Presentation of the destination
A densely populated county around 26 square miles in size, Arlington, Virginia is directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and, as a result, feels as if it is actually part of the capital of the United States. It is home to many national war memorials, as well as the Pentagon. The headquarters of many federal agencies, including the Department of Defence and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, are also located here. Because of this, Arlington is also home to a diverse and highly skilled work force and it boasts an extremely high per-capita income. If you are interested in American politics and history, Arlington in the perfect destination for you. But it is also situated in a very beautiful natural area, boasting many parks and trails.
Points of interests / things to see
Situated on 624 rolling green acres overlooking Washington D.C. from across the Potomac, Arlington National Cemetery is the nation’s foremost military cemetery, first established on the grounds of Robert E. Lee’s house during the Civil War. 260 000 veterans of all the wars fought by the nation are buried here, from the Revolution to the present day. More than 3 million visitors come to pay their respects at the cemetery each year and the military performs between 27 and 30 funerals every week day. Several former presidents are buried here along with their families, including John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jackie, and two of their children. Kennedy’s grave, marked with an eternal flame, is one of the most-visited burial sites within the cemetery grounds. Many visitors to the cemetery come to see the grave site of an ancestor or another figure of interest to them, and Arlington National Cemetery has actually developed an app, called the ANC Explorer, to help people find a particular gravesite, look at photos of the front and back of the headstone, and get directions to the exact location of the burial site. Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia 22211 Tel: 1-877-907-8585 Web: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/ Contact: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/ContactUs/FeedbackForm.aspx Open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (April-September) and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (October-March).
Standing on top of a hill overlooking Washington D. C., the Tomb of the Unknowns, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, honors unidentified fallen American soldiers from both World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. A cube-shaped white marble sarcophagus marks the spot where, in 1921, the body of an unidentified soldier from World War I was buried to represent all those whose identities have been lost to war in addition to their lives. The tomb is guarded around the clock by the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry. Figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor are sculpted into the east side of the tomb. The words “Here rests in honored glory, an American soldier known but to God” are inscribed on the back of it. There are also six wreaths carved into its sides, representing the six major battles of World War I. Three white marble slabs near the tomb mark the graves of unknowns from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, 22211 Tel: 1-877-907-8585 Web:http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/VisitorInformation/TombofUnknowns.aspx Contact: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/ContactUs/FeedbackForm.aspx Open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (April-September) and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (October-March).
Even if you have never before visited the United States, you have probably seen images of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial or even perhaps the famous photograph it was modelled after. The statue commemorates all the U.S. Marines who have served their country through the depiction of a well-known event from the second World War. It is based on a photograph of five marines and a Navy hospital corpsman raising the American flag on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. The photo was taken by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press and it eventually won the Pulitzer Prize. Sculptor Felix W. de Weldon was so taken with it that he modelled it in clay. (Three of the men who had raised the flag actually modelled for him; the others had been killed on the island.) It was later cast in bronze, a process which took three years. The memorial features 32-foot high figures of the men raising a 60-foot high flag pole. By presidential proclamation, the giant flag at the top flies at full mast round the clock, throughout the year. Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington Ridge, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Arlington, VA 22202 Web: http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/historyculture/usmcwarmemorial.htm Contact: http://www.nps.gov/contacts.htm The memorial grounds are open year-round from 6:00 a.m. until midnight.
Located southwest of the Pentagon itself, the Pentagon Memorial is an outdoor memorial to the 184 employees of the Pentagon and passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 77 that were killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Memorial units mark the places where each victim of the attack was located at the exact time of the attack. These memorial units are inscribed stainless steel and granite benches anchored only at one end, and each hold a pool of flowing water. Those benches that commemorate victims who were located in the Pentagon face that building, while the benches that commemorate victims in the plane face the direction of the flight’s approach. Other features of the memorial include a field of gravel, 85 crape myrtles, and an “Age Wall,” which grows in height from 3 inches to 71 inches as visitors walk along it. (The youngest victim, Dana Falkenberg, was three years old; the oldest, John D. Yamnicky, was 71.) Although, during the planning stages, the National Park Service expected more than 2 million visitors to the memorial each year, so far the site only receives 225,000 to 250,000 visitors each year. The Pentagon Memorial, 1 N Rotary Rd, Arlington, Virginia 22211 Tel: 1-301-740-3388 Web: http://pentagonmemorial.org/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The Pentagon Memorial is open 24 hours a day, from Monday to Sunday.
Arlington House, once the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, is now a memorial to him, located on the grounds of the Arlington National Cemetery. Six of Robert and Mary Lee’s seven children were born here. A Greek-revival style building, Arlington House was originally built, by George Washington Park Custis, the adopted son of George Washington, using slave labor over the course of 16 years beginning in 1802. At various times in its history, it has served as a family home, a plantation housing 63 slaves, a military headquarters, and a monument to George Washington. It now sits in the middle of the enormous and very beautiful Arlington National Cemetery. Visitors to the site today can tour the grand house and the slave quarters, visit the Robert E. Lee museum, and stroll through the flower gardens. Either use a brochure to make your way through the site or use your cell phone to access a free tour. Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, 321 Sherman Dr, Fort Myer, Virginia, 22211 Tel: 1-703- 235-1530 Web: http://www.nps.gov/arho/index.htm Open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except Mondays and Tuesdays from December to March. Entry: free.
The Mount Vernon trail is a scenic 18-mile trail that can be used for a variety of purposes including walking, hiking, and biking. It is paved and runs along beside the Potomac River, offering some beautiful views of Washington D.C.’s skyline. While the disabled may use motorized wheelchairs on this trail, other motorized vehicles of any kind are prohibited, as are skateboards. The Mount Vernon Trail stretches from George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Tel: 1-703‑289‑2553 Web: http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/planyourvisit/mtvernontrail.htm Contact: http://www.nps.gov/gwmp/contacts.htm The Mount Vernon Trail is open year-round from 6 am to 10 pm.
Gravelly Point Park is a bit of a hidden gem in the Arlington area. Adjacent to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, it is a green space beloved by locals, primarily because it offers prime viewing ground to see airplanes taking off and landing, from up close, against a backdrop of the Potomac River and Washington, D.C. Many visitors to the park say that, in spite of the loud engine noises of the nearby airplanes, it is an unusual and very romantic place to visit. Visitors enjoy picnicking here, as well as walking and biking along some good paths. George Washington Parkway, Arlington, Virginia, 22202 Tel: 1-703-228-3969
Known as “the skinniest park in Virginia,” the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Park is only 100 feet wide, because it is built on the roadbed of a former railroad. This is why it is also one of the longest parks in Virginia, at 45 miles. The park consists mainly of paved trails suitable for walking, running, biking, and skating. It runs through both country and urban areas. The W&OD Trail runs from Shirlington near I-395 to Purcellville in Loudoun County, Virginia, 22181 Tel: 1-703-729-0596 Web: http://www.nvrpa.org/park/w_od_railroad Contact: WOD@nvrpa.org It is open all year, from dawn to dusk.
About an hour and a half’s drive south of Arlington, you will find Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington’s plantation home and a treasured national landmark, one of the most-visited sites in the United States. Visitors to Mount Vernon can tour the gorgeous 21-room mansion, its many out-buildings, the gardens and grounds, Washington’s tomb, the Slave Memorial and graveyard, and a working Pioneer farm featuring many heritage animals, the wharf, a museum, and a distillery and grist mill. There are also shops and restaurants. George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121 Web: http://www.mountvernon.org/ Contact: http://www.mountvernon.org/about/contact Open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. April to August, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in March, September, and October, and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from November to February. Adult $17 Youth (6-11) $8 Senior (62+) $16 Children (under 5) free
Vacation rentals in Arlington (Virginia)
How to get there ?
By plane: The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is located right in Arlington itself and if you plan to fly to the region, this is the airport you should choose. It is connected to the metro system directly. Dulles International Airport is located about 15 miles outside Arlington, which is about a 45-minute drive during rush hour. By train: Union Station, the nearest inter-city train station, is located in Washington, 15 minutes from Arlington by taxi or 30 minutes by Metro Transit. By car: The highways entering Arlington are I-395 from the Southwest, I-66 and US Route 50 from the West, George Washington Parkway from the Northwest, and US Route 1 from the South. By bus: There is a Greyhound station in neighboring Washington, D.C. Getting Around the City: It is difficult to manoeuver a car in Arlington, parking is difficult to find and tickets are very expensive, but happily it is a great city for walking and biking, with wide sidewalks and lots of good signage. It also has a highly-regarded public transportation system, the Washington DC Metro transit, of which the Orange, Blue, and Yellow lines cover Arlington. There are also three good bus services in Arlington: the Arlington Transit Bus, the Metro Bus, and the DC Circulator.
Hotels in Arlington (Virginia)