Arlington: A Diverse, Active City for Metro-Area Renters

Cyclists out for a ride

The ride stuff: More than 80 miles of bike paths are strung across Arlington. Many major roads feature clearly marked bicycle lanes, as well.

Arlington – is it a city or a county? Maybe something in between?

Arlington, Va., is technically a county, and occupying slightly less than 26 square miles, it’s geographically the smallest self-governed county in the United States. But, it’s pretty much thought of as a city. In fact, it was originally part of Washington, D.C., but was given back to Virginia in 1846. It was formally established as Alexandria County in 1847, then received its final name change to Arlington in 1920. So, in way, you can say it has a history like no other.

Arlington is tightly packed, quite diverse and well educated. According to the Arlington County Planning Division, as of Jan. 1, 2010, the estimated population of Arlington was 212,200. More than 30 percent of its residents speak a language other than English at home, and Arlington has the highest percentage of people with four-year or graduate/professional degrees in the metro area.

An urban county, Arlington is very feet and bike friendly. In fact, Arlington has 11 Metrorail stops. Best of all, Arlington was ranked número uno in the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Best Walking City Competition in 2005.

So, if you work in the area and you’re looking for an apartment in Arlington, you may be able to get by without a car. Imagine that?

Keeping with the health theme, Arlington boasts 86 miles of biking/jogging trails and 1,100 acres of public parks.

Of course, there are scads of restaurants and bars to go along with seven theaters and eight libraries. And, judging by the number of indoor malls and retail centers, shopping seems to be a vocation all its own for many residents.

All in all, Arlington is not a bad place to live. Check out apartments in the area with Apartment Showcase.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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