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Family Travel Guide #ArlingtonVA | @StayArlington Where to Stay, Eat, Play

Arlington, Va has long been known mainly just for it’s proximity to the nation’s capital. Well I am here to share that Arlington is a awesome destination all on it’s own. With a population of 1/4 million people, Arlington is a gem well worth exploring because it packs a lot of excitement,charm accessibility and affordability into one small area. My family and I, aka #HeighPartyof3, went on a roadtrip to Arlington,VA and here is our weekend family travel guide! 

Where to Stay

Hyatt Place Arlington/Courthouse Plaza  

Savvy Tip: Arlington is home to more than 40 hotels offering rates up to 20 percent less than those in downtown Washington,D.C.

Arlington has many options when it comes to accomodations. At the suggestion of Stay Arlington, we stayed at the brand new Hyatt Place in the Courthouse district. In my opinion this eight-story hotel property is located in an awesome area for walking and exploring Arlington on foot or the metro 2 blocks away. Hyatt Place Arlington is perfect for families as well as business and leisure travelers as it has everything one needs for a comfortable stay. The guestrooms are spacious and allowed us to rest easy after driving up for 4 hrs from Raleigh.

With inviting spaces to connect, meet, socialize, eat and drink, this innovative hotel is truly designed around the modern traveler.Speaking of eats and drinks, this hotel offers a Grand and Go case in the lobby where you can get sandwiches and salads 24/7 as well as order from a gallery menu.So whether getting in late or early you will never go hungry here. Be sure to check out the drink menu if you are in the mood for ‘satisfying sips’ for a night cap.Since it was St.Patricks Day (well evening) when we arrived, I decided to drink green and ordered me an apple martini. CHEERS~It was great!

During our stay, we enjoyed their complimentary A.M.Skillet breakfast which has a build your own yogurt station and hot egg and waffle options presented in what else but a skillet ! My little girl enjoyed putting almonds and granola in her oatmeal. For some of our visit, #outandaboutAva got a lil stomach bug. Thanks to the kind and helpful staff at Hyatt Place Arlington for making some customized chamomile/mint tea to help her feel better! We all loved the Hyatt Place as our home away from home.

What to Do

Explore~  We stayed in the vibrant Courthouse district which is within walking distance to a variety of shopping, entertainment and restaurant options. Just across the river from nation’s Capital, Arlington boasts the neighborly, small-town community vibe with all the amenities and conveniences of major urban centers.In addition to its many historical attractions, Arlington is just minutes to the National Mall and other regional attractions. Here are some of the places we explored:

Arlington Farmers Market

Since 1979, residents and visitors alike have enjoyed the weekend Arlington Farmers Market. All things produce and much more can be found in this local gem of a market.

Rocky Run Park

We actually happened upon Rocky Run Park. Set in a quiet residential street, this park has something for everyone. Extensive kids jungle gym activities and basketball courts and multi use turf fields. Great spot for letting the little {and big} kids burn off some steam and have fun.

Arlington National Cemetery

We decided to visit the hollowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s shrine to honor those who have served our country. Both beautiful and peaceful, the cemetery is a place to pay homage anf remember those who sacrificed. We enjoyed exploring the impressive landscape and saw many moving experiences like: the Eternal Flame, President Kennedy and Family and Medgar W.Evers grave. If you are looking for a particular place of interest, use the ANC Explorer app available on the cemetery’s website, on-site kiosks or through online app stores. To see more of my photos from our visit to Arlington National Cemetery, see here.

National Mall

One of the perks of staying in Arlington is that you can visit The National Mall, the Smithsonian museums and other places in our Nation’s Capital because they are all just minutes away on Metro. Since we drive up, we just crossed the Potomac River in less than 10 mins to see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Albert Einstein Memorial and the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. A must see!

#PhotoswithAlbert 

National Harbor Capital Wheel

If you happen to visit Arlington by car like we did, you will learn that its location ‘inside the Beltway’ (I-495 and I-95) makes it easily accessible from many routes. There is plenty of on-street and private parking options. About 20 mins away is the National Harbor , where we were invited to visit their family fun regional attraction, the Capital Wheel. If you have a sense of adventure, take this ride up to the sky to see the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) landscape for miles around!

Where to Eat

Bayou Bakery 

In the mood for Louisiana-style favorites, coffees and desserts? Stop by Bayou Bakery. Owned by New Orleans-born chef David Guas who hosts The Travel Channel’s “American Grilled”, Bayou has brought authentic cajun cuisine to Northern Virginia. 

We had some delicious beignets and coffee as a mid morning snack. The place was bustling with families and couples alike. Their living room atmosphere, full of casual charm and vintage Southern character, makes this place a welcoming eatery for breakfast or lunch.

Earl’s Sandwiches

I first learned about Earl’s when looking up what restaurants were close to the hotel. With great reviews on their Facebook page, I knew the location at 2605 Wilson Blvd would be a wonderful place to feature as a must go to lunch spot. There are 2 locations (Clarendon,Ballston) in Arlington where you can get you one of Earl’s delicious sandwiches.

Owner Stephen Dugan(as seen in photo above) was there making sandwiches and taking orders himself! He shared that after being in business for 11 years, his customers love their homemade sandwiches, salads and soups made without the hassle. Looking for a Gluten Free meal? No worries. Any sandwich can be made into a salad for no additional cost. Breakfast sandwiches are served all day and they offer a catering menu too. We ordered 2 items from their monthly Fab Four menu: lump crab cake sandwich (deliciously grilled and served on a sesame seed bun), fish and fries (all served together on one sandwich-yum!) and we all drooled over my daughter’s grilled chicken breast sandwich, shown here. My daughter said it was not good..it was FANTASTIC! Everything was delicious, fresh and tasty. 

Kona Grill

Located in Rosslyn, one of Arlington’s urban villages, Kona Grill is one of the 500 restaurant options available in Arlington that offers diverse cuisine and a delightful epicurean experience. Known for their variety of amazing appetizers, mouthwatering entrees, fresh sushi and creative cocktail creations, I knew Kona Grill would be the perfect dinner option for us as a family. They also offer a kids menu and there’s a beautiful aquarium in the center of the restaurant that my daughter loved. This place is popular so make reservations and go early if have a little one. I will be sharing my full review as my #FoodieFriday feature. Stay tuned!

With plenty of “National History.Local Flavor”, our stay in Arlington was indeed memorable. We look forward to returning when it’s warmer as there is some shopping I did not get to do at their infamous Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and more fun to be had!  

We did do some online shopping prior to our trip with SunglassWarehouse.com and partnered with them to show you how we travel in style.I’ll be sharing more about this brand that offers classic sunglass styles at affordable prices in a future Fashion Friday post. Since our roadtrip took us to Arlington, VA & Washington DC, I thought it would be fun to style their (from left to right) Canoe driving sunglasses for me, Arlington for Him (very apropo don’t ya think) and Lincoln (for my lil one and Mr. President himself..lol)

Until next time..Happy Travels!

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#Raleigh ,Celebrate the Holidays @NCSymphony ~A Kids’ Christmas Review & pre-Black Friday Sale

Thanksgiving is the beginining of the holiday season, so what better way to kick it off then by joining the North Carolina Symphony ! 

Today #outandaboutAva and I joined other kids and their familes for A Kid’s Christmas… a one-hour singing and dancing celebration held at the beautiful Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh. Although the show started at 3pm , guests were encouraged to arrive early to meet the Snow Princesses and Santa! We also paid a visit to the popular Instrument Zoo located in the lobby and got a chance to try out orchestral instruments. Check it out..

A Kids’ Christmas featured music we all could enjoy from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frozen, The Polar Express and so much more ! It was so cute to see kids dressed in their jammies and/or their favorite Frozen character while singing along. The Triangle Youth Ballet was there to perform as well as the Raleigh Boy Choir, making this a very special event! Bravo to conductor David Glover and the NC Symphony as well for their wonderful performance. 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend with your family, join your North Carolina Symphony for Thanksgiving Holiday Pops Weekend, where Santa will also be in the libby before the concert.

 Savvy Tip: Now until 11:59pm tonight , save 50% on Holiday Concerts using Promo Code: PBF17 ..stay tuned for more discounts on Black Friday & Cyber Monday ! Purchase tickets here

In the true giving spirit of the holidays, NC Symphony is also collecting “Soup-to-Go” to help feed 1000 local kids at risk of hunger in the Triangle during any of the performances at Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall. You can also take your donation in person to the North Carolina Symphony State Headquarters. For more information , call 919.733.2750

Here are some pictures from today’s special event. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving !

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Enjoy #SundayBrunch with A View @WitandWisdomTavern @FSBaltimore #WitontheWater

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Baltimore has indeed become a hot spot for food lovers everywhere. That’s why we decided to visit one of the waterfront restaurants during a recent trip to Charm City. I’ve heard great things about Wit & Wisdom, A Tavern by Michael Mina and made reservations for their lavish Sunday Brunch Buffet.

Located in the hip Harbor East neighborhood inside of Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, Wit & Wisdom offers quality cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.

The artisan-inspired, interactive Sunday Brunch Buffet features live music, a carving station featuring one meat (grilled rib eye) and one fish entrée (roasted rockfish), make-your-own omelet station, roast-your-own s’mores, buttermilk pancakes, biscuits and gravy, yogurt parfaits, fresh salads and more delicious seasonal favorites that combine the best of breakfast and lunch!
A savory and sweet crepe station offered a unique brunch experience as seen here…..

I love seafood, so I was impressed by the raw bar featuring an array of shellfish with a fresh selection of local flavors including Old Bay–poached shrimp and Chesapeake oysters on the half shell. My sweet tooth was also satisfied by indulging in several mouthwatering desserts including a caramel bread pudding, and a variety of classic French pastries. Fit for a family, pint-sized patrons can enjoy a special kids bar featuring childhood favorites including mac ‘n’ cheese, PB&J, and chicken tenders.

With its wonderful waterside views and #witonthewater patio dining, Wit & Wisdom is the perfect place to treat yourself to a memorable meal or celebrate with a special brunch!
Hope you enjoy my photos featuring Wit and Wisdom’s interactive Sunday Brunch buffet!

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