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(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Moving, though not always the most pleasant experience (think packing, lifting, down payments, etc.), is just a part of life and you CAN make it enjoyable! The best part about moving is being introduced to a whole new neighborhood, a whole new group of friends and, therefore, all new experiences. Read on to see how to make the most of your new neighborhood in Arlington.
The first (and most fun and social) thing you should do when you move to a new neighborhood — whether you’re headed to Aurora Highlands, Douglas Park, Ashton Heights, etc. — is to meet your neighbors. Create opportunities for conversation and be the first to say hi. Take your dog for a walk. Don’t have a dog? Go out by yourself and explore. It’s great exercise, a great way to explore Arlington, and an opportunity to meet new people. Here are some other places to meet new neighbors in Arlington:
Interested in working out? Check out Arlington’s Phoenix Fitness or take a barre class at LavaBarre. Like painting? Ask a new neighbor if they’d be interested in checking out The Art Institute of Washington or reserve a cooking class at Pentagon Row to get your chef on!
Another way to get to know your new neighborhood is by joining organizations. Maybe it’s a church – Arlington has Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal and more — where you can get to know some people your age in the congregation and learn more about the surrounding area. Maybe it’s a club or a nonprofit group. Whatever you choose, the point is that you’re meeting new faces and finding out more and more about your new environment.
You should also take your calendar into account. Moving somewhere new can be overwhelming and sometimes is a good excuse to stay inside with Netflix, but check out your calendar and plan some things. Make a resolution (maybe it can be your New Year’s Resolution!?) to do one thing every week. Try a new restaurant, check out a new bar or brewery, hit a jogging trail, check out the local YMCA. See below for some great Arlington suggestions!
- Try the Galaxy Hut, a funky spot for craft beers and video games – what better combination than that?
- It’s the nation’s capital, so you know there are some awesome landmarks and attractions. Pick one each weekend. You have the Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of Unknowns, the Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington House, and much more.
- Craving some lo mein or asian fusion food? Head to TNR Cafe in Arlington for some of the best Chinese in the area!
- Some people say that breweries are a fad. This one in Arlington says no way! Check out New District Brewing near Shirlington for fabulous service and beer.
- Into sports? Catch the next game at Crystal City Sports Pub.
- Get some fresh air and sunshine by taking a stroll along the Mount Vernon Trail.
- Want to get in touch with your Irish roots? Pick up a pint and some yummy apps at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub — complete with Irish dance and traditional music.
- Arlington and the surrounding area has some great shopping. Check out the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, the Village at Shirlington and, for foodies, the Arlington Farmer’s Market.
- Are you a beer connoisseur? Check out World of Beer in the Ballston neighborhood in Arlington. The casual vibe makes you feel right at home but the beer selection is way better.
- If you’re into music/theater, be sure to stop by the Signature Theatre on Campbell Avenue. It’s a Tony Award-winning nonprofit professional theater company with a mission to produce contemporary musicals and plays, reinvent classic musicals, and reach its community through educational and outreach opportunities.
Think about places you regularly go — and places others regularly go, too. A great place to get out and about in your local neighborhood (not to mention a great place to meet locals) is the grocery store. The cashiers and other shoppers likely live in the neighborhood to which you’ve just moved. Make it a point to flash a friendly smile and look for a community billboard that might advertise neighborhood activities. The same can be said for the gym, the local dry cleaners, etc.
So, now that you have an idea of some great ways to explore your new Arlington neighborhood, get out there and get lost! Walk around, browse surroundings, figure out what is and is not within walking distance. Use a combination of all the above ideas and we guarantee you’ll feel like you’re home in no time.