Arlington, urban county in northern Virginia, U.S., lying across the Potomac River (southwest) from Washington, D.C., and adjoining the city of Alexandria (south). Arlington is connected to Washington by five bridges—Francis Scott Key, Arlington Memorial, George Mason, Theodore Roosevelt, and Rochambeau Memorial.
It would be an understatement to say that the nation’s capital is a unique place. The centrally located National Mall is an urban planning gem, with excellent open spaces, walking paths, and major monuments in a classic architectural style. Lining the mall is the Smithsonian museum complex, probably the best set of museums in the world in a single location. In reality, the whole mall setup is a museum in and of itself and a major destination for locals and visitors alike. Numerous government offices and first class hospitality venues surround the mall. To the northwest of the mall, but still within the city limits, lies the upscale residential and commercial enclave of Georgetown, home to Georgetown University, George Washington Hospital, and a variety of entertainment and nightlife amenities. But not all of the D.C. central city glitters; to the north and east in particular lies a considerable expanse of socioeconomically mixed neighborhoods and areas of urban decay.