The land that today comprises Arlington County, Virginia, was included in the original parcel of land demarcated as the nation’s capital. In 1847 the state of Virginia took its territory back, referring to it as “Alexandria County” until 1920, when Arlington at last became “Arlington,” a name change made to avoid confusion with the city of Alexandria.
And where did the county pick up the name “Arlington”? From its famous estate, Arlington House, built by a descendant of Martha Washington: George Washington Parke Custis, whose daughter married Robert E. Lee. (Before that, “Arlington” was the name of the Custis family estate in Tidewater Virginia.) The Lees lived in Arlington House on and off until the onset of the Civil War in 1861. The beginnings of Arlington National Cemetery date from May 1864, when four Union soldiers were buried here, in the area now known as section 27, the oldest part of the cemetery.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge leads directly from the Lincoln Memorial to the Robert E. Lee Memorial at Arlington House, symbolically joining these two figures into one Union after the Civil War.
Beyond Arlington the cemetery is Arlington, a residential community from which most residents commute into Washington. In recent years, however, the suburb has come into its own, booming with businesses, restaurants, and nightlife, giving tourists more incentive to visit. Below are its worthwhile sites.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.