Westover

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Photo: clock towerAccessibility and funky character are some of the things that make Westover such an appealing place to live, work, shop and hang out. Westover has long had special appeal within Arlington County perhaps because of the concentration of independent, small shops. It’s the kind of neighborhood where the shopkeepers and restaurateurs are likely to know customers by name.

Easily reached via bus, bike, Metro, or on foot, Westover combines hip amenities with architectural charm. The closest Metro station is East Falls Church, at Washington Boulevard and Sycamore Street. Westover's main street, Washington Boulevard, truly is pedestrian friendly; there are benches and trees for shade, small businesses with unique and intriguing signs, and places to stop and talk or people-watch.

For rumbling tummies, there are the Lost Dog Cafe and Stray Cat Café, casual restaurants that pull in families and young professionals alike. The original Lebanese Taverna is a cozy family-style restaurant known for its friendly atmosphere and delicious Middle Eastern fare. Arax Café doubles as a laid-back coffee shop (perfect for pouring through the Sunday paper) and a Middle Eastern café with tasty delights like falafel. For the sweet tooth, an essential stop is Toby's Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee for a stunning selection of ice cream. Toby’s also has a well-used community bulletin board where local folk exchange information on housing, events, and yard sales.

Much of Westover’s foot traffic picks up during the evening rush hour as commuters stop in to the neighborhood’s shops for a quick bite or to pick up supplies before heading home. Another Westover institution is Ayers Variety and Hardware where you can find a wide variety of merchandise. Ayer’s has been around for decades and has collected a following from around Arlington County.

Photo: Westover LibraryBeyond the shopping district, there are wide tree-lined streets with brick colonial, Victorian and semidetached duplexes. The range of housing makes Westover’s residential streets a pleasant route for strolling or biking, while just within range of the commercial center. Westover Park is a place where grownups and kids can meet and socialize. The park frequently hosts the Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Division and other local kids’ teams.

Swanson Middle School, built in 1939, was the first junior high school in Virginia. Today the school still maintains expansive grounds and an adjacent park that connects to nearby residential streets and cul-de-sacs. Another important resource for residents of all ages is Westover Library, located at 1800 North Lexington Street. The library is well-served by Metrobus and other public transportation options.

Did You Know?

11 Metrorail stops are located in Arlington -- more than half of the 20 stops in all of Northern Virginia.

What's Your One? -- Bicycling