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    Prince William,

    Virginia

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    Prince William County is located on the Potomac River in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 402,002, on July 1, 2019, the population was estimated to be 470,335, making it Virginia's second-most populous county. Its county seat is the independent city of Manassas.A part of Northern Virginia, Prince William County is part of the Washington metropolitan area. In 2019 it had the 20th-highest income of any county in the United States.
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    Budget Travel Lists

    7 Things to Do in Anchorage, Alaska

    When you think Alaska, does your mind’s eye may immediately conjure the image of a moose? Or an icy blue glacier? Rugged granite peaks topped with snow? Immense brown bears? What you may not realize is that the city of Anchorage and its surrounding area is one place where you can truly “have it all” - and more! Here, an easy and affordable guide to this extraordinary community. Visit the Chugach Range (Matt Anderson/Dreamstime) One thing you’re certain to notice upon arriving in Anchorage is that the Chugach Mountains seem close enough to touch. Well, almost. Many of the gorgeous range’s trails and access points are a short drive, about 20 minutes, from just about anywhere in the city, meaning you can balance a comfy hotel stay and first-rate restaurant options with a truly wild experience amid the 9,000 square miles of Chugach State Park and Chugach National Forest. Take your pick of hiking, rafting, or simply contemplating the serenity of this virtually untouched natural area. Paddling, cycling, climbing, and even ogling glaciers are all on the Chugach’s menu of options. Spend a few hours, a few days, or an entire week exploring its bounty. (If the Chugach whets your appetite for glaciers, consider a day cruise from nearby Seward or Whittier to see even more.) Explore Alaska Native and Pioneer History and Culture The Anchorage area has been at the crossroads of Alaska Native and pioneer history for centuries. Set aside a day or more to explore the Alaska Native Heritage Center with its introduction to the stories, dances, traditions, and customs of Alaska’s 11 major native cultures. For a taste of Alaska’s history, hop aboard the railroad that helped tame the wilderness. In summer, visitors to Anchorage may choose to continue their Alaska Adventure by embarking on a train trip to Seward, Prince William Sound, Denali, Talkeetna or Fairbanks. But you don’t have to go too far to savor the joy of train travel - the Glacier Discovery train is a beautiful day trip to nearby Spencer. Dogsledding is another uniquely Alaska transportation activity available in Anchorage. Surprisingly, sledding can be available year-round, with summer trips via helicopter to the tops of glaciers. Visit “mushers” any time of year to meet the sled dogs and get a feel for the state sport. Explore Alaska’s Mining History Hands-On Kids of all ages will love playing prospector at a hands-on mining destination such as Indian Valley or Crow Creek. These spots combine a museum experience, complete with authentic mining tools, with entertaining history lessons about the great gold rush that once attracted people from all over the world with dreams of striking it rich. Best of all, visitors learn the basics of panning for gold and take home more than just memories. Go Cycling on the Coastal Trail Anchorage is one of the most bike-friendly cities in America, with 135 miles of cycling paths. The one you especially won’t want to miss is the paved 11-mile Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, where you can rent a bike and explore Anchorage’s Cook Inlet all the way from downtown to Kincaid Park, including marshes, hills, and patches of forest. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, moose, and other local denizens. Visit One of America’s Best Museums Sure, you come to Anchorage for the natural beauty, but we bet you didn’t know that the city is also home to an incredible museum devoted to the entire Alaska experience. The Anchorage Museum is the biggest museum in the state and it immerses visitors in human history and the arts, natural history, and much more. A walk through the museum is a bit like experiencing a guidebook sprung into three-dimensions, a unique way of appreciating this unique state from its earliest days to its vibrant present. Look for Wildlife Anchorage is home to more than 1,000 moose. (We’re guessing your hometown isn’t.) The majestically awkward-looking giants can be spotted in almost any green space in Anchorage if you spend enough time outdoors, and you can always count on seeing one at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It takes a little more effort to spot whales here, but they are also abundant. Belugas, the friendly looking white whales that can be as long as a minivan, can be seen on a trip down Turnagain Arm. Alaska is also the only place in America where black bears, brown bears, and polar bears abound. Head out of Anchorage for the rivers and streams of Katmai National Park to see bears feasting on salmon. Take an Aerial Tour by Plane (Chon Kit Leong/Dreamstime) In addition to all the sightseeing opportunities we’ve already mentioned, consider “flightseeing.” In a land as big as Alaska, small planes are often the most efficient way of getting from one place to another, and aerial tours are an unforgettable way to experience the Anchorage area’s mountains, forests, and waterways.

    Adventure

    "We Love the Outdoors and Just Have to See Alaska"

    Ken and Cathy Robertson of Springdale, Ark., take at least one major vacation per year with their triplet sons, Brock, Connor, and Quinn. They've been on cruises and to big cities, but the majority of their adventures have involved the great outdoors--the Everglades, a Colorado guest ranch, and Yellowstone, to name a few. "When the boys got old enough, I put together several options and we voted on where to go," says Ken. "It's become a tradition. Every year when we return from a vacation, I have a list of possibilities for future trips ready." Once a consensus is reached, Ken starts compiling information on flights, hotels, and sights in a spreadsheet. The boys usually help out with the planning, poking through guidebooks and brochures and weighing in. Alaska has been on the family's wish list for years, and this summer Ken and Cathy are finally going to make it happen. "There's so much we want to experience, but it's all so expensive," said Ken, who works in the Sam's Club division of Wal-Mart and knows a thing or two about saving money. "We're struggling to find the best value and the best combination of things to do. I know it's not going to be cheap. I just want to get my money's worth." They've allotted two weeks for the trip. Their first idea was to start with a one-week cruise, but they were worried that it would eat up too much time, and that the boys might grow bored after a few days. We suggested that they fly to Anchorage for a land-based trip that still includes some time on the water. There's no getting around the fact that Alaska is pricey, especially in the summer, so we put together an itinerary that balances the bargains and the splurges. We recommended a loop from Anchorage: down the Kenai Peninsula, a ferry ride across Prince William Sound to Valdez, and then a leisurely drive to Denali National Park before heading back to Anchorage. Such a trip can be hurried through in a week, so the Robertsons should have plenty of time for fun and flexibility, which Cathy will surely appreciate. (Ken tells us that he sometimes plans things a little too tightly for his wife's liking, "as she often reminds me.") On the way south to the Kenai Peninsula, the first stop is the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge--specifically Potter Marsh, where there's a boardwalk for viewing moose, waterfowl, and spawning salmon. Less than 15 minutes farther is Beluga Point, a playground for whales. At high tide, there are sometimes two dozen 13-foot beluga whales right offshore. We reminded the boys to periodically look up at the land side of the road, because the steep rocks are a favorite spot for Dall sheep. The Robertsons wanted to get on the water, so we pointed them to a day cruise in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords with Native American-owned Kenai Fjords Tours. This is the Cliff's Notes version of Alaska: enough glaciers to make you feel as though it's the Ice Age, as well as puffins, seals, sea lions, and maybe even humpback whales. "The boys are super-excited to try dog sledding," says Ken. "They think it looks like the coolest thing in the world." They're right. A single 50-pound dog can haul a 500-pound sled by itself and still wag its tail the entire time. In Seward, a company called IdidaRide takes customers on two-mile wilderness runs (the sleds are on wheels because there's no snow, but it's a fun ride nonetheless). The boys should also end up happily covered in dog fur after touring the kennels and playing with the puppies. One of the first things that got all of the Robertsons jazzed to go to Alaska was the chance to see the salmon run--and the dozens of bears fishing--in the streams at Katmai National Park. "The whole family is really into wildlife and nature," says Ken. The problem is that no roads lead to Katmai, and the cost for a seaplane and tour is very, very steep; even day trips run more than $500 per person. But there are less-expensive alternatives. Traveling in July, the Robertsons will likely see bears by the roadside, at streams, and throughout Denali National Park. Talon Air Service flies out of Soldotna, on the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula, to a remote area where bears feed on spawning salmon. There's a near guarantee of encountering a grizzly bear. The six-hour tour is just under $300 a person. Gwin's Lodge, in Cooper Landing (roughly in the middle of the Kenai), is a good base for exploring the peninsula. The kids will love the loft beds; Mom and Dad can hike up to Russian River Falls to watch leaping salmon and maybe spot a moose. Cabins big enough for the family are $199 in peak season. The Robertsons opted out of a full cruise, but they can still hit the open water on the Alaska Marine Highway. We warned them that advance reservations are essential, especially since they'll be taking along a car. They'll hop on the AMH at Whittier and cruise across Prince William Sound to Valdez, a journey of roughly five hours. From Valdez, the family will drive past the waterfalls of Keystone Canyon to the Glennallen Junction. There they have a choice of heading north along Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, one of the largest protected wilderness areas in the world, up to Fairbanks and the chance to look over reindeer, caribou, and shaggy musk oxen at a farm run by the University of Alaska; or going west past Matanuska Glacier and the Chugach Icefields (nearly the size of New Hampshire) back to Anchorage. Either way, it'll take at least two days on the road from Valdez to reach the centerpiece of the trip, Denali National Park and Mount McKinley, the continent's tallest mountain. There's no telling when they'd want to stop, so instead of making reservations, we told the Robertsons to find a motel or campsite whenever it felt right. Private cars are only allowed in a small part of Denali, so to really see the place, it's necessary to get on one of the park's converted school buses. Kids under 15 go free on most tours, including the all-day trip to Wonder Lake (note: reserve early). The drive is filled with jaw-dropping landscapes of glaciers and tundra, and there are chances to spot Toklat grizzly bears, caribou, and wolves. From the lake, the mountain is so big it looks like a wall--when the weather cooperates, that is. Only about a quarter of visitors ever actually see Mount McKinley, which is so massive that it makes its own weather; it seems particularly fond of clouds. The Robertsons still wanted more excitement, so we told them about Nenana Raft Adventures. Based right outside Denali, it runs rafting trips on Class III and IV rapids--not unlike combining a cold shower with a roller coaster. "It's probably gonna cost me, but I've gotta get the boys up in a plane for the scenery," says Ken. K2 Aviation, in Talkeetna, gives a reason to splurge: The operation's Denali Grand Tour route loops all the way around Mount McKinley and includes a glacier landing. The cost is $265 a person, but worth every penny. Back in Talkeetna, the family can feast on moose or caribou burgers at the West Rib Pub & Grill. In summer, the sun doesn't go down until after 10 p.m., so there'll be plenty of daylight left for more adventures. Have an awesome time! How was your trip? Last fall we coached six members of the Red Hat Society on a trip to London for shopping, sightseeing, and pub hopping. Here they are with the faux Fab Four at Madame Tussauds. "We came back with fantastic memories," says Lucille McCaie, one of the ladies from Fitchburg, Mass. "Your tips were helpful. There was just too much to do--we ran out of time." Alaska Transportation Alaska Marine Highway 800/642-0066, ferryalaska.com, Whitter to Valdez $85, car from $102 Denali Park Reservations 800/622-7275, reservedenali.com, bus ride to Wonder Lake $32.50, kids under 15 free Lodging Gwin's Lodge Cooper Landing, 907/595-1266, gwinslodge.com Denali Grizzly Bear Cabins and Campground 907/683-2696, denaligrizzlybear.com, family cabins $188 Food West Rib Pub & Grill 100 Main St., Talkeetna, 907/733-3663 Attractions Kenai Fjords Tours Seward, 800/478-8068, alaskaheritagetours.com, $129 K2 Aviation 800/733-2291, flyk2.com IdidaRide Seward, 800/478-3139, ididaride.com, $49, kids $24 Talon Air Service Soldotna, 907/262-8899, talonair.com, $295, 12 and under $275 Large Animal Research Station Mile 2, Yankovich Rd., Fairbanks, 907/474-7640, uaf.edu/lars Nenana Raft Adventures Mile 238, Parks Hwy., Healy, 800/789-7238, raftdenali.com, from $75 Resources Alaska Travel Industry Association travelalaska.com

    Inspiration

    London: Royal wedding-themed vacations

    So it's April 29th, and you're all invited: H.R.H. Prince William is making his marriage to Catherine Middleton into a "People's Royal Wedding." In the works are a parade, street parties, and a military fly-over. Soon, tickets will go on sale for a concert that weekend, starring Elton John and Susan Boyle. A special national holiday (combined with a previously scheduled one on the following Monday) will create a four-day weekend for locals. Many Londoners plan to celebrate, dressing up in spiffy clothes and fancy hats. There is political pressure on the Mayor to find budget money to put giant TVs in Hyde Park, which would broadcast the ceremonies. Local boroughs are certain to sponsor street parties, about 30 in every borough. Book your travel now. Prices will only rise from here on out. One sample offer: British Airways is selling wedding-themed air-plus-hotel packages from $865, before taxes. Can't make it April 29? Not to worry. Here's a guide to the top London attractions related to the royal wedding. Visit when you can. Westminster Abbey As you've heard, William and Kate chose this palace for the 15th royal wedding in its 1,000 years. £15 ($23), westminster-abbey.org. The Royal Mews See the Royal Carriage, the coach that the couple will most likely use on their wedding day. The queen's working horses are in the stable next door. £7.75 ($12), royalcollection.org.uk. Garrard & Co. Garrard claims to be the world's oldest jewelry shop. It's the source of Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring, which Prince William took out of his rucksack and presented to Kate during a getaway in Kenya. garrard.com. Jigsaw After graduating from college, fashion maven Kate worked in the Kew branch of British boutique chain Jigsaw. You can check out her taste at the London branch at 126-7 New Bond Street. The store is a minimalist marvel, designed by renowned architect John Pawson 15 years ago. The fashion is relatively affordable for London. If you're looking to buy one "splash out" dress for the weekend's festivities, this is one place to shop for ideas and accessories. jigsaw-online.com. Club Mahiki One of Prince William's favorite hangouts, this nightclub is likely to be part of his stag party. mahiki.com. Clarence House Prince William currently lives near his Royal Air Force base in Wales, but his father, Prince Charles, announced the engagement from their official home lives at Clarence House.* Glimpse this Tudor building by walking up the Mall from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch. Soldiers in sentry boxes guard out front. Book now for summer tours. royal.gov.uk. *CORRECTED on Wed. Sorry for the error. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL London shopping: A new mall with spectacular views Quiz: Think you know London? London hotels: Want that towel? You have to pay $2.40

    Inspiration

    What To Eat In Singapore: Lunch Under $5

    This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter. It is undeniable that Singapore is known for great food. For all the talk about how the city-state is sterile, expensive, and without flavour, naysayers have to concede that this tiny Southeast Asian country, known as the Little Red Dot for its placing on the world map, is chockfull of strange and wonderful tastes. The dishes here may not be as famous as Thai food and not as intricate as Japanese cuisine, but they pack a certain punch. Those who have tried them won't forget in a hurry. The second in a series of what to eat in Singapore, here is a list of local lunch choices for under $5. Visiting a new country can get a little daunting and tiring as you traipse up and down the sunny streets—still, look forward to lunch, for you will always be able to find something that will perk you right up. Mee Soto AyamPronounced: Mee So-toe Ah-yum (for the picky eater)Cost: $4This dish of yellow noodles in a mildly spiced chicken broth is the perfect choice for a fuss-free meal. Topped with shredded chicken (ayam means chicken in Malay), beansprouts, and fresh coriander, it tastes fresh and clean. The dish is also a major crowd pleaser—everyone from young kids to grandpa and grandma can appreciate this light and flavourful soup. Mee Soto Ayam is also a common breakfast dish, if you feel like loading up first thing in the morning. Hainan Chicken RicePronounced: Hai-Nan-Jee-Faan (for every single visitor)Cost: $3.50This is hand's down Singapore's most famous dish, no matter for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This dish of sliced poached chicken served atop fragrant white rice was even on the royal menu when Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton visited the city-state two years ago. Properly executed, the chicken meat should taste springy, and the skin smooth with a thin layer of gelatine that makes the dish all the more sinful. The star of the dish is always the rice—cooked with pandan leaves, garlic, and chicken broth, it's fragrant, silky, and delicious. It's the perfect meal that won't leave you breaking out in sweat on a hot day. Minced meat noodle (for the pasta lovers)Pronounced: Bak Chor Mee (Bahk-Chore-Mee)Cost: $3.50Skinny yellow noodles go surprisingly well with morsels of minced meat, silvers of pork liver, braised mushrooms, and the tastiest of all guilty indulgences: crispy pork lard. Usually served with a small bowl of fish ball soup and a leaf of raw green vegetable, this dish relies heavily on a well-made sauce. Various options include: dark (sweet black soya sauce), chilli or tomato sauce (depending on whether you want it spicy) or white (sesame oil). The first few are heavier on the palate; those who love aglio olio would love the last preparation method. Nasi Briyani (for the adventurous spice lover)Pronounced: Na-see Bree-yarn-neeCost: $4 to $6.50 depending on what you addExtremely fragrant, highly exotic, and perfect for when you're in the mood for a hearty meal. Basmati rice is cooked with a variety of herbs such as cinnamon, saffron, and lemongrass, and the result is a plate of orange-and-yellow grains that look like the sunset and tastes just as glorious. Its slightly spicy tang goes great with a side order of fried chicken. If you're bent on having this, order a cold drink to bring down some of the heat. Lontong (for the vegetarian)Pronounced: Long-tongCost: $4.50Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike should check out this traditional Malay dish. Rice is tightly wrapped in banana leaves, boiled, cut into small pieces, and drenched with a mild vegetable curry. The vegetables—usually carrots, beans, and potatoes—are cooked until extremely tender. Sometimes, hard-boiled eggs and bean curd are also added into the mix. Together, they form a whole meal in a bowl of delicious curried stew—especially perfect for rainy days.

    Inspiration

    How YOU Can Take Prince William and Kate's Royal Tour of NYC

    For first-time visitors to New York City, Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton sure packed in a huge amount of Big Apple highlights in record time. A whirlwind Sunday-through-Tuesday trip had the royals zooming from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to the Financial District to the Upper East Side, then back to London via JFK Airport in Queens—all while remaining stately and dignified. As we all know, though, New York welcomes everyone—the tired, the poor, the huddled masses... You catch our drift. Here's how we commoners can follow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's aristocratic itinerary without spending a pence more than absolutely necessary. 1. The Carlyle Hotel Where it is: NYC's tony Upper East Side, rosewoodhotels.com Highlight you have to see: Take the stairs up to the hotel's bar to peek at the giant wall murals featuring the children's book character Madeline. Her creator, Ludwig Bemelmans, gifted the iconic scenes to the Carlyle in exchange for a year and a half's stay for him and his family. It's worth noting that the hotel was one of Princess Diana's favorites. How you can go for cheap: Reserving a room at the Carlyle this time of year starts at a hefty $585 per night (rumor has it Kate and Wills' luxury suite cost as much as $10,000 a night). But in the early evenings, for the price of a drink (from $9), you can sit at Bemelmans Bar, munch on complimentary nuts and snack mix, and listen to the musical stylings of talented pianists such as Earl Rose and Chris Gillespie. Pro tip: They sometimes take requests. 2. The Barclays Center Where it is: Across the Brooklyn Bridge in Prospect Heights, barclayscenter.com Highlight you have to see: Make like William and Kate and take in a New Jersey Nets game—or grab tickets to shows by acts from Justin Timberlake to The National to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. If you're like us, you'll want to peruse the pre-concert food options: Brooklyn favorites Nathan's hot dogs, Williamsburg Pizza, Fatty 'Cue BBQ, and other innovative standbys all have indoor posts along the stadium's circumference. How you can go for cheap: You'll have to beat Ticketmaster on this one. Military and first responders can score discounted tickets. Otherwise, sign up for Barclays email and newsletter offers and scour sites like Craigslist, CheapTickets, and StubHub for deals. 3. The 9/11 Memorial Museum Where it is: Downtown, in Manhattan's Financial District, 911memorial.org Highlight you have to see: The museum's steel "tridents," two 70-foot columns of the Twin Towers' facade that remain, and the Survivor Tree, a callery pear tree that weathered the attacks and was rehabilitated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. How you can go for cheap: Admission is free every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close. Book in advance at 911memorial.org/freetuesdays, or head to the ticket window at 4:30 p.m. on the Tuesday you'd like to visit. If you'd prefer to visit the outdoor reflecting pools rather than venture inside the museum, quiet observation is always free. 4. The Door Where it is: The edge of SoHo, thedoor.org Highlight you have to see: The Door is a non-profit organization that aims to assist NYC's "disconnected youth." Programs offered include tutoring, foster care, English language classes, and free meals. How you can go for cheap: There's no admission fee to help the city's young people. The org holds regular volunteer information sessions every Tuesday from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. Find out more at thedoor.org. 5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Where it is: The Museum Mile section of the Upper East Side, next to Central Park, metmuseum.org Highlights you have to see: The royals were at the Met to get their black-tie gala on at a fund-raiser for their alma mater, St. Andrews University in Scotland, but for those of us who prefer to view our art in slacks and flats, popular works that see high foot traffic include Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), Claude Monet's Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, and Emanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware. What you'll personally enjoy is subjective, of course. One of our favorite aesthetic pleasures is the Greek sculpture Marble statue of a kouros (better known as the "New York Kouros")—and the view from the Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar on the museum's rooftop. How you can go for cheap: Technically, the $25 admission is a suggested donation, so you don't have to pay the full cost. If cheaping out feels chintzy, you could become a member for a tax-deductible $80 per year, which includes unlimited free admission plus discounted merch. Only in town for a bit? Consider purchasing an NYC CityPASS for $109, which ushers you into a slew of attractions including the Met, the Empire State Building Observatory, the Statue of Liberty, and others—and you get to skip the ticket lines. 6. The Empire State Building Where it is: Smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, as it should be, esbnyc.com Highlight you have to see: The view. It really is worth the 102-floor vertical trip. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio accompanied Prince William to the top, joining the list of famous Empire State twosomes including Cary Grant and Debra Kerr, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, and Mindy Lahiri and Danny Castellano. How you can go for cheap: Riding up only to the 86th floor is the cheapest option at $29, but $46 will take you 16 floors higher, to the tallest vantage point. Just be patient: The "Express" lines move faster, but the prices are nearly double. Also, see the CityPASS option above — it'll get you onto the 86th floor, which could be worth it if you're short on time and plan to pack as many sights as you can into your visit. Just like the royals do.

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    DESTINATION IN Virginia

    Fairfax

    The City of Fairfax ( FAIR-faks), colloquially known as Fairfax City, Downtown Fairfax, Old Town Fairfax, Fairfax Courthouse, or simply Fairfax, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 22,565, which had risen to an estimated 24,019 as of 2019.The City of Fairfax is an enclave surrounded by the separate political entity Fairfax County. Fairfax City also contains an exclave of Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Court Complex. The City of Fairfax and the area immediately surrounding the historical border of the City of Fairfax, collectively designated by Fairfax County as "Fairfax", comprise the county seat of Fairfax County. The city is part of the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as a part of Northern Virginia. The city is 17 miles (27 km) west of Washington, D.C. The Washington Metro's Orange Line serves Fairfax through its Vienna station, which is a mile northeast of the city limits. CUE Bus and Metrobus operate in Fairfax. Virginia Railway Express's Burke Centre station is situated three miles southeast of the city's boundaries. Virginia's largest public educational institution with 35,189 students in 2017 is George Mason University, which is located in unincorporated Fairfax County, along the city's southern border while still having a City of Fairfax address and sharing the same public transportation system.