Honor the Presidents with a Visit to Arlington

What does it mean to be presidential? Find out for yourself on a capital trip.

Arlington doesn't just have monumental views of presidential sights; it's also where visitors can explore various places where U.S. presidents throughout history have left their imprint. This President's Day weekend, use the long weekend to dine where presidents have eaten, walk through their gardens and parks, and wake up each morning to breathtaking views of historical monuments that will renew your supply of American inspiration.

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One of our favorite places for some outdoor therapy in the winter in DC is the Theodore Roosevelt Island. Not only can you visit the Theodore Roosevelt memorial, but you can also go on a short hike around the island. This 1.3 mile trail is perfect to do with the kids. • Where’s your favorite outdoor spot where you live? • • • #theodorerooseveltisland #theodorerooseveltnationalpark #findyourpark #nationalpark #dcwithkids #exploredc #walkwithlocals #mydccool #igdc #washmagphoto #adventureswithchildren #hikingwithkids #hike #familyhike #outdoortherapy #getoutdoors #getoutside #optoutside #naturetherapy #winterhike #familygo #goadventuretogether #familyadventures

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In the early 1900s President Theodore Roosevelt led diplomats and government officials on challenging hikes through the area’s “wild” lands. Today, visitors can honor the former president by visiting Theodore Roosevelt Island. Accessible only via boat or a pedestrian bridge from Arlington, the memorial to America’s 26th president sits on a 90+ acre wooded park with plenty of walkable trails. It's a great place for a bit of woodland serenity.

Visitors can also walk the trails and gardens of Long Branch Nature Center at Glencarlyn Park. While the park is today known for its resident wildlife at the nature center or various programs on the native species of plants and animals, the property was actually once owned by the first president, George Washington.

We guarantee you’ll work up an appetite, so dine like a president. Arlington’s diverse restaurant scene, with its proximity to downtown Washington, D.C., has long been a favorite for U.S. presidents for dining excursions.

In fact, Clarendon's own The Liberty Tavern was a favorite date night spot for the Obamas during their administration.

Of course, staying in Arlington puts you minutes away from the White House with easy access via the Metro. Requests for White House tours can be submitted through your Member of Congress. The tour includes a visit to the family movie theater, which was the East Terrace cloakroom until July 1942.

Presidents are no stranger to Arlington; it’s not unusual for presidential motorcades to come through en route to meetings at the Pentagon or other government offices located here. Additionally, the current Commander-in-Chief often lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and other special occasions.

Both Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies have always been free to attend and open to the public.

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John, Jackie, John-John y Bobby.

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‘I could look at this view forever’

President John F. Kennedy paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery just a few weeks before his assassination in 1963. While taking in the sweeping views of the D.C. skyline while from atop the hill at Arlington House, the mansion that once was home to Robert E. Lee and owned by the family of the nation's first president, George Washington, Kennedy reportedly said, "I could look at this view forever." After his death, his family reportedly remembered the statement and chose to have JFK's final resting place here. He, as well as other members of the Kennedy family, are honored with an Eternal Flame that burns at his gravesite, just a few steps below where Kennedy reportedly made that fateful statement.

At Arlington National Cemetery, visitors can also visit the gravesite of President William Howard Taft, the 27th president and the 10th chief justice of the United States.

Taft, who also served as a secretary of war, died March 8, 1930, and was the first president buried at Arlington National Cemetery, said Claude R. Marx, an Arlington resident and award-winning journalist who is writing a biography of Taft. President Herbert Hoover’s military aide and the Taft family picked the spot in the cemetery’s section 30 where he was buried with full military honors March 11 following a procession throughout Washington, D.C.

“They picked it because you could see both the White House and the future site of the Supreme Court building, which Taft persuaded Congress to spend money for and was heavily involved in the design,” Marx said.

Author: Cara O'Donnell