Going to Washington, D.C.? Stay in Arlington, Virginia

Iwo Jima Statue
Iwo Jima Statue | Larger

Everyone will agree that Washington, D.C. has an abundance of activities to offer visitors, young and old. But why not enjoy D.C. with convenience, small town charm, and save money at the same time?

Arlington, Virginia, which is just a 10-minute drive across the historic Potomac River, makes all of this possible.

On my trip to D.C., my flight landed at Reagan National Airport, which is located in Arlington, VA. A shuttle bus whisked me to my hotel, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, with 10 minutes of my arrival. I was checked into my hotel room in less than 25 minutes from the time my flight touched down.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery | Larger

The more that I became acquainted with Arlington, the more I realized that many of the sites that I previously associated with Washington, D.C., were actually located in Arlington.

Some of the famous landmarks in Arlington are: the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima statue.

Most of us are familiar with Arlington National Cemetery where burial is restricted to a very few categories of those who served honorable in the armed services of our country. However, there is also a beautiful memorial at Arlington National Cemetery named the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. It is only major national memorial honoring all women who have served in or with the armed forces. There are many stories of women throughout history who served alongside men but whom you will never find in history books.

Arvin in Washington D.C.
Arvin in Washington D.C.

Nearly two million women have served in military roles since America was founded. Many served as nurses, stenographers, dietitians, pilots, mechanics and cooks. The Women's memorial is striving to register all women who have served their country by recording their names, photographs and experiences into the Memorial's computer system.

Arlington, located less than 10 minutes across the Potomac, was much less expensive than staying in D.C. I was able to visit the many attractions in the nation's capital and return to my hotel without a problem each day. There is a shuttle bus that takes visitors on a route to most of the attractions with on-off privileges and stops at each attraction.

Spring and summer are some of the best times to visit Arlington. Warm weather coaxes visitors outside to enjoy Arlington's sidewalk cafes and outdoor shopping promenades. Arts and cultural opportunities abound. Check out the Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the home of the Washington Capitals and the largest indoor ice skating rink in the Washington, D.C. area. Located above the Ballston Mall, the iceplex is open year-round for public ice skating.

Arlington offers hundreds of restaurants, from family-friendly favorites, to gourmet cuisine showcasing world-renowned chefs. Shopping is endless: high-end malls showcase the best designer goods around. Charming shops and boutiques, tucked into beautiful historic buildings, offer an authentic Main Street shopping experience.

Union Station
Union Station | Larger

If you stay in any Arlington hotel and you're just minutes from downtown, the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian and all the monuments and memorials that have made Washington a favorite place to visit year after year.

Eight Metro stops in Arlington make cars optional. You can fly into Metro accessible Ronald Reagan National Airport, or take the train to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, then hop on the Metro to your hotel in Arlington, just five minutes away.

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