It might not have rolling hills, a seaside bay and an iconic bridge, but when it comes to romance Reston ranks right up there, according to Foursquare.com.
The social media “check-in” website announced last week Reston had made its list of the 10 most romantic spots in the U.S. The only Virginia locale on the list, Reston ranked seventh between San Francisco and Beverly Hills, Calif.
“Millions of times a day, people use Foursquare to check in and share where they are. Whether checking out a new restaurant, meeting up with friends, or visiting a favorite boutique, they are chronicling and sharing their adventures,” said Foursquare.com spokeswoman Erin Gleason. “We looked at cities with over 100,000 Foursquare check-ins that had the highest percentages of check-ins to a few categories of places that we deemed romantic such as French restaurants, wine bars, flower shops, lingerie shops and jewelry stores over the last year.”
Amanda Waverly, 24, of Chantilly said she is not surprised Reston made the list.
“I check in on both Foursquare and Facebook whenever I’m here at Jackson’s [Mighty Fine Foods and Lucky Lounge] in Reston,” she said. “I love coming here.”
The top 10 announcement — made just before Valentine’s Day — might actually have helped out some of the businesses in Reston Town Center that deal in romance.
“We did a great business this Valentine’s Day,” said May Bernhardt of Mayflowers Floral Studio in Reston Town Center. “There was a lot of feedback about the Foursquare announcement from both customers and other merchants here. I can tell you that there is a lot of romance in Reston.”
Town Center spokesperson Marion Myers agrees.
“We get approached all the time by men who want to propose to their girlfriends here,” she said. “With our Mercury fountain, horse-drawn carriage rides and ice-skating rink, it is a very romantic setting.”
Myers said the romantic designation also is not surprising given the demographics of the area.
“This is an affluent, high-tech community,” she said. “Many area people are very social-media savvy and like to go out to celebrate around here.”
Mark Ingrao, president and CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, agrees that within the county, Reston stands out as a top romantic spot.
“Reston was designed as a community to foster connectivity and relationships, so it comes as no surprise that it was selected as one of the most romantic spots,” he said. “From taking a stroll on the footpaths around our beautiful lakes to enjoying an elegant night out at Reston Town Center to indulging in our many fine hotels, restaurants and boutique shops, Reston is a special place to live, work, play … and love.”
Another online site, Mainstreet.com, announced this week that Fairfax County made its top 10 list of the wealthiest counties in America at No. 2 behind neighboring Loudoun County.
“Fairfax County is one of the largest counties in terms of population to make our list [1,081,726 residents in 2010],” the online site states. “But it is also notable for its real estate. Fairfax is one of only two counties on our list to break the half-million mark in home values. Coming in at $507,800 for the median value of owner-occupied homes, the county truly has some spectacular real estate.”