Casual and fun, it’s a lively hub of parks, restaurants and historic spots that appeal to youngsters and the young-at-heart.
Everyone gathers for outdoor recreation at Lyon Village Park, Woodstock Park and 12-acre Tuckahoe Park, which features an amphitheater and a self-guided interpretive walking tour among its nature trails. History lessons abound at family-friendly Fort C.F. Smith Park. It includes a lush tree canopy, an open meadow, the lovely Hendry House mansion, preserved earthworks of the Civil War fort built in 1863, and the Civil War Visitor Center with exhibits about Union soldiers and the defenses of Washington between 1861 and 1865. Children can try on replica Civil War uniforms and learn about camp life.
More history is on tap at several remnants of the rich Black heritage in the region. Take a Hall’s Hill History Walking Tour featuring Segregation Wall, which once separated Black and white neighborhoods, pay your respects at Calloway Cemetery, resting place for 19th-century freed enslaved people, and stop at Fire Station 8, the first Black-operated fire station south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Wide-eyed kids (and their parents) flock to the family-owned toy store Barstons Child’s Play for its carefully curated toys, games and books and weekend story time.
Serious and amateur bikers alike can get a workout on the 9-mile-long Custis Trail, which offers easy access to some of the best shops in Arlington. Bikers can easily pull off the trail at the Lyon Village Shopping Center for a straight-from-Italy snack at the family-owned gourmet deli, The Italian Store, or for a tune-up at Big Wheel Bikes.
From high-end to downhome, Langston Boulevard has you covered. Francophiles can dress up for classic French cuisine at La Côte d’Or Cafe or French bistro fare at the hip Café Colline. Go Japanese at award-winning Sushi-Zen, which even has a kids’ menu, or try over-the-top omakase at Yume Sushi A neighborhood fave, Cowboy Café boasts pub fare, draft beer and popular weekend brunch in the biergarten amid an eye-popping mural painted by local artist MasPaz. Turkish marries Greek at Yayla Bistro, which draws diners for its distinctive hot and cold mezze and flatbreads. More Mediterranean awaits at the beloved Lebanese Taverna Market or at Arlington Kabob, prized for its clay tandoor-baked naan. Feast on the signature Szechuan dishes at 2022 James Beard Foundation Award finalist Peter Chang or the lip-smacking rotisserie chicken at Peruvian Crisp & Juicy. For fall-off-the-bone BBQ, head to Sloppy Mama’s.
Got a sweet tooth? Don’t miss drool-worthy treats at Pastries by Randolph, Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe or Livin’ the Pie Life.
Catch a game at Thirsty Bernie sports bar or ogle the Lamborghinis lined up in front of Cloud Lounge, an upscale hookah bar with an international following. Trivia fans head to the Cowboy Café for its Monday night faceoff, plus its 14-tap beer system.
Header image: Cindy Kane Photography