News & Politics

Away From It All: Reston

Reston, a planned community sitting amid gleaming office buildings on the Dulles Toll Road, boasts wooded lots, waterfront property, and a lifestyle that thumbs its nose at big-city hustle.

By Kerry White 

Who lives here: A mix of government workers, hospital staffers, teachers, artists, and other professionals. The easy commute to the many high-tech companies along the Dulles corridors appeals to technology workers.

On the water: Four man-made lakes anchor the community; hilly roads follow their edges, along with bike paths, pools, parks, and tennis courts. “You literally feel like you’re on vacation,” says longtime area radio announcer Cerphe Colwell, who lives in a five-story contemporary on Lake Audubon.

Meet and greet: Lake Anne Village Center—the heart of developer Bob Simon’s original Reston plan—was designed in the 1960s as a European village. It features a few family-owned restaurants, an old-fashioned pharmacy, a bookstore, art gallery, and other small shops. It’s also home to warm-weather concerts and a farmers market. Santa visits via a barge for a tree-lighting and sing-along.

Reston Town Center, its bigger, newer, and busier cousin, boasts a multiplex and dozens of upscale chain stores, specialty shops, salons, and restaurants. There’s an ice rink in winter and band and dance performances in warmer months.

Parade of homes: Modest apartments to high-rise condos, Colonials to contemporaries, townhouses to McMansions.

For sale: The market’s cooled recently, with homes taking weeks to sell, not days. Prices start under $200,000 and top off around $2 million. Property on the lake or near Reston Town Center is prime. A four-bedroom contemporary on Lake Newport listed recently for $1.6 million, a five-bedroom townhouse for $415,000.

Diversions: The public Reston National Golf Course winds through the middle of town. The homeowners association maintains 15 pools, 48 tennis courts, and 55 miles of bike and exercise trails. CenterStage, at the Reston Community Center, hosts authors, bands, and theater performances. Last year’s calendar included African dance and a talk by novelist Amy Tan.

Coming soon: Metro, scheduled to open a station in 2015.

Drawback: New construction—especially in and around Reston Town Center—raises fears of more traffic and noise.

Why it beats Sherwood Forest: With 62,000 people, Reston is bigger and boasts more cultural and lifestyle opportunities.

On the Web: Reston Association, a home­owners group (; Reston Citizens Association (; Lake Anne Village Center (; Reston Town Center (