Sometimes the best places to stay during an overnight trip to Washington, D.C., are actually across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia. Here are a few suggestions for areas where you might want to consider staying during your next visit to our nation’s capitol.


Rosslyn is located in the northeast part of Arlington. In many ways, this city appears to be the urban core of the entire D.C. area because it’s home to so many of the area’s tall buildings.

We’re particularly happy whenever we stay in Rosslyn because it’s right across the Key Bridge from a killer D.C. neighborhood, Georgetown. As convenient as both the blue and orange metro lines are for zipping right into D.C., we often opt for a walk across the Key Bridge instead. One of our favorite activities is grabbing a cupcake or two in Georgetown and timing our walk back across the bridge to coincide with sunset.

Viewfinder Tip: Driving across the Key Bridge is fun; walking across it (with cupcakes, at sunset) is supreme.

Crystal City

Our last visit to D.C. landed us in Arlington’s Crystal City for the first time. Located at the southern edge of the county, Crystal City sits adjacent to Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Key Bridge

A collection of largely interconnected office buildings, residential apartments, hotels, and shops, Crystal City is unique. Oftentimes, traveling between the hotel and the metro station – about half a mile – we wouldn’t have to leave cover (which, of course, would be a welcome relief on rainy days). Moreover, the area’s collection of restaurants is noteworthy and keeps you from having to travel to eat.

As airport junkies, we were in heaven staying in Crystal City. One hotel, the Renaissance, offered views that would please any airport/airplane fanatic. The two of us enjoyed the runway views (with DC in the distance) so much, that we were loathe to leave the room.

Pentagon City

Arlington is so close to D.C. that many federal agencies are housed there, including the Pentagon. The Pentagon City area is another place to consider, especially if the Pentagon or Arlington Cemetery figure largely into your travel plans.

Like Crystal City, Pentagon City is right on both the blue and yellow metro lines. Hop on the yellow line, and you can be in the heart of D.C. in minutes – it’s just two stops away.

This proximity proves that even though Arlington isn’t part of D.C. proper, it could be your best choice.

What do you look for when you pick lodging in urban areas?