Things to Do in Rosslyn – Arlington, VA Neighborhood Guide

There’s a lot to love about Northern Virginia – in particular those neighborhoods close to DC like Rosslyn, Clarendon, and Ballston. These areas are filled with great dining options, retail, and entertainment, and they’re just a short drive or metro ride from the nation’s capital. For those who are deciding which Arlington neighborhood to live in, here are some of the main factors to consider when it comes to Rosslyn vs. Ballston.

Rosslyn skyline of buildings in Arlington County. Memorial Bridge crosses Potomac River
Where is Rosslyn, Virginia?

Rosslyn, VA is situated just south of Georgetown across the Potomac River from DC. Pedestrians can walk across Key Bridge between DC and Rosslyn in under 15 minutes and there are numerous buses and trains to help transport residents across the water. Rosslyn’s location makes commuting into the city easy via the metro’s blue, orange, or silver line. While Rosslyn is the closest Virginia neighborhood to DC, Ballston is only a few minutes further away by orange line train. This map illustrates the distance between the two hubs. For cyclists, the W&OD trail is a straight shot along Route 66 from Ballston into downtown DC.

While Rosslyn, Virginia has historically been known more as a business district than a place to call home, recent development has added numerous luxury apartment homes and townhouses. Today, more than 14,000 people live in the neighborhood and it has evolved to become so much more than just a destination for office workers.

Living in Rosslyn, VA – Pros & Cons

Like any neighborhood, there are pros and cons to living in Rosslyn, VA. Here are a few of the benefits and drawbacks.


  • Fast commute times to DC
  • Great dining, shopping, and access to nearby offices
  • Excellent public transit options
  • Relatively quiet location
  • Access to trails and green space
  • Amazing views of DC
  • Modern buildings with great amenities


  • Fewer apartments to choose from compared to nearby neighborhoods
  • Not as many bars and a quieter nightlife — Ballston and Clarendon are better known for
    their entertainment, while Rosslyn is more of a business district
  • Downtown Rosslyn has fewer options after business hours
  • Fewer houses and single family homes

Most Popular Things to Do In Rosslyn, VA

Just steps away from iconic landmarks such as the Marine Corps War Memorial and the Theodore Roosevelt Island Park, residents of The Waycroft enjoy easy access to a plethora of recreational activities, fine dining experiences, and cultural attractions. You will find no shortage of things to do in Rosslyn! Whether you’re exploring the views of the Potomac River from the nearby Rosslyn Highlands Park, discovering the rich history at the Arlington National Cemetery, or indulging in the eclectic culinary scene along Wilson Boulevard, there’s always something exciting to do just moments from your doorstep. Experience urban living at its finest at The Waycroft, where every day is filled with endless possibilities in the heart of Rosslyn.

The Best Dining in Rosslyn, VA

The Best Bars in Rosslyn, VA

Free Activities in Rosslyn, VA

Monument of Theodore Roosevelt

  • Visit Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Enjoy Marine Corps concerts at Iwo Jima on Tuesday evenings in the summer
  • Check out a book at the Arlington Public Library

Rosslyn Landmarks

Welcome to Arlington, Virginia, where vibrant urban living meets historical charm. Resting just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.; Rosslyn in Arlington boasts a unique blend of modern amenities and rich cultural heritage. Discover the allure of this dynamic city as we unveil its array of local attractions and iconic landmarks that make Arlington a destination like no other. From the historic Arlington National Cemetery to the bustling Pentagon City Mall, there’s something for everyone to explore in this thriving community. Let us be your guide as we delve into the heart of Arlington and uncover the treasures that await you.

  • Arlington National Cemetery: A historic landmark established during the Civil War on land once owned by Robert E. Lee, which includes the Tomb of the Unknowns and the eternal flame. 
  • The George Washington Memorial Parkway: This scenic roadway includes significant monuments such as the Marine Corps War Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon. 
  • The Women in Military Service for America Memorial: A memorial located at the Hemicycle entrance to Arlington National Cemetery, honoring women’s military contributions.
  • Arlington Memorial Bridge: Connecting the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington National Cemetery, the bridge features symbolic statues denoting valor and sacrifice.
  • The Pentagon: This landmark is not only the world’s largest office building and headquarters of the Department of Defense but also offers guided public tours.
  • The Pentagon Memorial: A place of remembrance dedicated to the lives lost during the September 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon.
  • The Mount Vernon Trail: A 17-mile-long trail perfect for hiking and bicycling that provides scenic views along the Potomac River.
  • The DEA Museum: This museum offers insight into the history of drugs, drug abuse, and law enforcement, with exhibits spanning over 150 years.
  • Arlington Historical Museum: This museum houses artifacts showcasing Arlington’s history from its early days to the present.
  • Fort C. F. Smith Park: A green oasis featuring Civil War earthworks, nature trails, and the historic Hendry House.
  • Gulf Branch Nature Center and Park: A park providing environmental education programs and exhibits on natural and historical topics.
  • Arlington Farmers Market: Offers fresh produce and goods from local and regional farms.

Is Rosslyn, VA Safe?

The short answer is, yes. Rosslyn is a very safe neighborhood with a low crime rate. However, for those who find comfort in more hustle and bustle or subscribe to the idea that there is “safety in numbers”, then Ballston or Clarendon may be a better option.

Rosslyn vs Other Arlington Neighborhoods

While Ballston and Rosslyn are both exciting Arlington neighborhoods, they have a slightly different overall vibe. While Rosslyn is a bit closer to downtown DC and has a significant workday crowd, there are more apartments in Ballston like The Waycroft, which offers a rooftop pool, pet-friendly amenities, and a wide variety of luxury floor plans for studio, one, two, and three bedroom apartments. While the residential options in Rosslyn are expanding, it still has a more corporate feeling overall compared to Ballston.

Both Rosslyn and Ballston are excellent places to live at all stages of life, so it really depends on your personal priorities when looking for a home. Ballston has a larger footprint with numerous dining options, shops and salons, and feels busier on nights and weekends.

The differences between Rosslyn and Ballston are plentiful, but we’re particularly partial to Ballston here at The Waycroft. We love our community and think it’s the perfect place to call home. If you are interested in touring The Waycroft or learning more about the local neighborhoods, contact our expert team today!

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