Get A Map And Prepare
Before going to Arlington National Cemetery, get a map with the placement of the various heros you'd like to visit.
The Kennedys, John F., Robert F., and Jacqueline Onassis are probably the most celebrated, but there are many more American and brave souls from other countries who have served this country well and you might want to visit their sites too. God Bless them all.
Virginia Square and George Mason University
Virginia Square is a small are in Arlington along the Metro's Orange Line. This are is most famous as home to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and George Mason University's Arlington Campus.
This area also has a collection of new apartment buildings, small churches, small cafes and some larger bars and restaurants. Here you will also find Quincy Park and the Arlington Arts Center.
Virginia Square is between Ballston and Clarendon Metro Stations.
Washington, District of Columbia
Sure Arlington has a lot of history, touristy sites, restaurants, and nightlife, but I prefer Washington DC. Washington DC, the Capital City of the US, is a diverse city of monuments, historic sites, and government buildings, along with good nightlife, nice restaurants, and a variety of outdoor activities.
During my visits, I always loved to see the major memorials, such as the Vietnam War Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the new World War II Memorial. I also enjoy the diverse neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Adams Morgan, DuPont Circle, and across the river, Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. Now that I live here in the city I am trying to find all of the good hole-in-the-wall restaurants and off-the-beaten-path attractions throughout the city that are overlooked by visitors who are here for just a short time.
Best touristy things to do in Washington DC: visit the numerous monuments and memorials on the mall, see the dozens of museums of the Smithsonian Institution, maybe shop in Georgetown, see the famous government buildings like the White House and Capitol, and maybe check out a few other historic sites like Ford's Theater. Many visitors will also want to see some of the nearby areas like Arlington National Cemetery, Old Town Alexandria, and Mount Vernon.
My favorite not-so-touristy things to do in Washington DC: shop at Eastern Market and the Maine Avenue Fish Market, wander the historic streets and parks of Capitol Hill, eat in Chinatown or Barracks Row, go out for the nightlife at Adams Morgan, enjoy an afternoon at Rock Creek Park, hike or bike the C&O Canal, check out the view from the Old Post Office Tower, visit the Shakespeare Theater, and see some of the non-touristy monuments like the National Law Enforcement Monument and the Navy Memorial.
In November of 2008 I brought an Afghan friend to the Mall for a quick afternoon visit that was cut short buy the cold wind and blowing snow flurries. He was amazed at the size of the Washington Monument and impressed by the White House and Capitol Building. I was a little surprised that he had never heard of Lincoln, but then again they have been dealing with other problems in Afghanistan since well before he was born. I was glad to hear him say, upon his first glimpse of the National Mall, "Wow, for the first time I really feel like I am in America." Makes you proud to be an American.
Kathy on a pool & American conservatism
When we finally left room 425, that morning, we were still excited night views from 16th floor over the Pentagon and Washington, DC. So, we first took an elevator up and at the beginning we entered indoor heated swimming pool which was empty. We didn't think seriously about swimming in the pool due to lack of time. So, instead a swimwear, Kathy worn life preserver and posed to my camera.
Well, we didn't have swimwears with us. Keep in mind that the USA is, surprisingly, a very conservative country. "Cut offs" and T-shirts were not allowed as substitutions for swimwear in the pool. Guys usually wear shorts above knee. Women are NOT allowed to wear topless bathing suits. Do you remember European women coming to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles and their wrong smimming suits at Californian beaches?
Two faces of Arlington
Traveling around and through Arlington many times during my first days in the USA I noticed that the city grows in different way from place to place, thus the county has two faces.
There is high-density commercial and residential development around Metrorail stations in the Rosslyn (on my picture) - Ballston corridor and the Jefferson Davis corridor (which includes Pentagon City and Crystal City).
In the remainder of the county, that is in the most of its area, there is lower density development with a lot of green space and lovely residential areas full of houses with yards.