Three Days in Arlington and the Capital Region

Just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, Arlington is lively, walkable and offers great hotel savings, making it the perfect home base for your trip to the nation’s capital.

Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC, Memorials, Potomac River
Arlington, Virginia is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC
US Air Force Memorial, Arlington, Virginia, USA
US Air Force Memorial
US Marine Corps Memorial, Iwo Jima, Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC
Marine Corps War Memorial
Shopping, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Village at Shirlington
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, shopping, Arlington, Virginia, mall
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC, Memorials, Potomac River
US Air Force Memorial, Arlington, Virginia, USA
US Marine Corps Memorial, Iwo Jima, Arlington, Virginia, Washington, DC
Shopping, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, shopping, Arlington, Virginia, mall
National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia

Spend one day taking in the historic memorials and hallowed ground in Arlington, wander across the river into Washington, DC for the city’s famous museums, monuments, and historic sites, visit one of Arlington’s most charming neighbourhoods, and venture to US President George Washington’s historic estate. We’ve put together a fun regional itinerary packed with culture, history, US memorials, and delicious local eats. Put on your walking shoes and charge your phones, because you’re in for an adventure!

Day 1: Ease into Arlington

Breakfast at Bayou Bakery
Kick your Arlington visit off with a delicious biscuit sandwich or a beignet and coffee at New Orleans-style Bayou Bakery in the Courthouse neighborhood.

Morning at Arlington National Cemetery
After you fuel up, head to Arlington National Cemetery, the tranquil resting place for more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans and their families. Take an interpretive cemetery tour (purchase tickets at the Welcome Center) or explore the beautiful grounds on your own. Make sure to see the Changing the of Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

Honouring the US Air Force
Walk or ride to the Air Force Memorial, on an Arlington hilltop overlooking the Pentagon and Washington, DC. The soaring steel spires of the memorial – nearly 100 meters tall – honour the service and heritage of the men and women of the United States Air Force.

Remembering 9/11
Head over to The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, which honours the 184 people whose lives were lost at the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001. Explore the two-acre memorial while listening to this audio tour.

Lunch and Shopping at Fashion Centre
Stop for a late lunch at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s food court, featuring everything from Chinese and Indian to America and Italian. Or, dine at one of several restaurants, including Sugar Factory, Shake Shack, Matchbox, honeygrow or Café Nordstrom. Shop for your favourite brands at the mall’s 170+ stores.

Sunset View of the US Capital Region
Hop on the Metro to Rosslyn to see the Marine Corps War Memorial (often called Iwo Jima) dedicated to all Marines serving the USA. The memorial affords panoramic views of Washington, DC and the National Mall, and is adjacent to the Netherlands Carillon.

Night on the Town in Clarendon
Round out your day of Arlington exploration in the Clarendon neighbourhood. This hip neighbourhood has dozens of restaurants with a variety of global cuisines. Sink your teeth into culinary specialties of Mexico City at newcomer Buena Vida, sample the flavours of the Balkans at Ambar, or dig into Asian fusion at Bar Bao. Grab a craft brew and a bite at Heritage Brewing Co. or opt for ice cream that’s flash frozen before your eyes at Nicecream.

Day 2: Explore Washington, DC

Coffee with the Locals
Grab coffee and breakfast at one of Arlington’s charming neighbourhood cafes. Local favourites include Detour Coffee Co. in Virginia Square neighbourhood or nearby Northside Social in Clarendon. At either spot, it’s easy for you to hop on the Metro for the short ride into Washington, DC.

Sightseeing in Washington, DC
Get off at the Smithsonian Metro Station to explore the National Mall. Explore the more than 300 acres of parkland—packed with stunning monuments, memorials and museums—on foot. Or, see all of the area’s top sights from an open-top coach on a Big Bus Tour. Hop on Big Bus’s Blue Loop in Arlington and travel to such attractions as the National Mall, the White House and DC’s Georgetown neighbourhood. You can hop on, hop off at your top sights and stay as long as you like.

Dinner and Drinks in Crystal City
After a day packed with DC fun, unwind with dinner and drinks in the Crystal City neighbourhood. Savour Spanish Tapas at Jaleo or indulge innovative casual American fare at Highline RxR. For more low-key eats head to Good Stuff Eatery for gourmet burgers and milkshakes or its sister restaurant next door We, The Pizza for New York-style pies.

Day 3: Experience the Presidential Past

Breakfast in Shirlington
Start your day in Arlington’s charming Shirlington neighbourhood. Wander the tree-lined Village at Shirlington and pick up a fresh-baked breakfast at Best Buns Bread Co. Or take time for a hearty breakfast at the bohemian Busboys & Poets serving eggs benedicts, pancakes, hashes and other breakfast dishes.

Relive the Past at Mount Vernon
Take a car over to Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s Estate. Explore the USA’s first president’s sprawling estate on shore of the Potomac River, complete with a mansion, gardens, a pioneer farm, distillery and grist mill. Interact with exhibits, learn from costumed interpreters, and see what life was like in the 18th century. Hungry? Take your taste buds back in time at the onsite Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, featuring iconic dishes from our past like Virginia peanut and chestnut soup.

Scenic Drives
Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails
Wine & Cuisine
City Adventures
History & Culture
Attractions & Family Fun

Guide Footer Popup