Clarke's Grill & Sports Emporium After internships at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas and on the Laguarian Sea Coast in Italy, chef Clarke Congdon winged his way to Boston, eventually opening his own restaurant, Clarke's Grill & Sports Emporium. Chef George Zwetkow was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and distills 35 years of experience into each dish he sears, to say nothing of this polyglot's fluency in English, Russian, and Spanish. The third pillar of the eatery, Mike Larkin, gives the establishment its sports aesthetic, having played minor-league hockey for five years before cultivating marketing prowess. Framed jerseys, photos, and sports memorabilia make the walls as athletic as Bo Jackson and are available for love-struck patrons to purchase after sharing a platter of nachos and dreams with an autographed hockey jersey. Plates of the signature fish tacos, topped with creamy chimichurri sauce and fresh cilantro, steal outside onto the sprawling patio. The outdoor space features weekly events including bean-bag tournaments and wine tastings, and flat-screen TVs light up the full bar, displaying both Red Sox and Yankees games to satisfy rival fans without inciting a duel over the remote or with remotes.
Former Masters champion Fred Couples has competed on golf courses around the globe. So he had plenty of inspiration to draw from in designing Westfields Golf Club, which incorporates Northern Virginia's unique topography into its 18 holes. Amid the rolling hills, natural wetlands, and towering beech and oak trees that pepper the course, a lake looms to the left of the signature third hole as players take their tee shots. Other features make the course unmistakably Virginian—on hole 13, for instance, a Civil War burial site comes into play on the right side. After taking in all the course has to offer, players can relax and untangle their coiled hips by visiting the clubhouse's indoor and outdoor dining areas.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total length of 6,897 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.3 from the back tees * Course slope of 139 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
A whir emits from the skee-ball machine as a long string of tickets emerges from its depths. With his parent’s help, the child counts them off, eager to see if he’s won enough for the coveted prize at the counter, or at least enough to trade with his sister for the window seat on the way home. At Majestic Fun, kids of all ages dive into an 8,000-square-foot spread of games, rides, and food. As Maximillion the Dalmatian and Ellie the Elephant wander around to give birthday kids high-fives or to steal a french fry, friends race each other at driving games or compete in furious rounds of air hockey. Tykes can put gravity in time out on the moon bounce or savor rides on the pintsize carousel. Between games, players find nourishment at the snack bar, munching on pizzas, sub sandwiches, and mozzarella sticks.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Most popular offering: Adventure Races, MTB Races, and Trail Runs
Pro Tip: Looking for adventure? REV3 Adventure can help you out.
Good for Kids: Yes
A portion of mountain biking, a dose of trail running, a pinch of trekking, and several gallons of watersports. This is Rev3 Adventure's race director's recipe for creating their adventure runs?and the training regimens to prepare for them?throughout the year. The races can be intense, as participants might switch between mountain biking and canoeing on any given day, but athletes can choose an adventure that fits their stamina levels, participating in events that last a few hours or a few days. For example, the annual Shenandoah Epic Adventure Race incorporates paddling, biking, trekking, and navigating, and competitors can opt to reach all the mandatory checkpoints in 13 hours or hit the additional optional checkpoints in 26 hours, the average number of hours a cat sleeps every day.
Still, the race director says that the organizers and volunteers try to keep their events family-friendly. "We wanted to help families become active in the outdoors," says the race director, "and at the same time, create fun and exciting challenges that will push competitors to their personal limits in a fun and safe environment."
The summer sun is shining, the chickadees are chirping, and the Northern Virginia sky is a dazzling azure blue—SplashDown Waterpark was made for days like today. The 13-acre water park, lauded as one of the best places to cool off in the area by Northern Virginia Magazine, abounds with aquatic attractions, including two four-story water slides.
Inflatable tubes meander down the park's 770-foot lazy river, and youngsters frolic through watery obstacle courses. Over in the 25-meter lap pool, American Red Cross–certified instructors conduct private swim lessons, teaching students how to tread water and convince dolphins to carry them when that gets tiring. The park also features an array of eateries and concessions stands full of hamburgers, pizzas, and sugary funnel cakes.