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Arlington Meeting Planner FAQ

Planning a meeting in Arlington? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked COVID-19-related and general questions from meeting planners

COVID-19 Related Questions

1. Is Arlington open?

Yes, Arlington is open and ready for visitors. As you plan your visit, be sure to review the latest Virginia travel updates and health and safety information. Guests are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test or to quarantine during their visits.

2. What are local airports doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is now offering on-site COVID-19 testing to travelers through XpresCheck at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Dulles International Airport (IAD). These pre-security testing facilities are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Testing options include a rapid test, with results available in as soon as 30 minutes, and a PCR test, with results available in one to three days.  For additional information, pricing or appointments, visit XpresCheck.com and select "Virginia - DCA" or "Virginia - IAD.

3. Are masks required in Arlington?

On May 14, Governor Ralph Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

4. What are area hotels doing to ensure guest safety?

The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Safe Stay Advisory Council has created health and safety guidelines that represent best practices for the hotel industry, in accordance with CDC guidelines. The advisory council is comprised of leading hotel brands, including many that are located in Arlington. Additionally, many of these companies have their own unique health and safety programs which you can explore here prior to your stay. Learn about the many ways Arlington and its businesses are addressing health and safety during your stay, and what to expect while you’re here.

Hotel check-in with masks

5. Are there limitations on group sizes for meetings and events?

As of May 28, 2021, Virginia eased all distancing and capacity restrictions. Keep an eye on the Forward Virginia Guidelines for any updates.

6. Can I bring my tour bus/motorcoach to Arlington?

Motorcoach parking is allowed by permit only. For questions and assistance in acquiring a permit, please reach out to Portia Conerly, Director of Sales, at (703) 228-0873.

7. Which museums, monuments, attractions, or venues are currently open?

Due to changing circumstances, we urge visitors to confirm the status of upcoming events and major attractions before making plans to visit. With regard to specific attractions in Arlington:

The Air Force Memorial is open to pedestrian access, with limited on-site parking available. 

Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Consistent with the new CDC guidance, ANC will still require persons who are not fully vaccinated to practice the safety procedures recommended by the CDC – such as wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing – while visiting the cemetery or attending a service. There is now no limit to the number of funeral attendees at graveside services, although there is still a limit to 50 mourners inside the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Old Post Chapel and two family members inside the ANC administration building.

On the grounds of ANC:

  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and President John F. Kennedy’s Gravesite will now be fully opened with freely moving pedestrian traffic patterns.
  • The exhibits in Memorial Amphitheater and the Welcome Center exhibits will now be open. (Face masks are required at indoor venues)
  • At this time, the Memorial Amphitheater bowl remains closed for restoration work.
  • Guests who visit any indoor facility are required to wear face coverings.
  • Masks must be worn in all restroom facilities.
  • Masks are no longer required when visitors are outdoors.
  • The Welcome Center Bookstore resumed indoor operations on May 27, 2021.
  • Arlington Cemetery Metro Stop reopened for public use on May 23, 2021.

Visitor Screening

  • Visitor screening will continue to be conducted either inside or outside the Welcome Center. ANC would like to remind visitors entering the cemetery other than official access points is considered trespassing and is a Federal offense.

The following operational conditions remain the same:


Access Upon Arrival to ANC:

  • Visitors may enter the cemetery on Memorial Avenue and park in the parking garage or pedestrians may go directly to the screening lanes at the Welcome Center.
  • The ANC parking garage is available to passenger cars and buses.
  • The 123 gate is open to family pass holders only.
  • The Ord and Weitzel gate (near the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial) remains closed.

Visitor Screening:

  • An ADA accessibility and stroller visitor screening lane will be at the Welcome Center East Entrance.

The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is currently closed to the public. Please check back regularly for updates on its reopening status.

Please find status updates on what's open and what's been closed or canceled in and around Washington, D.C.

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Portia Conerly, Director of Sales at (703) 228-0873.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

8. What is the status of public transportation in Arlington?

For the latest on status and services for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, please visit the WMATA website. For the latest on status and services for Arlington Transit, please visit the ART website.

9. Can I rent a park for an outdoor meeting?

The Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation provides safe and exciting party equipment, event services, and rental space for everyone to enjoy. Community Center, Athletic Field, and Amusement rentals are still not accepted at this time.

General FAQ

1. Where is Arlington?

Arlington, Virginia, is just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Our convenient location puts you in the middle of all the iconic structures and vistas in the nation’s capital area. With 11 Metro stations, most within walking distance of our 39 hotels, Arlington is minutes away from downtown D.C., Capitol Hill, and neighboring communities in Virginia and Maryland.

2. How do you get to Arlington?

Arlington is easily accessible by air, train, metro, bus, and car. The county is home to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with service to 95 destinations and 401 daily departures. Arlington is also approximately 25 miles from Dulles International Airport (IAD) and 38 miles from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport(BWI). You can travel via train on Amtrak into Washington's Union Station, just 5 miles away. The area is also well connected to many key intercity and interstate bus routes. We’re also served by 11 convenient Metrorail stations connecting you to the National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, and other Washington, D.C. attractions. For more information, see Travel Planning

3. How do your hotel rates compare with those in Washington, D.C.?

Arlington’s hotel rates are 20 percent less, on average than those at downtown Washington, D.C. properties. Since Arlington was originally part of the “10 miles square” designated for the nation’s capital city, it offers you the convenience of being minutes away from all major D.C. attractions.

4. What services and information do you provide to meeting planners?

From assisting with RFP distribution, hotel bids, and site inspections to providing StayArlington guides, maps, bags, regional information, and on-site hospitality services, we’ll go the extra mile to ensure your event is a complete success. Contact us with any questions, or send your Request for Proposals now.

5. What size group can you host in Arlington?

The largest hotel in Arlington, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, has 686 guest rooms and 53,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The second-largest property, Crystal Gateway Marriott features 701 guest rooms and 38,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Some planners put their groups in multiple hotels in the same neighborhoods like Crystal City or Rosslyn. Find information on all of Arlington's hotels here.

6. Does Arlington have a convention center?

We do not have a convention center, but the region has a few convention centers for very large groups. Arlington’s largest hotels and independent venues have between 30,000 and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. We often host attendees from citywides in our hotels.

7. What are Arlington's dining options?

Arlington is home to dozens of restaurants with everything from diverse global cuisine to familiar American favorites. Attendees will savor delicious eats from all over the world like Vietnam, Thailand, Ethiopia, Latin America, India, and Lebanon to name a few. Options range from casual to white-tablecloth, food trucks and small restaurants to large and multilevel venues, creating numerous possibilities for group and private dining. There’s also plenty of after-dinner fun at many lounges, pubs, wine bars, sports bars, and live music/dance venues. Find out more here.

Portia Conerly
Our Director of Sales Portia Conerly

8. Is Arlington a county or a city?

It is a county with many diverse neighborhoods, which are often mistaken for cities. Learn more about our neighborhoods here.

9. How much is cab fare into D.C.?

As an example, traditional taxi rates from Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood range from $13 to $19 depending on traffic and destination. Check out this fare calculator. Also depending on your destination, other easy transportation modes to D.C. include Metrorail, Metrobus, rideshares, bike shares, and even walking!

10. Is Arlington a green destination that's focused on environmental sustainability?

Arlington County actively promotes green stewardship through its Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) program. Most Arlington hotels are Virginia Green participants, making voluntary commitments to reduce their impact on the environment and many of our local taxi companies offer hybrid or electric options. Read more about Arlington sustainability initiatives here

11. What is your hospitality tax rate?

Arlington hospitality taxes are comprised of a Transient Occupancy Tax, State Sales Tax, and Local Sales Tax, together totaling 13.25 percent. This is comparable to its Northern Virginia neighbors, and approximately 7 percent lower than Washington, D.C.

12. Why bring your meeting, event, or group to Arlington?

Check out our Top Ten reasons. If you’re looking for the ideal combination of convenience and value for a capital meeting, choose Arlington!

Updated 5/18/21

Author: Scott Baker