The Torpedo Factory
Photo by Joseph Gidjunis, Courtesy of the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Art Gallery
The Torpedo Factory
The former munitions factory has been an art inspiration for more than 40 years. Situated at the foot of King Street, The Torpedo Factory offers budding artists an open space to work and learn. This summer’s offerings include its Summer Art Camp for kids ages 5 and up, several exhibitions of printmaker art, monthlong pottery and enamellist exhibitions and its monthly “Salon: An Artful Conversation” events. –CC
105 N. Union St., Alexandria; 703-838-4565

Mad Fox Brewing Company
This Falls Church brewer’s delight will soon be adding a D.C. location, but it sticks to its Virginia roots by increasing its selection of local beers for its seasonal menu. With a deep menu of brews to match its board of fare, Mad Fox strives for the top-flight gastropub experience. Mad Fox will also serve as host of June’s NoVA Brewfest, bringing on 50 breweries to spotlight the best in Northern Virginia. So what keeps people coming back? CEO and brewer Bill Madden says, “It’s just good beer.” –CC
444 W. Broad St., Suite I, Falls Church; 703-942-6840

Photography by Rey Lopez
Bar Louie / Photography by Rey Lopez

Cocktail Bar
Bar Louie
This oasis in Herndon continues to captivate patrons with its robust drink selection. From creations like the Fire and Ice Julep to standards like The New Old Fashioned, Bar Louie keeps innovating. General manager Pete Ciaramella says summer will see the Herndon location open its garage doors for open-air dining, a seasonal re-jiggering of the menu and the standard half-off happy hour martinis and appetizers. –CC
Multiple NoVA locations

Day at the Park
Burke Lake Park
Choosing one activity for all members of the family or group to do for an entire day can be daunting. Some want to go the adventurous route while others want to relax. Burke Lake Park is the place where all needs are met. The 888 acres include a 218-acre lake for fishing, boating, row boating and camping, a miniature train, carousel, miniature golf course, trails (considered one of the 10 best fitness trails in the nation by the American Hiking Society) along with picnic areas, playgrounds, amphitheater, ice cream parlor and an 18-hole par 3 golf course. What else could anyone ask for? –LN
7315 Ox Road, Fairfax Station; 703-323-6600

Dive Bar (tie)
The Ashburn Pub
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Ashburn’s signature pub is built on the bedrock of quality food and good fun. General manager Amber Roehling says the summer menu will soon launch, including seafood Sundays, which will feature special-priced items. She says the spirit of fun, which permeates from the staff right down to the dining experience, keeps people coming back. –CC
44110 Ashburn Village Blvd., Ashburn; 703-724-0755

Dive Bar (tie)
Vienna Inn
Vienna Inn’s no-frills family grub has been a mainstay for 55 years. With a menu that runs the gamut of burgers and wings to catfish and vegetarian chili, there’s little this institution can’t dish up. The beer selection is extensive, with an option for keg rentals of 75 select brews for those who want to take their suds and run. Be sure to try the chili dogs. –CC
120 E. Maple Ave., Vienna; 703-938-9548

Food and Drink Festival
Vintage Virginia
This year’s festival will include four Top 5 wine tastings with more than 350 wines on hand for patrons, as well as more than 20 food trucks. Seeking to craft what Sam Calhoun, marketing and ticketing director, calls a family friendly music picnic, the festival will host 1980s pop-bluegrass fusion band Love Canon as well as Big Tony and Trouble Funk and other musical acts. –CC
7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville; 1-888-VA-FESTS

Food Tour
DC Metro Food Tours
You can explore the colonial history of Old Town Alexandria, but why not pair that with a rich culinary experience? DC Metro Food Tours gives you the best Alexandria has to offer with a stroll down King Street to some the town’s top restaurants and most storied sites. –CC

Ghost Tour
Alexandria Colonial Tours
Sprits will come alive as you tour some of Old Town Alexandria’s most notorious haunts and hear some of the town’s spookiest tales. The summer schedule will keep you jumping five nights a week starting June 17, but you can catch these storytellers Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as they prowl outside Alexandria’s Visitor Center with 18th century lanterns, weaving tales of horror. –CC
201 King St., 3rd Floor, Alexandria; 703-519-1749

Great Falls National Park
Well-known to ambitious kayakers looking to sail over its mammoth falls, Great Falls also offers 15 miles of hiking ranging from easy to daunting. With 10 trails to choose from, there’s plenty to explore just up the GW Parkway from D.C. –CC
9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean; 703-285-2965

Hookah Bars (tie)
This Arlington establishment blends the Mediterranean tradition of hookah with urban sophistication. With 27 different blends of flavored hookah tobacco, this hot spot with Middle Eastern-inspired drink selections imbues the spirit of Clarendon nightlife. And, it’s open until 2 a.m. –CC
946 N. Jackson St., Arlington; 202-803-1677

Hookah Bars (tie)
Nora’s Restaurant and Lounge
While Lebanese cuisine and belly dancers beckon, this Gainesville restaurant’s hookah selection is a real draw. DJ music and a full bar give this lounge a club-like atmosphere. Try the popular mint-flavored tobacco and stay for the shawarma. –CC
14674 Lee Highway, Gainesville; 703-753-0233

Irish Bar
The Auld Shebeen Irish Pub and Restaurant
The Eire-inspired pub is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a new menu and a healthy offering of spirits. Co-owner Mike Boyle says they have added local craft labels to go along with its list of 24 select bourbons, 20 single malts and eight craft beers. The menu has the standard burgers, sandwiches and apps paired with specialties like braised brisket and Bushmills steak. “We’re not fancy,” Boyle says. “It’s just good pub food that keeps the regulars coming back.” –CC
3971 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax; 703-293-9600

Live Music Venue
The Birchmere
This Alexandria music staple has a slate of quality entertainment coming this summer, including The Manhattan Transfer, David Crosby and Los Lonely Boys in June, followed by a three-day set with Kevin Bacon’s band, The Bacon Brothers, in July to help spotlight the inaugural Alexandria Music Week festival. –CC
3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-7500

Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Movie Theater
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
More than just a movie and a popcorn, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema ups the theater experience with events built around your favorite movies. Whether it’s a “Fast and Furious 7”-inspired car show or a screening of the John Wayne classic “The Cowboys” for Father’s Day accompanied with a manly, Southern-themed menu, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema takes movies beyond the big screen. Catch vintage flicks or new premieres, but be sure to hit its specialty screening nights, with Mondo giveaways, sing-alongs and other unique events. –CC
20575 E. Hampton Plaza, Ashburn; 571-293-6808

Singles/Pick-up Bar
Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge
Tucked in the heart of Reston, this Great American Restaurant hotspot may have a 1940s feel, but it has become the prime dining ground for the modern singles set. Sidle up to the bar for a cocktail or peruse Jackson’s deep menu and see if you can strike up a conversation over lively libations. –CC
11927 Democracy Drive, Reston; 703-437-0800

Sports Bar
Bungalow Sports Grill
The sports bar with the neighborhood feel continues to draw in fans with extensive beer selections and athletic entertainment. With 24 brews on tap, Bungalow blends quality beer with the lighter fare you come to expect from your favorite watering hole. General manager Mark Hrabe says soccer has become popular at the bar’s Alexandria location, with fans pouring in to catch Premiere League games. Seasonal taps should soon be making their summer debut. –CC
Multiple NoVA locations

Reston Town Center
Courtesy of Reston Town Center

Town Center
Reston Town Center
The “urban core” of Reston celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, offering a strong schedule of summer entertainment. This summer will see the Love Your Body Yoga Festival, the World Police & Fire Games Athletes Village and annual Taste of Reston festival, among a host of other seasonal concerts and events. –CC
11900 Market St., Reston; 703-579-6720

Wine Bar
Parallel Wine Bistro
Ashburn’s premiere wine bar is fresh off a remodel that owner Jason Bursely says gives patrons a new outdoor experience, complementing the wine bar’s 70-plus vino selection, not to mention its inclusion of 60 bourbons and 80 craft beers for the non-wine inclined. Bursely adds that Parallel constantly rolls out new selections to ensure the experience never grows stale. –CC
43135 Broadlands Center Plaza, Suite 121, Broadlands; 703-858-0077

Happy Hours

MacDowell Brew Kitchen
Mon-Fri 3-7 p.m.
$1 off drafts
It’s the beach in downtown Leesburg.

Lyon Hall
Everyday 3-7 p.m.
$5 select beers, $5 select wines and a $5 specialty cocktail; discounted food menu
Try to score an outdoor table at this jam-packed Arlington hot spot; the people-watching doesn’t disappoint.

Dogfish Head Alehouse
Mon-Fri 4-7 p.m.
$1 off drafts, apps and pizzas
A hopping Chantilly alehouse offering lively downtime in the after hours.

Sun-Thurs 4-7 p.m.
$5 house wine, $2 off standard draft, $3.50 craft cans, $2 college cans
Happy hour is restricted to the buzzing bar area, and it’s sure to be packed by 6 p.m. with young professionals.

Mon-Fri 4-6 p.m.
$5 rail, wines and cocktails
The upstairs bar is classic and spacious with a “Cheers”-like feel.

Ruth Chris
Mon-Fri 4:30-7 p.m.
$8 drinks and food menu
Fairfax’s movers and shakers hit up this after-hours professional hot spot.

Mon-Fri open-6 p.m.
$3.50 beer, $5 wines, $5 cocktails
It’s fancy fun in downtown.

Ford’s Fish Shack
Mon-Fri 3:30-7 p.m.
$3 on-tap beers, house wine and rail drinks
Come early because space at this Ashburn restaurant fills up quickly.

Mon-Fri 3-6:30 p.m.
$5 draft beers, wine, specialty cocktails and happy hour food menu
Clean lines and monochrome design make up this small bar area that is packed come 5 p.m.

La Sandia
Sun-Fri 4-9 p.m.
$5-$6 margaritas, mojitos and sangria, $3 Mexican beers, $5 Latin wines, $6-$10 tequila and nightly food specials
“Outside” seating is year-round since it’s in the halls of Tysons Corner Mall.

Grafton Street
Mon-Fri 3-7 p.m.
$3 drafts, $4 wines, $5 cocktails and discounted food specials
A modern Irish pub, classic down to the carved wood bar yet trending with games to keep patrons entertained.

Bar Louie
Mon-Fri 4-7 p.m.
$3.25 drafts, $4.25 wine, $5.25 signature martinis and half-price select food
Seems like almost every white-collar worker in Herndon patronizes this spot with a great selection.

Yard House
Mon-Fri 3-6 p.m.
$1 off domestic pints and well drinks, $2 off pints, domestic half yards, specialty drinks, spirits, $3 off martinis, $4 off craft and import half yards, $5-$8 apps
Blue lights and a stainless steel bar surround an island filled with over 60 taps that welcome shoppers and workers to this spot in Springfield Town Center.

Falls Church
Mad Fox Brewing Company
Mon-Fri 3-7 p.m.
$2 off all draft beers and $2 off select wines
The casual, relaxed vibe in this brewery lets patrons focus on the award-winning brews.

Open Road
Mon-Fri 4-7 p.m.
$4 draft lagers, $5 draft ales and IPAs, $6 house wines and nightly food specials
This all-American spot in Merrifield offers indoor and outdoor bars and live music.

All specials current as of May 2015


(June 2015)