I’m really excited to interview Kathy Forest of The Trip Takes Us about Arlington, Virginia. Kathy’s tips for the best things to do in Arlington are awesome because they are so diverse. She understands the importance of the local historic monuments and where to find all of the best foodie options.
Arlington, Virginia is just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. and it offers many reasons why you should visit its attractions and restaurants.
We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Stay Arlington, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Best things to Do in Arlington
- Air Force Memorial (reviews)
- Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial (reviews) – Be sure to check out the Robert E. Lee house.
- Arlington National Cemetery (reviews) – In Arlington, you won’t want to miss Arlington National Cemetery (changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider; eternal flame for JFK, Women in Military Service Memorial, and Robert E. Lee house).
- The Observation Deck at CEB Tower (reviews) – We recently had a wonderful new site open: the CEB Tower observation deck. It provides the best view of Washington, D.C. and the National Mall in the area. If you have a friend in Arlington, as them to bring you, as admission is free for Arlington residents.
- DEA Museum & Visitors Center (reviews) – We have the DEA Museum and Visitors Center, for those interested in law enforcement or who likely quirky museums.
- Gravelly Point (reviews) – Local residents love Gravelly Point. This park is not much more than a large patch of grass, but it’s a great place for a picnic by the river. The great draw is that it is next to National Airport (DCA), and planes will take off or land directly over your head. It’s a great spot for kids.
- Pentagon Memorial (reviews) – This has a wonderful audio tour you can listen to for free on your phone.
- President John F. Kennedy Gravesite (reviews) – You won’t want to miss the eternal flame for JFK.
- Shirlington (reviews) – The Shirlington area is great for visitors, with lots of restaurants and shops. We have two major shopping malls, a summer water park with mini golf, an extensive park system, and tons of great restaurants.
- Signature Theatre (reviews) – We have the nationally respected Signature Theater.
- Synetic Theater (reviews) – The Synetic Theater’s productions are movement-based, often without dialogue.
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (reviews) – You won’t want to miss the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
- US Marine Corps War Memorial (reviews) – The US Marine Corps War Memorial, based on the famous Iwo Jima photo, is of course in Arlington as well.
- Women In Military Service For America Memorial (reviews) – Here is the Women in Military Service Memorial.
Best places to Eat in Arlington
- Eden Center (reviews) – Just outside our boundaries, in East Falls Church, there is a little Vietnam area know as the Eden Center. Impossible to get a bad meal there.
- Peter Chang (reviews) – This is an offbeat pick: Peter Chang. Their strip mall location is incongruous with the quality of their amazing authentic Chinese dishes. I can’t not order the Grandma’s Noodle appetizer.
Best places to Stay in Arlington
- Best Western Pentagon Hotel – Reagan Airport (reviews)
- Crowne Plaza Crystal City-Washington, D.C. (reviews)
- Days Inn by Wyndham Arlington Pentagon (reviews)
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC – Crystal City (reviews) – The DoubleTree is popular because of its rooftop revolving restaurant, which has great views.
- Hyatt Regency Washington On Capitol Hill (reviews) – The Hyatt Regency is nice, but is farthest from the metro station, which can be a disincentive to some.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Arlington Pentagon City (reviews) – All the Marriott’s here are nice!
- The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City (reviews) – Our best hotel is the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. Despite the Ritz name, you can often get very competitive prices there. Whether you stay there or not, you can still make a reservation for their wonderful Sunday tea.
Getting around Arlington, Virginia
The local airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), which is in the heart of the city on the Potomac River.
Kathy says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. The public transportation system is excellent in the Arlington and DC area. And I’ve personally found it very easy to walk around to explore.
If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.
Places we talked about on the podcast
Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Kathy Forest about Arlington, Virginia. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.
- Red dots = best places to eat in Arlington, Virginia.
- Green dots = best things to do in Arlington, Virginia.
- Yellow dots = best places to stay in Arlington, Virginia.
Who is Kathy Forest?
Kathy Forest is a foreign language translator for an international organization based in Washington, D.C. She is fluent in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, which comes in handy as she and her husband travel the world.
She writes at The Trip Takes Us to document their travels and show readers how to earn free travel, travel as a couple, and travel with kids.
Here are a couple of articles that she’s written:
- Tips for Surviving a Long Flight
- Having a Travel Goal or List
- How to Prevent Your Frequent Flier Miles from Expiring (Without Setting Foot on a Plane)
Kathy will even perform a free miles makeover for selected readers! This will help you earn enough travel rewards to fly to DC to experience everything we talked about on the show.
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks
This episode is brought to you, in part, by Bluffworks. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have clothes that make me look good AND feel great. I wear Bluffworks jeans, slacks, dress shirts, and blazers because they’re wrinkle-free and are designed for the modern traveler. And if they get dirty, a quick spin in the washing machine and they’re good as new.
Go to WeTravelThere.com/bluffworks and use the promo code from the image below to save 10% off your order. There are many styles to fit your needs so you can stay wrinkle-free when you travel.