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The Best-Kept Washington, D.C. Secret: Arlington, Virginia

October 31, 2016

If you’re from the D.C.-area, you’re probably familiar with all of Arlington’s gems. If you’re not from the D.C.-area, or if you are but don’t leave your house… ever, you’re missing out.

 

Arlington is directly outside of D.C., making it a prime living location if you love the big-city feel but also want a break from the craziness (image from: http://www.livability.com/va/arlington).

You’ll never have trouble finding something unique to eat

 

Although Arlington is just 26 square miles, it’s home to residents from over 140 countries, meaning we have every cuisine possible. Restaurants are often owned by natives of the regions, making the food 100x better than the typical ‘Mexican’ food you might have eaten elsewhere. Plus, you can find cool hybrid foods like the sushi burrito, “buredo."

It’s extremely historical

 

While D.C. is known for its museums, Arlington has tons of memorials that make it a tourist hot-spot. Think: Pentagon, Iwo Jima Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery etc. We even got to see the Capitol when it looked like a transformer.

Nightlife is lively

 

The heart of Arlington nightlife is in Clarendon (a neighborhood in Arlington) where you can find Don Titos, Clarendon Ballroom, Spider Kelly’s and more. Whether you want to catch a game on TV, dance or play games, Clarendon has something to offer.

 

Sports are huge

Although Virginia doesn’t have its own football, baseball or hockey teams, everyone considers the D.C. teams our own. Whether you want to go to a Redskins, Nationals or Capitals game, you’ll always have a great team to cheer for and a fun environment to do it in.

Metro

 

Ahhh, the much-hated (but also much-loved) metro. From pretty much anywhere you live in Arlington, you can hop on the metro and go further south in Virginia, into D.C. or even into Maryland. While the metro does have its downfalls, imagine if we didn’t have it at all. Scary.

 

It’s right beside Georgetown, Old Town and National Harbor

 

Whenever we feel like exploring outside of our beautiful Arlington County, we have several options all within five to ten minutes of us: Georgetown in D.C., Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia and National Harbor in Maryland. All of these locations offer great food, activities to do, shopping and of course, very photogenic scenery.

You can get coffee on practically every corner

 

My personal favorite aspect of Arlington is the abundance of local coffee cafes. No matter where you are in Arlington, you’ll be able to get your caffeine fix in.

There’s shopping everywhere

 

Feeling like shopping? Well, you can choose between Tysons Corner mall (one of America’s biggest malls), Pentagon City mall or Ballston mall (currently undergoing major, much-needed, construction). May your closet never be under-stuffed again.

 

Arlington Cinema and Draft House

 

Have you ever wanted to eat dinner while watching a great movie? Grab a beer or wine, too? Arlington’s Cinema and Draft House is your solution. You can watch the newest movies while being served yummy dinner and drinks.

 

The Pentagon has six ZIP codes

 

Many people think the Pentagon is located in Washington, D.C. but it's actually located just across the Potomac River in Arlington. The Pentagon is the largest office building in the U.S., and due to its enormous size, it has six (yes, six) different ZIP codes (image from: https://vista.today/2015/07/pentagon-closely-monitoring-sikorsky-sale/).

Paddle boarding and kayaking

 

Whenever there’s nice whether in Arlington (about three-quarters of the year since we get weather full-on for every. single. season.), you’ll find tons of people out on the Potomac River kayaking, paddle boarding, boating and even some brave people swimming.

Arlington is one of the best places to live in America

 

In 2015, Arlington was rated the No. 3 place to live and the No. 6 healthiest city in the U.S. With the metro, tons of parks and great nightlife, it’s hard to imagine how we wouldn’t be rated so highly.

 

As someone who has lived in Arlington all of my life, of course, I'm a little biased. If you can't tell by my article, it's hard not to love this place! I hope to live in Arlington full-time once I graduate and continue to take full-advantage of all of the great things this city has to offer.

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