Reston is a planned community with a mix of urban and rural. The careful planning and zoning allows for common grounds, parks, wooded areas with picturesque streams, 2 golf courses and almost 20 public swimming pools, bridle paths, pike paths, 4 lakes, tennis courts and extensive sidewalks. The sidewalks combined with bridges and tunnels, help to separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic. Reston was built in wooded areas of oak, maple, sycamore, and Virginia pine.
The growth and development of Reston has been noted by newspaper articles, national magazines, and scholarly journals on architecture and land use Reston was ranked 7th best place to live in America by CNN Money Magazine. Reston is one of just a handful of communities in the U.S. that has been designated a backyard wildlife habitat community.
An important part of Reston's development is its five village centers and one town center. Each village center were designed to be a half-mile walk from most homes and incorporate the daily retail and community service needs of residents. It is possible to bike to downtown Reston in 15 minutes from most locations.
Almost all buildings are oriented away from main streets. The inward orientation of buildings was a preference of the early developers of Reston, who wished to avoid the commercial strip look that dominates many suburban developments in favor of a more naturalistic look.
The Reston Community Center has a theater, indoor heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi, ballroom, meeting rooms, and classroom space.
In Summer free concerts are offered at Lake Anne Plaza on Thursday evenings and at Reston Town Center on Saturday evenings. Various festivals take place at these locations as well.
Canoes, rowboats, kayaks, and paddle boats can be rented on Lake Anne during summer. There is also theatrical and choir performances presented by South Lakes High school which has received numerous awards for its theater program.
Also in Reston is the 476 acre Lake Fairfax Park which features boat rentals from a new marina, a large outdoor pool complex called "The Water Mine" overnight campground facilities, picnic areas, and fireworks on the 4th of July.
The Reston Zoo has 30 acres dedicated to family-friendly animal interaction with wagon rides and feeding stations.
The Reston Association Nature Center provides services such as nature walks, charity events and conservation efforts.
2 Golf courses are located in Reston and each neighborhood has its own public swimming pool. There are also many tennis courts located near Lake Anne.The Washington and Old Dominion trail is a 45 mile pathway built for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. In addition, Reston has 55 miles of pathways that wind through the community. The centerpiece of Reston's focus on nature is the Vernon J. Walker Nature Education Center which is 72 acres of hardwood forest providing the setting for picnic pavilion, campfire ring, and other facilities that support its outreach programs.
Reston is home to 2 dedicated art galleries, one in Reston Town Center called the Greater Reston Arts Center and the other at Lake Anne. There is also a museum all about Reston's history, called the Reston Historic Museum. It has maps, photos, and books that detail Reston in its current and past states.
Reston is only a 10 mile drive from Tyson’s Corner and the Capital Beltway to the east, and Washington Dulles International Airport on the west. Reston also has an internal bus system with 5 routes.