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Crystal City[dead link] is the secondary "downtown" area of Arlington, Virginia, after the Rosslyn–Ballston Corridor. This article also includes the nearby neighborhoods of Pentagon City, Arlington Ridge, and Aurora Highlands.


Map of Arlington (Virginia)/Crystal City

Crystal City is the principal commercial area in South Arlington, consisting of highrise buildings centered on U.S. Route 1 (Jefferson Davis Highway). The Crystal City Metro station is on 18th St South between Route 1 and Crystal Drive. Located adjacent to the airport— indeed, one can walk from Reagan Washington National Airport directly into Crystal City via the Mount Vernon Trail— this neighborhood has perhaps the largest concentration of hotels in Arlington. Arlington has been redeveloping 1960s-era Crystal City, with a new restaurant district along Crystal Drive joining the established one on 23rd St S. Underlying it all, literally, is the Crystal City Underground, a subterranean network of interconnected shops and restaurants— and a handy alternative to walking in bad weather, provided you don't get disoriented.

Adjacent to Crystal City to the north is the Pentagon City shopping district, served by the Pentagon City Metro station, and just across I-395 from the Pentagon. The neighborhood is dominated by three shopping centers: the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, with higher-end shops, and connected to the Ritz-Carlton hotel; the discount-oriented Pentagon Centre to its east; and Pentagon Row to its west, home to some specialty stores and a wintertime skating rink. Proximity to the freeway as well as the numerous eating and shopping options make Pentagon City a regular stop for bus tours.

Get in


The Crystal City area is served by the combined Yellow/Blue Metro line, with stops at Pentagon City and Crystal City. It provides access from downtown Washington, D.C. to the north, and Alexandria and southern Fairfax County to the south. Crystal City also has its own VRE commuter rail station a few blocks from the Metro. In addition, the Metroway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line runs from Pentagon City through Crystal City and down to Old Town Alexandria.


  • 1 Crystal City Water Park. A small park with a large and interestingly landscaped cascading waterfall. It's a good place to relax or eat lunch on a nice day. There is also a tunnel under the railroad tracks that provides access to the Mount Vernon Trail.
  • 2 DEA Museum and Visitors Center, 700 Army-Navy Drive (Metro: Pentagon City), +202 307-3463. Tu-F 10AM to 4PM. Learn about the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the flow of illicit drugs worldwide. Free. Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and Visitors Center (Q30314630) on Wikidata Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and Visitors Center on Wikipedia
  • 3 Arlington Historical Museum, 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road (about a 20-minute walk from the Pentagon City Metro). Sa Su 1-4PM except in February, when the Museum is closed. Operated by the Arlington Historical Society, the museum is housed in the historic Hume School, the oldest school building in the county. Arlington Historical Museum (Q17512884) on Wikidata Arlington Historical Museum on Wikipedia
  • 4 Aurora Highlands Historic District. A residential neighborhood that is a prime example of prewar houses mainly built between 1910 and 1930. A nice place to take a walk to escape the concrete confines of Crystal City proper. Aurora Highlands Historic District (Q14711989) on Wikidata Aurora Highlands Historic District on Wikipedia
  • 5 Fort Scott Park. A small park on a hill overlooking southern Crystal City. The site of a Civil War fort, a small part of the earthworks are still visible on the path that connects the parking lot to Ives St. Fort Scott (Q5471997) on Wikidata Fort Scott (Arlington, Virginia) on Wikipedia
  • 6 Washington National Airport Terminal and South Hangar Line. The original National Airport terminal was built in 1941 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Washington National Airport Terminal and South Hangar Line (Q18159154) on Wikidata Washington National Airport Terminal and South Hangar Line on Wikipedia


  • 1 Synetic Theater at Crystal City, 1800 South Bell Street (Metro: Crystal City). Well-regarded avant-garde physical theater company based at the Crystal City Theatre. Known for its wordless renditions of Shakespeare plays, which feature highly choreographed dance elements and impressive staging. A unique and highly worthwhile destination. Synetic Theater (Q7662425) on Wikidata Synetic Theater on Wikipedia
  • 2 Virginia Highlands Park. An 18-acre park with facilities for tennis, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and other sports.
  • 3 Four Mile Run Trail. Four Mile Run is a creek that forms the border between Arlington and Alexandria in this area. The Four Mile Run Trail begins at the Mount Vernon Train near the Potomac River, and continues 7 miles up the river through Southwestern Arlington and Falls Church. Four Mile Run Trail (Q5475344) on Wikidata Four Mile Run Trail on Wikipedia


  • 1 The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Pentagon City Mall), 1100 S Hayes St (directly connected to the Pentagon City Metro Station; Pentagon City exit from I-395 or SR-110), +1 703-415-2401. M–Sa 10AM-9:30PM; Su 11AM-6PM. Opened in 1989, the Fashion Centre is Arlington's largest indoor shopping mall. It caters to two groups: Arlington's professional class, browsing the upper middle class stores anchored by the Macy's and Nordstrom department stores; and tour bus groups, who mill about the food court and T-shirt kiosks in the basement. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Q7733481) on Wikidata The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City on Wikipedia
  • 2 Pentagon Row, 1201 S. Joyce St. (directly west of the Fashion Centre), +1 301-998-8155. This mixed-use development features local restaurants and chain retailers running along South Joyce Street. In the wintertime, the central courtyard is home to a popular outdoor ice skating rink. Pentagon Row (Q7164975) on Wikidata Pentagon Row on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Crystal City Shops, 1750 Crystal Dr., 2150 Crystal Dr. (Metro: Crystal City), +1 703-807-2922. A maze of underground corridors extending from 12th to 23rd Streets South, Crystal City's underground is not the place for destination shopping, but if you're staying in one of the many nearby hotels, it can't be beat for climate-controlled convenience to all your basics from haircuts to cafés to touristy gift shops.



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.

  • 1 Restaurant Row, 500–570 23rd St. S. This block and a half of 23rd St. west of Route 1 features a diner, two pubs, three Italian restaurants, two kabob restaurants, one each of Thai, Japanese, Ethiopian, Mexican, Chinese, and Saharan restaurants, a hookah lounge, and a gay bar. It is accessible by a pedestrian tunnel across Route 1 underneath 23rd St. S.
  • Crystal City Gentleman's Club and Restaurant, 422 23rd St (Metro: Crystal City). Must be 21 to enter. For those seeking something more risque.


This district travel guide to Crystal City 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 feel free to improve it by editing the page.