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Arlington’s urban villages: Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square, Ballston, Crystal City and Pentagon City

Clarendon Metro Station [photo: dbking / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
Clarendon Metro Station [photo: dbking / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Arlington’s urban villages: Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square, Ballston, Crystal City and Pentagon City are some of the most popular places to live, work, play and stay in the Washington, D.C. area.

They offer the best of both worlds: the selection and options of a city, combined with the character of small neighborhood communities.

Arlingtons famous Rossyln-Ballston corridor was originally created nearly 40 years ago as part of Arlingtons planning for its Metrorail line. Arlington has spent the better part of the last three decades working to create individual communities urban villages that allow people to live, work, play, and shop without ever having to get in a car.

Five of the seven primary villages: Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Ballston, Virginia Square, comprise the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.
Crystal City and Pentagon City, the remaining two downtowns create the Jefferson-Davis Corridor. Each has its own unique identity.


Rosslyn can be best described as Arlington’s scaled down version of Midtown Manhattan, offering more than 8 million square feet of office space and 2,200 hotel rooms, as well as apartment buildings and condominiums that house more than 6,000 units. The closest urban village to Washington, Rosslyn sits just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown. Because of strict height restrictions on buildings in Washington, Rosslyn provides the areas only skyline and, consequently, spectacular views of the Potomac and the District.


Courthouse is Arlingtons civic center, home to county offices and the civic plaza. It’s also increasingly becoming the location of choice for dot com and IT groups. The Washington Posts online operations are headquartered here. Sapient, a leading technology consulting and services firm, also has offices here, as does Verizon, the Countys largest private employer.


Clarendon is considered Arlington’s original urban village, having first been developed in 1903. Today it is one of the regions hippest and most desirable neighborhoods, comparable to the District’s famed Georgetown and Adams Morgan. Best-known for its wide variety of ethnic restaurants, hopping bars, and clubs featuring some of the areas hottest bands, quaint storefronts, and charming 1930s-era bungalows, Clarendon is quickly becoming home to many businesses, as well, including the information technology giant SRA International and Comcast Corporation.


Ballston is Arlingtons science and technology center. The National Science Foundation is based here, and many major technology firms have large offices in Ballston, including CACI International and SAIC. Several associations are also located here, including the Nature Conservancy, a nonprofit preservation group, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The Ballston Common Mall is not only the neighborhoods prime shopping location, but will soon be home to the training facility and offices of the Washington Capitals hockey team and a community ice rink. Crystal City has Arlingtons largest downtown, with 10 million square feet of office space, 5,000 rooms, 5,000 residences, and a growing restaurant row. It is located just minutes from Reagan National Airport and is home to the offices of Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Pentagon City

Pentagon City is best-known for its Fashion Centre, one of the country’s highest-grossing retail centers, with more than 160 stores, restaurants, and galleries. But it is also home to more than 3,400 residential units and 665 hotel rooms, including the Ritz-Carlton. Overall, the Rosslyn-Ballston and the Jefferson-Davis corridors are central hubs of business, residential and tourist activity. Over 90% of businesses in Arlington are located along these two corridors; virtually all of Arlingtons 40+ hotels are located here as well, making it one of the easiest and most economical places for tourists to stay when they visit the Washington, D.C. region.

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