Arlington, Virginia: Destination of its Own Near Washington D.C.
By Wuzhi Lu
This was not the first visit I’ve made to Arlington, Virginia. Located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the city is full of historic attractions, great shopping and dining options and buzzes with an energetic, urban vibe.
Two other important factors to note: The cost of accommodations in Arlington is less than in Washington D.C. and the city offers some of the most iconic views of the Washington D.C. skyline.
Arlington National Cemetery: A Place to See and Feel History
No trip to Arlington is complete without a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, a very sacred and solemn place. Arlington National Cemetery is a compelling historic memorial, more than 150 years old, a place that allows me to witness American history. Reflecting upon the cemetery, I realized that history is not just some abstract thing. There are thousands of neatly arranged white tombstones of American military men and women, as well as other important figures in American history. I visited the gravesite of former President John F. Kennedy, with its Eternal Flame, and found it to be quite moving.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is also a powerful and interesting place. An open space located at the top of a hill overlooking Washington D.C., it holds the remains of unidentified American soldiers from overseas wars. I was just in time to watch the Changing of The Guard Ceremony. The military tradition was emotional and appealed to the large crowd of both adults and children in the audience. I learned that these guards are actual soldiers from the Army’s Third Regiment and they must go through extensive training to become guards.
When I was leaving, I saw a funeral with a horse-drawn, black caisson carrying a coffin travel slowly past and I offered my respects to those who have served their country
Arlington Neighborhoods: Popular Places to Meet
After seeing the cemetery, I headed over to the Clarendon neighborhood, which is one of many great neighborhoods in Arlington featuring boutiques, restaurants, bars and bakeries. At Northside Social Coffee & Wine, I met up with friends and grabbed a cup of coffee and sat back and relaxed, before hitting the town for the great restaurants and bars.
At dinnertime, I was craving Spanish food, and many local residents had recommended Jaleo in Crystal City. Founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, the restaurant has a great vibe. I started with the signature Citadelle Gin, a mix of gin, lemon and tonic water. Next I tried Jose's margarita, which is one of the best margaritas I have ever had.
Having visited Spain before, I must say that Jaleo is an authentic taste of that nation. Who doesn’t love bacon? The bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese is just something to die for! The gambas al ajillo served with sautéed shrimp and garlic is also quite delicious. Sharing the tasty tapas with a group was a great way to cap off my trip.
For history, culture, world-class shopping and dining, Arlington, Virginia should be on the top of your U.S. holiday list!
For more information, please visit us:
Official Arlington Travel Information
Arlington Convention and Visitors Service