Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Northern Virginia

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 a round-the-clock vigil, and the changing of the guard (every hour on the hour October through March, every half-hour April through September) is one of Arlington’s most moving sights. Arlington National Cemetery Tours buses stop nearby.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Virginia attractions

1. Challenger Memorial

0.11 MILES

This monument commemorates the seven crew members of the Challenger space shuttle, which exploded a few seconds after take off in 1986.

2. USS Maine Memorial

0.13 MILES

One of the most striking monuments in Arlington is the long main mast of the USS Maine. More than 200 US sailors died when it was sunk by explosion in…

3. Confederate Memorial

0.26 MILES

This controversial 10m-high monument pays respects to the Confederate war dead. Some 32 life-size figures surround a cylindrical mount.

4. Tomb of Pierre L'Enfant

0.34 MILES

A small six-columned gravestone marks the final resting place for Pierre L'Enfant, one of the great planners behind the layout of Washington, DC.

5. Kennedy Gravesites

0.35 MILES

An eternal flame flickers beside this simple but moving gravesite – the final resting place for President John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis…

6. Arlington House

0.37 MILES

Set on a hill overlooking the cemetery, this 1802 Greek Revival–style mansion is the former home of Confederate General Robert E Lee and his wife Mary…

8. Air Force Memorial

0.64 MILES

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