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Brewing Beer, Building Community at the Lake Anne Brew House

Lake Anne Brew HouseCraft breweries — the American version of a neighborhood pub — are as hot as coffee shops, and I’m thrilled to have a new one at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston. The LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE embodies everything that is romantic and wonderful about a small business. It has a product the community has been craving; it has committed owners who want to create the best brew house possible while fostering community; it is sited in a place that needs more of both of those things.

What they do: LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE sells its small-batch, hand-crafted beers directly to loyal customers from our nanobrewery taproom. You won’t find this (delicious) beer anywhere else… unless you take a growler home with you.

Since the day the LAKE ANNE BREW HOUSE opened in May, Restonians have made sure they have a difficult time keeping the brews in stock.

The owners are a husband and wife team — Jason and Melissa Romano. Jason is no newcomer to this craft — in fact, he has received accolades for many of his signature recipes. The BREW HOUSE is a way to scale production to meet the demands of a growing craft beer drinking market.

Melissa is an Architect and designer, and that is obvious the minute you walk through the front doors. The space is beautiful.

Jason and Melissa have a shared goal: to provide an inviting location for the community to gather and appreciate a hand-crafted selection of exceptional beers.

And what, exactly, are those beers? Their flagship brews are Live-Work-Play IPA, Reston Red, Brown’s Chapel Brown Ale, Lake Anne Skinny Dip Kolsch, and Simon’s Stout. Due to their small capacity, they may run out of a listed beer before they have a chance to update their website or Facebook page. So, really, you just need to be there when they open on Thursdays to make sure you can get what you want.

Did I mention the patio? Yes, they have a great one right on the lake. There are few nicer ways to spend a gorgeous summer evening that with friends supporting a local, small business.

Their hours of operation are Thursdays 4pm – 10pm, Fridays 4pm – 11pm, Saturdays 10am – 11pm and Sundays 12pm – 5pm. To find it, use your GPS to 11401 North Shore Dr., Reston, VA 20190. Then just walk to the plaza and head toward the sound of laughter.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

The Clusters of Moorings Drive, Lake Anne Reston

moorings drive restonHave you ever parked on Moorings Drive on your way to the Reston Farmer’s Market and wondered what kind of houses the street leads to? Let me tell you — it’s a wonderful mix of the different styles of Reston town homes. This neighbor is not only charming, it’s quiet and close to everything.

The first cluster on your left is Brookshire, one of the first clusters built in Reston in 1964 and 65. It’s one of Reston’s smallest clusters and has an impressive ratio of green space to homes — 5 acres to 26 homes. Lush green foliage, magnificent old oak trees, interconnecting paths and recreational areas surround the cluster. These two and three bedroom townhomes feature an average of 1,500 square feet of living space.

Then comes Chatham Colony Cluster. This is also a small cluster, with about 45 homes that each has a wooded backyard. These colonial style townhomes have brick exteriors, shuttered windows, and two designated parking spaces. With three bedrooms and full basements, each home offers plenty of space for growing families and empty nesters alike. And like most Reston homes built in the 1970’s, each has beautiful hardwood floors and large windows.

Next on the tour is Wyndmere Cluster, the newest addition to this area. Like all of the townhome clusters off moorings, residents have access to Lake Anne.

Finally, there is Moorings Cluster, built between 1971 and 1972. These spacious three- to five-bedroom townhomes have fantastic views of Lake Anne (70% are direct lakefront properties). Unlike many lakeside townhouse communities, each of the 50 homes in this neighborhood has a garage.

All of these clusters off Moorings Drive have easy access to main roads and public transportation. This is the kind of neighborhood where you can take full advantage of everything Reston has to offer — you can walk to Lake Anne, jog on the nearby Reston Association paths, or be at Reston Town Center in a matter of minutes.

It’s also close to ballparks, pools, tennis courts, the sprinkler park (off North Shore Drive) and more. Many residents have small boats and canoes that they take out on Lake Anne, enjoying a leisurely paddle to the plaza for concerts, festivals and dining. In the summer, residents can walk to the popular Farmer’s Market and Reston Market. Neighborhood residents attend Reston’s Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School.

Summer Fun Reston Style

paddle boats on lake anneOne of the things I always talk about is how much Reston has to offer everyone — adults and children alike. I was thinking about this as I chatted with my friend Susan who grew up here in the 1970s and lives here today. She said many of her favorite childhood activities are still things she loves to do — walking down to Lake Anne, swimming in the pools and boating on the lakes.

Susan offered to talk to some of her friends who grew up here to share their favorite activities. I hope this list inspires you to get out and enjoy all that Reston has to offer.

Susan has wonderful summer memories of walking down to the Lake Anne Pharmacy, splashing in the fountain, and dangling her feet off the pier. If she wasn’t doing that, she was exploring the Reston Association paths or lounging at one of the swimming pools. It seemed like summer in Reston lasted forever.

Rick Morgan remembers summer days fishing off the pier at Lake Anne, eating peanut butter sandwiches and buying Coke from Larry at the pharmacy.

“My father would drop me and my brother at Lake Anne on his way to work, and pick us up on his way home,” said Morgan. “If you remember two red-head boys hanging out at Lake Anne all summer in the late 70s, that was us.” (Susan remembers seeing them in the summer.)

These days, Morgan still enjoys Lake Anne. While he no longer spends the whole day fishing off the pier, he loves paddling his hand-made canoe across the lake on his way to the Reston Farmer’s market on Saturday mornings.

Canoeing isn’t the only way to enjoy Reston’s lakes — paddle boarding is quickly becoming a favorite summer activity. Of course, if you don’t have a canoe, barge, or paddle board to explore the lakes, you can rent a paddle boat or kayak at Lake Anne.

Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau offer the opportunity to tie up and enjoy lunch or dinner at an outdoor patio. But if bird watching is what you want, Lake Audubon is the spot. During a leisurely paddle, you’re likely to see heron, loons, cormorants and more.

Lynn Kessler says the walking trails around the Nature Center are one her family’s favorite nature activities.

Summer concerts at Reston Town Center and Lake Anne are fun ways to spend an evening with friends and family. The entertainment style varies, but it’s always free and always a great way to get out and enjoy a beautiful summer evening. Kessler says her children love the water spouts at the west side of Reston town Center.

This summer, hanging out at Red’s Table at South Lakes Village Center and Lake Anne Brew House at Lake Anne joined the list for several people. And even though it hasn’t opened yet, people are anticipating the arrival of the Lake Anne Coffee house.

Yes, Reston is a wonderful place to have a grown up, and a wonderful place to see children (of all ages) enjoying the activities we all loved when we were young.

Popcorn, Movies, Pools?a perfect summer combination

The more things change, the more they stay the same. In fact, the summer fun that makes Reston a great place to grow up hasn’t changed much over the last 40 years, according to people who grew up in Reston… and decided to stay.

family dive in moviesFor example, Restonian Lisa Kelly’s absolute favorite activity as a child was movie night at the RA pools. Now her children share the same love of that weekly summer ritual. “We love it because it is a family friendly event that is free and fun! It’s a unique way to watch a movie outside, and we look forward to it each year,” said Kelly.

It really is fun! There are plenty more opportunities to get in on it (that is, assuming you aren’t coming down to Lake Anne for the summer concert series — it’s a hard call.)

Family Dive In Movies

Reston Association hosts the Family Dive In movies. Always free, always fun. RA provides the popcorn and drinks, but you need to bring your favorite float. Movie titles are advertised at the event location, but does it really matter what the movie is? There is free popcorn! Movie nights will be canceled in the event of rain, so let’s hope for a dry summer. Contact Ashleigh@reston.org or call 703-435-6577 for more information or weather related cancellations.

Time:
8:30 p.m. – until the movie is over 

Dates/Locations:

  • Wednesday, July 6
    Tall Oaks Pool, 12025 North Shore Drive
  • Tuesday, July 19
    North Hills Pool, 1325 North Village Road
  • Thursday, July 21
    Newbridge Pool, 11718 Golf Course Square
  • Wednesday, Aug. 10 
    Glade Pool, 11550 Glade Drive

Fairway Drive and Hook Road, North Reston, VA

Fairway Drive Reston VirginiaBuilt in the 1960s, the Fairway Drive and Hook Road (which literally hooks off Fairway around the baseball fields and tennis courts) neighborhood in the Lake Anne area of Reston is the perfect spot for anyone who wants to be able to walk to everything. This neighborhood backs up to the Hidden Creek Country Club golf course, and so most of the houses have an amazing view.

With a few exceptions, the single family homes are classic contemporary style, most with three or four bedrooms. The homes are typically two-story, and many have brick exteriors.

The homes on Hook road line only one side of the street. The inner space of the horseshoe houses a baseball diamond for little league, RA tennis courts, and a basketball court provides entertainment all summer. And there is plenty of room to lay out a blanket for a family picnic.

Fairway Drive and Hook Road are a quick walk to Lake Anne Village Center, and just a little further to Reston Town Center. Lake Anne Elementary School is just across the street, making morning walks to school a breeze. This charming, quiet (well, except for little league games) neighborhood is the perfect location for any family that wants to be in the middle of everything but still live in an established neighborhood.

Where to See the Fireworks in Reston Area

Fourth of July in Reston VACan you believe it’s almost July 4? We had such a cool spring, that it doesn’t feel like summer yet. But it is. And it’s time to think about where you want to watch the fireworks this year. Fortunately, we have a ton of options near Reston. Here is a run down:

If you want to take a drive: Everyone should go see the fireworks on the National Mall. And if you want to really feel like a local, you won’t actually go down to the Mall—you’ll watch them from one of several vantage points nearby. The Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) in Arlington, Virginia near the Rosslyn Metro station is great, and you can hop on the Metro after to get home with no fuss. There are also areas along the Virginia side of the Potomac River that you can reach from George Washington Memorial Parkway, again allowing for an easy exit to get home. The Gravelly Point parking lot, which is about a quarter mile from the 14th Street Bridge, is also convenient.

If you want to stay local, that works too.

  • The local Reston fireworks are at Lake Fairfax Park. (1400 Lake Fairfax Dr., Reston, Virginia. (703) 471-5415. Fireworks begin around 9:15 p.m.) If that even feels like too much of a drive, the hill by Forrest Edge Elementary School offers a great view.
  • In the Town of Herndon, they’re at Bready Park, Herndon Community Center (814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon, Virginia. (703) 787-7300.) Make an evening of it for the children with face painting, balloon sculpturing, bingo and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m. There is music at 7 p.m., and the main fireworks event is at 9:30 p.m.
  • Vienna is just a hop, skip and jump—and the July 4 festivities are worth it. Everything happens at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street Southeast, Vienna, Virginia). Starting at 11:00 a.m. there are arts and crafts, food, live music, vendors, and games. Fireworks are at 9:15 p.m. at Southside Park on Ross Dr.

Whatever you choose to do, have a fun and safe holiday!

Loving Life at Cabot's Point Cluster In Reston's South Lakes

Reston VA South LakesAh, summer! Imagine wandering out your back door and down to your private dock, where you launch your canoe for a lazy paddle around the lake. Sound perfect? It is. And that dream can become your reality.

Cabot’s Point Cluster in South Reston is a beautiful community of cedar patio homes sitting on Lake Audubon, Reston's largest lake.

Built in the early- to mid-1980s, these townhomes have a distinctive contemporary design with sharp right angles and sun-drenched cedar siding. Rather than the adjoining walls typical of most townhouse developments, two-car garages attach these units. The yards are beautifully landscaped, and common areas provide a wooded setting. The homes have one or two decks and are staggered along winding, narrow cul-de-sacs that give the impression of a small village. Many units have lake views; all have lake access.

Did I mention it’s also private? The neighborhood is so secluded that many people don't realize there are houses back there. And the resident’s like it that way. I’ll tell you how to find it though—you enter from South Lakes Drive, across the street from South Lakes High School.

Cabot’s Point may be close to every activity Reston has to offer (including the Reston Metro station), but for many residents, lazy evenings on the lake are the leisure activity of choice.

Homes don’t often come on the market here, that’s how much the residents love their neighborhood. So if you see one, jump on the opportunity immediately. And then go shopping for a new canoe.

Tennis or Golf Anyone? You Got it in Reston!

Golf Courses in Reston VAWhen I think of summer sports, two come to mind: tennis and golf. Especially in Reston, with our two golf courses and 58 tennis courts. On those glorious days when the sun is shining and a light breeze carries the aroma of honeysuckle through the air, getting outside to play golf or tennis just feels like the right thing to do. If you're new to Reston, here is the low down on local golf and tennis:

Reston Golf Courses

Legendary golf architect Ed Ault built both of Reston's beautiful courses: Hidden Creek Country Club and Reston National Golf Course.

Hidden Creek Country Club

The Hidden Creek Country Club course is a classic, playable design renowned for its meticulously landscaped tees and greens where beautiful plants and flowers adorn each hole. This PGA-quality course is a favorite for serious golfers. Click here for club membership information.

Reston National Golf Course

Located in South Reston, Reston National Golf Course is Reston's public golf course. This secluded course is full of shaded fairways that provide a tranquil environment for any kind of golf outing you can imagine. Visit the restaurant or the clubhouse before or after your game to prolong the fun. Click here to book your tee time. 

Reston Tennis Courts

Restonians love tennis! Good thing Reston Association has 52 tennis courts in Reston, and Hidden Creek Country Club has 6. There is a tennis court, lesson, or league for everyone. The beauty of tennis is anyone of any skill level can play it--you don't have to be good to enjoy getting out and hitting the ball around. 

Reston Association Tennis Courts

For the Reston Association tennis courts, obtaining a pass is a simple matter of visiting the RA website or the customer service center at RA headquarters. Reston Association Tennis is a USTA certified Community Tennis Association and the courts include 26 lighted courts, 8 clay courts, 6 quick start courts, and 3 practice walls.

RA offers lessons for children and adults, league play, flights, and challenge ladders to all RA members as well as non-members owning a valid Tennis membership pass. The Reston Tennis Association was voted by Virginia Living magazine readers to be one of the Best Tennis Clubs in Northern Virginia! The USTA Mid-Atlantic awarded Reston Tennis Association as Section Organization of the Year.

Hidden Creek Country Club Tennis

Hidden Creek has six lighted tennis courts, two of which are permanent indoor heated courts that allow for year round play in cold or wet weather. Tennis pros are available for group and private instruction, team practices, cardio tennis, and junior tennis camps. You do need to be a member to reserve the courts.

Arbor Glenn Cluster, North Reston

Arbor Glen Cluster Reston VAYes, you can have it all. The privacy of a single-family home; the convenience of a townhome community; and easy access to shopping, schools, and recreation does all exist in one place. And that place is Arbor Glen in North Reston.

The Arbor Glen community of 44 townhomes was built between 1986 and 1988. Privacy was top of mind when Miller & Smith designed these spacious 3 and 4 bedroom homes. The townhouses are arranged in groups of four to six in a “Z” row, which means that each house feels more private—you never look into a neighbor’s house, and the row design minimizes noise from the adjoining homes.

Nestled in a wooded area, the common space is tranquil and beautiful. While the neighborhood may feel secluded, Arbor Glen is less than a five-minute walk to North Point Village Center and Lake Newport pool (Reston’s only Olympic sized pool), and Reston Town Center is less than 2 miles away. While Arbor Glen is right off busy Lake Newport Road, and close to Reston Parkway (only the soccer fields stand between the two), the neighborhood is exceptionally quiet.

Yes, Arbor Glen Cluster in Reston, VA is one of those rare neighborhoods that has it all—lovely architecture, plenty of common space, and privacy. Lot’s of privacy. 

Love to Swim? Reston Makes it Easy.

Reston VA Public PoolsTrue, we have had so much rain this Spring that you may feel like you’re living inside a pool. But you can’t swim laps in a downpour. You can swim laps at any one of the 15 Reston Association Pools in our community. The pools are one of the best amenities Reston Association offers, but you don’t have to be an RA member to enjoy it—pool passes are available for you too. 

The pools are situated throughout Reston, so chances are there is one within walking distance of your home. But many residents choose their favorite pool based on factors such as shade, kid-friendliness, adult-friendliness or hours. Whichever pool you chose, it will feature lap lanes, areas to splash around, and plenty of lounge chairs. But each pool has it’s own personality and attracts people for different reasons. Here’s a lowdown on what each pool offers so you can plan your day in the sun (or shade).

For children of all ages

  • Uplands (11032 Ring Road, North Reston)
    Uplands is the premier pool for families with toddlers. The zero-depth children’s pool (0-3 feet deep) has interactive fountains, a cold-water spa, and an interactive sand pit. The pool also has an ADA in-water wheelchair.
  • Glade (11550 Glade Drive, South Reston)
    Glad has a 20-foot slide! Need I say more? Parents can relax in the spa while the kids are sliding or diving off the 1-meter diving board. There is also a wading pool for the little ones.
  • Hunters Woods (2501 Reston Parkway, South Reston)
    For those who like their water sports, this pool features separate water basketball and volleyball areas. It also has a diving board and children’s splash area. For the parents, there is a large spa. The pool also features an ADA ramp into the main pool.
  • Shadowood (2201 Springwood Drive, South Reston)
    This smaller, quieter pool also has a slide for the kids. There is also a wading pool and small picnic area.
  • North Hills (1325 North Village Road, North Reston)
    This pool features two shallow play areas, one of which has a fountain. For family day at the pool, there are also picnic tables, a grass beach area, and a picnic pavilion with grills. And don’t forget the spa!
  • Autumwood (11950 Walnut Branch Road, North Reston)
    This pool is a toddler’s paradise with its large wading area and fountain. There is also a covered picnic area and playground nearby.
  • North Shore (11515 North Shore Drive, North Reston)
    This heated pool is a family favorite. And those who like to get their laps in early love it too. It opens early in the season and is the last pool to close in September. The pool features a spa, wading pool, ADA ramp to the pool deck, ADA hydro lift chair into the main pool, and shaded upper deck with picnic tables. And it has special adult only hours.

For sun worshippers

With plenty of sunny spots, these pools are great if you want to get some serious rays.

  • Dogwood (2460 Green Range Road, South Reston)
  • Golf Course Island (11301 Links Drive, North Reston). There is also a large playground with grills next to the pool—perfect for summer parties.
  • Lake Audubon (2070 Twin Branches Road, South Reston). In addition to your pool amenities, there is a boat ramp to Lake Audubon nearby if you want to take out your canoe or sunfish.

For shade seekers

If you want to spend the day at the pool without spending a day in the sun, these pools are perfect for you.

  • Lake Thoreau (2040 Upper Lake Drive, South Reston). Lake Thoreau has adult only swim hours early in the morning.
  • Newbridge (11758 Golf Course Square, South Reston)
  • Ridge Heights (11400 Ridge Heights Road, South Reston). This pool is heated. It opens early in the season and is one of the last pools to close.
  • Tall Oaks (12025 North Shore Drive, North Reston)

For serious swimmers

  • Lake Newport (11601 Lake Newport Road, North Reston)
    Lake Newport pool is Reston’s only 50-meter pool and is a favorite for serious swimmers. There is also a sand volleyball area, and two 1-meter diving boards, a wading pool, and a covered picnic area with grills. 
  • North Shore and Lake Thoreau have adult only swim hours in the mornings, so you can get your laps in without little ones cutting through your swim lane.

For spa lovers

If you love the Jacuzzi as much as the swim, visit these pools:

  • Glade
  • Hunters Woods
  • Lake Thoreau
  • North Hills
  • North Shore