There’s just something about summer that makes us nostalgic. Here are some of the best diners, drive-ins, ice cream shops, record stores, and arcades that will make you feel like a kid again.
Over 50 years ago, Robert (Bob) Bolton and his wife, Edith, bought Gary’s Donut Dinette. They changed it to Bob & Edith’s Diner and as they say, the rest is history. A third generation (Bob and Edith’s son Greg’s children) are currently managing the diner and Greg remains the owner. The diner’s menu serves classics like omelets made to order, country fried steak, and lots of pancakes, waffles, milkshakes, and big sandwiches. Multiple locations
If you’re looking for an authentic retro diner experience, Silver Diner is a must-visit. Founders Bob Giaimo and Ype Von Hengst spent a year visiting hundreds of diners across the country to figure out their appeal. It’s safe to say they discovered it — and then some. You can’t go wrong with the build-your-own burger paired with a classic black and white shake while you listen to the oldies your tabletop jukebox. Multiple locations
Ice Cream Shops
A friendly staff and excellent customer service makes Great Falls Creamery a classic choice to get your ice cream fix. It frequently offers specials, so keep an eye on its social media pages. The most retro find on the menu is a gigantic banana split, perfect for sharing with a special someone. 766 Walker Rd., Great Falls
Walking up to the window of Custard Shack, it’s hard not to feel like you’re transported to another decade. Remember getting so excited to go out for ice cream when you were a kid? The bright lights and sweet smell of sugar and chocolate here will take you right back. The custard root beer float is a great throwback find, as are the custard sundaes with hot fudge and nuts. 1401 Belle Haven Rd., Alexandria
Vinyl record sales have topped CDs for the first time in over 30 years, showing a clear rising popularity of this vintage way to listen to music. Mom-and-pop shop Mobius Records, located in Fairfax, will celebrate nine years in business in August. It specializes in new releases and reissues and includes all genres. The shop announces new releases and reissues every Friday via social media. 10409 Main St., Ste. D, Fairfax
This record store in Herndon is owned by a James Madison University graduate. The shop carries both new and used records and has a bit of something for everyone. Recent features on its site include Garth Brooks, Megadeth, and jazz singer Joe Turner. 731 Elden St., Ste. 211, Herndon
This free, family-friendly drive-in run by Fairfax County Park Authority includes children’s shows (like bands, magicians, and more) before the movies are shown. This year’s movies include Minions: The Rise of Gru, Lightyear, The Bad Guys, and DC League of Super-Pets. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun and picnics, blankets, and chairs are welcome. 5860 Trinity Pkwy., Centreville
Venture just a bit farther out to this Stephens City staple that has been around since 1958. The Family Drive-In usually announces the movies it will be showing on the upcoming weekend on Monday afternoons, although advanced bookings for major movies may get listed sooner. The snack bar serves all the sentimental favorites like popcorn, candy, soda, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the gate but buy them in advance on the website to ensure you can get a spot. 5890 Valley Pk., Stephens City
If you miss the days when you used to spend hours in neon hued arcades, you’ll want to pay a visit to Reclaim Arcade. The venue is full of popular vintage arcade games and pinball machines from decades past. There are more than 75 games, including Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. 2324 Plank Rd., Fredericksburg
With over 100 arcade games, there is something for every age in this huge amusement complex in Sully Station Shopping Center. There are lots of games many may remember from their younger years, including Skee-Ball, ring toss, basketball games, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. 5111 Westfields Blvd., Centreville
Feature image courtesy Reclaim Arcade
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