Reston is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The population was 56,407 at the 2000 census. An internationally-known planned community, it was built with the goal of revolutionizing post-World War II concepts of land use and residential/corporate development in American suburbia.
The Reston Town Center is home to many businesses, with high-rise and low-rise commercial buildings that are home to shops, restaurants, offices, a cinema, and a hotel. It comprises over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of office space.
Municipal, government-like services are provided by the nonprofit Reston Association, which is supported by a per-household fee for all residential properties in Reston. A special tax district within Fairfax County was created to fund the various educational, cultural, and recreational activities of the Reston Community Center. Its main building is located on the southern side of Reston at Hunters Woods Plaza. The center has a theater, indoor heated swimming pool with jacuzzi, ballroom, meeting rooms, and classroom space. A smaller branch of the Reston Community Center is located at Lake Anne Plaza.
Theater and music
The local theater group, the award-winning Reston Community Players present four stage productions annually in the high-tech theater at the Reston Community Center in the Hunters Woods Plaza. The Reston Chorale and Reston Community Orchestra also have regular performances here and throughout the town.
In the summer free concerts are offered at Lake Anne Plaza on Thursday evenings and at the Reston Town Center on Saturday evenings. Various festivals take place at these locations also. Canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and paddle boats can be rented on Lake Anne during the summer. Residents can also enjoy low cost theatrical and choir performances presented by the local high school. The theatre department at South Lakes High School has received numerous awards over the years, including the honor of representing the Mid-Atlantic region in the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Four miles (6 km) from Reston there are year-round concerts at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, where the National Symphony Orchestra has its summer home away from the Kennedy Center. This venue offers world class performances ranging from opera and ballet to symphonic and popular music. Visitors can purchase reserved seats inside the pavilion or picnic on sloping lawns while enjoying a concert. During the cooler months bluegrass music can be heard indoors at The Barns of Wolf Trap.
Reston also houses the offices and headquarters for MENC: The National Association for Music Education, which supervises and promotes music education in schools across the United States.
Parks and recreation
Restonians can avail themselves of the many cultural activities in Washington, D.C., by driving 20 miles (30 km) into the city or taking buses to connect to a Metro train. Two upscale shopping centers are located nearby in Tysons Corner, as well as the shops located throughout Reston and nearby Herndon.
Two miles (3 km) from Reston on Leesburg Pike (Route 7) is the Colvin Run Mill, operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority. It is a working 1811 gristmill that won a first-place restoration award from the American Institute of Architects in 1973. The miller’s house, barn, and historic post office/gift shop provide visitors with a glimpse of nineteenth century rural Virginia life. Daily public tours are offered. A few miles to the west along the same road there is the historic 1820 Dranesville Tavern, also operated by the park authority and rented out for weddings, parties, and corporate functions.
Also in Reston is the 476-acre (1.9 km2) Lake Fairfax Park, operated by the county. It features boat rentals from a new marina, a large outdoor pool complex called “The Water Mine,” overnight campground facilities, picnic areas, and fireworks on Independence Day.
The Reston Zoo is located on the northeast edge of the community. It has 30 acres (120,000 m2) dedicated to family-friendly animal interaction with wagon rides and feeding stations. The animals include zebras, antelope, bison, ostrich, alligators, camels, goats, a reptile house, and waterfowl.