A Colton Dixon concert at Tysons Corner Center in August 2016. (Courtesy Tysons Corner Center)
Located about a half-hour drive of Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia, Tysons Corner was once a crossroad known for peach orchards. But a massive development plan in the 1960s turned the area into a commercial hub that now buzzes with top shops, happy hour-promoting bars and restaurants and soul-lifting diversions.
Plans to transform Tysons Corner into a more walkable community are in the works, but for now, visitors can rent or hire a car, or better yet, hop on the Metrorail’s Silver line, which drops passengers off on a pedestrian bridge leading right into one of the largest shopping malls in the area, Tysons Corner Center. But there’s much more to do here than shop. Here’s how to make the most of your time.
Eat: Top Restaurants
With big businesses calling Tysons Corner home, it’s no wonder there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy equally big appetites and busy schedules. Top stops here include TenPenh Tysons, where dishes like Nashville hot chicken bao buns take pan-Asian cuisine to new heights. Modern comfort fare satisfies cravings at Greenhouse Bistro, while fresh lobster and oysters reel in hungry diners at Legal Sea Foods. If you’re still hungry, stop into locavore champs Founding Farmers for spicy fried chicken, pork ribs and pastas, all made from scratch.
Founding Farmers, 1800 Tysons Blvd., 703.442.8783
Greenhouse Bistro, 2070 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, 703.537.5700
Legal Sea Foods, Tysons Galleria, 2001 International Drive, McLean, 703.827.8900
TenPenh Tysons, 7900 Westpark Drive, 703.910.3096
Shop: Trends and Big-Name Labels
From hubs of luxury to the area’s largest mall, Tysons Corner offers shopaholics a retail paradise. If you’re in the market for runway looks, head over to Tysons Galleria, where storefronts for Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Bottega Veneta line the gleaming corridors. Two million square feet of retail await at nearby Tysons Corner Center, where top shops include Zara, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers and fine jeweler, Lenkersdorfer. Just across the way, The Shops at Fairfax Square houses familiar names including Tiffany & Co. and Nordstrom Rack.
The Shops at Fairfax Square, 8075 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, 703.893.7700
Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Road, 703.893.9400
Tysons Galleria, 2001 International Drive, McLean, 703.827.7730
Drink: Buzzworthy Bars
Seasoned oenophile? Mad for mixology? Even if you just want a good beer, this area has it all. A glass of bubbly Veuve Clicquot feels truly decadent inside the sumptuous surroundings of the Ritz’s Entyse wine bar. For more casual quaffs, Tysons Biergarten tips its hat to Bavarian beer halls of yesterday with suds from Germany, Belgium and the good ol’ United States, plus brats, knocks and sausages. Lively Earls pours creative cocktails and classics like no less than five variations on the Old Fashioned.
Earls Kitchen + Bar, 7902 Tysons One Place, 703.847.1870
Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703.506.4300
Tysons Biergarten, 8346 Leesburg Pike, 703.854.1123
Play: Nature, Music and a Spa
There’s plenty to keep go-getters occupied in this neck of the woods. Wolf Trap draws top talent from around the world to the country’s only national park for performing arts. Meadowlark stirs the senses with flora, fauna and even a Korean pagoda. If you’d rather nature came to you, try the organic Euro facial at the Ritz’s glam spa.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, 703.255.3631
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703.744.3924
Wolf Trap, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, 703.255.1800