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National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
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National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia
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National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
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Pentagon Row in Arlington, Virginia
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Fabulous dining options in Arlington, Virginia
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Fabulous dining options in Arlington, Virginia
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Views of Arlington, Virginia and Washington DC
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I have had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., many times and I love everything about the nation’s capital.

My last trip to the U.S. capital region took me just across the Potomac River to Arlington, Virginia. Arlington is just minutes from the District of Columbia, but has a completely different vibe that I found refreshing and super laid back. In addition to enjoying all the sights and sounds, I also discovered that some lodging options here are at least 20 percent cheaper than on the other side of the river.

Profound Memorials

Arlington is home to many monuments and memorials that reveal bits of U.S. history. One that I really wanted to visit was the sombre but moving National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Though I was filled with sadness from the loss of so many innocent lives, I felt blessed to be able to pay my respect. The memorial itself is elegant yet simple, recognizing all of the people that lost their lives at the Pentagon that day in order of age. As I stood there taking it all in, the memorial reminded me of the amazing outpouring of love from the rest of the world, together with the enduring belief that we will survive and become stronger.

National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia

National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
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A Bicycle Ride for Two, or One

Continuing my explorations of the city, I didn’t fancy driving and was told that my best bet was to rent a bicycle through the Capital Bikeshare program. Whether you’re traveling with someone or by yourself, renting a bike gives you ample opportunity to go exactly where you want, to stop wherever you like and it was inexpensive, too!

Of course, if you don’t see yourself cycling around the city, then definitely get a Metrorail pass. With 11 Metro stops in Arlington, you are a hop, skip and a jump from any of the sights, including those in D.C.

Capital Bike program in Arlington, Virginia

Capital Bike program in Arlington, Virginia
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Making Friends in Ballston

Finding cool places for lunch or dinner in Arlington is easy. One of my favourite spots for some good wine and excellent food was Kapnos Taverna in the Ballston neighbourhood. One of three restaurants in the Ballston area by Mike Isabella, a former “Top Chef” competitor, Kapnos Taverna serves classic and coastal-inspired Greek dishes. I went there on a Thursday evening and the restaurant was hopping. I picked a bunch of mezze bites, several that were gluten-free, and all were delicious. Everyone in the area is friendly, and even though I was on my own, I soon sparked up conversations with the locals and ended up having a great time.

Outdoor patio dining in Arlington, Virginia