By Eve Thompson
Purple Beech Drive is a Reston lakefront community. (Photo courtesy of Zillow.)
One of my favorite neighborhoods of lakefront, single-family homes is Purple Beech Drive in South Reston. I love contemporary architecture, and I especially think the design of these homes fits with Reston—the wood-sided homes feel organic and natural. The sizes and layouts are all different, but typically they are 4-bedroom, multi-level homes. They have beautiful wooded yards, and the entire neighborhood is well landscaped and attractive.
Several of the homes have direct lakefront access to Lake Thoreau, and all have full lake access and privileges. Imagine paddling on the lake during the summer, or enjoying a picnic on your own floating barge (a favorite among many people who live on Reston’s lakes). This cul-de-sac is quiet and peaceful—a great place to let your children play outside and enjoy nature. A lovely walking path circles the lake, making it easy to walk to South Lakes Village Center to enjoy a meal, or simply go for a run.
Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School, and South Lake High School are less than one-quarter mile walk through neighborhoods. Other nearby amenities include the Walker Nature Education Center, Reston Regional golf course, Reston Metro station (about 1 mile), Reston Town Center, pools and tennis courts. Purple Beech Drive is the kind of neighborhood that is close to anything you want to do, but also perfect if you just want to hang out in your beautiful home.
By Eve Thompson
Spring is in the air and I admit it’s hard to concentrate on work. Fortunately, we all have a good excuse to take off a little early today—St. Patrick’s Day. Who isn’t a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s day? If you are able to take off early today, or even if you have to work all day, here are some of the celebrations happening in and around Reston.
Kalypso’s Sports Tavern
All day, Lake Anne Plaza, Reston
This is my favorite since I can walk from both home and office…and I like Kalypso’s. Yes, it’s normally a Greek restaurant. But not today. Kalypso’s will offer drink specials and Irish food, such as corned beef, Guinness stew, and reuben sliders. They will also have a 50/50 raffle benefiting the American Cancer Society. Acoustic rock musician Pete Lapp will perform starting at 8:30pm. Sounds like fun.
All day, 754 Elden St, Ste 102, Herndon
Actually, O’Sullivan’s celebrates St. Patrick’s day every single month on the 17th—that’s how seriously they take it. This small, neighborhood pub has excellent Irish food, Guinness, and other beers. Be sure to try the Guinness burger—it is something special. They’ll be celebrating all day.
All day, 2465 Centreville Road, Herndon
It may have a Herndon address, but Ned’s is just down the street (or the Dulles Toll Road, rather). This is a great Irish bar, and they do St. Patrick’s Day right. They will have live acoustic musicians from 11am-9pm and Irish dancers at 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm. At 9pm. live band My Hero Zero will perform. And there will be plenty of traditional Irish food, Guinness, and green beer available all day.
The Old Brogue
All day, 760C Walker Road, Great Falls
The Old Brogue is an institution in our area. Although also not in Reston, it’s a quick 10-minute drive. They will have concerts throughout the day, with authentic Irish music performed with lunch or dinner—reservations are required. They also offer a St. Patrick’s Day Pub Bash, with takes place all day starting at 10am, with live entertainment and Irish beer. First come, first served. They’ve been having hosting this party for a many years and it gets very full. My advice—go here early in the day and work your way back toward Reston as the day goes on.
No doubt restaurants at Reston Town Center will also be celebrating today. So just get out there and have some (responsible) fun!
By Eve Thompson
Restonians love lakeside living, and Chadd’s Ford Cluster is one of the many townhome communities in South Reston it. This neighborhood of 57 brick and siding townhouses is located in South Reston off Ridge Heights Road on Lake Thoreau—with about half direct lakefront properties.
The cluster was built between 1978 and 1980, and each three-level home has two to four bedrooms. And, all homes have at least two assigned parking spaces.
For those who enjoy boating or rafting, Chadd’s Ford Cluster owns and maintains two docks for the residents and guests to use and enjoy. Any day the weather is nice, you’ll see people making the most of living on lovely Lake Thoreau. For those who like leisurely walks or runs, the Reston Association paths run through the cluster… it’s a beautiful, short walk to South Lakes Village Shopping Center for dining and shopping. For families, Chadd’s Ford Cluster is walking distance to South Lakes High School, Langston Hughes Middle School, and Terraset Elementary School.
This is the kind of neighborhood where you can see the residents’ pride in the beautifully manicured landscaping. The cluster association sponsors several social gatherings each year, adding to the warm community feel. Give it a visit, and you’ll see what I mean. This is a wonderful neighborhood.
By Eve Thompson
To many in Reston, art is synonymous with The Greater Reston Arts Center—a wonderful place with a mission to enrich our community by providing access to contemporary visual arts. In pursuit of this mission, GRACE provides a year-round program of contemporary visual art exhibitions, education programs for all ages, and special events.
GRACE has been a Reston institution since 1974, when artists and art lovers founded it as a source of cultural enrichment for the new town of Reston. From its early beginnings in the Lake Anne Village Center to its current home in Reston Town Center, GRACE continues its role as a leader in the expanding regional arts community.
What I love about GRACE is that something is always happening there. I love spending evenings at Reston Town Center, seeing a new exhibit at GRACE and then going out for a wonderful dinner. I feel like I’m in Washington, DC—or even New York. And every May, I look forward to the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival—one of the premier juried art festivals in the country.
Click any of these links to learn about GRACE’s exhibitions, educational programming, and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.
GRACE is located at 12001 Market Street Suite #103 Reston, VA 20190 (near the little park area where you often see children playing). Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm.
By Eve Thompson
There are many hidden gems along the banks of Lake Thoreau in South Reston, and Walden Cluster is one of them. This charming neighborhood consists of 52 townhouses on Swans Neck Way (off of Ridge Height Road) built between 1980 and 1982. The homes are brick and cedar, 3-level, 2 to 4 bedroom homes. Each house also has at least one assigned parking space.
If you love the idea of living on one of Reston’s lakes, this is a great neighborhood to investigate. About 30% of the Walden Cluster homes are direct lakefront property, but all the homes in the neighborhood enjoy the use of Lake Thoreau.
This cluster is wonderful for families—there is a great community tot lot. Better yet, it’s located just across the street from Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle and South Lakes High School. No missing the bus! It’s also an easy walk to South Lakes Village Center—with several eateries, a Starbucks, and Safeway. And, of course, this neighborhood is close to the Reston Metro station.
So if you’re looking for a place to park your canoe, take a look at Walden Cluster.
By Eve Thompson
I love dogs. Any breed, any dog. They’re great. So when PetMAC marketplace and adoption center moved from its Arlington location to Lake Anne Plaza, I was thrilled! This small, woman-owned business proves that doing good and doing good business go hand in hand.
Owner Cindy Williams opened PetMAC in 2005 in partnership with Homeward Trails Animal Rescue (a wonderful organization). Before that, she had an on-line business selling all-natural pet foods and supplies. PetMAC was a logical next step—combining her business skills with her passion for working with animal rescue organizations. She says merging the two loves is “a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in pets’ lives – to be able to offer healthy foods and educate new pet owners on the importance of a good quality, species appropriate diet. We have the greatest customers who are so friendly and appreciative of the work we do – and the people are pretty cool too!”
PetMAC is a one-stop shop for everything your dog or cat needs to be healthy and happy. They specialize in offering all-natural foods with no chemical preservatives and no animal by-products. They stock not only traditional kibble and canned diets for your pet, but freeze-dried, dehydrated and frozen raw diets as well. If you’ve ever had a pet with allergies, you know how important a good diet it is!
They also carry all kinds of toys, including ones that can hold up to the strongest jaws, stylish and durable collars and leashes, comfy cozy beds, behavioral modification products, fragrant shampoos and grooming supplies, doggy apparel including raincoats, winter coats and seasonal clothing such as Halloween costumes and Santa suits.
Cindy and her crew are doing a lot of great work out of their small space at Lake Anne. In addition to selling products, they host adoption events and provide all sorts of fun classes for pet owners. They are truly a wonderful resource for dog and cat lovers.
But there is more. Cindy believes in supporting other American and local businesses by offering a large variety of USA and locally-made foods and supplies. Arlington’s Max and Ruffies vegetarian dog treats, USA-made Bixbi Chicken, Lamb and Pork jerky, Wisconsin-based and family-owned Fromm dog and cat food, Florida’s hand-made cat toys from Mouse Factory and California-made durable Goughnuts dog toys are just a few of the USA made products they sell.
And if you don’t have a pet to buy all these wonderful things for? No worries. Cindy and her team work closely with local rescue groups to adopt dogs and cats out from the shop. Soon they will have resident adoptable kitties who love visitors (if you just need a feline fix, stop in for some love)—they just need to build an enclosure so the rascals don’t escape the shop. They donate a portion of their sales to their partner rescue groups each quarter, donate to rescue fundraisers, and offer discounted supplies to their partner rescue groups and fosters as their way of saying “thank you” for helping rescue shelter animals.
If you want to support a local business, and you’re looking for a shop that really cares about helping you do what’s best for your pet, then PetMAC is the shop for you! We hope to see you soon!
Visit them at 11412 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190.