Top choice in Northern Virginia

South of Arlington Cemetery is the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world and the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. Outside the building is the Pentagon Memorial; 184 illuminated benches honor each person killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon. To get inside the building, you'll have to book a free guided one-hour tour on the website and provide appropriate photo ID. Make reservations 14 to 90 days in advance.

Nearby, you can spot the three soaring arcs of the Air Force Memorial.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Virginia attractions

1. Pentagon Memorial

0.17 MILES

At this tranquil memorial, 184 illuminated benches honor each man, woman and child killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon,…

2. DEA Museum

0.48 MILES

The propaganda is served up with nary a chuckle at this heavy-handed museum brought to you by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Exhibits cover the last…

3. Air Force Memorial

0.57 MILES

Overlooking the Pentagon and adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, three graceful stainless-steel arcs soar 270ft into the air. This shimmering…

4. George Washington Memorial Parkway

0.82 MILES

The 25-mile Virginia portion of the highway honors its namesake with recreation areas and memorials all the way south to his old estate at Mount Vernon…

5. Lady Bird Johnson Park

0.84 MILES

Part of the George Washington Memorial Pkwy, Lady Bird Johnson Park commemorates the First Lady who tried to beautify the capital via greenery-planting…

6. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

0.95 MILES

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of unidentified US service members from both World Wars and the Korean War. Military guards maintain…

7. Arlington National Cemetery


Sprawling across hills above the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for America’s most revered…