DescriptionArlington, on the southwest bank of the Potomac, is a suburb of Washington, D.C. One of the smallest counties in the United States, it covers 25.7 square miles, of which about 4.6 square miles are federal property. Some of the major centers of development (the county contains no incorporated communities) are Ballston, Clarendon, Columbia Pike, Crystal City, Rosslyn and Shirlington.
ShoppingAt the Crystal City Metro station there is a collection of underground boutiques, restaurants and clothing stores. The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St.), at the Pentagon City Metro station, features Macy's, Nordstrom and more than 150 other stores. Adjacent to the mall is Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce St.), an outdoor, mixed-use residential, shopping and dining area. Parking can come at a premium, so the Metro is the best way to get there.
For above-ground shopping, Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Blvd.) offers an indoor array of more than 130 stores, including Macy's.
NightlifeWhen D.C. shuts down, Arlington has plenty to keep office workers busy after hours. Sports bar Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd.) combines good sandwiches and libations with old-school gaming (everything from shuffleboard and darts to classic video games). Several lounge areas complete with couches give this popular watering hole the feel of a really large, comfortable basement. Phone (703) 312-8888.
Whitlow's on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd.) is a longtime hangout that boasts a seasonal rooftop bar and drink and food specials. A word of advice: It's often packed, especially on weekends, and the noise level can be deafening. Phone (703) 276-9693.
For something a little more elegant, head to the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.), a nightclub housed in a classic Art Deco-style building with a huge rooftop pavilion. Phone (703) 469-2244.
The intimate, laid-back IOTA Club & Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd.) is one of the best places in Arlington to hear live music. Bands lean toward indie rock, and local talent takes to the stage on open mic nights. Phone (703) 522-8340.