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Things to do in Arlington VA

The Top 10 Best Things to Do in Arlington, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia, being a prosperous city throughout the history of the United States, is home to a diverse range of things to see and do. There are plenty of activities to do no matter what time of year you come, from historical buildings and fascinating museums to entertainment venues and public parks. While the neighborhood is so near to the nation’s capital that it is almost an extension of the metropolis, Arlington boasts several unique attractions.

1. Arlington National Cemetery

The national cemetery is a must-see destination in the capital region, notably for history and patriotic buffs. Arlington National Cemetery, which is the final resting place for over 400,000 American veterans, holds regular graveside ceremonies and memorial activities and has over 600 acres to explore.

Tourists to the Arlington National Cemetery can see the graves of many noteworthy Americans, observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, and tour Arlington House, the former home of Robert E. Lee and his family.

2. Women in Military Service for America

The Women in Military Service for America Memorial, located at the entrance to the Arlington National Cemetery, was the first U.S. memorial created to honor the participation of women in the history of America’s armed services. The memorial, which opened in 1997, is situated inside the “Hemicycle,” a structure built in 1932, and you can explore both for free on your approach to the cemetery.

3. The Mount Vernon Trail

The Mount Vernon Trail, also known as Northern Virginia’s Scenic Trail, follows the west bank of the Potomac River from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.

Whether you enjoy bicycling or simply want to see some of Washington, D.C.’s most iconic sights, a ride along this 18-mile-long paved leisure trail is well worth the stop.

The trail is one of the most popular in the area for bicycling, walking, and running. There are numerous parking lots off the George Washington National Parkway, which runs adjacent to the route, and it is also accessible from the Potomac Waterfront in downtown Arlington.

4. The Pentagon

Take a guided tour of the Pentagon in Arlington to know and understand about the purpose of the Department of Defense and the four branches of the military.

Military officers lead tours of the Pentagon, which are available by reservation only on Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During these visits, you will get the opportunity to explore the remarkable five-sided building as well as its outdoor courtyard. After that, you can pay your respects at the Pentagon Memorial for the lives lost there during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

You must request a tour 14 to 90 days in advance, either through the Pentagon website or by calling your Congressional or Senate Representative.

5. Iwo Jima Memorial

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial honours Marines who have died while serving their country since 1775. The military monument, which depicts Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph shot during WWII’s Battle of Iwo Jima, was constructed in 1954.

The sculpture, designed by Horace W. Peaslee and executed by Felix de Weldon, depicts six Marines hoisting a US flag atop Mount Suribachi. The US Marine Corps War Memorial is on a 100-foot-high hill overlooking the Potomac River.

6. Roosevelt Island

The 91-acre wilderness preserve on Roosevelt Island is a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt and features almost two miles of foot trails where you may see a diversity of flora and fauna.

This is a terrific area to explore nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, and the island is accessible by the Mount Vernon Trail, though bicycles are not permitted.

7. The U.S. Air Force Memorial

Between the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon is the Air Force Memorial. The monument is dedicated to members of the United States Air Force and consists of three steel spires varying in height from 201 feet to 270 feet.

The design was inspired by the Air Force Thunderbirds display squadron’s “bomb burst” maneuver. The Air Force Memorial is located at a high elevation, providing a magnificent view of Arlington National Cemetery and the Potomac River. The memorial and its environs are free to explore.

8. Signature Theatre

The Signature Theater in Arlington presents outstanding musical and contemporary performances year round in its 48,000 square foot building, so there’s always a chance to catch a show when you’re in town.

Throughout the year, Signature Theater also organizes a range of seminars called SigWorks, as well as special performances and events. For the most up-to-date information on performances, shows, and events, check out the official Signature Theater calendar.

9. Fashion Center at Pentagon City

The Fashion Centre in Pentagon City is one of Arlington’s biggest shopping complexes. Its main anchors are Nordstrom and Macy’s, as well as over 100 local and foreign shops. Spade New York, Michael Kors, and BOSS are among the high-end brands, while Pandora, Forever 21, and Pandora are among the mall’s more affordable selections.

Dining options in Fashion Centre at Pentagon City include Shake Shack, Auntie Anne’s, Taco Bell, and Panda Express. You can also take a mid-shopping break by walking to Metropolitan Park or Virginia Highlands Park.

10. Arlington House

Arlington House, located at Arlington National Cemetery, is a Greek Revival-style home. The historic residence is a tribute to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, with 18th- and 19th-century furniture and ornamental arts, as well as Civil War mementos and manuscripts on display.

The well-preserved home, slave quarters, and potting shed, which were erected between 1803 and 1818, can be explored. Arlington House has a 360-degree view of the Potomac River and Washington, DC. Look for historical sites including the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol Dome.

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