Arlington is guaranteed to come up as a top recommendation in any conversation about living in the DC area. Located just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, this urban county is home to many distinct neighborhoods as well as one of the nation’s most vibrant and diverse populations.
Living in Arlington places all of DC at your fingertips, without the city-living prices. The Metro system (rail and bus) is robust, and there are multiple commuter options to choose from—no matter the destination! Top-notch restaurants are infused with the international influences of its residents. Walkable neighborhoods, year-round cultural events, festivals, concerts, and ample green spaces urge you outdoors. Amenities like same-day Amazon, restaurant, and grocery delivery are available, as well as many other urban living tech staples like Uber, Lyft, and GrubHub. Car and bike sharing companies are flourishing, and “going one car” is a popular way to offset expenses.
North and South Arlington are bisected by Route 50 and have their own unique characteristics. Generally, the farther north and west you go, the more grandiose the homes. Commuting to most installations is reasonable with easy access to multiple highways and Metro stops.
Arlingtonians are civilians, government workers, contractors, and all manner of professionals. Military retirees often take advantage of the healthy job market in the government and private sectors. Given the proximity to the Pentagon, you will also reside amongst many of your military counterparts from all branches. Dual income households are common. Singles and young couples without children will often congregate in the hip Ballston, Clarendon, or Courthouse neighborhoods, while small families and those on a budget gravitate towards South Arlington. Larger families and those willing and able to spend more on housing tend to live farther north.
You’ll find condos, townhomes, row houses, bungalows, brick colonials, and grand estates in Arlington. The area is hilly (more so in North Arlington), so it’s common to see homes and front yards raised and supported by retaining walls. Single-family homes are available starting north of Crystal City, and even though they may be a bit smaller than what you’re used to, the yards are reasonably sized. Many of the area’s homes date back to the 1920s to 1940s and have retained their charm. The neighborhoods in North Arlington tend to have been developed by State Department and other government workers in the 1960’s, but almost any home built during that period is likely to be heavily renovated or on the chopping block to be demolished for a new build.