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Being such a short distance from the nation’s capital, the Northern Virginia area is naturally home to a high concentration of history-rich attractions like monuments, museums, battle sites and significant buildings. But if you have a limited time, Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend these as the best historic attractions in Northern Virginia.
1. Arlington National Cemetery. No trip to the D.C. area is complete without a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, one of the United States’ oldest cemeteries, made up of 624 acres that are the final resting space for more than 14,000 veterans. The cemetery is also where you’ll find the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame on his tomb. Located a few minutes from Arlington National Cemetery is the Iwo Jima Memorial, a 32-foot-high sculpture that pays homage to one of the most historical battles in World War II.
2. Mount Vernon. Located just 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. along the banks of the Potomac River, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate has been a popular historic attraction for decades. In addition to the mansion that George and Martha Washington called home for more than 40 years, Mount Vernon features a museum dedicated to the life of Washington, a forest trail and a working farm that boasts a recreation of the President’s 16-sided treading barn.
3. Fairfax Station Railroad Museum. Travel back in time and visit this museum to explore the rebuilt Fairfax Station, which played a role in the Civil War. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, started her humanitarian efforts here. The depot is home to historic steam engines and all kinds of railroad history to delight guests from ages 2 to 102. Open on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. in Fairfax Station, Virginia, this is the place to learn all about railroading and the vital role it played in our nation’s history.