The 10 Best Museums in Arlington

Arlington, a city that often basks in the historical shadow of its neighbor, Washington D.C., holds its own with an array of museums that are as diverse as they are engaging. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or science enthusiast, this city has a museum that will pique your interest. Let’s dive into a curated list of the top 10 museums in Arlington, where each establishment tells a unique story, and you’re bound to find a favorite.

1. National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Our journey begins with a visit to a site of profound significance. The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial pays tribute to the 184 lives lost during the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The outdoor memorial’s design, with its illuminated benches and peaceful reflecting pool, invites contemplation and remembrance. It’s a place where history is felt in the silence and seen in the somber architecture.

2. Arlington Historical Museum

Next up is the Arlington Historical Museum, housed in the historic Hume School. This museum offers a glimpse into the area’s past, from Native American artifacts to Civil War relics. The rotating exhibits ensure there’s always something new to discover, making it a must-visit for anyone keen on local history.

3. DEA Museum & Visitors Center

For a change of pace, the DEA Museum & Visitors Center presents an eye-opening look at the history of drugs, drug addiction, and law enforcement in America. With interactive displays and educational programs, it’s a museum that doesn’t shy away from tough topics. It’s a place where learning comes with a dose of reality.

4. The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City

Now, you might be thinking, “A shopping mall on a museum list?” Hear me out! The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City isn’t just about retail therapy. It’s home to the ‘Art at the Center’ exhibit, showcasing local artists. It’s a blend of commerce and culture, where you can admire art and maybe snag a new outfit too.

5. Air Force Memorial

Standing tall with its soaring spires, the Air Force Memorial honors the service and sacrifices of the men and women of the United States Air Force. The memorial itself is a work of art, with an awe-inspiring design that captures the spirit of flight. It’s a place where patriotism and artistry fly hand in hand.

6. Arlington Arts Center

At the Arlington Arts Center, contemporary art takes center stage. This vibrant space hosts exhibitions from regional artists, offering a platform for innovative and thought-provoking work. With art classes and workshops available, it’s a hub for creativity that encourages visitors to not just view art but to create it as well.

7. The Pentagon Tours

While not a museum in the traditional sense, The Pentagon Tours provide a fascinating insight into the Department of Defense’s headquarters. The guided tours delve into the building’s history, significance, and operations. It’s a rare chance to peek behind the curtain of this iconic institution.

8. Synetic Theater

For those who appreciate the performing arts, the Synetic Theater is a gem. Known for its physical theater performances, this venue offers a unique museum-like experience where the human body tells stories in ways words cannot. It’s a museum experience in motion, captivating and original.

9. Marine Corps War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is an iconic symbol of American courage and sacrifice. The massive sculpture depicting the flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War Ii is not only a powerful work of art but also a poignant reminder of the price of freedom.

10. Women in Military Service for America Memorial

Last but certainly not least, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial celebrates the contributions of women in the armed forces. The memorial and its museum feature exhibits, artifacts, and stories that highlight the roles women have played in the military throughout history. It’s a testament to their strength and dedication.


  • Are all these museums in Arlington family-friendly?

    Yes, most of these museums offer exhibits and experiences suitable for all ages. However, some topics at places like the DEA Museum may be more appropriate for older children and adults.

  • Do these museums charge admission fees?

    Many of Arlington’s museums are free to enter, including the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial and the Air Force Memorial. Some may have fees or suggested donations, so it’s best to check their websites before visiting.

  • How accessible are these museums?

    Arlington prides itself on being accessible. Most museums offer facilities for visitors with disabilities, but it’s always a good idea to contact them ahead of your visit for specific accommodations.


In Arlington, museums are more than just buildings; they’re gateways to different worlds. From the solemnity of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial to the artistic vibrancy of the Arlington Arts Center, there’s a rich tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered. Each museum offers a unique Lens through which to view our world, our history, and our potential. So, whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to carve out time for these top 10 museums – they’re sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart and mind.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.