One of our favorite spots in the DMV is Lake Anne in Reston. Designed in the ‘60s after the lakeside communities in Europe this neighborhood is unique and quirky. A short distance from popular Reston Town Center, Lake Anne is a destination worth exploring.
On Saturdays from 8-12 April through December you can visit a very bustling farmers market. With produce, meats, artisanal cheeses, and other unique goods – it is worth checking out and supporting local businesses. During normal times, this market gets busy fast, so plan accordingly and be prepared to walk a bit to the stands.
Another favorite spot or ours at Lake Anne is the Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar. While you can enjoy delicious brunch items, enjoy wine with a friend, we mostly enjoy grabbing a cappuccino for the adults and hot chocolate for the girls and a croissant. (Right now, they have a walk up window you can place your order and still be safe and distances from others.) We usually grab our snacks and head to one of the benches by the lake. On some Sunday mornings, a group of residents have remote control sailboat races that are entertaining for all to watch.
A second stop worth trying while at Lake Anne is the Lake Anne Brewhouse. While small, the outdoor tables by the water provide a unique spot to enjoy a local brew and delicious Nordic Knot soft pretzel from a local baker who only sells them to a few of the restaurants at Lake Anne. In the summer, businesses take part in a cardboard boat regatta that usually ends with a celebration at the brewery.
Other spots to check out at the sports bar Kalypsos, restaurants, and even the Reston Museum. In the late spring, a chalk festival occurs. There, local artists ranging in novice to experienced, design amazing works of art all along the walkways. You can also rent boats from the boathouse, getting to enjoy the lake from an entirely different view.
If you walk towards the fountain and around the corner, you will find the Lake Anne Blue Trail. Surrounded by cute gardens, concrete playgrounds, and even a large swing that overlooks the canal, this walk is an easy way to feel as though you’re exploring a far off place without traveling too far. At the beginning of the trail is one of our favorite spots, the Van Gogh Bridge. In the spring the surrounding cherry trees are gorgeous with their pink petals and make for an idea photo spot.
Once you across the Van Gogh bridge, walk to the right for the swing and creeks. The trail weaves in and around the various neighborhoods, and makes for a great place for little ones to explore nature. If you continue straight and veer left at the top, you’ll get to see more of the residential properties. Many of which have created amazing rock art and fairy gardens to view from the sidewalk. As you continue up the path you will find several park areas with picnic tables and canoes as well as larger playgrounds for kids to explore.
Other spots near Lake Anne to check out are the Walker Nature Center, Baron Cameron Park, Reston Zoofari, and Lake Fairfax Park. If all of the walking and exploring has made you work up an appetite, check out the Reston location of Willard’s Real Pit BBQ or head over to Reston Town Center. Whichever you choose, Lake Anne and the surrounding Reston area is overflowing with options for easy, affordable, family fun that many of all ages will enjoy.