Reston In The Top 10 On 'Best Places' List

Money Magazine ranks Reston No. 7 for its access to tech jobs, diversity in housing and selection of outdoor activities.

Money Magazine came out with its annual "Best Places to Live" list on Monday - and Reston is in the Top 10.

Reston comes in at No. 7 on the list of small cities. The criteria? "These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, and a true sense of community, " says Money.

Coming in at No. 1 is Carmel, IN.

Reston was rumored to be in the running ever since a Money reporter visited Reston earlier this summer. Among the residents interviewed: Reston Association president Ken Knueven and Reston natives Paul and Heather Thomas. Paul Thomas is a former Board of Directors member and Heather Thomas is a guidance counselor at Both of them graduated from South Lakes and returned to raise their own children, who are now in elementary school.

"I am very pleased," Knueven said upon hearing Reston's rank. "Obviously, I would like to be No. 1, but we'll take it and take it well. If you look at the other communities on the list, we are in very good company."

Said Paul Thomas: "I'm glad to see my hometown being given such positive press. It's easy to take everything Reston has to offer for granted, but articles like this remind me that Reston is a unique and remarkable community." 

Here is what Money had to say about Reston:

Reston may be a planned community, but don't expect cookie-cutter homes here. Thanks to famed master planner Robert Simon, houses of all shapes and sizes sit next to one another.

Activities come in all stripes too, from an über-urban downtown to 55 miles of bike paths, 52 tennis courts, and 15 pools.

Thanks to Reston's growing reputation as a technology hub near Washington Dulles International Airport, major firms have large offices here. Those who do commute to D.C. contend with traffic, but next year's completion of the Washington Metro's extension to Reston will help alleviate the pain.

Click here to see the complete list.

Do you agree with Money's ranking of Reston? Do you think it is a top place to live or can we do better? Tell us in the comments.

John Farrell August 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Jim H The census says otherwise. What percentage of recent grads of SLHS are making $90k each? Unemployment among recent college grads is very high and incomes are not.
The Convict August 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM
In case everybody forgot to notice, Reston is not a city; we are just a place in Fairfax County. And Carmel, IN? I can understand, Carmel, CA, but Carmel, IN is smack-dab in the middle of bible-thumpin' territory.
John Farrell August 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Actually, Convict, by the standards of most demographers and geographers Reston has been a city for decades. Most say that a defined place with 25,000 people or more is a city. Reston has 58,000 and defined boundaries. The only thing missing is a charter from the General Assembly. So welcome to the "City of Reston." Enjoy
JoAnne Norton August 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Thanks to Cathy H and Kathleen McKee. We have a beautiful town but there are also people who care about people in this town. And people who care about its beauty.
Karen Goff August 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Convict - some people like bible thumping territory. That said, I have cousins who live in Carmel IN (Jews, in fact, so the bible thing a nonstarter). It's quite nice there. Suburb of Indianapolis. Lakes, etc. Sort of Reston-y but newer.
Diane Lewis August 21, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Am reminded of the song about paving Paradise whenever I look at what has happened to Reston. When I first moved here, mature trees lined both sides of Sunrise Valley Drive. Now the displaced wildlife makes shift in our backgards and wherever they can find green space. RTC looks like your typical urban dystopia. Now we hear that plans are afoot to turn the Reston South golf course into a huddle of townhomes backing onto other town homes. Where will these additional displaced creatures go? For sure, man is the only animal who destroys his own habitat.
BBurns August 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Visit rescuereston.org to help.
CWM August 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM
My husband and I moved here from NJ 3 years ago when his company transfered him out of NYC. We are currently renting and I have to agree that the housing here is completely unaffordable. We are two professionals who can not even think about purchasing property within Reston. It's sad when my friends in the NY metro area are purchasing 5 bedroom homes in NJ (the most densly populated state) for the same price that I can purchase an 800 sq ft 1 bedroom condo in Reston.
reston on my laurels August 21, 2012 at 03:08 PM
We rented in Reston before buying. We fell in love and were hooked. When it came time to purchase our own home, we gladly forked over more money for less square footage. Sure, we could have gotten a bigger home for the same amount. But it wasn't home; it wasn't Reston. I gladly forgo the McMansions built over a treeless farm field.
El August 21, 2012 at 03:12 PM
That is exactly the point I was making. Reston and Fairfax County want to sweep the poor under the rug. And how many years ago was the shelter built? Reston was different then, and I would bet that if there wasn't a shelter here already, there wouldn't be one because it wouldn't "fit" with the "new" Reston. It's not all unicorns and roses, folks.
CWM August 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Well... We aren't looking for a McMansion. Just a 2+ bedroom townhouse. We would hate to think about leaving Reston since we enjoy walking to RTC and Lake Anne, not to mention that we both work in RTC, but honestly I don't think we have a choicee but to move elsewhere.
Jim H August 21, 2012 at 04:08 PM
John, Underemployment and unemployment of our recent college grads is a nationwide problem, not just a concern here in Reston and the DC metro area. We are in fact better off than many, many places in the country. This along with the over inflated cost of real estate that ballooned prices in the early 2000s has hit some of our young people the hardest. Remember that there are many people who benefited from these overinflated prices, selling their homes for 3 and 4 times what they paid for them!
Jenn G August 21, 2012 at 04:12 PM
You have to make sacrifices to live here. We have: a garage, a single-family home, large living space. But what we get in return is more than worth it to us. We spend a LOT of money to live here and I don’t mind that my neighbors have to also (throw rocks at me if you must).
Jim H August 21, 2012 at 04:15 PM
If you both work at the RTC and walk to work then you should be comparing the cost of living there with the cost of living IN NYC, not in the NJ suburbs, as I'm sure your friends in the NJ suburbs have a commute to their jobs in NYC. It's still a buyers market in real estate and my guess is you can find a 5 bedroom home in Loudound County (with a commute to RTC) as affordable as the NJ burbs.
reston on my laurels August 21, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I am banking on the lack of affordable townhomes when I decide to sale. Less marketplace competition. I am only half kidding.
John Farrell August 21, 2012 at 04:32 PM
And that nationwide unemployment and underemployment of our recent college grads combined with the house price inflation is preventing Reston's children from being able to buy a dwelling in Reston. And the conversion of Fairfways, Crescent and other multi-family units to luxury apartments is making things far worse.
Robert Mowbray August 21, 2012 at 05:55 PM
There are many things we need to do to protect Reston's environment. RA has adopted sustainability that we all need to support if Reston is to remain a place we can be proud of. We need to make sure that we don't lose more green space, that continued development does not result in increased storm water runoff. We need more volunteers to Adopt a Spot to remove litter and to come out to monthly Weed Warrior events to remove invasive exotic species from our natural areas. We need to educate the litterers. We need to reduce storm water runoff and erosion from our residential areas. ETC.
Robert Mowbray August 21, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Reston was conceived as a "walk to work" community but that concept was never valid. The jobs weren't here in the beginning and by the time they were, Reston was already a commuter community.
Keith Berry August 21, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Other than no Wegmans, Whole Foods overpriced IMHO, and some outdated neighborhoods Reston is not bad, but 7 I don't know about that. To many self absorbed people who are rude drivers for me to want to live in Reston
Bert Katz August 21, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Reston ROCKS...we love it here
John Lovaas August 21, 2012 at 10:43 PM
We love Lake Anne and we love Reston. While I have no doubt that Reston deserves to be in the U.S. top ten, I have not ever seen most of the competitors in the terrific ten and cannot make an honest comparison. No matter, we plan to be active parts of this great place for the duration. However, we are deeply concerned as Reston is at a vital crossroads between a beautiful suburban community and a future urban character now being shaped for all of us in a Reston Master Plan Task Force. That process is a precarious one, already well behind schedule as the linchpin for our transformation, rail service, rapidly approaches. Many key decisions will be made in the coming months and the community needs to watch and participate closely to assure that the community's interests, not just profits, drive these planning outcomes, or the community we are so justifiably proud of today will be very different indeed. Crowded, congested absent the beauty and charm are real possibilities. Starting with the proposed destruction of 166 acres of greenspace in the south, a misplaced 23-story structure crammed in in the north and much more. The community will make the difference!
Jerry & Fay Sardone August 21, 2012 at 11:15 PM
I am with John Lovaas all the way. And all of the other concered citizens of RESTON, JERRY SARDONE, REALTOR EMERITUS Jerry Sardone, Realty
Nancy Mowry August 22, 2012 at 03:19 AM
You are correct LC White and I think Mr. Knueven should take a stronger stance on maintaining and protecting what Reston was intended to be all about. The word on the street is he is being very passive and has a weak stance. Wonder why? Money perhaps? We'll see what he says at the September meeting.
Nancy Mowry August 22, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I have never been to NH and really want to go to see the Fall colors! I hope NH is referring to New Hampshire :)
Robert Mowbray August 22, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Were any NH cities/towns on the list. I would put Hanover, NH ahead of Reston on the list. Also Chapel Hill, NC.
Jeanette Thomas August 22, 2012 at 08:28 PM
After a couple of long family road trips around the country, visiting communities characterized by chaotic zoning, urban/rural decay, gaudy signage, little green space, and even less personality, my sons pretty much summed it up for us: "There really aren't a lot of places in the U.S. like Reston, are there?" Sure, Reston has problems and challenges, but I would contend that we have fewer of these than a lot of other communities. I, for one, am counting my blessings to be riding out the recession here.
Robert Mowbray August 22, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Nancy - Out environment is not just a matter for RA. We need a lot more citizen involvement to keep our trails and other areas litter free, to fight the war on invasive species, to reduce the voluime and velocity of storm water runoff, and to reduce the level of sediments and pollutants in our streams and lakes.
Judy Mitchell August 22, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Completely AGREE! with you, El.
Judy Mitchell August 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Jim H., you must be joking?! Have you actually priced the cost of purchases, of any size or age, in Loudoun County lately?! And, if the price looks ok, check out the Condo and/or HOA fees. In Reston (Fairfax County) @Bentana Park Condominiums, which I bought in 1993 for $92K (2br/1ba - which I stupidly sold in 2003 for then $150K), near Tall Oaks Shopping Center - now sells for approx $225-250K w/Condo Fees of $400/month!!!!!!!!!!!!! With open, unassigned parking. Do you have any clue how much income it takes to get a mortgage for that much and STILL be able to pay the Condo Fees?!?!.....
Judy Mitchell August 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Jim H., right NOW at Mercer Park in Aldie (way out there!) in Loudoun County a 1 Bedroom/1 Bath w/study Condo is selling for $199,990 and UP, PLUS Condo Fees that are STARTING at $300/month!!!! And trust me, Condo fees ONLY go UP! :( Trying to find somewhere/anywhere to buy in Loudoun County that is affordable is almost impossible. Including as far west as Round Hill. I haven't yet checked out Lovettesville as I work in Reston (have for 22 years) and can't stomach the idea of an hour's commute to work each way.


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