Before you start packing up boxes and loading the U-Haul, make sure you can afford to live in your ideal city. But, instead of Googling “Cost of living Arlington, VA,” explore the fast facts below:
The cost of living in Arlington VA can be steep, but prices are still lower than they are in DC, where the mean home price and monthly rent are $987,218 and $3,016, respectively.
And, while a <$200/month difference in rent costs might not sound like much, saving on living costs is an excellent way to:
Living in Arlington VA can help you get more bang for your buck—especially if you work in DC.
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:
National Landing is also home to Amazon’s HQ2 and Virginia Tech’s innovation campus.
Whether you choose to live in National Landing or another Arlington, VA neighborhood, don’t miss some of the area’s most vibrant attractions, like:
Situated along both sides of Arlington Ridge Road, the Arlington Ridge neighborhood is nestled 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
While it’s primarily residential, Arlington Ridge offers numerous picturesque parks, including:
With fast access to the restaurant scenes in the northern and eastern quadrants of National Landing, Arlington Ridge is an excellent choice for Arlington residents seeking a respite from metro area life while living close to DC.
Bluemont is one of the bigger Arlington neighborhoods, 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.
Bluemont is famous for having the best restaurants in Arlington, VA, including:
If you’re an outdoorsy type, don’t miss the massive green space situated around Four Mile Run River bordering the Dominion Hills neighborhood. The park offers:
All three of the trails listed above stretch throughout Bluemont, trickling into other Arlington neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a combination of residential charm, a vibrant food scene, and outdoor activities, Bluemont is for you.
The Clarendon-Courthouse neighborhood is the place to be on the weekend. It’s home to:
The neighborhood also boasts multiple scenic parks, such as:
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.
Just west of Clarendon-Courthouse, you’ll find Lyon Village. If you’re looking for a community that’s centrally located in the heart of Arlington with a friendly, suburban feel, Lyon Village is for you.
With walking-distance proximity to the nightlife, fitness, and food scenes in Clarendon-Courthouse, the neighborhood offers tree-lined streets, colonial and craftsman homes, and quaint pockets of green space.
Let’s highlight some Lyon Village’s selling points:
Right across the river from Theodore Roosevelt Island—a highlight of the DC Metro Area in its own right, and the perfect day trip for outdoorsy history buffs—you’ll find Rosslyn, the closest Arlington neighborhood to Washington DC.
While it’s close to fan-favorite neighborhoods like Lyon Village and borders one of Clarendon-Courthouse’s food hubs, Rosslyn offers a more metropolitan feel, featuring sleek, tall buildings and bustling city streets.
As you tour Rosslyn, don’t skip these must-see spots:
Bordering Arlington National Cemetery on its southeast side (specifically the US Marine Corps War Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon tower), Rosslyn offers some of the nicest high-rise condos (and views) in Arlington. However, these homes can be pricey. 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 Arlington neighborhoods in the area. This emerging hot spot offers a trendy mix of eateries and shops.
Situated around Campbell Avenue, you’ll find the neighborhood’s burgeoning food scene, featuring restaurants like:
Arguably the highest selling point of Shirlington is its border with the Four Mile Run River and the trail that bears its name. Spanning the entire Arlington area, the trail offers the perfect way to walk the entire city.
Surprisingly, it’s one of the most affordable places to live in Arlington, and the neighborhood offers multiple options for people seeking apartments or townhomes to rent. 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.
If you’re looking for an affordable, up-and-coming neighborhood, living in Arlington VA’s Shirlington neighborhood might be the choice for you.
Situated slightly further west and north than the other Arlington, VA neighborhoods listed above, Yorktown is a great community for people who are looking to settle down with a family. Residents with children appreciate the wealth of great schools in their neighborhood, including Nottingham Elementary and Yorktown High.
The neighborhood is also perfect for people simply seeking a quieter lifestyle. As far as green spaces go, be sure to check out Rock Spring Park, which offers a walking trail amid Yorktown’s tree-lined residential streets. Greenbrier Park and Chestnut Hills Park also offer natural beauty just a short walk away from the neighborhood’s best restaurants, including:
The beautiful homes here feature a wide range of styles, including colonials, cape cods and craftsman homes.
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.
You simply can’t start life in the DC Metro Area without visiting one of the most important historical sites in the US. And, living in Arlington VA, you’ll have ready access.
The Arlington National Cemetery 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:
One of the most iconic landmarks, and another well-known place of reverence is the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon. While the rest of the Pentagon complex demands the utmost security, The 9/11 Memorial is frequented by visitors to the city and long-time residents alike.
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. Located right across from Arlington National Cemetery, these two memorial sites should be at the top of your list of places to visit once you relocate to the DC Metro Area.
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.
The trail holds a special place in the hearts of residents for a variety of reasons:
Theodore Roosevelt Island Park and Gravelly Point Park are also worth visiting if you love the outdoors. These areas have plenty of picnic area options to take advantage of during those sunny days, and newcomers to Arlington—and the DC area as a whole—should take advantage of this scenic, waterfront tour of the area.
For entertainment, you can get tickets to one of the plays or musicals hosted at the Signature Theater in Shirlington.
The theater offers a variety of productions and events, including:
You can also attend Twilight Tattoo in the summer months. A time-honored, action-packed tribute to US military history, Twilight Tattoo features the US Army Band Pershing’s Own and provides a glimpse into the past from the perspective of the American soldier. The production dates back to the pre-World War II era, and it’s generally held on Wednesday evenings.
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.
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.
Composing a highlight reel of Arlington, VA’s best restaurants is tough—due to the sheer volume of options and the high quality of the food scene—but an excellent way to get a feel for local favorites is to ask your neighbors about the selection in your neighborhood.
Both your stomach and taste buds will be happy living in Arlington VA.
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!