Upon first glance
Rosslyn, located in the north eastern corner of Arlington County, is the last Virginia stop along the Orange and Blue Lines heading into Washington D.C.. It lies along the Potomac River, directly across from Georgetown. Characterized as an “urban village”, Rosslyn’s business section is just as dense as the District. It holds many federal and corporate entities which attract the professional crowd, as well as some noteworthy hiking and biking trails for the more outdoorsy crowd.
Who lives here
The many tourist attractions that Rosslyn holds– including Arlington National Cemetery and the Marine Corp Memorial (aka the Iwo Jima Memorial)– make it seem like it would be a tourist trap. However, for the most part, the streets are populated with well dressed federal employees, and business men and women. Here, the Orange and Blue lines meet, making it a destination for after-work activities. For that reason, and its proximity to D.C., there is a high demand for housing. Rosslyn, compared to other places in Arlington, is much less community driven than, for example, Clarendon or Ballston
Food and entertainment
As mentioned before, Rosslyn is the point of convergence for the Orange and Blue Lines of the D.C. metro. In the past decade, Rosslyn has become a meeting place for the young professionals who live in and around Arlington. It offers an array of restaurants, retail stores, and recreational trails to suit a wide demographic from young professionals to families. Rosslyn itself feels more like Manhattan than Washington D.C..
Next to all of the chains that service Rosslyn’s tourists, there is a fantastic nightlife. Local bars and restaurants provide an alternative to the tourist traps. There are a variety of food trucks parked along the Rosslyn streets targeting a wide range of cuisines, from tacos to barbeque. The delis and sandwich shops are crowded during the weekday lunch breaks, while restaurants like Cafe Asia are packed during happy hour.
In terms of activities and entertainment, Rosslyn does not disappoint. The Rosslyn Spectrum Theater holds five annual film festivals including some showings of the D.C. Independent Film Festival. The Jazz Festival and US FreedomWalk Festivals are some activities that are family friendly. Other points of interest include the aforementioned Iwo Jima Memorial, as well as the the the Artisphere, an art center that houses galleries and performance areas.
There are also multiple walking/hiking and bicycle trails in Rosslyn that connect it to the greater Northern Virginia and D.C. areas. Trails include the Custis Trail, which travels alongside Interstate 66. By traveling on the Custis Trail, one can reach the Mount Vernon Trail, the Potomac Heritage Trail and the Capital Crescent Trail.
Those looking for an area with good transit and transportation options, Rosslyn is the best choice. Every major road in Northern Virginia– including Interstate 66, Route 29, Route 50, and the George Washington Memorial Parkway– run by Rosslyn. These roads along with several major bridges make residents of Rosslyn able to access parts of the District with more ease than District dwellers according to City Smart Living’s Gabe Deukmaji.
Bikers also enjoy some benefits in Rosslyn. The metro station has bicycle parking. This paired with the on-street bicycle parking locations gives bikers an edge in the urban village. Capital Bikeshare also has several stations throughout Rosslyn.
It is hard to beat the transit systems that service Rosslyn. Both the Blue and Orange line meet here as well as fourteen Metrobus lines. There are shuttles that run to Georgetown, and a bus line that runs from Rosslyn to Georgetown and Dupont Circle. Rosslyn, in a sense, is a haven to Northern Virginians who want to avoid traffic congestion.
The bottom line
Rosslyn, though geared more towards business and commercial entities, is slowly becoming more resident friendly. The restaurant and bar scene is becoming a more local experience, the transit and transportation options are hard to beat, and the cultural amenities are starting to catch up, not to mention its gorgeous view of many D.C. monuments. Those looking for the Manhattan experience in Northern Virginia, look no further than Rosslyn.