The Accolades for NoVa Area Keep Stacking Up!
Arlington County, along with the City of Alexandria, were recently included as some of the top ten best places for millennials to live in the United States. Washington, DC came in at a respectable twelfth place. The website Niche, recognized these localities as “the best cities for young professionals based on the number of millennial residents, job opportunities, and access to bars, restaurants, and affordable housing.” Niche’s rankings are based on data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, and other sources.
The website noted that “Arlington is a very beautiful area! So many national monuments near by to visit and admire. Lots of trails for exercising and health food stores for people who love to live that healthy lifestyle. Only down side would be the traffic, but it’s not anything someone can’t handle.”
Alexandria, coming in at a respectable fourth was recognized as “a beautiful and historic town with many fine dining and expensive store fronts. It’s an affluent area. It can be hard to afford to live here. But if you can, it’s a wonderful place to be!” For many of us who already call these communities home, these accolades are a given, but it sure is still nice to see what a great place this region is when compared to many other areas in the US.
The top ten ranked localities include:
1. Arlington, VA
2. Cambridge, MA
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Alexandria, VA
5. Minneapolis, MN
6. Seattle, WA
7. Ann Arbor, MI
8. Berkeley, CA
9. Sunnyvale, CA
10. Sandy Springs, GA
A variety of public swimming pools and waterparks are at your doorstep
The Fairfax County Park Authority and NOVA Parks, our regional park authority, operate a wide variety of indoor and outdoor swimming venues. Almost all of them are accessible by either walking or riding a bike to visit. Both season and day passes are available.
Some of these local venues, such as the Water Mine and Wave pool, offer very unique experiences for the whole family to enjoy. Waterslides, tube rides and body surfing are virtually at your doorstep! Check out the list of locations below and stroll or pedal on over to cool off this summer. And remember to swim more and commute less this summer!
Fairfax County Park Authority Swimming Venues
Outdoor Swimming Facilities
The Water Mine
1400 Lake Fairfax Drive
Reston, VA 20190
This family water park captures the excitement of the Old West’s Gold Rush with attractions tailored for all ages. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole offers more than an acre of slides, flumes, sprays, showers, floatables, and an interactive water playground. Careen off covered wagons, float on wild animals and dash through showers tipped from water-filled ore carts. The activity pool is encircled by Rattlesnake River, a 725-foot lazy river; you can enjoy a relaxing float as the current gently nudges you along.
The centerpiece is Pete’s Peak, a craggy mountain dotted with boarded up mine shafts and tunnels. Several slides of various size and intensity jut from the mountain, giving a variety of thrills you’ll return to again and again. Enjoy a slide down Big Pete and Little Pete, or experience the thrills of Prospectors Plummet, with one of three 3-story waterslides!
The mountain and slides are named for Pete the Prospector. According to Lake Fairfax legend, he staked his claim there in 1849, searching for gold. Sadly for Pete, his years of digging found only water. But now, with The Water Mine, the Park Authority is turning Pete’s worthless old strike into the golden fun of summer.
There’s something here for everyone. Tenderfoot Pond, with its pint-sized slide and gentle bubblers, gives toddlers a perfect place for water play. Children will delight at the never-ending bubblers and spray fountains in Boomtown, a multi-level water playground, along with the interactive slides and additional interactive features in the tot spray pad area! The more adventurous can test their skills on Box Canyon Crossing, the log walk obstacle course. Teenagers can join a game of water volleyball or enjoy the thrill of Prospectors Plummet, and everyone will enjoy going with the flow in a tube on Rattlesnake River.
Our Special Harbor Spray Park at Lee District RECenter
Lee District Park, at the intersection of Rose Hill and Telegraph Roads.
If you like running through the sprinkler, you’ll love Our Special Harbor spray ground at Lee District Park in Franconia. The fully accessible complex features Chesapeake Bay-themed attractions including a spraying osprey nest, Chessie the sea serpent, misting sunflowers and a lighthouse. The beach area is quieter with softer bubblers and interactive water tables. The computerized water maze and dumping crab basket provide more lively activity.
Children will also enjoy the fully accessible tree house and the accessible Tiki Village playground in the nearby Family Recreation Area.
Children (15 years and younger) on the spray pad must wear aquatic shoes or sandals at all times with an enclosed heel or strap on back to keep secured to the feet. Non-standing/non-mobile babies are exempt. Adults/parents/guardians, including employees, may wear flip-flops in lieu of the above. Street shoes are not permitted on the spray pad. For more information call 703-922-9841.
General Admission is free; however there is a daily fee for each participant and chaperone for commercial or nonprofit groups (including day care centers, martial arts camps, YMCA, church groups, etc.). $5 for Fairfax County residents, $10 for Non-County residents. This fee does not apply to families. Space is limited for commercial/nonprofit groups. Reservations can be faxed to 703-719-0987 or in-person through the Manager on Duty at Lee District RECenter prior to the visit.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Pool
Martin Luther King, Jr. Park near Richmond Highway
(Route 1) at 8115 Fordson Road.
The MLK pool features two slides and a children’s wading pool – and admission is free for individuals! The pool will open on Memorial Day weekend and be open each Saturday and Sunday until Fairfax County Public Schools dismiss for the summer. The pool will be closed on Tuesdays.
There is a daily fee of $3 for each participant and chaperone for commercial or nonprofit groups, including day care centers, martial arts camps, church groups and others. Space is limited for groups and must be coordinated in advance with the aquatic supervisor or assistant at Mt. Vernon RECenter at 703-768-3224. The fee does not apply to families picnicking in the park. The park features a playground, an open field and a picnic area, which can be reserved for a fee online. The facility has a maximum capacity of 140 patrons so be advised that on busy days when capacity is reached, there will be a wait.
Indoor Pool Facilities
Cub Run Recreation Center
4630 Stonecroft Blvd.
Chantilly, VA 20151
Cub Run RECenter is a 65,000 square foot facility that includes a 4,860 square foot leisure entertainment pool featuring two water slides and a water playground, a 25-yard by 25-meter swimming pool, a 9,600 square foot fitness center and two multipurpose rooms – one a 3,000 square foot room that can be divided in half, the other a 1,700 square foot room, and a 270 square foot party room.
The natatorium leisure pool includes a 30-foot-high slide that exits the building in an enclosed tube, a 20-foot-high slide with an open tube, a spa, a vortex, a current channel, an open shallow water area and a water playground with interactive play features, a tiny-tot slide and a zero depth entry. The 25-yard by 25-meter competition pool includes two 1-meter diving boards and a seating capacity
Audrey Moore RECenter
8100 Braddock Road
Audrey Moore RECenter at Wakefield Park is approximately 76,000 square feet in size and houses a 50-meter pool with one 3-meter and two 1-meter diving boards. The natatorium also contains spectator seating, doors that lead to a spacious outdoor sundeck, and locker rooms containing saunas and showers. In addition to the various racquetball/wallyball and squash courts, the center has a large gymnasium with six basketball hoops, and volleyball nets. The center also contains a cycle studio, a dance room, a pottery lab and kiln, an arts and crafts room, three multi-purpose activity rooms, and a senior center.
George Washington RECenter
8426 Old Mt. Vernon Road
Alexandria, VA 22309
George Washington RECenter has a heated indoor 25-
meter pool with a poolside spa, beach and wading area, saunas, showers and fully equipped locker rooms.
The fitness area includes two treadmills, and recumbent and stationary bicycles. This completely accessible facility (curb cuts, dressing stalls, pool ramp) also features newly resurfaced lighted tennis courts and a
Lee District RECenter
6601 Telegraph Road
Lee District RECenter, approximately 83,600 square feet, is comprised of three major areas; Natatorium, Gymnasium and Fitness Center.
In addition to these main features, the RECenter also contains racquetball/wallyball courts, two mirrored dance/fitness rooms, three multi-purpose rooms, a mezzanine, and preschool.
The surrounding 193-acre park has one soccer field with two overlay T-Ball fields, two football fields with two overlay softball fields, four basketball courts, an amphitheater, a playground and tot lot, four lighted tennis courts, a tennis practice wall, and walking trails.
The Natatorium includes a heated, indoor 50-meter by 25-yard pool, two 1-meter and two 3-meter diving boards, spa, spectator seating, locker rooms, family changing room, saunas, and showers and an outdoor sun deck and grassed sunbathing area.
Mt. Vernon RECenter
2017 Belle View Blvd.
Mount Vernon RECenter has a 25-meter x 25-yard pool with a one-meter Duraflex springboard, a beach area with aquatic toys, an outdoor sundeck, poolside spa, and locker rooms with saunas and showers. Our comprehensive programs promote safety, skill development, fitness, social interaction and fun.
Various user groups share pool space. Swim teams and Aquatic Adventures Scuba Diving rent space for practice and meets. FCPA and Fairfax County Public Schools share the commitment for hosting the high school swim and dive teams for practice and meets November through February.
Oak Marr RECenter
3200 Jermantown Road
Oak Marr RECenter has an Olympic-size heated indoor pool with 1 and 3 meter springboards, 3 and 5 meter platforms, a 2,300 sq. ft. beach and wading area, a 3,300 sq. ft. outdoor sundeck, saunas, locker rooms with private showers, and a family changing room.
Fairfax County Park Authority RECenter pools have something for everybody! Their comprehensive programs promote safety, skill development, fitness, social interaction and fun.
7525 Marc Drive
Falls Church, Virginia
Providence RECenter has a 25-yard X 25-meter heated indoor pool with wading area, springboard, outdoor sundeck, 2 spas, saunas, locker rooms, family changing room, and bleacher seating. There is a wheelchair ramp built in to the main pool.
Various user groups share pool space. Nationally ranked swimming teams rent space for practice and meets. FCPA and Fairfax County Public Schools share the commitment for hosting the high school swim and dive teams for practice and meets November through February.
South Run RECenter
7550 Reservation Drive
The South Run RECenter has a 25 x 25-yard pool with two one-meter Duraflex springboards, an outdoor sundeck, poolside spa, and locker rooms with saunas and showers. Their comprehensive programs promote safety, skill development, fitness, social interaction and fun.
Spring Hill RECenter
1239 Spring Hill Road
The Spring Hill RECenter has a 25-yard by 25-meter heated indoor pool with two one-meter Duraflex springboards, outdoor sundeck, saunas, locker rooms with showers, and poolside spa. Their comprehensive programs promote safety, skill development, fitness, social interaction and fun.
Three or more lap swimming lanes are always open for customers during operating hours. Shallow (3 1/2 ft.) play space is available after 12 Noon on
NOVA Parks- Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority
Atlantis Waterpark at Bull Run Regional Park
Bull Run Regional Park
7700 Bull Run Drive
Centreville, VA 20121
Get ready for a full day of sliding, splashing and playing at Atlantis Waterpark, located just outside Centreville, at Bull Run Regional Park. From two huge, adrenaline-inducing waterslides and a 500-gallon dumping bucket, to relaxing open pools and dedicated play areas for the little ones, Atlantis offers a thousand ways to stay cool between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Rely on shade areas, sundeck and snack bar to relax and stay cool between slides. Atlantis’ daily rates are always reasonable, or buy an Annual Waterpark Pass to visit all five NOVA Parks
waterparks all summer long.
Great Waves Waterpark at Cameron Run Regional Park
4001 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Bring the family for a full day of summer adventures at Great Waves Waterpark, located at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Thrillseekers love the speed slides and waterslides, while little ones play in the interactive splash pad and wading pool. Take the adventure further and body surf in the 17,500 square foot wave pool, or watch the kids climb, slide and bounce in the Paradise Play area. Naturally, there are also comfy shaded areas where visitors can order food and take a well-deserved rest. Daily rates are always reasonable, or buy an Annual Waterpark Pass to visit all five NOVA Parks waterparks all summer long.
Waterpark at Upton Hill
6060 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22205
Make it a beach day — with waterslides — at the beach-themed Ocean Dunes Waterpark in Arlington’s Upton Hill Regional Park. Find excitement on the 230-foot open slide, or 170-foot covered waterslide, or set the kids free in the play area to splash, slide and play in the water jets. The 500-gallon dumping bucket is a favorite hangout during the hottest days of the year. Sliding is hard work! Take a break under the shade umbrellas and order a meal at the snack shack. Daily rates are always reasonable, or buy an Annual Waterpark Pass to visit all five NOVA waterparks all
Pirate’s Cove Waterpark at Pohick Bay Regional Park
6501 Pohick Bay Drive
Lorton, VA 22079
Arrgh matey! Bring the family for a swashbuckling ride at Pirate’s Cove Waterpark, located at Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, Virginia. Set the kids free on Buccaneer Beach or let them frolic in the water jets and on the pirate-themed play area. Adrenaline fiends will find their way to two thrilling waterslides or cool down beneath the 500-gallon dumping bucket. Make a day of it and stop for a snack or meal at the Captain’s Galley Café. Pirate’s Cove daily rates are always reasonable, or buy an Annual Waterpark Pass to visit all five NOVA waterparks all summer long.
Volcano Island Waterpark at Algonkian Regional Park
20015 Volcano Island Drive
Sterling, VA 20165
It may be the most fun anyone can have while staying cool. Bring the kids to the island-themed Volcano Island Waterpark at Algonkian Regional Park in Sterling, Virginia. Get an adrenaline rush on two waterslides, feel the cool rush of a 500-gallon dumping bucket, and set the kids loose in the giant wading pool and water play structure. Relax underneath palm trees and tiki canopies, then enjoy a meal from the Paradise Café. Daily rates are always reasonable, or buy an Annual Waterpark Pass to visit all five NOVA waterparks all
Reston Association Aquatic Facilities
Below are brief descriptions of each of the Reston Association’s 15 aquatic facilities. They may include1-meter spring boards, 50- and 25-meter lap lanes, a 2-story winding slide, interactive fountain play area, full sun decks, extra shaded decks, and even outdoor hot tubs. All pools are situated close to other great Reston Association amenities and many are accessible by walking or riding a bike on Reston Association’s pathways. More information on hours and fees can be found at: reston.org/Parks,RecreationEvents/
Autumnwood: 703-467-0903, 11950 Walnut Branch Road. Wading pool with fountain, covered picnic area, grass area, tennis courts and playground. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3.5 to 5.5 feet deep).
2460 Green Range Road.
Diving well, diving board, wading pool, picnic tables, large grass beach area. (Lap lanes: 20 meters, 3.5 to 5.5 feet deep).
Glade: 703-476-5732, 11550 Glade Drive, 20-foot slide with slide well, 1-meter diving board, spa, wading pool, tennis courts and playground. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3.5 to 12.5 feet deep).
Golf Course Island: 703-435-8397, 11301 Links Drive
Diving board, two grass beach areas, wading pool, playground and pavilion. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 12 feet deep).
Hunters Woods: 703-391-2187, 2501 Reston Parkway. Separate water basketball and volleyball areas, diving board, children’s splash area, large spa, ADA ramp into main pool, playground and pavilion. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3.5 to 8.5 feet deep).
Lake Audubon: 703-860-3080, 2070 Twin Branches Road.
Diving well, diving board, grass beach area, wading pool, boat ramp to Lake Audubon nearby. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 5 feet deep).
Lake Newport: 703-467-0694, 11601 Lake Newport Road.
Diving well, two 1-meter diving boards, wading pool, covered picnic area with grills, sand volleyball area, large grass area, playground, softball field and basketball court. (Lap lanes: 50 meters, 3.5 to 5.5 feet deep).
Lake Thoreau: 703-860-0640, 2040 Upper Lake Drive.
Diving well, diving board, spa, wading pool, grass beach area, picnic tables. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 5 feet deep).
Newbridge: 703-476-1301, 11768 Golf Course Square
Diving well, diving board, wading pool, picnic tables, tennis courts and playground. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3.5 to 12
North Hills: 703-435-6769, 1325 North Village Road.
Two shallow play areas (one with fountain), spa, picnic tables, grass beach area, picnic pavilion with grills, tennis courts in walking distance. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 5 feet deep).
North Shore: 703-689-4091
11515 North Shore Drive.
Parking available only on North Shore Drive. Spa, wading pool, ADA ramp to pool deck, ADA hydrolift chair into main pool, shaded upper deck with picnic tables, Lake Anne Plaza and tennis courts. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 11 feet deep).
Ridge Heights: 703-476-7084, 11400 Ridge Heights Road.
Diving well, diving board, wading pool, two large grass beach areas. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 5 feet deep).
Shadowood: 703-860-8075, 2201 Springwood Drive.
Small slide, wading pool, small grass beach area with picnic tables. (20-meter length, 3 to 5 feet deep, no lap lanes).
Tall Oaks: 703-435-1072, 12025 North Shore Drive
1-meter diving board, wading pool, picnic tables, Tall Oaks Shopping Center nearby. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3 to 12 feet deep).
Uplands: 703-435-2586, 11032 Ring Road. Upper lap pool with in-water benches, lower splash pool with zero-depth entry and in-water benches, large interactive fountain features and fenced splash pad play area on deck. (Lap lanes: 25 meters, 3.5 to 8.5 feet deep).
Volkswagen is Betting on It
MOIA recently purchased the mobility app Split, which has been present in the DC area for a little over a year, but ceased to operate in October due to funding issues. The Split app is an innovative ride matching software package that helped drivers pick up multiple riders and find the shortest distance to their multiple destinations.
MOIA, a mobility company in the Volkswagen Group (VW), and Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN) are jointly working on the development of a new and environmentally friendly mobility service for Hamburg. As part of this project, an on-demand shuttle service with electric vehicles is set to go into operation in 2018. This service will supplement the public transport network and represent an attractive alternative to travelling by car.
Passengers will be able to book the service via the app on their smartphone by entering their location and destination. Split will serve as the basis for this service. The MOIA shuttle will then fulfil the journey requests of passengers who are travelling in a similar direction. An algorithm will combine these requests, plan the route and calculate the journey duration and arrival times for each individual passenger.
The planned integration into HOCHBAHN’s platform will add a new and environmentally friendly shared mobility solution to the current range of car-sharing vehicles and rental bikes that can be booked online. The new mobility service in Hamburg will be fully financed by MOIA and run using the company’s own vehicles and drivers. To this end, MOIA is currently developing a vehicle for up to six passengers that will be powered only by
electricity and thus completely emission-free.
The aim is to roll out the service with around 200 electric shuttle vehicles in Hamburg in 2018 following a successful test run. A further expansion of the fleet is planned for 2019. After its successful introduction in Hamburg, MOIA plans to launch the service in other cities.
According to Ole Harms, MOIA’s CEO: “Last year, the Volkswagen Group and the city of Hamburg established the first strategic mobility partnership aimed at making urban mobility in Hamburg safer, more environmentally friendly, more reliable and more efficient. MOIA’s on-demand shuttle will be an important milestone in this partnership.” Unfortunately for DC area residents, MOIA has no immediate plans to place services here in the
In the summer time, when the living is easy…
or so the song says, right? Well, things do slow down in the summer, and traffic is noticeably lighter during the morning and evening commutes. But getting out of town for beach or mountain weekend getaways can be challenging. Seems like Fridays and Sundays (and now creeping into Thursdays and Mondays) our major arteries in and out of town are completely clogged.
So, what better way to avoid the weekend cluster than staying put. That’s right – weekend staycations can be much less stressful, and frankly, a lot of fun. In this edition we have highlighted a long list of swimming facilities and water parks located in Northern Virginia. Most of these are accessible by local trails, so walking or biking to these swimmin’ holes is even more relaxing and good exercise.
Summer is also the high time for local fairs. Fortunately in Northern Virginia we host a wide variety of county fairs – from the traditional, farm oriented – to the amusement park ambience. Check out our listing and take the whole family out to these unique experiences. Good food and good times await you!
And last, but certainly not least, it is with some sadness that I am writing my last note to you as the Executive Director of DATA. Like the seasons, professional careers change over time. I have accepted a new position at
Arlington County, serving as their Bureau Chief of Commuter Services. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 16 years at DATA – meeting incredible people and working with very talented staff and board. But it is time to open another chapter in my life. I sincerely hope that @livemore continues to prosper and expand its readership, and that DATA continues to grow as an organization. There are many fine people that I will miss, but in all honesty I will simply be “around the corner” living more and commuting less – but it will just be in Arlington.
As Always – Best Regards,
James N. Larsen
Dulles Area Transportation Association
Photos by David Galen
The Dulles Area Transportation Association celebrated 31 years of providing sensible mobility management at its annual Anniversary Celebration and Awards Ceremony March 23 at the Hilton Washington Dulles Airport Hotel. More than 125 transportation professionals, business leaders, and elected officials heard Secretary of Transportation Hon. Aubrey L. Layne share his vision of transportation in the Commonwealth.
Sound as dry and boring as days-old meatloaf? This dinner is anything but! It’s good food…this year featuring Chicken Provençale (Grilled Chicken Breast topped with a Sun-dried Tomato and
Artichoke Ragout). It’s good friends…networking with some of the most interesting people in the area. And it’s good intentions…funds raised from the dinner help support DATA’s efforts to reduce
traffic on area roads!
The Celebration is also an opportunity for DATA to acknowledge individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to regional congestion mitigation through infrastructure improvements and programs that reduce single occupant vehicle commuting.
Honored with the DATA award for 2017 Transportation Professional was Fatemeh Allahdoust, Project Manager for the VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) Northern Virginia District’s Transform I-66 Project. Comstock Partners LC was recognized with the Dr. Sidney Steele Founder’s Award for its innovative transit oriented development at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, the first company recipient in the award’s history. Maggie Parker, Vice President, Communications and Community Outreach, accepted on behalf of Comstock. Longtime DATA member, Immediate Past President and loyal Golf Committee supporter John Martin received the President’s Award for exceptional contributions to the Dulles Area Transportation Association, its mission, and its membership.
The Anniversary Celebration is one of two major fund raisers that help support DATA’s efforts to encourage area commuters to carpool/vanpool, telework, take transit and drive or walk to work. Past dinners have featured keynote addresses from two Virginia Governors and then Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
Want to be part of the celebration in 2018?
Contact Executive Director Jim Larsen at 703.817.1307, ext. 2, for more information on DATA membership and upcoming events.