15 Fun Things to do in Arlington, VA

Table of Contents

We love introducing people to Arlington and the surrounding area. This is one of the most diverse and dynamic places to live in the entire country!

Are you visiting, investing, or looking for a new home? We’ve put together a list of everything you can do in Arlington, Va. Located just outside of Washington, D.C. (seriously, it’s only separated by the Potomac River), visitors are typically surprised just how many fun things are accessible from Arlington, Va. 

15 Things To Do in Arlington, Va

Being adventurers ourselves, we know a thing or two about what you can do in Arlington, Va, and want to share with you the location’s highlights we find most engaging and fun. Here are the 15 best things to do in Arlington, Virginia.

  1. Visit Arlington National Cemetery
  2. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
  3. Check out the Women in Military Service Memorial
  4. The Robert E. Lee Memorial
  5. Take a Tour of the Pentagon
  6. Track the Mount Vernon Trail
  7. The Mall at Pentagon City
  8. Shop Outside at the Village at Shirlington
  9. Go Green at Long Bridge Park
  10. Hear the Netherlands Carillon
  11. See a Show
  12. Eat Pizza at Pupatella
  13. Have a Happy Hour
  14. Take a Hike at Potomac Overlook
  15. Take a Class at the Arlington Art Center

1. Visit Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington’s major draw has always been Arlington National Cemetery, where America’s soldiers are buried. 

Arlington Cemetery

Some of the 624 graves dating back to the U.S. Civil War. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you won’t want to miss JFK’s grave or the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

2. Visit the 9/11 Memorial

This moving tribute to the 184 people who died at the Pentagon during the 9/11 attack is an outdoor memorial that covers a landscaped park. 

911 Memorial

Located near the Pentagon, the Memorial features “Memorial Unit” benches are representations of the lives losts. It is surrounded by 85 Crape Myrtles, in addition to, the Age Wall that grows an inch in height per year in relation to the ages of those lost.

3. Check out the Women in Military Service Memorial

The first significant memorial to honor women in the United States Armed Forces opened in 1997 and can be found near the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.

You can explore the exhibits, events, and collections at the Women’s Military Service Memorial, and dive into the stories behind the women that serve our great nation! 

Want to find out what your home is worth?
Get an instant market report sent straight to your inbox in seconds.

4. The Robert E. Lee Memorial

Robert E Lee

Formerly the Custis-Lee Mansion, this exciting mansion designed in Greek revival architecture provides a stunning view of the National Mall. 

This was the home of America’s most famous Confederate general- Robert E. Lee. The mansion was initially built in 1802 and is full of rich history to explore. You can visit the estate after perusing around the Arlington National Cemetery. 

5. Take a Tour of the Pentagon

Picture of the pentago, going to see it is a thing to do in Arlington.

You’re in the Nation’s Capital, why not take a tour of the Pentagon?

If you’re interested in how the Defense Department works, head there. 

Take a visit of the uniquely shaped building, which peaks above its Capital city. View Military collection documents and archives, and learn about the branches of the military, the Joint Staff as well as the Secretary of Defense.

6.Track the Mount Vernon Trail

Hiking and biking are accessible along the 18-mile Mount Vernon trail that winds through Northern Virginia. The entire trail begins at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and trails all the way to Theodore Roosevelt Island. 

Mount Vernon Trail

Take in the marvelous views of the Potomac River, woodlands, wetlands, and the city of Washington, D.C. as you ride and walk along this trail.

7. The Mall at Pentagon City

Every retailer you can imagine is represented at Pentagon City’s mall. It’s kid-friendly shopping, and there are also plenty of places to eat.

This mall is a shoppers dream come true, there are seven levels, let me repeat, seven levels of shopping galore. You can find everything and anything here, it is diverse, high fashion, and a must-see. 

Family in a mall

8. Shop Outside at the Village at Shirlington

If you prefer to shop al fresco, visit these outdoor shops, where there are major retailers, small boutiques, as well as restaurants and even residential housing which overlooks the “village” atmosphere.

It’s a quaint place for some relaxed shopping and great bites underneath the moonlight and on a summer night. 

9. Go Green at Long Bridge Park

Close up of Long Bridge turf

A great place to get some exercise and fresh air in a social environment, Long Bridge Park has recreational facilities, a beautiful view of the Potomac, and a gorgeous garden. Stroll along its pathways with family and friends, picnic in the garden, and look up at the stars at night end. 

10. Hear the Netherlands Carillon

At noon and 6:00 p.m. visitors to the Netherlands Carillon can hear the 50 bells donated by the Dutch, which hang behind a scenic steel tower with open sides. 

The surrounding area is perfect for a stroll or a picnic, with flowers, sculpted lions, and walking paths. The Netherlands Carillon is singing for you, and it is a melodious tune. 

11. See a Show

There’s lots of theater in Arlington. Check out performances at Synetic Theater, Signature Theatre, or BMD Dance.


You can watch a different show every weekend, or even volunteer if you are an art lover of the year!

12. Eat Pizza at Pupatella

There is a lot of outstanding food to be found in Arlington, and Pupatella Pizza has the best Neapolitan pies.

They take pizza very seriously here, so much so that it requires a year of training before you can become a pizza pie chef! The pizzas are baked in special woodfire ovens that were made from Naples Italian pizza masters.  


Eat in or take away options are available, and we think you should try a risotto ball.  

13. Have a Happy Hour

Picture of 6 cocktails on a bar

If you’re ready for a cocktail, we have some recommendations. Try Ambar or Palette 22 if you’re artsy. Another, more classic spot is The Liberty Tavern, where you can enjoy both drinks and Sunday brunch!

14. Take a Hike at Potomac Overlook

People on a hike

Wow-city living and city hiking. Who knew Arlington could be so amazingly diverse? 

Lace-up the hiking shoes and visit Potomac Overlook Regional Park, where you’ll enjoy trails, an organic garden, a nature center, and outdoor concerts in the summer.

15. Take a Class at the Arlington Art Center

Dirty paint brushes

The art exhibits are fun at Arlington Art Center, but if you really want to live a little, take a class in anything from painting to drawing to sewing. 

Dive into that inner child of yours and experience what it feels like to play with colors and creativity again. Take a soul mate or a friend. 

 Nomadic Real Estate can help you rent, buy, sell, or manage a property in Arlington, and the rest of the Metro D.C. area. If you have questions, we have got answers.

We explore neighborhoods, city living, travel, and livelihood because we want you to love where you live!

Share on email
Share via Email
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter

Get help from DC's top real estate team.

Founded in 2005, Nomadic is the go-to full service real estate firm in the DMV. We've helped thousands of landlords, investors, and residents and we would love to connect with you next.

Check out more of our blog posts below!

Or search for a different topic:

Scroll to Top
Explore Logo

Get a free INSTANT home valuation report!

Automatically delivered straight to your inbox within seconds.

Explore Logo

Thinking of selling? Get an instant market value report: