Founded as Virginia’s first planned residential community in the mid 1960’s, Reston still embodies its founding principles of “Live, Work, Play and Get Involved.” Reston was conceived as a planned community by Robert E. Simon. It takes its name from his initials. It was the first modern, post-war planned community in America. Simon’s family had recently sold Carnegie Hall, and Simon used the funds to create Reston. The first section of the community was built on Lake Anne. It was designed by architect and planner James Roassant.
Quality of Life
As a planned community spread over 7,000 acres, Reston has all manner of abodes to call home. There are various densities and heights and ranges of bedrooms. You can live quietly on a lake or more energetically in a condo over a business at the center of town. There are plenty of options for housing in every price range. In 2014, Reston was ranked 10th in the Best Places to Live in America by CNN Money Magazine.
Reston has 134 cluster associations (townhome and patio home-style neighborhoods), 30 condominium associations and 4,800 single-family homes. There are also 17 apartment buildings in Reston, comprised of more than 3,800 units.
Parks — Reston offers more than 1,350 acres of maintained open space throughout the community and a wide variety of facilities and programs. There are 55 miles of paved pathways and natural surface trails, more than 700 acres of forest, 50 meadows and four wetlands. Aquatic habitats include four lakes, three ponds and 20 miles of streams, enjoyed by boaters and anglers. Download Reston Association’s individual trail maps here.
Garden Plots — RA rents more than 270 garden plots each year in four locations. All of the plots are located on a gas pipeline easement that runs through Reston. This makes good use of this land due to the requirement to keep these areas open. The garden plots provide a place for growing sun-loving vegetables and flowers. Of the four locations three are for organic gardening. Garden plots are for Reston Association members only.
Lakes & Watersheds — Reston’s four man-made lakes (Lake Anne, Lake Thoreau, Lake Audubon and Lake Newport) cover 125 acres and provide recreation and storm-water management for the community. While swimming and ice skating are not permitted, fishing, boating, wildlife watching and lakeside picnicking are available to RA members and their guests.
Facilities — Reston Association’s The Lake House, Glade Room, Brown’s Chapel and Walker Nature Center are frequently used for group functions, including scout meetings, wedding ceremonies, birthday parties and a variety of classes.
Reston is a 10 mile drive from Tysons Corner and the Capital Beltway to the east and less than eight miles to Dulles International Airport to the west. Reston has four local exits on the Dulles Toll Road. Direct access to the airport is free. The Dulles Toll Road splits the community along its east-west axis and is the primary transportation corridor. Avoiding the toll means taking Rt. 7 or other secondary roads. Reston is currently (but temporarily) the end of the Metro’s Silver Line; you can be in Washington, D.C. in 45 minutes.