Top Tourist Attractions in Arlington, According to Google

by ARLnow.com February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm 2,697 50 Comments

A group of veterans at the Tomb of the Unknowns Tour buses in front of Pentagon City mall

Tourists and visitors spent some $2.7 billion in Arlington in 2011, making Arlington the top county in Virginia for visitor spending

But what are those tourists doing in Arlington once they get here? According to Google, they’re largely visiting military monuments and shopping malls.

Google lists the following as the most frequently mentioned Arlington tourist attractions on the web.

  1. Arlington National Cemetery
  2. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima)
  3. Arlington House
  4. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
  5. Tomb of the Unknowns
  6. United States Air Force Memorial
  7. Ballston Common Mall
  8. Netherlands Carillon

The travel website Trip Advisor also maintains a list of Arlington tourist attractions. The following are the ten most traveler-recommended tourist attractions in Arlington.

  1. Tomb of the Unknowns
  2. Arlington National Cemetery
  3. U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial
  4. Signature Theatre
  5. Pentagon Memorial
  6. Gravelly Point Park
  7. Women in Military Service for America Memorial
  8. Arlington House
  9. Mount Vernon Trail
  10. United States Air Force Memorial

  • novasteve

    4 of the 8 are part of Arlington Cemetary, why list 4 different entries?

    • Mack

      I count five, and was thinking the same thing.

  • pol

    #7 is priceless

  • Wayne Kubicki

    Ballston Common makes this list??

    • Not Me

      I was thinking the same thing… and Pentagon City Mall didn’t even make Googles list!

      • Not Me

        Oops, I didn’t see it there desguised as ‘Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’. Haha!

        • Not Me

          *disguised. Ok, time for the weekend…

    • Ivy

      That doesn’t even make sense. Why would Ballston Commons be a tourist place??????

      • Clarendon

        Historic reasons:


        It was the first shopping center built around a multi-story parking garage in the United States.

        Hechts -At its opening, the five story, 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) department store was the largest on the East coast

        • Hmmm

          So people visit it for the pleasure of telling the folks back in “where ever that they are from” that they went to the mall that had the first multistory parking garage ??

          There is no place on the planet that is that boring !!

          • drax

            But there’s more!

            – Ballston mall was the first mall in history to have a Molotov cocktail attack AND a security guard fight club.

            – The former Hecht’s store was the last one in America to get rid of the escalators that ate the fingers of small children.

            – The second level of the Macy’s furniture store was voted “Most Depressing Place in Arlington” three years in a row.

  • Andy

    Ballston Mall at #7?! Surely that must have just been the top result for “worst Mall in Northern VA” searches?

    • Joe Hoya

      I’m hoping — hoping — that it’s because of the Kettler Iceplex, and not folks who are looking for good deals at “As Seen on TV,” FYE and Radio Shack.

      • JamesE

        It’s the #1 food court tour destination on the east coast

      • UptonHiller

        It is probably because of the tour buses full of school trips that go to the food court.

    • G Clifford Prout

      Just for the busses from West Virginia

    • Very Punny

      No, it is because people have heard that it is a good place to get “bombed”………..

    • CrystalMikey

      Nah, I think Landmark Mall would make #1.

  • Tourist

    Didn’t want to visit Ballston, but now that they have Security Guard Fights it is the first place I am going to visit.

    • BallstonHawk

      Long time reader, first time commenter: that was one of the funniest things i’ve read all week

  • nom de guerre

    I’m surprised that the Artisphere did not make the lists.

    • CourthouseChris

      I’m surprised I had to scroll this far down for an Artisphere comment.

      • Faye Jissete

        That is because Artisphere can’t even win at being a failure……..

  • Becoming Indifferent

    Arlington House and Tomb of the Unknowns are both in Arlington National Cemetery, so listing them separately is being redundant.

    • AudieMurphy

      Unless you’ve got a vehicle pass, it’s a bit of a hike to get to those spots, especially if you’ve got little ones in tow.

      • Westover

        Still, to see either, means you see the cemetary. Sort of like Listing seeing the Air and Space Museum seperate from seeing the Apollo lander and capsule.

  • Schmeff

    I bet Ballston mall is listed because of Kettler and the Capitals practices.

    • HJ

      Both malls are there due to public facilities, end of story.

  • Buddy Love

    Ballston Common Mall: Come for the Security Guard Fights, Stay for the Molotov Cocktails

    • Mallrat


  • FoodHeart

    And the bare knuckle brawlin’ security guard fights. There’s a rumor that Philo Beddoe will make a surprise entrance.

  • Ballston Common Mall

    Haters gonna hate!

  • novasteve

    I’m sure the closed down Indian restaurant near O’Sullivans gets more tourist visitors than the Artisphere gets.

    • Rankin

      I miss Madhu Ban

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    These lists are bogus, everybody knows the Artisphere is the huge draw for tourists

    • CountryHeart

      I hope Carrie Rodriguez gets a full house tonight at Artisphere. That girl can write and sing. Maybe she’ll tell some stories about her former collaborator who once wrote a hit song for The Troggs.

  • MissKittenCat

    I feel bad for all those tourists going to Ballston Commons Mall. What a ghost town that mall.

    • drax

      So you think tourists prefer big crowds?

  • Fuzzy

    Wait until the $80M Aquatic Center opens. I’m sure that will be #1 soon

    • fedworker

      And trolley rides up and down the CP. You can stop and get your pic in front of the draft house. It’ll be just like you’re in Prague but different.

      • Al Gore

        How did the Donaldson Run Aquatics Center not make the list?

  • Rory

    Neven seen Netherlands Carrilion, or heard of it. Where is it in relation to Arl Cemetary?

  • Sparkle Pony Princess

    Sad to see that Mister Days didn’t make either list.

  • Arlingtonian

    For those wondering why Ballston Common and Pentagon City Fashion Centre at Pentagon City are on the Google “tourist attractions” list: The Google list is mislabeled.

    Google lists websites according to the overall number of hits, not in categories such as “tourist attractions”. The hits on the two shopping centers come from locals who want information about shopping. Few tourists shop in Arlington.

    Note that neither of the shopping centers are on the Trip Advisor list, which is a real “tourist attractions” list.

  • Josh

    I don’t even drive through Ballston, much less stop

  • Westover

    DEA Museum needs a shout out! http://www.deamuseum.org/

    • petepall

      DEA Museum = One of the best kept secrets in Arlington!


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