followed by a spectacular FAM Tour from November 5-8 throughout Fairfax County and Washington, D.C.
Come be a part of one of this year’s best trade shows and network with an ensemble of travel professionals and industry experts. Talk with those up to date on the latest trends and those familiar with the challenges that the travel industry faces today. Listen to keynote speakers, view presentations, and get involved in workshops to help expand your knowledge of what makes Fairfax County the ultimate package in group travel destinations.
“We are excited to host Accent On The East and to showcase the incredible array of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, coupled with outstanding services, that Fairfax County provides. Just minutes from our nation’s capital, we invite visitors to Northern Virginia to reach beyond the typical Washington, DC experience and create lasting memories,” said Lori Scott, National and International Sales Manager at Visit Fairfax.
Fabulous FAM Tour
Get acquainted with Fairfax County during this year’s phenomenal FAM Tour, boasting visits to the new National Museum of the United States Army and the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial, plus an after-dark Illuminated Monuments & Memorials Tour in D.C. and so much more.
What’s in a Name?
Located just west of Washington, D.C., Fairfax County offers an unexpected blend of picture-perfect natural surroundings and big city amenities, positioning visitors in the heart of the National Capital Region. Its deep history dates back to 1649 when King Charles II gifted 5 million acres to the 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the county’s namesake. While history touches just about every corner of Fairfax County, through the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond, the area is also a diverse and technologically innovative destination that boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene with a sophisticated urban vibe. Visitors will find unparalleled shopping and dining in its diverse neighborhoods, a wide range of active outdoor experiences, and charming historic downtowns to explore.
History and Culture
Take a walk through the picturesque strolling gardens of George Washington’s Mount Vernon in southern Fairfax County overlooking the magnificent Potomac River – an area newly coined Potomac Banks. Step back in time to Washington’s boyhood life and astounding home as well as his military service, agricultural entrepreneurship, and legendary presidency. Also situated on the stunning property are the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center offering 25 interactive showcases, galleries, theaters playing original films, hands-on exhibits, and more, plus George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, where visitors can learn how Washington made his Signature Rye Whiskey – a product that is still made today using 18th Century techniques and was dubbed the Official State Spirit of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Originally part of George Washington’s impressive property, Woodlawn Estate, was gifted to his nephew and step-granddaughter upon their wedding. Over time, Woodlawn was operated by Quaker families who sought to establish a free-labor economy in a progressive move of social activism. On the same property, visitors can learn about Usonian architecture that was used in Frank Lloyd Wright’s unusual middle-class homes built in the 1930s. The famed architect’s Pope-Leighey House, named for its two owners and the last of its kind, is the only public Wright home available to tour in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland.
For a dose of modern history, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, visitors can take in the largest collection of German and Japanese WWII aircraft in the world and some of the rarest air and spacecrafts from aviation history. Discover record-setting assets that paved the way for space exploration and air travel. Fly a fighter jet or go to the International Space Station in 3D simulators. The magnitude of these exhibits is jaw-dropping as you walk around – and under – full-size, real-life air and space vehicles, including the famed Space Shuttle Discovery, in a museum as long as three football fields and standing 10 stories high.
Visit the one-of-a-kind National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, and get a comprehensive look into the lives of soldiers through interpretive stories, interactive exhibits, galleries, army missions, and pivotal breakthroughs. View never-before-seen army relics, relax on the serene rooftop garden, and experience a unique multisensory 300-degree theater.
Located in a part of the former Occoquan Workhouse (Lorton Prison), the Lucy Burns Museum at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, tells 91 years of prison history, including an exploratory look at the lives of several key women suffragists who were imprisoned here for fighting for equality. Gain insight into the country’s 1910 experimental workhouse reformatory that ultimately altered the course of the Suffrage Movement and the passing of the 19th Amendment. Today, the Workhouse Arts Center as a whole is a thriving arts community, with 60+ artists-in-residence in studio space, galleries and exhibit space for hundreds more, performing arts venues, innumerable events, and a unique local gift shop that will allow visitors to find one-of-a-kind art to bring home to family and friends.
Get Back to Nature
An unforgettable adventure awaits at Great Falls Park, an 800-acre expanse owned and operated by the National Park Service that features postcard-worthy panoramas of the Potomac River and the cascading Great Falls along with miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. Pack a picnic lunch and camera for a serene day at the rolling rapids.
Stroll among 95-acres of ornamental and native plant collections at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, one of the hidden treasures of the Capital Region. This serene garden park is lined with blossoming cherry trees in the spring and is the home to an authentic Korean Bell Garden, which features a 3-ton handcrafted bell in a custom-built pavilion.
Blend nature with art at America’s only National Park dedicated to the performing arts with a concert by renowned recording artists under the stars at Wolf Trap. This beloved venue hosts hundreds of performances each year at its majestic Filene Center amphitheater and seasonal performances take place at its intimate venue, The Barns – which are made up of 18th century barns.
Unmatched Shopping & Dining Opportunities
No trip is complete without a little shopping and a lot of dining. Mosaic takes both to a whole new level with a vibrant, uniquely sophisticated atmosphere in an urban-designed town center layout. Groups can take advantage of brick-and-mortar stores like Anthropologie and William Sonoma or shop one of the many artisanal boutiques offering one-of-a-kind products. Dine at any of the 35 eateries boasting an array of delicious drinks and cuisine, get a massage or take in a film at the arthouse cinema. Tysons Corner Center in Tysons offers over 300 amazing stores and a beautiful open-air plaza that features live performances, concerts, and other free community events. Plus, it is directly accessible by Metrorail.
Uncork in Virginia Wine Country
Did you know that Virginia is really for wine lovers? People are flocking to the Napa Valley of the East for wine tastings, vineyard tours, and agritourism opportunities. Sip wine and immerse in Civil War history at The Winery at Bull Run which sits across from the historic Manassas National Battlefield Park overlooking scenic horse pastures and lush Virginia countryside.
Or visit Fairfax County’s first winery, Paradise Springs Winery, and peruse the grounds to discover a historic 1800s log cabin. Belly up to the tasting bar for award-winning vinos or relax with a glass on the porch overlooking the gorgeous and historic property.
The Ideal Destination for Every Travel Group
Fairfax County is the perfect epicenter for shared excursions whether group members are foodies, history buffs, outdoor enthusiasts, aviators, or just want to enjoy the proximity to the Capital Region. Learn more about what amazing sites and attractions that Fairfax County has to offer group travelers by participating in this year’s Accent East Group Travel Trade Show. The buyer/seller ratio is 1 buyer/2 sellers with 6-minute appointments, an itinerary workshop with buyers and sellers working together, and a magnificent post-trade show FAM tour. A special block of rooms has been prebooked in anticipation of this event. Suppliers are able to book directly with The Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park and receive these spectacular rates using Group Reference: Accent East. Pre and Post Nights are available. Visit accenttravelnetwork.com/accent-east for more information.
Main photo courtesy of Breakfast with Nick from Instagram
By Heather Dale