Arlington Invites You to Stay, Shop, Dine and Play

First on our checklist was Arlington National Cemetery. I couldn't help feeling that this was a place of solitary reflection, and rich history. As we were leaving, the parking attendant waved us to a stop. "You can't go any further," she said, "The President about to come through." We start to see black cars with American flags drive by. After the caravan passed, I couldn't help thinking, "The President just drove 50 feet from where I'm standing!" A once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people is just an everyday occurrence in Arlington.

We ventured next to the nearby Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as Iwo Jima for its portrayal of the famous WWII battle in Japan. As we neared the statue, I observed that the majority of onlookers were German tourists. Even though this memorial portrays a time when Germany and America were at war, both cultures can stand together today to admire and appreciate it.

In continuing with our military trend, we hit up the United States Air Force Memorial and the Pentagon Memorial next. The shape of the United States Air Force Memorial looks like a trio of fighter jets in formation soaring upward into the sky. While you're there, walk a short ways down the hill from the Air Force Memorial to the Pentagon Memorial, which memorializes the lives lost at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

By this point in your tour, your stomach is most likely starting to growl. Swing by the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The Mall is Metro accessible and is bursting with 170 shops and eateries to entertain you for hours.

We headed to 23rd Street in Crystal City for the next leg of our grand tour. Here I found an eclectic street of diverse restaurants and shops bustling as the lunch crowd started to roll through. The best part? It's all within walking distance from the Crystal City Metro and the bulk of Arlington's hotels.

Fading daylight beckoned us to continue. The urban village of Rosslyn is sustained by large buildings, public art that is truly eye-catching, and Artisphere, which is host to world-renowned art exhibits, live performances, and galas.

As the sun faded away, the neon lights of Clarendon drew us in. Hop off the Metro stop, and you're within a block of marvelous venues with diverse crowds. Clarendon is a place to relax and enjoy the night.