The Six Best Things to Do in McLean, VA

The Six Best Things to Do in McLean, VA

  • Sebastien | Danile Alliance
  • 10/19/22

Only a few miles from Washington DC, McLean is an upper-class scenic town in Virginia. There’s so much to do in this beautiful area! Whether you want to spend a day outdoors, enjoy an activity with the entire family, or catch a live night show, we recommend these six things to do in McLean, Virginia.

1. Visit Great Falls Park

A fabulous outing to enjoy the scenic views around this town is to visit Great Falls Park. The falls here originate from the Potomac River — and they increase in force while traveling across the jagged and steep terrain leading to Mather Gorge. Spanning 800 acres, swimming and wading are prohibited in the strong and deep river current. However, there are plenty of ways to view the falls and immerse yourself in this setting.

Bicycle across five miles of trails or hike along trails to watch birds during every season of the year. Several bird varieties travel through this area so it’s a great spot to birdwatch. For those seeking adventure, whitewater boating on kayaks and canoes is an option, as well as climbing sites with routes up to 75 feet high and difficulties levels of more than five. The falls can be viewed from three overlooks situated in different parts of the park, and they all provide breathtaking views of the falls from different angles.

2. Explore Scott’s Run Nature Preserve

When searching for things to do in McLean, Virginia, exploring Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is another great option. Originally called the Burling Tract, this section of wilderness was set to be developed in the 1970s, but it escaped development and was renamed to Dranesville District Park. Now known as Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, many locals and visitors love this area and enjoy the waterfall hike and spectacular views.

Spanning 384 acres, there are several interconnecting trails within the preserve, all of which vary in intensity so beginner hikers and advanced explorers alike can enjoy an adventure. Those searching for a short outing can hike a 2.2-mile loop that crosses over the Scott’s Run ford along the Potomac riverbank; it then goes uphill back towards the main entrance. Or hikers can brave the interwoven trails to create their unique experience alongside the waterside views.

3. Experience Clemyjontri Park

For families with children, visiting Clemyjontri Park is a terrific thing to do in McLean, Virginia. The main feature of this park is its unique playground, designed to create a parallel playing experience for children of all skills and abilities. Separated into four outdoor rooms, the center brings the colorful sections together as a carousel.  Parents can watch their children play from the comfortable shaded seating areas.

The park also offers a trackless train for families to ride, which circles around this unique park. The Liberty Swing provides a safe and enjoyable experience for children in wheelchairs — without the need to transfer them onto a seat. The picnic pavilion is open all day for meal gatherings and community meetings.

4. Shop at Tysons Galleria Shopping Center

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

For a high-end shopping experience, Tysons Galleria Shopping Center is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. This center has a wide variety of luxury stores, including Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Coach, Eileen Fisher, and Gucci, among others. Looking for women’s clothing? Stop by Chaliskan, a family-owned business that offers high-end linen and cotton clothing, kimonos and robes, as well as household items like Turkish towels and dreamy bedding. Or stop by Omega for the best selection of luxury watches.

Tysons Galleria also has plenty of events, including center-wide and special events in individual stores. Be sure to dine in one of the sit-down or casual restaurants, or grab a snack and drink from a cafe.

5. Watch a show at the Alden Theater

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

The Alden Theater is a 380-seat performing arts venue that presents national and international shows in a wide range of genres. Those interested in the theater scene or wanting to enjoy a night out can view the touring acts with shows featuring great music, film, comedy, dance, and children’s performances. This theater also offers educational programs and lectures for all ages.

The Alden Theater is in the McLean Community Center, which provides the community with several services, from involvement with the McLean Day festivities in Lewinsville Park to the Fourth of July fireworks. Take your family to visit the McLean Project for the Arts galleries, which include The Emerson Gallery and The Atrium Gallery. These exhibits showcase pieces of all mediums and genres featuring artists in the area.

6. Relax at The Perch at Capital One Center

Photo courtesy of The Perch at Capital One Center

For a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding area, make time to relax at The Perch in the Capital One Center. Connected to the Watermark Hotel, this area is situated more than ten stories above street level and offers visitors an 18-hole mini putt course to play. Also for public enjoyment is the Starr Hill Biergarten, which overlooks The Perch Amphitheater, an open-air stage that hosts theater plays and small concerts. For continued fun, check out three bocce courts, interactive urban games, and sculptural artwork in the center.

Ready to visit McLean?

McLean offers plenty of exciting and unique things to do. If you’d like to be closer to these great outdoor spots and indoor recreational places, contact one of the experienced agents at The Sebastien | Daniel Alliance to guide you through the home searching and buying process.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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