Residents were asked to share their favorite places in Arlington, including hidden and not-so-hidden gems, from the expected to the unexpected.
Arlington National Cemetery
“I feel like Arlington Cemetery is one of the most underrated gems of our country, and especially of Arlington. Spending a day there allows a person to reflect on the adversity our brave men and women have overcome. It also helps put a lot of historic events into perspective and gives people the opportunity to evaluate the cost of war.” — Olivia Sklenka
2705 Columbia Pike
“Arlington is a very cosmopolitan town — we’ve got people from everywhere, and they bring their food. We have so many Colombian, Ethiopian, Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Lebanese, Bolivian and other kinds of restaurants. However, I haven’t found any other Turkish place in Northern Virginia or the broader DMV area, and this place is authentic. The atmosphere is peaceful and bright, the staff are friendly and charming, the food is well-prepared, spicy, delicious, and the coffee — wow! The Turkish coffee at Atilla’s cannot be beat, and cannot be found anywhere else in Arlington.” — Ariel Wyckoff
Ayers Hardware Store
5853 Washington Blvd.
“Browse the shelves at Ayers Hardware and experience a simpler time, when shopping didn’t feel rushed. I enjoy working on home projects and fixing things, and Ayers helps keep it enjoyable when I shop for those projects by providing personable service in a relaxed atmosphere. Ayers has everything from an assortment of loose nuts and bolts, plants, mulch, garden tools, kitchen gadgets, stationary, toys, cleaners, arts and craft supplies, and socks to the latest holiday decorations.” — Cheryl Whitehead
Bluemont Park Disc Golf Course
399 N Manchester St.
“The Bluemont golf course is unique because disc golf uses the natural landscape, so no lawn, fertilizer etc. is needed. It is much better for the environment than regular golf courses. It is wooded and scenic, and wild flowers bloom on it.” — Cindi Charles
2607 Wilson Blvd.
“It is a bright, modern cafe with excellent desserts, hot cocoa, and tea. The front glass wall opens in good weather. It is fairly quiet and very chill.” — Alison Davis Holland
3322 Wilson Blvd.
“I’ve been going to Carvel since I was born. The servers are always really nice and they have so many different options of ice cream. It’s been around for such a long time that everyone knows about their awesome ice cream!” — Hannah Goldstein
El Charrito Caminante
2710 Washington Blvd.
“This tiny El Salvadorian restaurant is my family’s go-to place. It is authentic, affordable and very tasty. The green hot sauce, made in house, is spicy, but so good on everything. It needs to be bottled and sold! Don’t be put off by the owner’s no-nonsense demeanor. It takes some time, but he warms up.” — Jill Shenk
1516 N Lincoln St.
“It is just a block away from my house, so it has always been my go-to park. Amazingly, it has had everything for me at every age; from the playground to the water park to the basketball courts it has always been a place where I can go hangout with my friends.” — Nikola Porto
The Italian Store
5837 Washington Blvd.
“It has been a local favorite of mine, since I discovered them back in the 90s. Their subs and pizza are consistently out of this world, and the value for the price seals the deal. They certainly sell many more items than just subs and pizza (Berger Cookies), but I feel like the lion's share of the business is built around those items, and for good reason. They're also a ‘Mom and Pop’ that is exclusive to Arlington, so I think a lot of folks want to show their support for them. Large Milano … soft roll with everything: heaven!” — Patrick McMahan
Iwo Jima Memorial
“This beautiful memorial provides a great view of several beautiful D.C. sites: the Capital, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and more. There are sometimes free yoga classes held there, and every Tuesday from 7-8 over the summer the Marine Corps hosts their Sunset Parade there.” — Nicole Charles
1119, 5517 Wilson Blvd.
“It is such a great restaurant because their food is amazing and one-of-a-kind because it is one of the few El Salvadorian places in the area, and everyone who works there is incredibly nice and professional. A couple of their waiters even know my family’s order by heart, which certainly says something about how often we go there.” — Gretchen Haga
Livin’ The Pie Life
2211, 2166 N Glebe Road
“I can’t escape the shameless plug for the best dessert place in Arlington. The sweet and savory pies are wonderful. The crust is so flakey and tasty. Their other treats, cookies, cake and scones are delicious.” — Lita Miller
Long Bridge Park
475 Long Bridge Drive
“It’s a beautiful park where people from all over the D.C. area come together to use the fields, urban bike trails and spray park. Airplanes fly directly over from the nearby Reagan airport at all times of the day. On the 4th of July, Arlington does fireworks from there, and all of that is within view of the Washington Monument.” — Georgia Beatty
Lubber Run Amphitheater
200 N Columbus St.
“I love that it is this secret hidden venue, surrounded by trees and a stream. It provides an awesome lineup of free music, right in my backyard. It is fun running into neighbors and watch kids chase fireflies! My favorite night is Pops for Pets, when the Arlington Philharmonic plays and celebrates the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Folks bring their dogs and free dog biscuits and dog ice cream is provided!” — Samara Weinstein
2645 N Pershing Dr.
“Mili Salon is a gem within Arlington. Twin brothers Behar and Nick from Armenia have been in business for over 20 years. They named the salon after their mother, Mili. They happen to be really good with hair and their rates are more affordable than other local salons. Behar and Nick not only know how to cut and color well, they also provide fun conversation and first class service. During my time with them, I’m always offered a beverage. Regular clients often stop by just to say hi and to visit even when they are not having a service done so the salon has the feel of a neighborhood hang out. It is a small and intimate place, with only a few other staff members who act like a family. Amazing people. Always a good time.” — Heidi Paterni Hayes
5104 Wilson Blvd.
“Pupatella has excellent food and setting. You can watch the food being prepared by chefs wearing fedoras, just like they do in Naples. I recommend the Brussels sprouts, white margarita and spinach pizza. It is inspirational that it began as a food truck, became a tiny restaurant and then expanded — all due to how good it is.” — Lauren Charles
Rocky Run Park Playground
1109 N Barton St.
"Climbing the rope tower is like climbing a mountain! You can see really far and it's super fun!" — Natalie Hamm via Sue Hamm
Shirlington Dog Park
2754-2798 S Oakland St.
“It is so big that humans can get their exercise while the dogs do too! Also, it’s near lots of shops and restaurants that are dog friendly, especially the very awesome New District Brewery. Plus, you’ll see every shape, size and color of dog (and human). It is impossible to walk out of there without a giant smile in your face and hope in your soul.” — Paula Alcorn
5880 Washington Blvd.
“Thai Noy is our ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. Arlington County is a wonderful mix of urban sophistication and small town community. Westover is a perfect example of this. The restaurant Thai Noy was started by Pane (Kot) Symoukda in January of 1998. Kot embodied the quintessential American dream. He came to the United States as a refugee from war-torn Laos. He was given $35 and left to his own devices. After working menial jobs he finally assembled enough resources to open his own restaurant. His food and personality quickly made Thai Noy a center piece of Westover. In August of 2017 Kot began experiencing symptoms of what turned out to be pancreatic cancer. We lost him on Nov. 18, 2017. His death left a great hole in our community and in the hearts of those who knew him. Despite the pain, his family carries on. He had imparted enough knowledge to four of his relatives that they have been able to keep the restaurant open and thriving. His memory will live for years embodied in the restaurant that he started.” — Perry Lindstrom
5852 Washington Blvd.
“Trade Roots is one of my favorite places to go with friends. I love sitting in their cafe area, which is so cozy and well-decorated. The tapestries and decorated cushions make the area so inviting, and the drinks that they serve are so delicious.” — Samantha Haga