Arlington is an urban county of approximately 26 square miles located directly across the Potomac River from Washington DC. No incorporated towns or cities lie within Arlington’s boundaries. Originally part of the area surveyed for the nation’s capital, the portion on the west bank of the Potomac River was returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia by the U.S. Congress in 1846. This area was known as Alexandria City and Alexandria County until 1920 when the county portion was renamed Arlington County.
Arlington is one of the most densely populated jurisdictions in the country, with a population density of about 8,000 persons per square mile. Arlington’s population is also very diverse- public school children speak 99 languages and hail from 129 countries.
Although best known to visitors as the home of the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington boasts high quality neighborhoods (see “Arlington Communities”). Residents are actively involved in the community. Arlington has over 60 registered civic and citizen associations and over 100 community service organizations (see “Civic Associations”). Arlington is serviced by 11 Metro stations, offers almost 200 public parks and playgrounds, 86 miles of jogging/biking trails, 14 community centers, 10 fire stations, 7 senior centers, 9 live stage theaters and 8 libraries for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Due to its proximity to Washington DC, Arlington offers the aforementioned Metro stations (Orange, Blue & Yellow lines), is home to Ronald Regan National Airport, and has over 40 hotels, offering over 10,000 rooms!