Across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia in some ways functions as an extension of the nation’s capital. Indeed, Arlington and Alexandria were part of the city until 1847, and now thousands of commuters travel back and forth every weekday. But the vast zone retains its own identity, several of them in fact.
Historic sites reveal much about the nation’s past, from the Revolutionary era to the Civil War, while bustling retail meccas offer the latest fashions and trends. The area also claims a renowned Smithsonian museum and America’s only national park for the performing arts, as well as dramatic waterfalls and bucolic rural areas where passion for equestrian sports remains unbridled.
With two large airports—Reagan National and Dulles International—plus major highways and Metrorail, the area’s easy to reach and easy to navigate.