Marrying the best of urban and suburban living, Arlington, Virginia earned the third spot on Libability.com's 2015 "Top 100 Best Places to Live.” This mid-size city measuring just 26 miles squared brags walkable neighborhoods like Ballston and Rosslyn which are filled with condos, townhouses, retail shops and restaurants, as well as more traditional neighborhoods like Country Club Hills and Columbia Pike where single-family homes with meticulously manicured yards abound.
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Careful urban planning decades ago helped shape Arlington into the comfortable, car-optional city that it is today. Many residents bike across the Potomac River to work in nearby Washington DC. The Metro runs underground rather than along highways, yielding stops in more convenient locations for residents. Each of the 11 Metro stations showcases the unique personality of the neighborhoods served—from the somber stop at Arlington National Cemetery that is roofed only by the Memorial Drive Bridge to the bustling Ballston Station where people watching is almost as much fun as grabbing a beer at a bar packed with political interns. There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from at any given stop either, with both American and international cuisine to satisfy even the most discerning palettes of the approximately 225,000 people that live in Arlington.
While the population of Arlington has a young vibe reminiscent of a college town and turnover occurs with each election cycle, it is also a family-friendly city where many people plant their roots and stay for decades. The public school system is one of the best in the country, with a 12:1 teacher-to-student ratio. There are 11 private schools in Arlington as well, and eight higher education facilities including George Mason University and Marymount University. With the well-educated population comes a crime rate 57 percent lower than the national average. Arlington has a lot to offer when it comes to safety, education, entertainment and employment. The weather's not bad either, with average summer temperatures in the high-70s and winter temps in the 30s. There are a number nearby ski resorts where locals love to hit the slopes after a good snow storm. Those that aren't fond of fresh powder and winter sports will appreciate the close proximity to the Smithsonian Institute and other indoor attractions. Arlington, Virginia is a place where people from all over the world can happily call home. In fact, there are residents from upwards of 140 countries that live here.