5 Hidden Arlington Gems Most People Didn’t Even Know Existed

Ashley Blue Tweet us @BikeArlington @BikeArlington September 25, 2017 0 Comments

Ashley Blue is the PAL Ambassador Program Coordinator. The program, an initiative of BikeArlington, WalkArlington, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, is a volunteer-driven movement to make Arlington’s streets safer.  She enjoys using her bike to explore and connect to communities around her.

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When residents outside of the County and visitors think of Arlington, many only perceive our area as “the place with chrome high-rises across the Potomac River”—a place where people occasionally commute to, but mostly, commute from. They may also think back to that one time they played cornhole at a rooftop bar in Clarendon or the occasional trip to Pentagon City’s Costco to bulk up on all the essentials.

There are so many unique pockets of the county that remain undiscovered by the masses. Here are my favorite hidden gems of Arlington.

5. The Four Mile Run Trail

A man meanders on a paved trail amid lush greenery bathed with soft autumn light.

Photo Credit: Sam Kittner

Want to escape from the city and experience the calmness of nature? Walk or bike along the Four Mile Run Trail. The trail runs adjacent to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD or “Wad”)—also an amazing trail that runs completely flat!

4. Shirlington Dog Park and New District Brewing

Two men in bike helmets stand together in front of a brewery, converted from an old warehouse.

Photo Credit: Author

Right off of the W&OD trail is a hops-smelling walk, bike, and pup-friendly brewery in an unassuming collection of warehouses. You can’t miss it; look for its sign on the trail! And, just yards away is the Shirlington Dog Park, open form sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. You’re able to enjoy an area where pups run and play, and even take a dip in the nearby stream during the warmer months.

3. Columbia Pike and the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse

Photo of the white and creme art deco style brick exterior of Arlington Cinema Drafthouse

Photo credit: ShashiBellamkonda

Known as one of America’s most diverse neighborhoods, the Pike is—well, simply put—just authentic and down-to-earth awesomeness. While there’s a ton to list, one must-visit place to see is the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. From classic film favorites and new releases to local film series and weekly comedy events, you’re sure to find an event that catches your interest. Plus, being located on the “Main Street” of Arlington, you’ll find walkable paths, bike lanes and even a nearby Capital Bikeshare station to get you there.

2. Gravely Point

Photo Credit: Author

Ever wonder what it’s like to stand beneath an airplane just before it lands? Travel down the Mount Vernon Trail towards Alexandria to Gravelly Point Park and you’ll find out! It’s also a great place to pack a picnic, bring a book, and especially people watch.

1. Bold, Abstract Art EVERYWHERE!

A group of people pose by looking upwards in front of an artwork, two large granite slabs with realistic eyes on them.

Photo Credit: Erin Potter

Thanks to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and BikeArlington’s Taco’bout some Art community ride last season, I became aware of all of the really cool—often strange—art pieces around Arlington. WalkArlington also hosts a variety of public art walks, offering even more opportunities for artistic exploration.

Tip: Visit the Arlington Arts Center on Wilson Boulevard to soak in the beautiful Tiffany glass windows. They also offer classes and host unique community events, and are of course easy accessible by walking or biking. The closest Bikeshare is even located at the Virginia Square Metro station.

Now, where are you looking to take your next Arlington walk or bike ride? Or did we miss your favorite secret spot? Let us know in the comments below!

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