FX Excursions

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Under $100: Arlington

by Katharine Paljug

Dec 27, 2014

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia © Ken Cole | Dreamstime

North America

If you’re planning a trip to Washington, D.C., set aside a day to hop over the river and visit the neighboring county of Arlington.


Start you day at Whitlow’s on Wilson in the trendy Clarendon neighborhood. The original Whitlow’s opened in D.C., in 1946 and moved to Arlington in 1995. Their brunch buffet will cost you $24, but includes everything you could want, from scrambled eggs to crab legs.


If you’re a history buff, hop in the car and drive over to Arlington House, the historic home of Robert E. Lee which stands next to Arlington Cemetery. Tour the house and slave quarters to learn about life before the Civil War from costumed re-enactors, and be sure not to miss the extensive flower gardens. Entry is free and you don’t need a reservation.


If you need a little more history in your day, a five-minute drive will take you to either the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial or the Air Force Memorial.


For lunch, head to Ballston Common Mall, where you can grab a family-friendly bite at the food court for under $10. After lunch, sports fans can head to the top floor and strap on their skates at the Kettler Iceplex, home to the Washington Capitals. Go on a Tuesday and take advantage of their $1 public skating from 2–3:30 pm.


If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll want to walk along the Mount Vernon trail. Free and open to the public, this scenic path offers amazing views of D.C. landmarks without the crowds of tourists. It also passes right by the bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island. This public park and memorial is open from dawn to dusk and offers miles of secluded trails for strolling.


When you’re ready for dinner, drive to Shirlington Village, where you can stroll under twinkling lights until you decide on a place for dinner. We recommend Lotus Grill, a French Vietnamese restaurant with delicious offerings like papaya salad ($11) and traditional Vietnamese pho soup ($14).


Do you love the arts? Just down the street is Signature Theatre, Arlington’s Tony Award-winning theatre. Rush tickets are sold an hour before every performance and cost only $30 each. And since you’ve only spent $79 so far, you still have $20 left over to buy yourself a glass of wine and dessert after the show.



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