It’s a funny thing: when I was younger, my dream was to travel the world. I wanted to go to Paris as soon as possible, and spend my life globe-trotting, but that has hardly been the case.
I grew up in Arlington, went to high school in Herndon, college in Richmond, and I’m living in Arlington again. Talk about full circle, huh? Not quite. I do hope to travel someday. I have resolved myself to the fact it might happen later in life. And, hey, I can’t really complain, since A-town is a pretty nice place to live!
We’re right here next to Washington, DC, so we have the best of both worlds: the suburbs and the big city. I love working near the capital because this area has a lot of culture (lots of fabulous restaurants and shops), and we also have a pride about us! Living not too far from the President, it’s no wonder!
I’m not going into all the fabulous things to do in DC (Mrs. Perfume did a good job of that), because to be perfectly honest, I don’t go there very often. I love go try new restaurants in the city, and it’s really the only area where my girlfriends and I party, but my hometown is definitely Arlington!
Places to Lodge:
On the way to work every day, I pass by this Sheraton National Hotel. It’s a nice place and conveniently located on Columbia Pike, a main road in this town.
Mr. B and I stayed at this Ritz Carlton at Pentagon City for our anniversary one year, and it’s divine! It’s a beautiful place, and it’s really nice to be able to walk from inside right into The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, one of my favorite places EVER in the area to shop. I work really close to The Fashion Centre as well, which is often problematic on pay days. 🙂
Just for reference, growing up just a few minutes around the corner from this retail mecca, it was always the mall to be at! With all of the high-end shops like Coach and Michael Kors, a girl (or guy) with a thing for fashion can’t resist. A few of my other favorite places to shop at this mall include: The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Forever 21, and Armani Exchange. Pentagon has it all!
Places to Shop & Eat:
As if their weren’t enough places to shop INSIDE Pentagon City Mall, Pentagon Row is another retail haven! With places like Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa, Starbucks, and Pacers Running Store, it’s the perfect hanging spot for a Saturday afternoon. I suggest stopping by Champps if you’re in the mood for a game, or Sine, if you’re in the mood for some Irish fare. Both places have great beer, and in the winter, Pentagon Row even opens up an ice skating rink!
I wouldn’t recommend beer + icing skating! That could = a disaster!
This is a new part of the area that is great for going out to eat or to the movies. I’ll warn you, though! It’s really hard to decide on a restaurant because there are so many of them! One of my favorite spots is Busboys and Poets. It’s such a cool atmosphere and the food is great, too!
Oh yeah, and watch out for all the great high-end retail on each block!
There’s not as much to do in Arlington as there is in Washington, DC, but I’m hardly ever bored. One reason might be because I live right nearby the Historic Arlington Cinema Drafthouse! This place is really cool because it offers live comedy stand ups, as well as recent big screen hits!
The drafthouse is fun for a date night, and it’s right down the street (about 1 minute away) from one of my favorite sushi joints, Matuba. There’s also a brand new spot called Twisted Vines! It’s a really laid back wine bar, and I know at least one of my neighbors frequents it quite a bit.
A few other food favorites are located in Clarendon, One of my favorite spots! This area has so much culture and is booming with great places to eat, party, and shop! On Saturday mornings, I love to visit the area flea market. You can find all sorts of treasures, and even some things for your wedding!
One of my favorite restaurants over here is Whitlows. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but believe me, the food is yummy! I also love love love the pizza and wine bar, Faccia Luna! They have a great special Monday nights—2 glasses of wine, 2 starter salads, and 1 large pizza for only $25.25! You can’t beat that!
Looking more for of a party scene than happy hour?
The Clarendon Ballroom is usually a safe bet, especially on Saturday nights. Clarendon Grill is another place that might look like more of a restaurant, but when 11 PM hits, the lights dim and people start dancing!
If that’s not enough for you, or eating and drinking isn’t your thing and you would rather do something more active, word is there is a Gold’s Gym opening up across the street from the Drafthouse. There’s also a Bally’s (which is actually the gym I belong to) at Pentagon Row!
You absolutely cannot come to Arlington and not sightsee. There’s too much history in this area to pass it up, and if you visit in the Spring, you’ll get a taste of why so many people love this area—it’s gorgeous!
This is actually one of my favorite places in Arlington. It’s a great starting point for an Arlingtontian to take a run through DC. There are usually quite a bit of tourists checking out the memorial and taking pictures (it’s a US Marine Corps memorial), but there’s ample parking, and lots of other sights within walking distance.
OK, I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to visit a cemetery? This isn’t just a cemetery, trust me. Arlington National Cemetery serves as memorial to America’s war heroes. More than four million people visit Arlington National Cemetery each year, attending graveside services and special ceremonies to pay tribute to veterans and historical figures (this information was obtained here).
This memorial honors those that passed due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It’s of special importance to me because a close friend of our family was working there during the attack (she is OK). The design, execution, and preservation of this site truly exemplifies the power in Americanism and unity (not to sound like Uncle Sam), but I’ve it touches me in a new way every time I visit.
This memorial honors Air Force veterans and pays tribute to the technological wonders of USA’s air power. I told you there was a lot of pride in this area. Rightfully so, huh?
Keep in mind that Arlington is only a 5 minute (or less) metro ride to Washington, DC, another great honeymoon spot. If you’re considering a honeymoon there, you may want to check out Arlington hotels and places to lodge for a cheaper alternative. It’s literally a hop, skip, and jump from all the action in DC!
Do you live in or around Arlington and have any additional recommendations?