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Three Easy Summer Day Trips from Reston, VA

day trips from RestonSummer is here and it's hard not to spend my days daydreaming about the adventures I could be having. While Reston has so much to offer--pools, tennis courts, walking paths, parks and more--sometimes you just want to get in the car and take off. Fortunately, Reston, VA is perfectly located so you can do any number of fun day trips. Here are three of my favorites.

The Beach and Shark Teeth Did you know you could be at the beach within an hour? Yes, we are that close... at least to the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay. (If you want to drive three hours, the entire Eastern Shore is waiting for you). Chesapeake Beach, Maryland is about a one-hour drive, and it is well worth it. From charming restaurants to sandy beaches, it's the perfect summer day trip. It's fun to hunt for shark's teeth, an activity that keeps kids young and old occupied for hours. The best spot is along Calvert Cliffs, and you will see people sifting through the sand at all hours of the day. Learn more about this fun activity here.

Hiking in the Catoctin Mountains Most people know of the Shenandoah Valley, and it is certainly beautiful. But some of my favorite close hiking is in the Catoctin Mountains in Maryland. The expansive vistas are stunning. Although you can get to hiking in trails within an hour of leaving Reston, you can stay overnight if you want--many people enjoy camping out in the Adirondack Shelters. Many of the hiking trails take you near Camp David, so it's always fun to try to glimpse the President (no, you won't get a glimpse, but it's fun to try). Learn more at

Ladew Topiary Gardens There are actually many lovely gardens within a three-hour drive of Reston. One of my favorite (aside from Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna) is the Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, MD, which is about an hour and a half to the north of Reston. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the grounds are stunning with more than 100 topiaries filling the landscape, including a pack of dogs traipsing through the grounds (I think they may be on the hunt, but I'm not sure). Learn more before you visit at

If you can swing a vacation this summer and want to have some local fun, give these day trips a try. Or, for more ideas, visit Northern Virginia Magazine's list of 52 day trips. Enjoy!

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Waterfront like along a lake