The 6 Most Interesting Historical Places in Arlington

If you love history, then you’ll LOVE Arlington! Arlington is full of unique historical gems. Being so close to DC has made it home to several memorials and landmarks dedicated to pivotal moments in the history of the United States. Here are just a few!

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetary conducts up to 30 funeral services each weekday and a handful on the weekends as well. It sits on 639 acres of rolling hills with several gardens throughout the property. This beautiful scenery provides a peaceful atmosphere for families who’ve lost their loved ones in military service. This is where many who fought in the Civil War were laid to rest.

Netherland Carillon in Arlington

“From the People of the Netherlands to the People of the United States.”

This dedication can be found on the Netherlands Carillion near the Arlington National Cemetary. It was commissioned by Queen Juliana in 1952 as an expression of gratitude towards the US for coming to the aid of the Netherlands during World War II. Dutch architect Joost W. C. Boks and Dutch Paul Koning designed this symbol of friendship between the Netherland and America. 

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

The Robert E. Lee Memorial honors confederate army general Robert Lee who served in the US army corps for 32 years. It overlooks the Potomac River and provides several insights into what life was like for those in the Lee household at the time including the Lee family, the Custis family, and the enslaved families.

Fort C. F. Smith Park

The focal point of the Fort C. F. Smith Park is the ruins of the fort itself. The ruins include the well, evidence of the bombing, 11 gun emplacements, and the North Magazine. There were 22 forts in Arlington during the Civil War, but Fort C. F. Smith distinguishes itself as the best preserved of these forts. Today, the ruined fort is set against the background of a beautiful 19-acre park complete with trails, wildlife, and an ornamental peace garden. It’s a great spot for the whole family!

Arlington Historical Museum

The oldest building in Arlington County is the Hume School, built in 1891. Fittingly, it has become the home to the Arlington Historical Museum run by the Arlington Historical Society. Many of the artifacts in this museum have been donated by Arlington residents themselves. Though they’re currently closed, they’re offering tours of virtual exhibits. Here are a few of their upcoming virtual programs.

  • US Civil War “Colored Troops” in Arlington
  • Local History Trivia Challenge: Trivia and a Toddy
  • Runyon vs McCrary: Arlington and the Desegregation of Private Schools

US Marine Corps War Memorial

The towering US Marine Corps War Memorial depicts a victorious scene for America during World War II. This depicts when the marines invaded Iwo Jima and captured Mount Suribachi, completing the last objective of America’s campaign in the Pacific. The sculpture was based on a pulitzer prize winning photograph of the incident captured by Joe Rosenthal.

The Virginia Commonwealth is full of exhibits and memorials commemorating pivotal points in American history. Go back in time in Arlington with these six historical sites!

If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll love our next post about the best parks and recreation areas in Arlington.


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