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Best Neighborhoods in Arlington for Families

Washington, DC consistently ranks as one of the best cities for those looking for jobs—but this doesn’t mean your family needs to live downtown in the nation’s capital. Indeed, many of the best places for families are in the surrounding suburbs of Northern Virginia.

One of the best cities in this metropolitan area is Arlington, Virginia. With a highly-regarded school system and easy access to the landmarks of Washington, DC, Arlington has plenty to offer for families. Here’s a closer look at some of the best neighborhoods in Arlington. Which one will you decide to call home?

  • Arlington Ridge
  • Barcroft
  • Chain Bridge Forest
  • Cherrydale
  • Dominion Hills
  • Forest Glen
  • Lyon Village
  • Penrose
  • Westover Village

Arlington Ridge

Looking down a residential road in Arlington Ridge. Photo by Instagram user @siqisally

Photo via @siqisally

  • Home Price: $591,629 median purchase price; $2,279 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

If you’re looking for things to do in Arlington, you can’t go wrong with calling Arlington Ridge home. The neighborhood derives its name from Arlington Ridge Road, which runs through the community.

In addition to providing picturesque views of the Potomac River, Arlington Ridge is best known for its access to several historical sites. The HumeSchool and the former sites of Fort Scott and Fort Albany (both Civil War forts) are located within the neighborhood’s boundaries. The Pentagon lies directly to the north.

Arlington Ridge is also home to several family-friendly amenities, such as the AuroraHills Library and Prospect Hill Park. As one of the closest neighborhoods to Washington, DC, area residents have no trouble getting downtown to visit monuments, museums, and cultural celebrations.

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Red-colored trees on either side of a road in Barcroft. Photo by Instagram user @joseiortega

Photo via @joseiortega

  • Home Price: $594,875 median purchase price; $1,056 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 82% lower than the national average

Your children won’t have to go far to get to school when you choose to call this area home—Barcroft Elementary School is located in the center of the neighborhood.

The school is unique in the region due to its modified school year calendar (which focuses on year-round learning), as well as its “Learn Like Leonardo” project, emphasizing problem-solving and experiential learning. The neighborhood is also home to Our Savior Lutheran Church and School, perfect for parents seeking a religiously-inclined educational experience for their children.

As with other Arlington neighborhoods, Barcroft also has several nearby parks where parents can take their children for outdoor play. Alcova Heights Park has a playground for young children, as well as sand volleyball and basketball courts for your older kids. Picnic tables and grilling areas are perfect for a fun family night out.

Chain Bridge Forest

  • Home Price: $941,800 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

You won’t find many businesses in Chain Bridge Forest—but that’s just how the residents like it. Named for the famous Chain Bridge that connects Arlington and Washington, DC, this neighborhood is fully comprised of single-family residential homes. Beautifully manicured lawns and forested backyards hide the fact that this neighborhood is only minutes away from the sights and sounds of the nation’s capital.

Though the neighborhood itself is quiet and serene, its proximity to Chain Bridge Road and George Washington Memorial Parkway provide easy access to many of the area’s most popular sites. Plenty of fun can be found closer to home as well.

The nearby Madison Community Center & Park houses game rooms and a fitness facility, as well as playgrounds and multi-use fields. Other nearby parks include Fort Marcy and Glebe Road Park.


Young girl rides her pink bike on a tree-lined path. Photo by Instagram user @bikearlington

Photo via @bikearlington

  • Home Price: $795,560 median purchase price; $2,288 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

With several parks and schools, Cherrydale is one of the best neighborhoods in Arlington for families. The Custis Trail runs along the southern stretch of the neighborhood, providing an excellent area for hiking and biking. Cherry Valley Park provides an opportunity to get closer to nature with its ponds and nature path, while Stratford Park offers baseball fields and tennis courts.

Cherrydale is also conveniently located to some of the area’s top alternative public schools. Arlington Science Focus School gives elementary-aged students a rich experience by integrating scientific inquiry into the learning process. H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, which serves grades 6 through 12, has been ranked the most challenging high school in Virginia. This is thanks in part to its teaching philosophy, which emphasizes student responsibility through “Town Meetings” and other unique learning experiences.

There are also plenty of fun activities to enjoy in Cherrydale. The Cherrydale Citizens Association hosts a 4th of July block party, yard sales, and other events throughout the year. During the summer, families can shop at the Marymount Farmers Market for local produce.

Dominion Hills

Bushes of pink and red flowers and a pergola in Doris Matos Memorial Garden. Photo by Instagram user @rosietraisin

Photo via @rosiestraisin

  • Home Price: $680,733 median purchase price; $1,779 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

The quiet neighborhood of Dominion Hills is best known for its walkability, in part thanks to the presence of Bon Air Park Rose Garden, which is located in the neighborhood.

In addition to the beautiful rose gardens and shady trees, the park is also home to picnic areas, playgrounds, and basketball courts—ensuring plenty of outdoor fun for you and the family.

If it’s too hot and humid for a regular day at the park, you can take the kids to the nearby Ocean Dunes Waterpark. This beach-themed park was specifically designed with kids in mind with a spacious splash area, a dumping bucket, and waterslides. With so many different activities to enjoy, your kids will never want to waste the day inside!

Forest Glen

Large trees on either side of a walking path with clear blue skies. Photo by Instagram user @mary2thegame

Photo via @mary2thegame

  • Home Price: $372,050 median purchase price; $1,544 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 59% lower than the national average

As one of the most affordable neighborhoods on this list, you might be surprised to learn that Forest Glen is primarily comprised of single-family homes. Though a bit farther out from Washington, DC than other Arlington neighborhoods, this area isn’t without its own amenities.

Students at nearby Campbell Elementary School achieve test scores that are well above the state average. Caring for your family’s health needs will also be easy with the Arlington Pediatric Center and an urgent care located in the area. Tyrol Hill Park offers a fun mix of activities, including nature trails, a playground, and a futsal court.

Lyon Village

A large tree with multi-colored leaves in front of a home on a street in Lyon Village. Photo by Instagram user @thecasapino

Photo via @thecasapino

  • Home Price: $943,200 median purchase price; $2,143 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

Another of Arlington’s most walkable neighborhoods, Lyon Village is located near the bustling Clarendon area. With residential neighborhoods and green areas, such as Lyon Village Park, which features a sprayground splash pad area, it isn’t unusual to see families young and old out for a leisurely stroll.

The neighborhood is also served by a community organization, centered by the Lyon Village Community House. This group sponsors a wide range of family-friendly activities throughout the year, including a 4th of July parade, dinner fundraisers, and an Easter Egg hunt. The Community House can also be reserved for private get-togethers—perfect for when you invite the extended family over for Thanksgiving.

For parents who wish for their children to learn a second language, Francis Scott Key Elementary School and Early Steps Bilingual Preschool offer great opportunities to get a jump start. The neighborhood is also close to popular grocery stores and restaurants like Whole Foods Market and The Cheesecake Factory, making it easy for parents to run errands or enjoy a nice dinner date.

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Sun shines through golden leaves on a large tree in Penrose Park. Photo by Instagram user @wickedrr

Photo via @wickedrr

  • Home Price: $370,167 median purchase price; $1,830 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 63% lower than the national average

Another of Arlington’s more affordable family-friendly locations, Penrose is a neighborhood that has seen a rapid rise in popularity thanks to its variety of housing options. Single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments can all be found in this diverse community.

Penrose has several kid-friendly parks within its borders, including Penrose Park and Towers Park. Picnic areas, dog parks, tennis courts, and community gardens are just a few of the fun features that make these parks a favorite for families. The neighborhood is also a short drive from the Arlington National Cemetery, which offers a unique opportunity to reflect on our nation’s past.

Patrick Henry Elementary School and the Columbia Pike Branch Library ensure quality learning opportunities for your children, while the nearby Pike Park Farmers Market and Giant grocery store will help your family eat right throughout the year.

Westover Village

  • Home Price: $748,950 median purchase price; $832 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: 84% lower than the national average

Colonial-style houses, affordable apartment complexes, and small locally-owned businesses give Westover Village a unique charm that’s perfect for young families.

This neighborhood is home to the newly-constructed Walter Reed Elementary School, as well as Swanson Middle School. There’s also plenty of opportunity for learning outside the classroom with the Westover Branch Library located adjacent to the new elementary school.

Westover Village is also a great neighborhood for expanding your kids’ dining experiences! The Westover Farmers Market is held each Sunday from May until November, and The Italian Store sells a wide mix of authentic Italian food products (as well as pizza for your picky eaters).


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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

Best Neighborhoods in Arlington for Families via @extraspace
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