Arlington (Virginia)

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Arlington County, more commonly known simply as Arlington, is an urban county in Virginia, directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.. With a population of 210,000, yet a land area of only about 26 square miles (both excluding Alexandria), Arlington is one of America's mostly densely populated jurisdictions. Despite its density, Arlington mixes the best of both big city and suburban environments.

Arlington is divided into three sections: North Arlington, South Arlington, and Alexandria. North Arlington is the part north of Arlington Boulevard (US-50). South Arlington is south of North Arlington and north of Alexandria. Alexandria is the southernmost section of the county, and the only incorporated city in the county. You can often tell what section a location is in by its address. Locations in North and South Arlington will often respectively have a "North" or "South" (or "N" or "S") before the street name (e.g. 1234 S Example St, Arlington, VA), whereas Alexandria (along with South Alexandra, Fairfax County) locations will always have Alexandria addresses (e.g. 1234 Example St, Alexandra, VA). Note that Alexandria tends to not be considered part of Arlington, and as with all of Virgina's incorporated cities it is politically separate from its county. Alexandria is covered on its own article, this article will focus on North and South Arlington.

Arlington has seen continual growth as the DC area has continued to grow, even during nationwide economic downturns. This is mostly due to the large number of employees of the federal government and its contractors.

Understand[edit]

Rosslyn's skyline, viewed from D.C.

Arlington is part of the original "ten miles square" which the U.S. Constitution dedicated as the District of Columbia, the nation's capital. It was one of the District's original two counties; Arlington County (named Alexandra County till 1920) was the part on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, and Washington County (present day Washington, D.C.) was the part on the Maryland side. The law creating the District prohibited building government buildings in Arlington County, leaving it to be used for gambling and other vices. In the 1840s, as a result of issues relating to congressional representation, slavery, and the economy, the U.S. Congress returned Arlington County to Virginia. Most travelers to Arlington will visit both Washington, D.C. and Arlington, and the two cities are seamlessly linked together by the Metrorail system.

Arlington has maintained a healthy balance of urban and suburban life through its self-proclaimed "Arlington Way" of policy making. A large percentage of residents are involved in grassroots political and urban planning processes. Whatever your purpose in coming to Arlington, you'll find the area a friendly and convenient place to visit and explore.

When to visit[edit]

Most tourists come to the D.C. Area during summer weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting between November and March. Likewise, summer weekdays, as opposed to weekends, have fewer visitors and thus lower hotel rates. One of the busiest times to visit the Washington area is during the Cherry Blossom Festival in early April. The springtime blossoms are a must see, but hotel rooms fill up quickly.

Get in[edit]

Overview map

By plane[edit]

  • Washington Reagan National Airport (IATA: DCA) is in South Arlington, and is used by several major regional airlines. This airport has its own Metro station and freeway access to downtown. So it is very convenient. In general, National serves only flights less than 500 miles long.
  • Dulles International Airport (IATA: IAD) is in Dulles, Loudoun County. It is approximately 15 miles (a 45 minute drive during rush hour) outside of Arlington and accessible via shuttle bus and taxi. Metrobus 5A, operates between the airport and Rosslyn Metro Station (Blue and Orange Metro Lines) in Arlington. It generally departs from the airport every 40 minutes on weekdays and hourly (though not on the hour) on weekends, taking 40–50 minutes to the Rosslyn Metro Station. The fare is $6 one-way (no change given). The bus stops near Curb 2E outside of the terminal.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound has a station in Washington, D.C.. Several bus companies operate between Chinatown in Washington, D.C. and New York City. First popular amongst the Chinese community, these bus companies have been used by students and others seeking an ultra-cheap ride to New York or elsewhere. Vamoose Bus and Tripper Bus operate direct service between New York City and Arlington. Pickup/drop-off points are located near the Rosslyn Metro Station.

By train[edit]

  • The closest intercity train stations are Union Station in Washington, DC, located 10–15 minutes by taxi from Arlington, or 30 minutes by Metro and Alexandria located three miles south in Old Town Alexandria.
  • The Washington Area Metro makes several stops in Arlington. The Orange Line stops are Ballston-MU, Virginia Square-GMU, Clarendon, Court House, and Rosslyn. The Blue and Yellow Line stops are Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Reagan National Airport.

By car[edit]

  • Highways entering Arlington include I-395 from the Southwest, I-66 and US-50 from the West, George Washington Parkway from the Northwest, and US-1 from the South. All connect to the Washington beltway (I-495). In addition, there are four bridges that cross the Potomac River between Arlington and DC: Key, Roosevelt, Memorial, and 14th Street.

Note: Arlington County does not allow gasoline sales in residential neighborhoods between midnight and 6AM.

Get around[edit]

Clarendon-Rosslyn Corridor

If you plan to stick to the urban areas, park your car and only travel by foot and public transport. Arlington has an excellent public transportation system, which includes three D.C. area Metro lines, as well two bus systems. Driving an automobile can bring more troubles than it is worth, as many of Arlington's attractions suffer from a dearth of parking spaces, and the area is notorious for expensive parking tickets.

If you want to explore the suburban areas of Arlington, the area offers many bus options, but a car is also a viable option.

By train[edit]

  • Washington DC Metro. The Metro system is considered one of the cleanest and most efficient in the world. The Orange, Blue, and Yellow lines serve Arlington. The Metro uses either a proximity card or a paper farecard; cards are available for purchase at vending machines in all stations. Users can also purchase a one day ($14) or seven-day ($35) pass to allow unlimited trips during a specified time. Handle your farecard gently; it's thin (like a business card) and the magnetic strip can't take a lot of abuse. Fares start at $1.60 and are based on distance and time of day. Arlington has grown around its Metro lines so many of the attractions you can see are located in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor or along the Blue/Yellow Lines. Accessing Washington, D.C. attractions from Arlington hotels along the Metro line can be as convenient as staying in Washington, D.C. itself.

By bus[edit]

  • Arlington Transit Buses (ART). The County of Arlington operates its own independent bus system. Arlington uses smaller, natural gas powered buses painted distinctive green. These buses can also carry bicycles at no additional charge. Arlington's bus service is designed to compliment the metro.
  • Metro Bus. The Metro bus operates throughout the Washington DC area. An easy Metro bus for tourists and locals alike is the 38B aka "Orange Line with a View" begins at Farragut West and takes you through Georgetown, Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square/GMU Law and Ballston areas. You must have exact change and the fare is $1.70 or $1.50 for Smart Trip card holders.
  • DC Circulator operates buses between Rosslyn Metro Station and Dupont Circle. The fare is $1 and you must have exact change.

By car[edit]

U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima statue)

By taxi[edit]

Arlington taxis are available at taxi stands around the county, by phoning the taxi company directly, or occasionally by street hail. All taxis are metered; fares start at $2 and are based on mileage. A $1 surcharge is charged for each additional adult passenger. Complaints about taxi service can be directed to the Arlington Police Department.

By zipcar[edit]

If you need a car for only a few hours, Zipcar is your best alternative. These cars are located in desginated parking spaces near metro stations and can be used by anyone registered with the car share company. Begin your membership a few weeks before you head to Arlington.

Driving your own car[edit]

For information on parking, see Parking In Arlington County. If you decide to drive your own car in Arlington, first check with your hotel about parking arrangements. Some hotels offer free parking and others charge per day. Most, but not all, parking garages operate 24 hours and offer discounted rates on weekends and evenings. Arlington County owns a very large pay parking facility attached to the Ballston Common Mall. On-street metered parking is possible in business districts. Parking in residential districts is restricted to residents during weekday working hours. Arlington's parking regulations are strictly enforced and improperly parked cars will be ticketed. Arlington has been replacing many of the old meters with new ones that accept credit cards. Meter rates vary, expect higher priced meters on Wilson and Clarendon Blvd's.

By foot[edit]

Arlington's wide sidewalks, well labeled intersections, and modern transportation system make Arlington an ideal location for walking. Arlington's transportation systems and sidewalks are also fully accessible to the disabled. You can easily walk over the Key Bridge into Georgetown from Rosslyn, just be aware that some cars may not yield to pedestrians, even in marked crosswalks.

By bicycle[edit]

Capital Bikeshare racks

For more information, see Bike Arlington. Arlington features a unique network of dedicated bike paths that crisscross the county as well as dedicated bike lanes on many major roads. The paths are well labeled and patrolled regularly for safety. They also offer beautiful scenery and the chance to ride your bike or walk without interruption form motorized vehicles. You can cross any of the bridges into Washington using your bike, but be aware that the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge has a very narrow bath with barely any protection from the interstate right next to you. Note that children are required to wear helmets, and it's probably a good idea if you wear one too.

Many persons visiting Washington, D.C. choose to stay in Arlington. Arlington hotels located along the metro lines are just as convenient or even more convenient than hotels in Washington proper, and often more reasonable in price. If you are staying in Arlington primarily to see Washington sights such as the Smithsonian, it would be more convenient to leave your car parked at your hotel and ride the metro to Washington.

See[edit]

Many people come to Arlington as part of a trip to Washington, D.C.. Still, Arlington itself is home to several destinations including the following:

  • Arlington National CemeteryMemorial Dr +1 703 607-8000. 1 April–30 September 8AM-7PM daily, 1 October–30 March 8AM-5PM daily. Just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., adjacent to the Pentagon, this national military cemetery includes John F. Kennedy's tomb and the house of General Robert E. Lee. Visitors can watch the changing of the guard ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier October–March every hour, April–September every half hour. If you want to explore the entire cemetery, which is enormous and hilly, in a short amount of time, take the Tourmobile tour (Adult: $8.50; Children: $4.25). There is also a large parking garage that is a good place to dump your car and then catch the subway or Tourmobile into D.C. Free.
Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery
  • Iwo Jima Marine Corps War MemorialMeade St & Arlington Blvd (on the northern border of Arlington Cemetery; from either the Rosslyn or Arlington Cemetery Metro stations, it's about a 15 minute walk). Compelling memorial that commemorates the amphibious landing and eventually victorious battle for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima during WWII. If you walk around the memorial counter clockwise, you'll notice the optical illusion of the marines planting the flag. On July 4th, this spot also provides an excellent view of the fireworks.
  • Pentagon (Just across the Potomac River from downtown DC. Metro: Pentagon). While lingering is not recommended for security reasons, you should know it is the largest office building in the world, and covers 4 zip codes. (Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Defense.) Group tours are still available by advance arrangement, but the military no longer hosts other tours. The Pentagon Memorial is open 24 hours to visitors on the Washington Blvd side, where Flight 77 hit. Photography is allowed at the memorial, but is not permitted anywhere else on the Pentagon grounds. If you take photos anywhere else on site, you may face a four hour interrogation by the Pentagon Police and will probably be asked to delete the images. On a lighter note, the interior courtyard is irreverently referred to by employees as "Ground Zero," as it was the target of a number of Soviet missiles during the Cold War.
  • DEA Museum and Visitors Center700 Army-Navy Drive (near the Pentagon City metro station). Tu-F 10AM to 4PM. Learn about the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the flow of illicit drugs worldwide. Free.
  • Arlington Historical Museum1805 South Arlington Ridge Road. Saturdays and Sundays 1PM-4PM except in February, when the Museum is closed. Interesting museum housed in a historic school building.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island. A lovely nature walk though this small national park gives one glimpses of both the area's natural woods and the Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) waterfront. Also includes a surprising monument to President Roosevelt himself. Technically a part of Washington, D.C., the island is only accessible by a footbridge from Arlington.
  • United States Air Force Memorial (a 15 to 20 minute walk from either the Pentagon or Pentagon City metro stops, or you can ride any of the route 16 metrobuses from the Pentagon to the memorial.). A monument dedicated in Fall 2006 to the U.S. Air Force. The monument is comprised of three soaring spires signifying the Thunderbird's bomb-burst formation. Also on the site are a few statues and information about various airborne campaigns the U.S. Air Force has participated in. The monument is on a hilltop with an excellent view of Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, and Washington DC. The monument is Limited parking is available in the lot across the street from the memorial.
  • Women in Military Service for America MemorialMemorial Drive, Arlington, VA (Drive to the Arlington Cemetery Visitors Center or take the Metro Blue line to the Arlington Cemetery station),  +1 703 533-1155, toll-free: +1 800-222-2294, e-mail: . 8AM to 5PM. The memorial honors the contribution of women to America's military. In 1932, McKim, Mead and White designed a gateway to Arlington Cemetery, and in 1997 a mostly underground museum opened behind that historic structure. It features informational displays and historic artifacts and uniforms. free.

Do[edit]

The Artisphere
  • Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse2903 Columbia Pike. Recently voted the Best Movie Theater in the Washington DC area by the Washington Post's Best Bet competition and selected the Best Thing to Do on Friday Night by the Washingtonian Magazine. A unique combination of a full restaurant located inside a movie theater. Also offers live comedy shows and large-screen viewings of major sports events. Over 22 years old, the “Drafthouse” replaced the Arlington Theater or “Old Arlington” as it was affectionately known in 1985. The building itself is over 65 years old.
  • Ice Skating @ Kettler Capitals Iceplex (Take the metro to Ballston or drive to the Ballston Common Mall, then take the main parking garage elevators to level 8). Year-round ice skating rink built for the Washington Capitals professional hockey team. Public skating is offered every day; check the web site for schedules. Children's and youth lessons are also available. Adult Admission: $7; Skate rental: $3.
  • The Comedy Spot4238 Wilson Blvd (In Ballston Common Mall),  +1 703 294-LAFF. Stand up acts and local variety shows. One good show is "competitive improv" -- two teams doing improv games with audience suggestions to help direct them. The early shows are Family Friendly and the late shows are adult only. Early shows generally have more people competing and that lets the performers rotate a bit and be fresh and ready to go when it's their turn.

Work[edit]

Arlington is a rapidly growing county with a dynamic economy. The prospects for employment here are excellent, even as the rest of the country goes through recessionary times. The bedrock of Arlington's economy remains the Federal government, the military, and companies that directly do business with the government. The process to start a career with the government is considerably longer than the typical entry process in the private sector. Those seeking Federal government employment in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere can generally apply from their current location, anywhere in the US.

The Pentagon, and its mighty parking lots.

During summertime the Washington, D.C. area fills with ambitious young people completing internships with the government, NGOs, PACs, think tanks, and related organizations. Such persons would do best to arrange their housing in advance. While the Arlington rental market is not as tight as, say, New York City, good apartments can be pricey and hard to find on short notice. The most sought after neighborhoods in Arlington are those directly along the Metro lines, particularly the Rosslyn to Ballston corridor of the Orange line.

Buy[edit]

Arlington's main Shopping Districts are Clarendon and Wilson Blvds between the Rosslyn to Ballston Metro Stations, as well as the areas near the Crystal City and Pentagon City Metro Stations. Arlington has just about every type of shop an upscale urban area would have.

Shopping Malls[edit]

  •    Ballston Common (Directly connected to the Ballston Metro Station). Includes movie theatres, two indoor skating rinks, wireless hot spots, and one of Arlington's lowest cost parking facilities.

Eat[edit]

You won't go hungry in Arlington. Arlington has over a thousand restaurants to fit every budget and taste. Arlington's diverse, well educated population has led to a plethora of ethnic restaurants. The Clarendon neighborhood probably has the largest concentration of restaurants. Within a few blocks of the metro station you can find all types of restaurants—from hole in the wall establishments to pubs to casual dining restaurants. For a slightly less crowded area, try the Shirlington neighborhood, which has about two dozen restaurants ranging from Thai to contemporary American. Note that Shirlington is not served by a Metro rail line. Crystal City has many fine restaurants for every budget. Some choices include Hamburger Hamlet, Bailey's, and Tapas. Make sure to venture west of Jefferson Davis Avenue on 23rd street to get a few smaller but equally as good choices. Some shopping malls, such as The Underground, also have full-service restaurants, as well as food courts.

Tulips on the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial
  • Cafe Caturra2931 South Glebe Road (In a shopping center in South Arlington not far from Washington National Airport. Metro: Pentagon City),  +1 202 525-5317. Mo-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM; Su 11:30AM-3PM. Chic cafe and Wine Bar with small plates and a lot of variety. The wines are well-chosen and the whole experience is casual but trendy $5-14.
  • China Garden1100 Wilson Blvd (In a North Arlington office building, just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown. Metro: Rosslyn),  +1 703 535-5480. Su-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-9PM. The Chinese have fled the District, mostly to Virginia, and there are honestly no good dim sum places in the city itself. But this restaurant serves a perfectly fine dim sum. $8-20.
  • Delhi Club1135 N Highland St +1 202 527-5666. Su-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 11:30AM-10:30PM. In North Arlington. Stylish, modern Indian plates with a specialty in lamb and egglplant. If you would like something different, try the Indian take on the Chesapeake crabcake! $15-27.
  • Guajillo Grill1727 Wilson Blvd +1 703 807-0840. In North Arlington. Mexican food, including some great mole. The food is always fresh and wonderful. The place is difficult to spot and parking can be a problem.
  • Me Jana2300 Wilson Blvd +1 703 465-4440. Lunch: 11:30AM-2:30PM daily; dinner: Su-Th 4:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 4:30PM-10:30PM. In Court House, North Arlington. Upscale Lebanese cuisine (mostly mezzes) in a trendy, casual dining room, and accompanied with a fine selection of Lebanese wines. $18-40.
  • Piola Pizzeria1550 Wilson Blvd +1 703 528-1502. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F 11AM-1AM, Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-11PM. In North Arlington. Based in Treviso, Italy, this small but international chain serves great, vaguely Neopolitan style pizzas. Later at night it morphs into an attractive lounge playing house and trance. Happy hour (M-F 4:30PM-8PM) sees free bar snacks and $4 sangria. $10-16.
  • Pho 751721 Wilson Blvd +1 703 525-7355. 9AM-8PM daily. For a really good bowl of Vietnamese pho, you need to head out to the suburbs where the Vietnamese actually live. Happily, one of the closest pho joints to the city is also one of the best—several local food critics have declared the best. $5-10.
  • Quarterdeck1200 Fort Meyer Dr +1 703 528-2722. 11:30AM-9PM daily. For a great Maryland style crab feast by D.C. you should go to... Virginia! Paper on the tables, buckets full of crabs, pitchers of beer, and an elbow-deep mess of Old Bay seasoning. $6-25; crab feast: $35/person.
  • Ray's Hell Burger1713 Wilson Blvd +1 703 841-0001. M 5PM-10PM, Tu-Su noon-10PM. This place is best summed up by one of its signature burgers: named the Fat Joe, which adds seared foie gras with a balsamic glaze, white truffle oil, crispy shallots, and vine-ripened tomato. Yes, the burger with truffle oil and foie gras is called a Fat Joe. Ray's Hell Burger has an incredible tunnel vision-focus on burger quality to the exclusion of anything else—the seating area is at best an overcrowded, functional fast-food restaurant. But the burgers are worth whatever journey it takes to get here. $8-20.
  • Rays the Steaks2300 Wilson Blvd +1 703 841-7297. One of the DC area's best steak houses, this no-frills steak house offers some of the best steaks at a reasonable price in the DC area. The restaurant has moved from its original location and now takes reservations. Parking can be a problem at times.
The Teddy Roosevelt Memorial on his eponymous island in the Potomac
  • Taste of Morocco3211 Wilson Blvd +1 703 527-7468. Lunch: Tu-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner: Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-10:30PM. A great Moroccan restaurant with lovely ambiance (precisely the sort you'd want of a Moroccan restaurant), great service, and one mean Chicken Bastilla, a sweet pastry filled with savory, spiced chicken. $14-30.
  • Teds Montana Grill4300 Wilson Blvd (right on the point of Wilson and Glebe behind the Ballston Commons Mall),  +1 7037410661. 11AM-10PM. Teds is a classic American restaurant serving authentic American cuisine in the style of a 1890s eatery. Featuring bison and beef steaks and especially burgers it offers a made from scratch experience unmatched in Arlington. $$.
  • Willow4301 North Fairfax Dr (1 block from the Ballston Metro Station),  +1 703 465-8800. Weekdays 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; Sa 5PM-5:30PM, 6PM-10:30PM. American food. Great experience, great food, great atmosphere
  • Ben's Chili Bowl1725 Wilson Blvd, Arlington 703-649-5255. Daily 11AM to 11PM. The Washington DC landmark that opened in DC in 1958 and well known for its hot dogs and half smokes that has been visited by numerous presidents and celebrities now has a location open in Arlington.

Drink[edit]

In Arlington, the drinks can get pricey, but the bars are plentiful. Ballston Mall includes several pubs, while the Clarendon-to-Courthouse corridor has enough watering holes for a bar crawl. The entire area also has a high density of coffee houses.

  • Carpool4000 Fairfax Drive (2 blocks from Ballston metro),  +1 703 532-7665. Very popular bar, restaurant and meeting point with a gas filling-station theme.
  • The Continental1911 Fort Meyer Dr (Metro: Rosslyn),  +1 703 465-7675. M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa-Su 6PM-2AM. A weird little 60s-looking, orange-colored pool hall and bar just across the Key Bridge. If the small bar and pool tables are crowded, they also have shuffleboard, darts, and Nintendo Wii!
  • Galaxy Hut2711 Wilson Blvd +1 703 525-8646. 5PM-2AM daily. Northern Virginia's sole hipster refuge has a fun jukebox, a fantastic draft beer selection, and perhaps the most laid back atmosphere on the Wilson Blvd corridor (it predates the Clarendon yuppie boom). Live indie rock Su-M.
  • Guarapo2039 Wilson Blvd +1 703 528-6500. M-Th 5PM-10:30PM, F-Sa 5PM-11:30PM; lounge: Th-Sa 9PM-1:30AM. A Latin lounge with salsa dancing, live music Th-Sa, hookahs, and "Latin tapas."
  • Iota Club2832 Wilson Blvd +1 703 522-8340. 5PM-2AM daily. It's arguably a dive bar, but more importantly one of the best live music venues in the area for roots-rock and country acts.
  • Jay's Saloon3114 N 10th St +1 703 527-3093. Su-Th 11AM-midnight, F-Sa noon-2AM. This is a true, old-school, neighborhood bar that has not been overrun with the twenty-somethings, with really cheap beer—$2 Buds and Miller Lites any time of the week.
The U.S. Air Force Memorial
  • Kitty O'Shea's2403 Wilson Blvd +1 202 522-5295. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su 10AM-2AM. There are a ton of fake Irish pubs in Arlington. This one's especially fake (it's way too well lit), but it's a good time for anyone looking for a nice sports bar not overrun with immature young'uns.
  • Rock Bottom Brewery4238 Wilson Blvd. ste 1256 (in Ballston Commons Mall),  +1 703 516-7688. Wednesday night is dollar pint night for some mighty fine in-house brews...expect crowds.
  • Whitlows On Wilson2854 Wilson Blvd. Casual neighborhood bar offering great specials during the week and a popular brunch on the weekends.

Sleep[edit]

  • Best Western Rosslyn/Iwo Jima1501 Arlington Blvd +1 703 524-5000. For once, a hotel with an attraction in the name isn't lying to you—it really is just about a block from the Iwo Jima Memorial. That does place it a little out of the way, but it's not a long walk to the Rosslyn station. Newly-renovated, heated indoor pool, free WiFi, meeting rooms. $100-190.
  • Clarion Collection Arlington Court1200 N Courthouse Rd +1 703 524-4000. A high-end Clarion a couple blocks south of the Courthouse Metro, with free WiFi, free breakfast buffet, and 24 hour fitness center. Offers a free one-mile shuttle, but it's a shame that anything interesting that isn't within easy walking distance is at least two miles away... $130-300.
  • Comfort Inn Pentagon City2480 South Glebe Rd. Bldg. 2, Arlington, VA 22206 +1 703 682-5500. Amenities that include complimentary breakfast, an on-site restaurant, fitness center and outdoor swimming pool, daily shuttle service to the Pentagon, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Pentagon DC Metro stop, and etc. $89-$139.
  • Hilton Arlington (directly in front of the Ballston metro stop). Mostly oriented towards business travels; it offers substantial discounts over weekends and holidays.
  • Hilton Garden Inn1333 North Courthouse Rd +1 703 528-4444. Notably just one block from the Courthouse Metro stop and the surrounding restaurants and nightlife $120-260.
Shopping central is Pentagon City
  • Hyatt Arlington1325 Wilson Boulevard. Arlington, VA 22209. Newly renovated; walking distance to Rosslyn Metro Station and local businesses. Less than one mile from the National Mall.
  • Key Bridge Marriott1401 Lee Highway +1 703 524-6400fax: +1 703 524-8964. The Key Bridge Marriott is in Arlington, VA. Includes renovated meeting facilities.

Long-Stay Hotels and Corporate Apartments[edit]

Arlington is home to a sizeable number of government and military employees. Many people detailed on business to the Washington DC area stay in Arlington. If you will be in Arlington for longer than two weeks, but less than six months, a long stay hotel (also called a corporate apartment) is the best place for you. The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide publishes internet reviews of many corporate apartments. When choosing a corporate apartment, consider its location carefully. Apartments very close to the metro are considered highly desirable; some buildings further away operate shuttle services. Other considerations include the frequency of maid service, if pets are allowed, parking facilities, and if the neighborhood has good restaurants, stores and supermarkets in easy walking distance. The Ballston neighborhood has all of these and is home to several corporate apartments including the Meridian and the Lincoln Towers. Do inquire about price, and make sure the pricing structure is compatible your per-diem guidelines.

If your stay in Arlington will be longer than six months, you are probably better off renting a regular apartment from through a broker, the Washington Post classifieds, or an online site such as Craigslist. Most Arlington landlords are familiar with the transient nature of government work and will include a "government escape clause" or "diplomatic escape clause" in your lease if you ask. Such a clause states that the lease can be terminated without penalty upon 30 days notice of receipt of government or military travel orders.

Stay safe[edit]

The main terminal at National Airport

Arlington is a very safe county with considerably less crime than its neighbor, Washington, D.C. While you are unlikely to be the victim of a crime here, you should take normal precautions that you would in any urban area, such as keeping your car and hotel room locked at all times. If you have a problem, dial 911 to contact the Arlington Police.

Be aware that the metro closes at midnight from Sunday-Thursday and at 3AM on Friday and Saturday nights. The time of the last train is posted in each station. Metro buses operate 24 hours a day but on a greatly reduced schedule at night. If you anticipate being out very late at night it is a good idea to carry the phone number of a taxi company with you.

Go next[edit]

  • Major regional (and national) attractions and fine dining in The National Mall and Georgetown are just across the Potomac via Arlington Memorial Bridge (or the Metro Yellow Line) and the Key Bridge respectively.
  • Alexandria — the former hometown to famous American heroes and rebels that claims some of the richest history in the DC metro area is just south of the Reagan National airport, accessible via the Blue line on the Metro.
  • Fredericksburg and Manassas — sites of key Civil War battles, including the first major battle of the war. Also in the area are the Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania battlefields.
  • Great Falls — home to a rather pleasant regional park.
  • Mount Vernon — George Washington's home and gardens.
Routes through Arlington
MiddletownFalls Church  W I-66.svg E  Washington, D.C.END
SpringfieldAlexandria  S I-395.svg N  Washington, D.C.END
RichmondAlexandria  S US 1.svg N  Washington, D.C.Baltimore
CharlottesvilleFalls Church  S US 29.svg N  Washington, D.C.Ellicott City
WinchesterFalls Church  W US 50.svg E  Washington, D.C.Annapolis
SpringfieldAlexandria  S WMATA Blue.svg E  Foggy BottomLargo Town Center
ViennaFalls Church  W WMATA Orange.svg E  Foggy BottomNew Carrollton
GreenbeltWaterfront  N WMATA Yellow.svg S  AlexandriaHuntington


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This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!