My neighbors in Reston probably joined me in not realizing that we live in Hunter Mill, Virginia which according to Money Magazine is the 28th in the “Top 50 Best Places to Live in the United States.” Yes, Reston is in Hunter Mill Magisterial District, an unincorporated unit of Fairfax County government. But Hunter Mill District does not have a post office and does not coincide with the Hunter Mill which MONEY considered and which the magazine termed not “a traditional town.”
Money puts out its list each year based on a study of 60 data point, such as jobs and projected job growth, purchasing power, housing affordability, taxes, education, crime, arts and others. Its list is whittled down from 823 communities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000. No surprise that Reston and its neighboring communities score high on any of these measures.
The knock on our communities is that “Hunter Mill suffers from two common Northern Virginia problems: bad traffic (one study found that three of the nation’s worst bottlenecks are in Northern Virginia), and expensive housing (the typical home sold for $502,000 through July of 2016).”
No offense to our neighbors in Herndon, Vienna and Tysons Corner who were included with Reston in this created village of Hunter Mill, but Reston considered on its own should rate even higher than 28th. We have traffic that comes with any growing community, but inclusion of Northern Virginia traffic that includes I-95 and I-66 is not an appropriate comparison for our part of Northern Virginia. Likewise, including housing for the region overshadows the wide choice of housing that has always been a hallmark of Reston.
Money does highlight the two-day Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, ukulele and jazz festivals, and Taste of Reston Food Festival. Our neighbors would also make the list when independently considered, but clearly Reston considered on its own is one of the best places to live in the United States.