Editor’s Note: This biweekly sponsored column is written by Rick Gersten, founder and CEO of Urban Igloo, a rental real estate firm that matches up renters with their ideal apartments, condos or houses. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
Arlington is considered a fairly walkable place with an overall Walk Score of 67. If you live in here, you know that some neighborhoods within Arlington score much higher. But for newcomers, here is a quick rundown of the most convenient neighborhoods on the Arlington Walk Score map.
Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor – These are the neighborhoods between the Rosslyn Metro Station and Glebe Road along Wilson Boulevard. All of the subareas within the R-B Corridor (Ballston-Virginia Square, Clarendon-Courthouse, Rosslyn) score over 90. You can Metro, Bus, Cab, Walk or Bike to work, school, shopping and restaurants.
Shopping here includes Clarendon Market Common and the Ballston Mall. For groceries, there are Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter and Giant. As for entertainment, there’s no shortage of nightlife along Wilson. Or if you are looking for something more low key, there is an AMC Theater just a short walk from the Courthouse Metro station. And if you get tapped out on all this area has to offer (which is tough to do) Georgetown is just over the Key Bridge from Rosslyn.
Crystal City/Pentagon City – Another active area is the Pentagon City/Crystal City area of Arlington. This area has two Metro Stations, plenty of bus access, and is right next to Reagan National Airport. There’s plenty of hotels and offices, and has easy access to GW Parkway, Highway 1 and 395. Of course you can’t forget access to miles of biking and running paths via Four Mile Run and Mount Vernon Trail.
Shopping here includes Costco, Nordstrom Rack and the Pentagon City Mall. In Crystal City you have access to food and shops underground, which is great for those cold and windy days. Need more info? Check out our article Reasons to Consider Crystal City and Pentagon City for more details about this all-inclusive location.
There are a few more spots of highly walkable areas that are worth a look. Living in these areas you may still need a car for getting to work, but for after work and weekend activity you may be just fine on foot.
Shirlington – Shirlington is a great little oasis off of 395 with some fabulous restaurants, unique shops and theaters. If you find yourself apartment hunting in Shirlington, be sure to stop by Guapos for some great Mexican cuisine. Don’t forget the guacamole made fresh tableside! In Shirlington you are also close to Four Mile Run for biking, walking and jogging. This central spot is a quick ride to Del Ray, Old Town Alexandria or Pentagon City. No Metro access here, but definitely a great area away from the hustle and bustle with all the comforts of a walkable neighborhood.
Columbia Pike – Columbia Pike is an area in transition. It has seen great revitalization in the last few years, with hundreds of new apartments, a new Giant shopping center and new restaurants. If you need a quick break from apartment hunting, be sure to stop at Rappahannock Coffee for coffee and a quick sandwich. In the spring and summer, head out on Sunday morning for the Columbia Pike Farmer’s Market. Columbia Pike has easy access to Route 50 and 395. Not to mention bus service which will take you to Pentagon City in just a few short minutes. And you are only a few miles from the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor as well. Of course, there may be many more accessible neighborhoods with a new streetcar on Columbia Pike. This is another great central location that will get you a lot of the amenities of a walkable neighborhood, but may not carry the hefty price tag of a Metro accessible neighborhood.
Much of Arlington has easy access to just about anything apartment hunters desire. There are plenty more neighborhoods worth a look, but these top neighborhoods according to Walk Score have every convenience and more just outside your door.