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HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

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Manila, Philippines
posts: 4
HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

I'll be going to reston on the 27th. arriving late in the evening, and leaving the next day at night. my stay is only 24hrs (because of work). and it's my first time there so i'm thinking of renting a car so at least i can see the city and nearby cities in my short stay. but i need advice because there might be good transportation system so i might just be wasting money on the car rental. i'm also thinking of visiting a cousin in Williamsburg. please help! thank you so much!!

Washington DC...
posts: 2,586
reviews: 51
1. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

Reston isn't a city. It is more of a neighborhood with business districts that include shops such as grocery stores and goods as well as areas with high-rise buildings that house large companies. It is also a densly populated area that is considered a suburb of Washington, D.C. and has a lot of busy roads and congested traffic, especially during peak times when people are trying to get to and from work.

There really isn't anything to see our tour. A transportation system such as a subway or bus that will take you around anywhere you want to go and easily connect you to places like Washington, D.C. is non-existent.

If you are not interested in touring D.C., then I would go ahead and rent a car and go visit Williamsburg. Expect it to take you about 4 hours to get there accounting for your unfamiliarity with the area and any short stops you may need to make.

If you DO want to just go into D.C. for the day, there are ways to get there using public transportation via a bus and/or taxi, and subway (depending on where you are) so you wouldn't need to rent a car. I will defer to another to explain to you how to do that if you decide you would rather just go into D.C.

Edited: 2:47 pm, March 23, 2010
Manila, Philippines
posts: 4
2. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

thanks for your response. i might be landing to dulles int'l airport around 5pm and might reach the hotel around 7pm, the latest would be around 8pm. if i rent a car and decided to go straight to Williamsburg, will i be stuck in traffic around that time? or do you think it's better for me to rest in the hotel and wake up really early in the morning? by the way, i need to be back to my hotel before 6pm, so i'm a little worried about that because travel time from reston to williamsburg as you've mentioned is 4 hours. *sigh*

now i'm considering skipping going to visit my cousin, and just stay around reston or DC. still, a car rental would be a good idea? there will be taxis around, right? i just want to make the most of my stay. it won't be my first and last visit though, but i surely am excited to be there :) thanks again.

Washington DC...
posts: 2,586
reviews: 51
3. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

My advice to you is if you are COMFORTABLE driving in an unfamiliar area, and are OK with potential traffic issues, then rent a car. It certainly will give you a lot of freedom to make your way around and will maximize your time here as you won't be tied down by a transportation schedule.

As for taxis, you will find them at the airport. If you leave your hotel, you will most likely need to have them call one for you. Don't expect to have a taxi take you to a place in Reston such as a store or restaurant, and then walk outside as you leave and find a taxi. You will again, have to call and wait for it to come. Once you make your way into D.C. though as it is a "real" city, there are taxis found easily.

Helping you plan this would be easier if you know what it is exactly you would like to do.

central virginia
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
posts: 6,081
reviews: 14
4. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

An idea. Could your cousin meet you at the airport and spend the night with you and the next day? Perhaps she knows the general area, perhaps you could take a drive to Lessburg while you're catching up on the news.

Or perhaps you could each drive part way, perhaps meeting in, say, Fredericksburg and spending a few hours?

Manila, Philippines
posts: 4
5. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

thank you for the idea :) but my cousin just arrived in williamsburg last week for an internship. she's not from there and i don't think she's already familiar with the city. by the way, what can we see in fredericksburg? is it far from reston? i'll try to ask her if she can meet me in my hotel the evening i'd be arriving there, then we could drive around and see places together, right? :) thanks again for your suggestion! it's greatly appreciated :)

central virginia
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
posts: 6,081
reviews: 14
6. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

In Fredericksburg is a cute old town, lots of shopping, art galleries, good food and American history.

http://www.visitfred.com/visitors/arts/

I thought if your cousin is more familiar and perhaps had more time than you that could be an option. Fredericksburg would be closer to Reston so you would have the shorter journey. It's about an hour to an hour and a half.

If I'm calculating the time difference correctly, you may be very tired when you arrive. However, you may have been able to sleep on the plane and may be very lively on your arrival.

Others please chime in with these directions. I'm wondering if you really need to get on the Beltway around Washington DC and Northern VA. Perhaps if you leave from the airport area you could take Route 28 South to Dumfries Rd and connect into the major highway, Interstate 95 (or I-95), at Dumfries.

If leaving from the Reston area you could also take 29 S into Woodbridge area to I-95.

This might help with traffic, especially if you are heading south to your cousin the next morning during rush hour traffic.

Washington DC...
posts: 2,586
reviews: 51
7. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

If you do decide you want to go to Fredericksburg and meet up with her, let me know and I will give you specific directions for the easiest and fastest drive.

I do hand-to-hand combat with this area of Virginia on a daily basis, so know the best routes intimately.

central virginia
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
posts: 6,081
reviews: 14
8. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

Wonderful, j:) well, wonderful for those seeking directions, probably not so wonderful for those doing that hand to hand combat with traffic up there daily. we used to live there actually...and really loved Reston and all the lakes and the miles of walking paths.

9. Re: HELP! 1st time in Reston.Is it wise to rent a car for a day?

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