Today is a special kind of post. I’m Blogtrotting, everyone. It is all the rage. You should try it or at least subscribe to this blog and read it every day. So, without further ado, let me tell you a little bit about the fine place I call home –Â Arlington, VA.
Arlington is the smallest self-governing county in the U.S. That makes us pretty special, as do a lot of other things. We were also named one of the most walkable areas in the country. Not only are we very walkable, but there are lots of interesting places to walk to, from idyllic wooded trails to shopping districts to quaint neighborhoods to historical treasures. Let me tell you a little bit about all of these places.
The Birds and the Bees and the Buses
One of my favorite things about living in Arlington is that I can get by without a car if I have to. I live on a few different bus lines, and I’m a very short walk from the subway.
And if I want to get away from all the people and traffic, I need only escape to one of the many parks and trails in the area. My family and I happen to live within a few blocks of several trails — the W& OD, Four Mile Run, Custis Trail, Lubber Run and many more. Our little county has miles and miles of trails for walkers, runners and bikers — 36 miles to be exact. That’s a lot of trail for a county that is only 26 square miles in size. Only in Arlington can you walk from bustling metropolis street to isolated trail complete with a babbling brook in 10 minutes flat.
Arlington is a county crammed with neighborhoods — 67 of them! Many of the neighborhoods have historical significance, many of them are quaint, and all of them are charming. There’s lots to see if you explore these neighborhoods on foot.
If you like to window shop, or actually spend money, there’s lots to see and spend money on in Arlington’s shopping districts, from Clarendon to Ballston to Shirlington.
On the weekends, it’s never hard to find a flea market or farmers market, and when you’re hungry and in need of a little rest, you can take a break at one of the hundreds of restaurants featuring food from every corner of the world — from El Salvador to Ethiopia.
Even the President likes to stop by Arlington to grab a bite.
Living in History
Arlington is chock full of historical treasures. We have 30 historic districts and 54 sites in the national registry of historic places. Have I told you already that we’re only 26 square miles big?
Our historical places include sites known across the country, like the Iwo Jima War Memorial and Arlington Cemetery.
But some sites are not as well-known but just as important and amazing, like Nauck, a historically African-American neighborhood in the heart of Arlington. Nauck is built up around the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, formerly known as the Old Bell Church when it was first founded in the District of Columbia, just a few miles down the road. The Church resided in the Freedmans Village, founded in D.C. during the Civil War as a refuge for emancipated slaves. When the village was later disbanded, the church was renamed the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and moved a couple times, ending up in Nauck where it still stands today, reminding everyone who passes by of a history we should never forget.
- Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nauck
And that’s just the tip of the historical iceberg. We may not be the nations capital, but we used to be part of it, and we’re just as cool and interesting.
I’ll leave you with one final reason why everyone should want to live in Arlington. Last year, CNN Money named Arlington the 2nd best place in the country to be rich and single! I’m neither of those things, but it’s pretty nice for the poor and married, too. And, maybe some of that “rich” will rub off on us.