Arlington, Virginia: A Neighborhood Guide

Aerial view of Arlington
Photo courtesy of WMATA

Arlington, the county seat of Arlington County, Virginia, has been named (in a study by BizJournals) as the wealthiest and most highly educated community in the country. The area’s close proximity to downtown Washington, DC has attracted an increasingly varied population. One in five residents is foreign-born, and one in four speak a language other than English. Although best known to visitors as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington is both a residential community and an employment center. It is also the epicenter of scientific research for the defense and homeland security industries, holding the highest concentration of scientific research agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and several top university-related research institutes.

Arlington is a prime place to stay, shop,  and dine when visiting the Washington, DC region. The area offers affordable accommodations and plenty of entertainment. Public transportation is easily accessible. 

Neighborhoods Within Arlington

Ballston: Home to Ballston Common Mall, the area is undergoing a massive redevelopment project. It is a walkable area with a variety of hotels, shopping, and dining.

Clarendon: The urban area blends nationally-known retailers with funky, one-of-a-kind boutiques and well known favorite restaurants.

Columbia Pike: This major corridor has art deco buildings, specialty retail shops and Arlington's greatest concentration of ethnic restaurants.

Courthouse: Surrounding the Arlington General District Court, this neighborhood boasts a growing array of restaurants, pubs and lounges, a movie theater and hotels.

Crystal City: Arlington's largest downtown features a variety of fine restaurants,  Crystal City Shops, and the Synetic Theater.

Pentagon City: With literally hundreds of stores and restaurants, The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, the Pentagon Row shopping, and entertainment complex, and Pentagon Centre offer endless shopping opportunities. 

Rosslyn: Located right across Key Bridge from Georgetown, Rosslyn has easy access to the nation’s capital, as well as some of Arlington's most famous landmarks such as Arlington National Cemetery, and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Shirlington: The Village at Shirlington offers a variety of dining, entertainment, and shops. 

Public Transportation

Washington Metro: Metro stations in Arlington include: Ballston, Clarendon, Columbia Pike East, Columbia Pike West, Courthouse, Crystal City, Pentagon City, Rosslyn, Shirlington and Virginia Square.

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) -  Commuter trains run Monday through Friday to/from Manassas and Fredericksburg. 

Arlington Transit (ART) - supplements Metrobus by operating smaller, neighborhood-friendly vehicles and providing access to Metrorail and Virginia Railway Express (VRE).  

Arlington Points of Interest

  • Arlington National Cemetery - The 624 acres serves as the burial grounds of national leaders as well as more than 400,000 American servicemen. 
  • The Pentagon - The headquarters for the Department of Defense provides office space and amenities for more than 23,000 employees, both military and civilian. Public tours can be arranged in advance. 
  • Pentagon Memorial - The national landmark commemorates the 184 lives lost in the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Fort Myer - Henderson Hall - The facility is home to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" and Headquarters U.S. Army Garrison
  • Iwo Jima Memorial - The national monument pays tribute to the United States Marine Corps. 
  • Air Force Memorial - The national monument pays tribute to the United States Air Force. 
  • Ronald Reagan National Airport - The airport is located  3 miles south of downtown Washington, DC.
Was this page helpful?