Discover everything you need to know about living in Arlington, VA
Any Arlington resident can provide dozens of reasons why they decided to call this Northern Virginia city home instead of a neighboring city like Alexandria or Washington DC. This city on the Potomac River offers tons of fun things to do, safe neighborhoods, and proximity to our Nation’s Capital.
Because the cost of living is more affordable in Arlington than it is in DC, many young professionals decide to rent an apartment in this city. You might find that the same arrangement could work well for you.
To help you find a place to live and get settled in this city, we’ve created this guide to living in Arlington, VA. Read on to learn more about the cost of living here, the different neighborhoods, and fun things to do in Arlington, VA.
Knowing the cost of living in Arlington can help you with budgeting
Before you move anywhere, you should do a little research about the cost of living. Many websites include a cost of living calculator that can help you determine how much money you need to make to maintain your current standard of living in a new city.
According to PayScale, you can expect housing costs to be 134% higher than the national average when you’re living in Arlington, VA. As a result, the median home price is $810,939, while the median rent is $2,540 per month. Transportation costs, including bus fares, are also about 6% higher than the national average.
These costs might seem hefty, however, there are other factors to consider when it comes to the average cost of living in Arlington, VA. It turns out that Arlington utility prices are 11% lower than the national average.
When considering the cost of living in Arlington, you should also look at how much groceries and medical care will cost. Grocery prices are 14% higher than the national average when you live in Arlington. Although, healthcare is 2% lower than the national average.
Getting to know the different Arlington neighborhoods is important
Like all cities, Arlington is full of different neighborhoods. Each one has a unique location within the city as well as its own vibe and activities. In this city on the Potomac, the major neighborhoods include places like Arlington Ridge and Yorktown.
Located just across the Potomac from Washington D.C, National Landing is Arlington’s largest walkable downtown and most vibrant live, work, play community. Residents of National Landing enjoy easy access to D.C alongside beautiful greenspace, an active arts and culture scene, the area’s largest climbing gym, and delicious restaurants and bars. National Landing is also home to Amazon’s HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s innovation campus
You can find Arlington Ridge between I-395 and Aurora Highlands. Its convenient location makes this neighborhood a great place to live if you need easy access to different places around town. For example, you can easily get anywhere from Pentagon City to DC within just a few minutes. The housing in this area consists of colonial-style single family homes, townhouses and apartments.
Bluemont is one of the bigger neighborhoods in Arlington and it’s in the center of the city. There aren’t as many apartments here, so most people live in single family homes or townhouses. It’s also worth noting that Bluemont contains some of the most recently built homes in the entire city. Bluemont is famous for having the best restaurants in Arlington, VA, including Pupatella, which serves up some of the best pizza that the city has to offer. It also has plenty of parks to visit, including Bluemont Park, Quincy Park, and Bon Air Memorial Park.
The Clarendon-Courthouse is the place to be on the weekend. It’s home to tons of restaurants, bars, stores, and fitness studios. However, all this comes at a cost, as this neighborhood is one of the most expensive for people living in Arlington, VA. It contains a mixture of condos, apartments, townhomes, and single family dwellings. It’s also home to two metro stops, which means you’ll have easy access to public transportation here.
If you’re looking for a community that’s located in the heart of Arlington, Lyon Village is for you. Although it’s centrally located, it offers a friendly suburban feel. It’s also within walking distance of the many shops and restaurants that are so popular in Clarendon-Courthouse. When it comes to real estate, you can find a mix of older colonial homes and new craftsman-style builds. If you love playing basketball and tennis, you’ll be happy to find the opportunity to play at Lyon Village Park.
Rosslyn is the closest Arlington neighborhood to Washington DC, as it’s right across the Potomac River from our Nation’s Capital. When living in Rosslyn, you can expect to find many high-rise buildings. This gives the neighborhood a more urban feel than the rest of the city. Rosslyn offers some of the nicest high-rise condos (and views) in Arlington. However, these homes can be pricy. Still, many people find that the price tag is worth it for all the amenities and having easy access to nearby restaurants.
Many people list Shirlington as one of their favorite places in all of Arlington, VA. This emerging hot spot offers a trendy mix of eateries and shops. It’s also known as the urban arts and entertainment district of the city. Surprisingly, it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Arlington. This is partially because it borders Fairfax County and Alexandria, instead of DC. However, Shirlington does have a metro bus that can take you to the DC area.
Yorktown is a great community for people who are looking to settle down with a family. Young families appreciate the wealth of great schools in their neighborhood, including Nottingham Elementary and Yorktown High. The beautiful homes here feature a wide range of styles, including colonials, cape cods and craftsman homes.
You can find plenty of fun things to do when you’re living in Arlington, VA
Making your home in Arlington means that you can enjoy a wide range of activities in the city and in neighboring ones like Washington DC. This area is full of historic monuments, outdoor beauty and plenty of options for eating, drinking and shopping.
Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington National Cemetery, which houses The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is one of the most well-known places in Arlington. Located on what was once the estate of Robert E. Lee, this sprawling cemetery is now the final resting place for more than 400,000 members of the US Armed Forces. It also contains the graves of past presidents like John F. Kennedy.
One of the most iconic landmarks, and another well-known place of reverence is the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon. This outdoor space is the only place at the Pentagon that allows photography. The breathtaking installation honors the 184 people who lost their lives in the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11.
Mt. Vernon Trail
When it comes to natural beauty, living in Arlington, VA doesn’t disappoint. Arguably, the most famous place for nature lovers is the Mt. Vernon Trail. This walking and biking trail runs 18 miles along the iconic Potomac River, and it takes you all the way from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Theodore Roosevelt Island Park and Gravelly Point Park are also worth visiting if you love the outdoors. They also have plenty of picnic area options to take advantage of during those sunny days.
Signature Theater and the Twilight Tattoo
For entertainment, you can get tickets to one of the plays or musicals hosted at the Signature Theater in Shirlington. You can also attend Twilight Tattoo in the summer months to enjoy music and theatrical performances by the 3rd US Regiment and the US Army Band.
Village at Shirlington or Ballston Quarter
If you want to do some shopping, you can find unique boutiques and shops all around the city. You can also go to historic shopping centers like the Village at Shirlington or Ballston Quarter to find dozens of shops that carry the top brands.
Finally, no guide to living in Arlington, VA would be complete without mentioning the food scene. Everyone knows that the nation’s capital, Washington DC, is a melting pot that offers delicious food that features flavors from around the world. Arlington’s proximity to our Nation’s Capital means that residents of this city can also enjoy international cuisine.
Ambar Clarendon and Yayla Bistro
From traditional Balkan dishes at Ambar Clarendon to tempting Turkish dishes from Yayla Bistro, there’s literally something for everyone and all tastes. Other popular types of cuisine in Arlington include American, Chinese, French, German, Irish, Italian, Southern, Spanish and Thai. In addition to these restaurants, you can also find tons of bars and pubs that serve up everything from craft beer to wine and fancy cocktails. Both your stomach and tastebuds will be happy living in Arlington, VA.
It’s time to take the next step if living in Arlington, VA is for you
After reading about everything that Arlington has to offer, you might be thinking of relocating here. If you are, we can help. We offer all-inclusive living spaces at Common at National Landing, where you can rent a fully-furnished private bedroom in a shared suite, or a fully-furnished private apartment with access to beautiful amenity spaces and a built-in community. Enjoy the best of Arlington living and book a tour of Common at National Landing today!