Courthouse

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Photo: Courthouse Plaza clockWalking in Courthouse, you begin to feel the pulse of our nation's capital, only two Metro stops away. But the area is not merely a suburb of D.C. As you may have guessed from the name, Courthouse is the center of Arlington County government. And, as you might also expect, the neighborhood immediately surrounding the Metro is defined by a feeling of stateliness – a little slice of Washington on the Virginia side of the river. The Arlington County courts, police department, and administrative offices are all here, and several office buildings ensures that the private sector is also well represented. Apartment buildings and condos complete the grand cityscape.

Courthouse isn't just about majestic architecture – people who live and work in this area also have plenty of choices for shopping and fun things to do. An escalator from the Metro station leads to Courthouse Plaza, a pedestrian mall with shops and restaurants are set among the trees and bubbling fountains. There is also a six-screen movie theatre here and a farmers market and flea market on Saturday mornings when the weather allows. The Arlington campus of Strayer University is right above the Metro station, making it easily accessible to students across the DC metro area.

Along with Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, and Rosslyn, Courthouse is located on the Wilson Boulevard-Clarendon Boulevard corridor, which was named one of 10 "Great Streets" in the U.S. by the American Planning Association in 2008.

Photo: Ireland's Four CourtsRestaurants, from fast food chains to local favorites keep the residents and visitors well fed at good prices. Bars, such as Ireland's Four Courts, or the upscale Gua Rapo lounge (which also serves tapas) ensure that Clarendon doesn't have all the fun. And the coffee-house crowd can sip lattes at any of several cafes close by the Metro station.

As we get farther from Metro, Courthouse becomes more village and less urban. Rocky Run Park and Key Elementary School are the focal points of the quiet residential communities on either side of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, and families of all shapes and sizes call this part of Courthouse their home.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage to this area is simply its convenience. The quick Metro ride to Washington, D.C. or to the other urban villages along Metro's Orange Line make for an amazing number of possibilities. With so many of the perks of city life right in the Courthouse area, residents rarely feel like they're missing anything, but if they do want to go to D.C. or to another Arlington neighborhood for a change of pace, it's extremely easy.

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