Keri Shull’s Neighborhood Spotlight: Arlington
Just five miles south of Washington D.C. occupying the west bank of the Potomac River is Arlington County, an area accommodating several different residential communities that blend together aspects of both rural and urban living. Arlington is described by locals as a city of harmonious contradictions, and it couldn’t be more true. Much of Arlington is known for embracing the charming, small-town feel of other quiet, suburbias, but what sets it apart from other Northern Virginia communities is its undeniably modern, vibrant impression. There are neighborhoods rich with history, steeped in tradition, and yet they offer residents big-city amenities and a lifestyle of convenience on safe, quiet streets. Living in Arlington means you don’t have to choose between a friendly, tight-knit community and a bustling metropolitan center; you have the best of both worlds, just minutes from the nation’s capital.
Arlington, VA Homes for Sale
History of Arlington
Arlington was originally part of the 10 mile plot set aside to be the nation’s capital in the late 18th century, but the land was eventually returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia around 1850. At that time, Arlington was known as Alexandria, until the Alexandria we know today became an independent city, splitting the land in half in the early 1900s. Arlington then changed its name to avoid confusion. The name Arlington was chosen to commemorate General Robert. E Lee’s historic home located on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, which dates back to the Civil War. There are 80 different historical markers within Arlington, some dating back centuries (like the location of the preserved one-room cabin built by the area’s earliest settler, John Ball) and others celebrating more recent successes like the birth place of the Internet. The modern history of Arlington has close ties to the technology industry as the area is now considered the tech-hub of Northern Virginia.
Housing in Arlington
Route 50, aka Arlington Boulevard, splits the county into two halves: North Arlington and South Arlington. Homes in North Arlington are usually in higher demand and fetch higher prices because the area runs along the Metro’s Orange line. Expect to find an abundance of mid-rise and high-rise condo buildings, some dating back to the ‘80s (think garden-style) and the rest built within the last decade or so. In South Arlington, there are a scattering of traditional, single-family homes built in the 1920s and 1930s as well as a mixture of townhomes, bungalows, luxury properties, new construction, and yes, more condos. Housing in Arlington is a lot more urban-design than the area’s other surrounding communities.
Entertainment in Arlington
Arlington has so much to offer in regards to entertainment. There are over a thousand ethnically diverse restaurants, countless bars, plenty of historical sites and educational museums, hip night lounges, trendy art galleries, theaters, and a variety of shops and independent boutiques stuffed within Arlington’s borders. Arlington National Cemetery, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Iwo Jima Memorial draws in tourists from all over the world, as well as other Northern Virginians looking to experience a part of local history. There are several trails for those who love the outdoors, along with over 150 family-friendly (and dog-friendly) parks and community centers. Nearly everything is within walking or cycling distance, including most Metro stations which can take you all over the area in a few minutes time. It’s hard to be bored in a place like Arlington with so much to do, and all of D.C. is just a short drive or Metro ride away.
Local Community in Arlington
The Arlington area is home to a lot of growing families and young professionals. The population is extremely well-educated and also very diverse. A lot of out-of-state transplants end up in Arlington to take advantage of the many professional opportunities available. The proximity of the Pentagon, TSA Headquarters, and the Department of Defense makes Arlington a popular place to live for those employed by the Federal Government. Tech companies are also becoming increasingly prominent in the area and major Fortune 500 companies have decided to stay put in Arlington. Many young professionals flock to Arlington for its thriving job market which has recently deemed Arlington the safest place to weather a recession with the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. Aside from the many economic benefits of living in Arlington, people choose Arlington because of its commitment to putting local tax dollars to work to improve the lives of the people who live there. The Neighborhood Conservation Program created in 1964 provides preservation plans and funding for all of Arlington’s neighborhoods and allows residents to be involved in the process at a grass-roots level.