Northern Virginia: Better of Residing & Recreation Winners 2022



Annual Charity Event

1st: ViVa! Vienna

245 Maple Ave. W., Vienna, 703-981-4911

Happening Memorial Day weekend, this event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Virginia which provides support for charitable, educational, and community groups. Taking place on and around Church Street, there are plenty of fun rides, musical entertainment, and local vendors serving dishes like kettle corn and barbeque.

2nd: The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, Alexandria, 703-549-0111

3rd: Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Walk for the Animals, 703-931-9241

Art Event

1st: Art on the Avenue


This highly anticipated street arts festival has celebrated the diversity and vibrancy of the Northern Virginia cultural community for 26 years. It stretches across 10 blocks of Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. Visitors can view showcased art, enjoy music or culinary treats, and even bring the kids along for interactive art activities.

2nd: Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival, 561-746-6615

3rd: Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, Reston, 703-471-9242

Entertainment for Adults

1st: Farm Brew LIVE

9901 Discovery Blvd., Manassas, 703-420-2264

On a 12-acre campus in Prince William County, Farm Brew LIVE is a hub for craft beer, food, and live music. Venues include The Pitt BBQ, the Yard music stage, La Gringa food truck, 2 Silos Brewing Co., and many more. It is part of Innovation Park, on the site of the historic Thomasson Barn.

2nd: The State Theatre, Falls Church, 703-237-0300

3rd: The Farm Brewery, Broad Run, 703-753-3548


1st: Christmas in Middleburg

200 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg, 540-687-3600

There is no better place to celebrate the holiday season than the charming and picturesque downtown Middleburg, which hosts one of the most festive and fun-filled events of the year. Rain or shine, the tree lighting, Christmas parade, caroling, and premium gift shopping will be sure to put you in high spirits.

2nd: Art on the Avenue, Alexandria

3rd: Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, 703-324-3247

Historic Theater

1st: The Barns at Wolf Trap

1635 Trap Rd., Vienna, 703-255-1900

The Barns at Wolf Trap is a performance venue made up of double barns dating back to the 18th century. From October to May each year, The Barns host jazz greats, chamber musicians, folk artists, and more, bringing rustic charm to the Northern Virginia arts scene. During the summer months, The Barns are home to Wolf Trap Opera.

2nd: The Birchmere, Alexandria, 703-549-7500

3rd: Tally Ho Theater, Leesburg, 703-777-1665


1st: LOVEwork at Manassas Welcome Center

I-66 West, Mile Marker 48, Manassas, 703-361-2134

The LOVEwork sign at the Manassas Welcome Center is located next to ECPI University and adjacent to Manassas National Battlefield Park. These LOVEwork signs, located all throughout the state, remind Virginia natives and tourists alike that Virginia is indeed for lovers. The signs have become popular tourist destinations across the Commonwealth.

2nd: LOVEwork in Leesburg, 703-777-2420

3rd: LOVEwork in Manassas, 703-368-1873


1st: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy., Chantilly, 703-572-4118

Now open daily, there are thousands of aviation and space artifacts to explore and discover, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and an Air France Concorde aircraft. Make sure to visit the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar to watch specialists reconstruct, repair, and preserve rare aerial artifacts.

2nd: George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 703-780-2000

3rd: Manassas National Battlefield Park

Facebook: Manassas National Battlefield Park, 703-754-1861

Music Venue

1st: Wolf Trap

1551 Trap Rd., Vienna, 703-255-1900

From Bonnie Rait to Yo Yo Ma and Sting, the shows at Wolf Trap feature talent from all genres of music. For nearly fifty years, Wolf Trap has partnered with the National Parks Service, dedicating itself to creating excellent performing arts experiences for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of music lovers.

2nd: Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, 703-754-6400

3rd: The Birchmere, Alexandria, 703-549-7500

Performing Arts Company

1st: Signature Theatre

4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-820-9771

With new Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner appointed in 2021, the Tony Award®-winning, non-profit Signature Theatre moves forward with its mission to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals, and develop new work. Shows from Sweeney Todd to The Color Purple are what keep this theater a fan favorite.

2nd: Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, 703-993-8794

3rd: Little Theater of Alexandria, 703-683-0496

Radio Station

1st: WAVA FM 105.1

1735 N. Lynn St., Suite 500, Arlington, 703-236-7681

From an all-news station, to soft rock, and then contemporary Christian music, WAVA FM has been on the air waves since 1946. Serving the Washington metro area, the Salem Media Group-owned studio is based in Arlington and provides a Christian talk and a conservative talk show as well.

2nd: WWWT FM 107.7, Manassas, 202-895-5000

3rd: WERA LPFM 96.7, Arlington, 703-524-2388

Special Event Venue

1st: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna, 703-255-3631

With 95 acres of ornamental garden displays and unique native plants collections, the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens provide an exquisite venue for tying the knot. Couples can choose between the glass-walled atrium, the historic Rust Manor House, the elegant woodlands, or the new Occoquan Regional Park River View as their ceremony or celebratory site.

2nd: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, 703-746-4570

3rd: Stone Tower Winery, Leesburg, 703-777-2797


Dog Groomer

1st: A Pup’s Valley

6680 Fayette St., Haymarket, 703-596-3647

Formerly known as A Dog’s Day Out, A Pup’s Valley’s new facility offers cage-free daycare, pet spa, dog training, and overnight boarding (with Private VIP and Kennel Suite options). Not only is there an outside space for your pets to run around in, but an indoor playroom as well. They offer small group training year-round and one staff member lives on-site full time.

2nd: Vienna Pet Spaw, 703-319-7729

3rd: Dogma Bakery, Locations in Arlington, Reston, 571-422-0370

Dog Training Company

1st: Olde Towne School for Dogs

529 Oronoco St., Alexandria, 703-836-7643

A family-run business since 1975, Olde Towne School for Dogs strives to be a full service organization for the community regarding dog care and obedience training. As long-time members of the city of Alexandria and the Northern Virginia region, the school is well-regarded and the premier option for all your pet training needs.

2nd: Wholistic Hound Academy, Alexandria, 703-962-6335

3rd: Good Dog Workshop, Multiple locations, 703-489-1319

Pet Boarding/Day Care

1st: A Pup’s Valley

6680 Fayette St., Haymarket, 703-596-3647

A Pup’s Valley’s new facility offers cage-free daycare and overnight boarding (with Private VIP and Kennel Suite options). They have raised cots and fluffy beds, but customers are welcome to bring their pet’s own blanket or bed. With indoor and outdoor play areas, dogs get plenty of exercise. And there’s always one staff member living full-time on-site.

2nd: Country Club Kennels & Training, Catlett, 540-788-3559

3rd: Paws A While Pet Motel, Warrenton, 540-347-4855

Veterinary Hospital

1st: Caring Hands Animal Hospital

Multiple locations, 703-942-8800

Founded in 1997, Caring Hands is a network of eight veterinary hospitals born from a simple idea: creating a better world for animals and the people who love them. Thinking deeply about what a top-quality veterinary practice can be for pets and people, they have built one of the most open and transparent veterinary experiences in the region.

2nd: Pender Vet Animal Hospital, Fairfax, 703-591-3304

3rd: Vienna Animal Hospital, 703-938-2121


Family Entertainment

1st: Great Country Farms

18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, 540-554-2073

Great Country Farms is a 400-acre working farm located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Bluemont. With its own “ninja” course, fishing pond, play area, and market, this farm is perfect for families with kids of all ages. Great Country Farms also hosts a number of events, like an Easter egg hunt and a peach “fuzztival.”

2nd: Wolf Trap, Vienna, 703-255-1900

3rd: Leesburg Animal Park, 703-433-0002

K-12 Independent School

1st: Foxcroft School

22407 Foxhound Ln., Middleburg, 540-687-5555

Charlotte Haxall Noland founded Foxcroft School in 1914 with the mission to instill high purpose, integrity, leadership, understanding, and empathy into students. Foxcroft offers an academic experience that highlights rigor and exceptional proficiency, and a community residential experience and national recognition as a leader in STEM education for girls.

2nd: Wakefield School, The Plains, 540-253-7500

3rd: Flint Hill School, Oakton, 703-584-2300


1st: Bristow Montessori School

9050 Devlin Rd., Bristow, 703-468-1191

Celebrating 10 years of serving children from infancy through 3rd grade, Bristow Montessori School continues to provide individualized and cooperative learning. Their programs offer a unique experience, designed to help children maximize their potential by building self-confidence and cultivating curiosity for learning. They believe in promoting academic, athletic, and artistic maturation.

2nd: Willowcreek Academy, Locations in Centreville, Gainesville, 703-754-7767

3rd: Congressional School, Falls Church, 703-533-9711

Summer Camp

1st: Tiny Dancers

Locations in Alexandria, Fairfax, 703-385-5580

A family-owned studio, Tiny Dancers is a specialized dance program for children 2-12 offering year-round classes in ballet, tap, hip-hop, and more. You can also enroll your child in camps like Bunny Hop Camp. These summer camps are full of dance, crafts, and activities around themes like “Enchanted Castle.”

2nd: Camp Highroad, Middleburg, 540-687-6262

3rd: Wakefield Schools Summer Programs, The Plains, 540-253-7500


Air Charter Service

1st: Skynet Air Charter

9998 Wakeman Dr., Manassas, 800-671-8250

A private charter airline based in the Metro Washington, D.C., area, Skynet gets you where you want to go when you want to go. With access to 5,000 airports in the U.S., they focus on reliability, predictability, and flexibility for their customers.

2nd: Paramount Business Jets, Leesburg, 877-727-2538

3rd: Jet Linx, Sterling, 703-570-6900

Bed & Breakfast

1st: The Ashby Inn & Restaurant

692 Federal St., Paris, 540-592-3900

Settled in the historic village of Paris, this Northern Virginia bed and breakfast offers guest rooms furnished with 19th-century pieces, four of which have wood-burning fireplaces. Known as a wedding venue, the Inn also makes a beautiful retreat for the weekend with its gardens and award-winning restaurant cuisine.

2nd: Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast Inn, Middleburg, 703-327-5911

3rd: Manassas Junction Bed and Breakfast, 703-216-7803

Historic Site

1st: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, 703-780-2000

The home of the first U.S. president, George Washington’s Mount Vernon is almost 11,000 square feet. Though the core was built by his father in 1734, Washington added the north and southern wings, the cupola, and the piazza in 1774. Now a historic landmark, the estate and its gardens and grounds are open to the public.

2nd: Arlington National Cemetery, 877-907-8585

3rd: Manassas National Battlefield Park

Facebook: Manassas National Battlefield Park, 703-754-1861


1st: The Red Fox Inn & Tavern

2 E. Washington St., Middleburg, 540-687-6301

Family-owned and operated for three generations, the historic and boutique Red Fox Inn & Tavern provides a tranquil getaway for rest and relaxation. Nestled in the charming town of Middleburg, its central location allows guests easy access to local shopping, breweries, wineries, and all the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

2nd: Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, 703-729-8400

3rd: Goodstone Inn & Restaurant, Middleburg, 540-687-3333


1st: Salamander Resort & Spa

500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg, 844-303-2723

Guests will never run out of things to do at this Forbes Five-Star resort. The scenic Salamander Resort and Spa features 168 guestrooms and suites along with a plethora of amenities, including an award-winning spa, equestrian center, culinary program, and an abundant amount of outdoor activities. This is the ultimate combination of luxury and discovery.

2nd: Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, 703-729-8400

3rd: Airlie, Warrenton, 540-347-1300

Tourist Attraction

1st: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mt. Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, 703-780-2000

In addition to the home of the first U.S. president, George Washington’s Mount Vernon also features a museum and learning center to educate visitors on the history of the estate. Explore 23 galleries, see hundreds of artifacts, and view interactive exhibits that detail the lives of both Washington and the Mount Vernon community.

2nd: Great Falls Park, McLean, 703-757-3101

3rd: Old Town Alexandria, 703-838-5005


Dance Studio

1st: Tiny Dancers

Locations in Alexandria, Fairfax, 703-385-5580

Since 2001, Tiny Dancers has grown from 30 students to 1,000. Today, it remains a family-owned studio committed to the idea that the joy of dance lies in the creative expression and non-competitive experience at its core. In March 2020, it began offering live-streamed virtual dance classes.

2nd: Showcase Dance Studio Inc., Manassas, 703-368-0555

3rd: Stage Door Dance Studio, Manassas, 703-330-5060

Golf Course

1st: Army Navy Country Club

Locations in Arlington, Fairfax, 703-521-6800

The 54 holes on the Army Navy Country Club golf course are spread across two locations. A more rugged “Golden Age” course in Arlington—where President Eisenhower was said to golf—and the “Modern Era” course in Fairfax known for its gentle curves. The club offers private and group instruction alongside their various competitions.

2nd: Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, 703-779-2555

3rd: Trump National Golf Club, Potomac Falls, 703-444-4801


1st: Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

9100 Freedom Center Blvd., Manassas, 703-993-8444

Though attached to George Mason University, this gym is open to the public. With basketball courts, a pool, various fitness rooms, and racquetball courts, Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center has many programs (like Zumba) for members. They also offer two-hour child care (aged 6 months to 11) while parents use the facility.

2nd: The St. James, Springfield, 703-239-6870

3rd: Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, Leesburg, 703-777-1368

Hiking or Biking Trail

1st: Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail

21293 Smiths Switch Rd., Ashburn, 703-729-0596

Often called the skinniest park in Virginia, Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad Regional Park is a paved trail between Shirlington and Purcellville. Take the 45-mile route along a former railroad roadbed, running through urban heartland and into the countryside. Equestrians can ride the adjacent 32-mile gravel horse trail.

2nd: First Battle of Manassas Trail Loop at Manassas National Battlefield Park

Facebook: Manassas National Battlefield Park, 703-754-1861

3rd: The River Trail at Great Falls National Park, McLean, 703-757-3101

Specialty Fitness

1st: Halo Fitness Experience

10400 Premier Ct., Suite E, Burke, 571-655-5554

With a training facility designed for all levels of fitness and age, team programs are featured in order to promote personal success. Halo’s programs include CrossFit703, focusing on fitness and nutrition; Peak Strength, 45-minute strength and cardio training; Spark Kids, a strength and conditioning program for kids 8 up; and more.

2nd: Kelly’s Bootcamp, Locations in South Riding, Sterling, 703-431-1732

3rd: Cordaro Fit®️, Arlington, 202-549-7084

Tennis Facility

1st: Burke Racquet and Swim Club

6001 Burke Commons Rd., Burke, 703-250-1299

For 37 years, the Burke Racquet and Swim Club has been offering classes to the community. Featuring five indoor tennis courts (with 40-foot ceilings) and one racquetball court, they provide services for beginner to advanced players, instructional to aerobic tennis, private lessons to class lessons, and team practices for kids aged 3 to adult. The facility also has a new ball machine.

2nd: Ida Lee Park Tennis Center, Leesburg, 703-737-6068

3rd: Middleburg Tennis Club, 540-687-6388