With a thriving economy, plenty of well-paying jobs and a high number of college-educated residents between ages 22 and 29, it’s easy to see why Arlington, VA, landed the No. 2 spot on our list of Best Cities for Recent Grads.
Just over the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Arlington is part of the densely populated region known as Northern Virginia – or NOVA – and it offers the perfect blend of big-city amenities and suburban charm. It’s filled with historic buildings, sites and neighborhoods, along with trendy nightlife spots, delicious restaurants and a booming arts and culture scene.
The community is also a great place for those who enjoy spending time outdoors, thanks to destinations like the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail that winds alongside the Potomac River and offers gorgeous views of Washington, D.C.'s skyline. In addition, Arlington lays claim to a portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park, which is a paved 45-mile trail that stretches from Purcellville in Loudoun County to Shirlington in Arlington County and is often called the skinniest park in Virginia (it’s only 100 feet wide).
“Located just steps from the nation’s capital, Arlington is home to not only some of the nation’s most powerful employers, but also to one of the most highly-educated millennial populations in the country,” says Cara O’Donnell, public relations manager for Arlington Economic Development. “Arlington’s known for its easy access to public transit, walkability and opportunities for tech startups, all things many recent college grads seek. It’s also a great place because of the community itself, with its outdoor cafes, high-rise condos, theaters and art centers, and a truly global dining and nightlife scene, which means you can find everything you’re looking for just steps from the front door.”
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