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Lake Season in Reston

Lake season in RestonSummer is in full swing, and it has been a glorious July. The weather has been beautiful, with lower than normal humidity. Perhaps that is why I’ve been seeing so many people on Lake Anne. Here are just a few of the lake season sports happening in Reston.

Paddle boarding in Reston

We are lucky to have a company here in Reston that offers standup paddle boarding (SUP) workshops on our Reston lakes — Surf Reston. SUP has been growing in popularity, probably because it is so much fun! Paddle boarding started as an offshoot of surfing, only it’s much easier and you don’t need waves. The concept is simple — you stand on a surf style board and use a long paddle to move across the water. It’s a fun sport anyone can enjoy.

Surf Reston offers workshops at Lake Anne, Lake Audubon, Lake Thoreau and Lake Newport. The company started as a way to build a community of individuals who enjoy paddling; they teach how to paddle responsibly and safely and give their customers the opportunities to connect with other enthusiasts. Sign up for one of their workshops today! Better yet, get a group of friends to do it together. It’s a blast.

Kayak and Canoe Rental

Until Labor Day weekend, you can enjoy a leisurely paddle around Lake Anne. Reston Association provides kayak, canoe, and paddle boat rentals by the hour. It’s a fun way to spend a summer evening! You can purchase tickets at Reston’s Used Book Shop, 1623 Washington Plaza (near the fountain). Contact the book shop by calling 703-435-9772. The cost is $6 per boat for 1-hour rental.

Hours of Operation are:
Thursdays, 4 – 8 p.m.
Fridays, 4 – 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Boating and Fishing at Lake Fairfax Park

The 476 acre Lake Fairfax Park includes a 20-acre lake where you can fish and boat (bring your own or rent a paddle boat or take a tour in the tour boat). There is a small fee for launching your own boat, but it’s completely worth it! Follow the link for more information: boat rentals. Hours are 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day until Labor Day. The address is

1400 Lake Fairfax Drive
Reston, VA 20190
703-471-5414 

For other fun ways to spend your summer day, check out this comprehensive guide in Modern Reston.

Visit the NOVA Parks, our gorgeous regional parks

I spend a lot of time talking about all the amenities Reston has to offer, and you could easily fill all of your free time doing everything. But I would be remiss if I did not point you to the NOVA Parks. I sometimes get so focused on my life at Lake Anne, I forget the incredible resources we have in Northern Virginia. The park authority maintains many of them.NOVA Parks Meadowlark Gardens

NOVA Parks is a nonprofit that represents three counties and three cities — Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, the City of Alexandria, the City of Falls Church and the City of Fairfax. NOVA Parks staff, volunteer board members appointed from each jurisdiction and friends of the regional parks have worked together to preserve more than 12,000 acres of the rolling and wooded Virginia countryside, creating a priceless legacy for future generations. We are truly blessed that way back in the 50s regional leaders has the foresight to protect the Northern Virginia Wilderness.

NOVA Parks provides so many things to do, I can’t possibly list them all. So I’m just going to share my favorite. That is Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, also known as a little slice of heaven.

The gardens consist of 95 acres of ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections. I particularly love the fairy garden, but all of the gardens are beautiful and fun. You can sit on a bench in your favorite spot, or meander along the walking trails, discovering local flora and fauna (be careful of nesting Geese… they don’t appreciate visitors and they will charge you). The Atrium contains an indoor tropical garden. I’ve been to several events there, and the space is amazing. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is also home to the annual Winter Walk of Lights, a spectacular holiday light show featuring dozens of illuminated displays. 

What is really nice is you can buy an annual pass for only $45 for the entire family! I think that is one of the best deals around. Of course, if you don’t want a pass you can buy single tickets — $5 for an adult, $2.50 for seniors and children 7 to 17, children under 7 free.

Happy July 4 from my family to yours

July 4 fireworks

Happy Independence Day! I hope you have a fun filled day planned. I’m looking forward to hanging out with my family — my favorite way to spend every holiday!

To me, the highlight of the 4th is always the fireworks. Most places did their fireworks on Saturday, which honestly is a bit of a letdown. There is nothing like watching the fireworks on the 4th. Thanks to the town of Herndon, you can!

The town of Herndon will hold its annual 4th of July celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. tonight. This free event will feature entertainment, arts and crafts, bingo, and family games. How fun is that? The fireworks display will begin at around 9:30. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Upper Lake Drive, South Reston

house on Upper Lake DriveRight off Sunrise Valley Drive and within walking distance of the Reston Silver Line station is a lovely street of contemporary homes. Upper Lake Drive is simply gorgeous.

Like many neighborhoods in Reston, Upper Lake is a horseshoe shaped drive (don’t ask me why). Much of the street backs up to lovely Lake Thoreau (hence the name “Upper Lake.” At the entrance closest to the metro, residents have easy access to an RA tennis court. At the other entrance, is Lake Thoreau pool. In between are mature oaks and maples and contemporary single-family homes nestled in the woods.

The neighbor was built in the late 1970s, and the homes are spacious. All are on generous plots, giving owners plenty of private space. I have a listing on Upper Lake with an open floor plan, exposed wood beam ceilings, wood floors and big windows. I’m not saying ALL the homes are like this, but this is typical of the neighborhood.

Upper Lake Drive is what Reston is all about: close proximity to schools, shopping and recreation while still feeling like you live in the country.

Lake Life in South Reston

Lake Thoreau in South Reston, Virginia is one of the most serene spots in Reston. The charming homes are located with in walking distance of South Lakes Village Center, and are a short drive to the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Metro Station.

Built between 1975 and 1978, Lakewinds is actually divided into two clusters: Lakewinds I and Lakewinds II. In total, the two clusters consist of 93 brick and cedar townhomes — 46 in Lakewinds I and 47 in Lakewinds II. The 3-level 3 and 4 bedroom homes each have assigned parking spaces; the Lakewinds II townhomes have one carport spot.

About 70% of the homes are lakefront, and all have lake access. In nice weather, you will see the residents enjoying their small boats or barges.

The local schools are Terraset Elementary School, Langston Hughes Middle School, and South Lakes High School—all of which are within walking distance. Other nearby South Reston attractions include the Reston Regional Golf Course and Walker Nature Education Center. In fact, this neighborhood is great for anyone who values spending time outdoors!

Photo courtesy of Lakewinds II cluster website.

Tennis Anyone?

52.

Weeks in the year? Nope. That is the number of Reston Association tennis courts in Reston. If that’s not enough for you, Hidden Creek Country Club has 6. Between them, there is a tennis court, lesson, or league for everyone. Throughout the summer, you will hear the sound of balls being hit pretty much no matter where you are in Reston (that is, if unless the court is next to a pool, where the sound of children playing will drown it out).

What I think is great about tennis is you don’t have to be great to enjoy playing. Anyone of any skill level can play tennis. There aren’t really all that many sports where you can say that.

Here is what you need to know about getting on the Reston tennis courts:

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 quickstart 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. Virginia Living magazine readers vote the Reston Tennis Association 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. A staff of tennis professionals is available for group and private lessons, team practices, cardio tennis, and junior tennis camps. You do need to be a Hidden Creek member to reserve the courts.

Wait, there is more…

In case there aren’t enough courts in Reston for you, this website offers a complete list of tennis facilities in the Reston area. That’s right — there is no excuse for staying off the courts this summer.

Inlet Cluster, North Reston

inlet clusterInlet Cluster in the Lake Anne neighborhood sports is a small community of 63 townhomes. While none of them are directly on Lake Anne, the cluster has private dock at the inlet where residents can moor their boats. 

These contemporary 3-level, 3- to 5-bedroom homes were built in 1971. Every house has a carport space, and there is additional parking throughout the neighborhood. The cluster was designed for privacy, with the homes located behind the parking structures. Having been built in 1971, the trees and landscaping are mature—the neighborhood has a feeling of being nestled in the woods.

Inlet Cluster is located off Wiehle Avenue just north of the Lake Anne dam. It’s about a five-minute walk to Lake Anne Village Center (or a quick paddle in the canoe).

inlet cluster housesThe local schools are Lake Anne Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. With easy access to Wiehle Avenue, the Reston Station and Toll Road are only minutes away.

 

Pool Season is Almost Here

Which of the 15 Reston Association Pools is your favorite? Everyone has one, and it’s not always the one they can walk too. Some have water features for children, some are all lap lanes. One is Olympic sized, others feature great shade.

Over the years, each pool has developed it’s own personality and attracts people for different reasons. You can see the full summer pool schedule here. 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

  • Autumwood (11950 Walnut Branch Road, North Reston)
    This pool’s large wading area with a fountain is great for toddlers. There is also a covered picnic area and playground nearby.
  • Glade (11550 Glade Drive, South Reston)
    With a 20-foot slide, this pool is a favorite for kids of all ages! 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)
    This pool features separate water basketball and volleyball areas, a diving board, and children’s splash area. For the parents, there is a large spa. The pool also features an ADA ramp into main pool.
  • 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!
  • North Shore (11515 North Shore Drive, North Reston)
    This heated pool is a family favorite. 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 hydrolift chair into the main pool, and shaded upper deck with picnic tables.
  • Shadowood (2201 Springwood Drive, South Reston)
    This is a smaller and quieter pool than Glade, but feature a small slide for the kids. There is also a wading pool and small picnic area.
  • Uplands (11032 Ring Road, North Reston)
    This 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 wheel chair.

For serious swimmers

  • Lake Newport (11601 Lake Newport Road, North Reston)
    This 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.

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)
  • 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 spa lovers

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

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

Pool Passes and Alerts

You can follow Reston Association on Facebook and Twitter and get up-to-date schedule information; this can be handy when you’re wondering if that storm coming through will close the pools. Facility closures that affect a pool for more than two days will be posted here as well.

You do need your pool pass to use the pools, and fortunately you can buy them online. Just click here.

Maybe I’ll see you at the pool.

Heather Knoll Cluster, North Reston

heather knollFor families with young children, living on a cul de sac is great because it provide a safe place for the children to play. Perhaps that’s why the families I work with love Heather Knoll Cluster in North Reston.

Designed by Berry & Co., Heather Knoll Cluster was built in the early 1990s. It is a small community of 52 townhouses distributed among 13 buildings. Each home has a traditional brick front with fine detailing, classic cedar siding and elegant trim. The homes come in three different styles, with variations in room sizes and overall square footage. They are all two levels with a basement, three bedrooms, and two and half bath. They also each have a one-car garage — a bonus for Reston townhomes — and privacy fences separating the yards. And they have fireplaces!

Heather Knoll Cluster is located on Woodbrook Court off of Woodbrook Lane and Wiehle Avenue in the North Point area of Reston. The neighborhood is close to the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 7.

The surrounding area has wonderful walking paths and plenty of trees and nature. North Hills pool and tennis courts are about a five-minute walk, and North Point Village a 10 to 15 minute walk (depending on how fast you walk).

This is the perfect neighborhood for anyone who wants something slightly off the beaten path, but still wants to have all the amenities of Reston easily accessible.

 

You Can Appeal a DRB Decision

A friend of mine had her Reston Association Design Review Board application denied this week, and she was not very happy about that. I told her not to fret; she can appeal the decision. Here is how:

How to Appeal a DRB Decision

Your rejection letter will indicate why the DRB rejected your project, and indicate what changes you need to show. Once you pull that information together, you can submit it and get in the queue for a meeting.

Good things to know: To appeal a DRB decision, you must be either the applicant or a registered Affected Party. And the DRB will hear only one appeal of a decision.

You have 15 days after the notice of a decision has been mailed to get your appeal letter to the DRB Secretary. All requests for appeals must be submitted in writing to your covenants advisor.

After that, the Secretary will schedule the appeal to the next available full Design Review Board. DRB decisions may be overturned on appeal for either or both of two reasons:

  • If the original reviewer(s) misapplied specific guidelines or DRB-approved cluster standards.
  • If there is new and/or additional design information that was not available to the original reviewer(s).

Typically, the appeal decision becomes the final decision.

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