Founded in 1964 and heavily influenced by the Garden City Movement, Reston was designed to successfully combine green spaces, commercial areas and suburban neighborhoods. The best place to observe the success of the design is the Reston Town Center and the beautiful Van Gogh Bridge on the Green Trail walking/hiking path. Other very pleasant areas for a walk include the Thoreau Loop Trail and the short trails at the Walker Nature Center. Cultural attractions include the Reston Regional Library, the ArtInsights Film Art Gallery and the Center Stage Theater. You can satisfy your inner Foodie at Sweet Green, La Madeleine and Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Reston Town Center
Reston Town Center is a popular gathering place for Reston locals. The carefully-designed Town Center is set around a very pleasant public park called Fountain Square. The town center contains a mix of office buildings, commercial and dining establishments and it also has a covered pavilion area which is used for public concerts and events in summer. In winter, locals and visitors can enjoy ice skating on the outdoor ice rink. Visitors come to the town center to shop at over 50 retail outlets, dine at one of 30 restaurants or catch a movie at the 13-screen cinema or just take a walk around Fountain Square.
Reston Town Center, 11900 Market Street, Reston, VA 20190, Phone: 703-579-6720
2.Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole
The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole is a Wild-West-themed water park where the entire family can have hours and hours of fun. The park covers more than an acre and is filled with every imaginable kind of water slide, fume, sprays, showers and floats. At the heart of the park is Pete’s Peak which offers a choice of thrilling slides to satisfy even the most fearless dare-devil – try Big Pete, Little Pete or Prospectors Plummet, if you dare. Younger visitors can have fun in Tenderfoot Pond or Boomtown, a bubble and spray area specially designed for little ones. This fun family attraction is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA 22035, Phone: 703-324-7329
3.Reston Regional Library
A perfect place to spend a few pleasant hours on a rainy day, Reston Regional Library has all the reading material you would wish for. Their remarkable collection of over 145,000 items includes everything from board-books for infants to daily newspapers, magazines, e-books and much more. The Library offers the community a range of excellent services including the chance to have your old photo collection digitized, assistance with test preparations for students or programs to help you brush up on your language skills. There are 18 computer stations (one of which is suitable for sight-impaired visitors) and the library hosts a regular list of fun family activities including musical story-time, Zumba classes and much more.
Reston Regional Library, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 324, Fairfax, VA 22035, Phone: 703-324-3100
4.ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art
© ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art
If you love art and the movies, the ArtInsights Gallery Film Art is sure to please. Even if you know nothing at all about art you cannot help being impressed by the amazing art that lies at the heart of each and every big-screen movie. At ArtInsights Film Art Gallery you can admire the work of amazingly talented campaign artists, concept artists and production designers. As you make your way through the gallery you will see how many of your favorite movies were conceptualized by a these remarkably talented artists and animators. The art works are all for sale in case you would like to start your own collection of Film Art.
ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art, 11921 Freedom Drive, Reston, VA 20190, Phone: 703-478-0778
5.Lake Thoreau Loop Trail
When you fancy a little outdoor exercise the Lake Thoreau Loop Trail is a good option in Reston. The multi-use paved trail is a favorite with local dog walkers and is around 2 miles long. Offering pleasant views of one of the city’s lakes, the trail meanders through a mix of residential pathways and there is a good mix of sunny and shaded areas. If you are planning to bring along the family you need to consider that some parts of the trail are fairly steep and would be cumbersome to navigate with a stroller or with very young children on foot.
Lake Thoreau Loop Trail, South Lakes and Sunrise Highway, Reston, VA 20191
6.The Center Stage, Reston Community Center
© Anna Jurkovska/stock.adobe.com
Located inside the Reston Community Center, The Center Stage is the place to go for some great entertainment in Reston. The local performing arts group, together with international and national guest performers host regular live entertainment at the venue. You can look forward to attending concerts, plays, musical performances, and much more. Other attractions at the Community Center include the Jo Ann Rose Gallery and 3D Gallery where local artists can exhibit their work. There is almost always an exhibition in the galleries and you can also attend various art classes on site – everyone from pre-schoolers to retirees is welcome to come and unlock their inner artist.
The Center Stage, 2310 Colts Neck Rd, Reston, VA 20191, Phone: 703-476-4500
7.Walker Nature Center
© Sander Meertins/stock.adobe.com
The 76-acre Walker Nature Center is a popular outdoor recreation area where the whole family can enjoy getting back to nature. The center offers a wide variety of fun and educational activities for all ages at their attractive and eco-friendly Nature House. Here children can enjoy meeting a variety of small animals, learn from the various nature exhibits or attend a nature program. The center has several short loop trails where you can enjoy walking through the woodlands and doing some birding. The venue also hosts events such as children’s birthday parties and other get-togethers. The center is open to the public daily except for Tuesdays – bring along a picnic and settle in for a few hours.
Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, VA 20191, Phone: 703-476-9689
8.The Van Gogh Bridge
© Fun in Fairfax VA
Part of the original overall-plan to build a beautiful garden city, the Van Gogh Bridge is a prominent Reston landmark. Surrounded by beautiful cherry trees, the bridge provides an unrivalled photo backdrop in the lovely city. Van Gogh Bridge perfectly combines function with art – it links the business and residences of Lake Ann’s Washington Plaza to neighboring city areas and to the North Shore swimming pool via the Green Trail. The bridge was inspired by the famous Van Gogh painting of Arles, in France and was intended to encourage locals to get outdoors and active. To see bridge at its best you should try to visit in spring when the cherry trees are in blossom.
The Van Gogh Bridge, The Green Trail, Reston, VA 20190
© Sweet Green
Dedicated to changing lives by changing the way we enjoy food, Sweet Green is your go-to restaurant for delicious, healthy food and drinks. Sweet Green endeavors to serve the freshest, sustainably farmed, locally sourced ingredients, cooked from scratch and prepared with love. Seasonal menu items change all the time depending on what is ripe and ready on the farms. Other regular menu items include hearty (and healthy) warm bowls of goodness, farm-fresh salads and personalized bowls for those who like to design their own delicious meals. Juices are freshly squeezed on site or you can accompany your meal with iced tea or a sparkling seltzer.
Sweet Green, 11935 Democracy Dr, Reston, VA 20190, Phone: 571-203-0082
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10.Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
© Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
At Cooper ’s hawk Winery and Restaurant you can savor a little Napa Valley atmosphere in the heart of Virginia. Cooper’s Hawk Winery produces a range of world-class wines using the finest grapes from all around the world. At their restaurants, the emphasis is on pairing their superb wines with a selection of delectable dishes to showcase both the wine and the fine cuisine. If you prefer to just drop by for a wine tasting at the tasting room you will get to try 7 or 8 wines, purchase wine by the bottle and join the wine club. Club members get invited to monthly exclusive wine and food pairings, barrel releases and much more.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, 12130 Sunset Hills Rd, Reston, VA 20190
© La Madeleine
For a delicious and authentic taste of France in the heart of Virginia you can make your way to La Madeleine in Fountain Drive. Here you will find a mouth-watering selection of typical French dishes from crepes to quiches and croissants to baguettes. The restaurant offers a convenient take-away service if you would like to grab a great healthy meal to enjoy on a picnic or at your office. The interior of La Madeleine is cheerful and cozy, the ideal place to meet a friend or two to enjoy a cup of coffee and an indulgent French pastry or a more substantial lunch or supper.
La Madeleine, 1833 Fountain Drive, Reston, VA 20190, Phone: 703-707-0704
11 Best Things to Do in Reston, VA
- Reston Town Center, Photo: spiritofamerica/stock.adobe.com
- Water Mine Family Swimmin' Hole, Photo: bortnikau/stock.adobe.com
- Reston Regional Library, Photo: HasiWala/stock.adobe.com
- ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art, Photo: ArtInsights Gallery of Film and Contemporary Art
- Lake Thoreau Loop Trail, Photo: saran/stock.adobe.com
- The Center Stage, Reston Community Center, Photo: Anna Jurkovska/stock.adobe.com
- Walker Nature Center, Photo: Sander Meertins/stock.adobe.com
- The Van Gogh Bridge, Photo: Fun in Fairfax VA
- Sweet Green, Photo: Sweet Green
- Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Photo: Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant
- La Madeleine, Photo: La Madeleine
- Cover Photo: Joe Benning/stock.adobe.com