Discovering DC: McLean, VA


In this week's Discovering DC we head to McLean, VA with Kirsten from Red White and Bows! 

What's your history with McLean/Great Falls and DC?
I’m fairly new to the area, I moved to McLean during the summer of 2012 and have lived here for about a year. Since moving here I have fallen in love with the area, I never run out of things to do and I love to spend time in DC. I grew up in the New York tri-state area, and go to school in Boston so I love the milder winters in D.C.  and hope to get a job down here after college.

Discovering McLean/Great Falls- what are your favorite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
In my area of Northern Virginia, one of my favorite places to shop and people watch is in Reston Town Center. I love this area because it’s outdoors, parking is easy, there’s a ton of awesome restaurants and of course great shopping. For starters, they have a J. Crew, which is my absolute favorite store on the planet, so anywhere with a J. Crew is on the top of my list. But they also have South Moon Under, which is perfect for girly pieces, Anthropologie, which I love for accessories and home decor, and Lou Lou, where I always end up leaving with a new statement necklace.

As far as restaurants, I love to come here on a summer night because it’s bustling with people and if you sit on the terrace at any restaurant it’s great for people watching. Some of my favorite restaurants in the area are Mon Ami Gabi for amazing French food and perfect outdoor dining, and Vapiano for home-made pasta and the best salads. They also have a Red Velvet Cupcakery in Reston which I think are the absolute best cupcakes in the area.

One of my other favorite places to eat and people watch in my area is Chef Geoff’s in Tyson’s. I love to come here for happy hour because their appetizers are fantastic and it always super busy and bustling with people. Plus it’s sandwiched between a Hermes store and a Tiffany’s store so it doesn’t get classier than that.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in McLean/ Great Falls?
The perfect Saturday afternoon in my area would start with a hike at Great Falls National Park. I love to hike here and watch the waterfalls – it’s so beautiful and always amazing to me that something as grand as these waterfalls could be only a few miles from my house. Then I’d probably head over to Sweet Water in Dulles for a late lunch – you literally can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here and the drink menu is great! After, I’d probably head over to Tyson’s Galleria, the smaller mall in Tyson’s Corner, and rummage through the racks of the Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew and Vineyard Vine’s stores. I much prefer this mall to Tyson’s Corner Center because it’s a lot less crowded and overwhelming.

Red White and Bows
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