What’s On the DC Metro Orange Line

Written by – Updated July 5, 2021

Orange Line Overview

things_to_do_on_the_washington_dc_metro_orange_lineThe Orange Line runs east to west and gives riders the best access to Arlington, and VA suburbs along I-66. Its eastern destinations are in Prince George’s County and include Landover and New Carrollton where you can board the MARC for access to BWI. From the Rosslyn stop until Stadium Amory the Orange Line shares track with the Blue Line. GW University can be accessed at the Foggy-Bottom Station. The Smithsonian Stop on the Orange Line is the most convenient stop for beginning a day of site seeing at the National Mall. Farragut West will leave you two blocks for the White House.

Entertainment & Nightlife on the Orange Line

things_to_do_on_the_washington_dc_metro_orange_line_restaurants_nightlifeThe Clarendon and Ballston metro stops offer a good deal of restaurants and bars that are satisfying for a 20s something night out, or a family dinner. The are is filled with yuppie young professionals. The Eastern Market station has several restaurants and bars as well as a regular farmers market. Metro Center will leave you about four blocks from a majority of the dining options in DC that are closest to the Chinatown / Gallery Stop.

Tourism & Things to Do on Orange Line

things_to_do_on_the_washington_dc_metro_orange_line_tourismDC insiders will tell you that the Udvar Smithsonian Museum not far from the Vienna Metro is perhaps one the most visually appealing museums. Two huge hangers display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the space shuttle Discovery.

If you are in DC on the weekday and want to experience some of the nation’s top food trucks stop at Farragut Square between 11AM and 3PM where over 15+ food trucks park daily. Alternatively, Eastern Market offers a daily indoor farmers market. Under one roof you can find a bakery, deli, and seafood.

Those who want to experience DC outside of the Smithsonian Museums should consider renting a bike and riding into the city along the Custis trail. This trail is easily accessed from Ballston and the ride to the Mall is all downhill. Capitol Bike Share kiosks are located just off the Ballston Metro station and can be returned most anywhere in DC.

Stay in Arlington to See DC, On the Orange Line

If you are staying in Arlington, VA the Orange Line is a convenient method to gain access to all of the city and top tourism spots. Ride time from Ballston to downtown DC is 20 minutes. Accessing Georgetown from the Orange Line can be done by getting off at Rosslyn and walking across the Key Bridge. Farragut West which is two blocks from the White House is about a 15 minute ride from the Ballston Metro Stop in Arlington VA. Downtown is accessed through the Metro Center Station which will connect with the Red Line. The Capital, National Archives & Library of Congress all can be easily accessible on the Orange Line.

Where to Stay on the DC Orange Line


nieghborhood_vibe_48Ballston Neighborhood: With good proximity to downtown, highways, airports and the National Mall it is hard to go wrong at Ballston. This is one of the best locations in Arlington, VA. There is a yuppie vibe to it, but with that affluence brings charming squares and over 40 restaurants. A commute to the National Mall is about 20 minutes via the Metro. The urban area around the Metro quickly drops off into charming parks, and suburban Virginia. The Mall nearby has an ice rink which is an excellent way to beat the heat in the summer. Use the local Custis trail to ride a bike into DC in 30 minutes.

Clarendon / Court House

nieghborhood_vibe_48Clarendon Neighborhood: The Clarendon and Courthouse metro stations form the heart of bustling Arlington. A little less than a mile separates these two stations, but the area is a vibrant, urban center, and the section of Arlington that has the most to offer visitors. Full of luxury high-rises and single-family homes, Clarendon/Courthouse is home to affluent families and young professionals. hoppers will enjoy the mix of major retailers, like Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn, and independent shops, like South Moon Under, a local clothing boutique. Though the area can get a bit rowdy on weekend nights, this neighborhood is safe and welcoming.

Dunn Loring

hotel deals near dunn loring metro

nieghborhood_vibe_48Dunn Loring Neighborhood: Dunn Loring will appeal to families and all travelers who want to be just outside of Washington, DC in a comfortable suburban setting. Nearby the Metro are several restaurant options. Dunn Loring is a community in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is located on the orange line. While you’ll find shopping centers and high-rise apartments close to the metro, head a bit farther out for quiet streets filled with single-family homes. An affluent area home mostly to families, visitors to the area will feel comfortable and safe. Bikers and joggers will enjoy nearby Dunn Loring Park for its trails, as well as easy access to the W & OD Trial, which will take you to the heart of Arlington, VA. Getting to the tourist attractions will take visitors between 20 and 30 minutes on the metro. Attractions nearby include Wolf Trap, an outdoor performance venue that hosts performances of all kind.

Rosslyn Metro


nieghborhood_vibe_48Rosslyn Neighborhood: Rosslyn will be appealing to all travelers for its quick access to downtown, the National Mall and Georgetown. It is easy to walk to Georgetown, just cross over the Key Bridge. The Metro ride to DCA is about 10 minutes, and there is an express bus that can take you directly to Dulles airport. Active travelers will enjoy riding their bike to Smithsonian museums along trails. Rosslyn is home to mostly young professionals. This area is the commercial center of Arlington; you’ll find better nightlife and activity options in the Clarendon neighborhood one stop away, but can expect plenty of fast casual restaurants around Rosslyn.

Staying Near the Foggy Bottom Metro

nieghborhood_vibe_48Foggy-Bottom Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom is an urban neighborhood that is a mix of residential row homes and businesses. Home to George Washington University, you’ll find a lot of college students, making this a vibrant and safe neighborhood. In addition to GW, Foggy Bottom is home to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Get tickets to a performance or catch a free concert on their Millenium Stage. The Kennedy Center’s terrace offers an unrivaled view of the Potomac as well. From Foggy Bottom, you’re a short walk into Georgetown, which has no metro stops, for all of the world class shopping and dining that area offers. Bikers and joggers will enjoy easy access to the Rock Creek Park Trails and, by crossing the Route 66 bridge, Mount Vernon Trail and Theodore Roosevelt Island. Because of the major presence of GW, you’ll find much of the area’s nightlife is dedicated to the college demographic. So if college dive bars are your thing, you can’t go wrong with Tonic or The Exchange.

Staying Near the New Carrollton Metro

nieghborhood_vibe_48New Carrollton Neighborhood: New Carrollton is a suburban area located in Maryland at the end of the orange metro line. It is also located on the Amtrak and MARC train routes making it an ideal spot between BWI and downtown Washington, DC. This is a commuter town populated with families and older professionals. While New Carrollton is safe town, there is not much to distinguish it from other suburbs. The area around the metro and the hotels in New Carrollton are mostly office park and strip mall type places.