Nearly 400,000 American war dead, as well as many notable Americans (among them presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, General John Pershing, and Admiral Robert E. Peary), are interred in these 624 acres across the Potomac River from Washington, established as the nation's cemetery in 1864. While you're here, there's a good chance you might hear the clear, doleful sound of a trumpet playing "Taps" or the sharp reports of a gun salute. There are an average of 27 funerals held every weekday (it's projected that the cemetery will be filled in 2060). Another five to seven funerals are held on Saturday for people who did not require or request military honors. Although not the largest cemetery in the country, Arlington is certainly the best known, a place where you can trace America's history through the aftermath of its battles.
To get here, you can take the Metro, travel on an ANC Tours bus, or walk across Arlington Memorial Bridge (southwest of the Lincoln Memorial).
If you're driving, there's a large paid-parking lot off Memorial Drive, next to the skylighted Welcome Center.
For a map of the cemetery or help finding a grave, download the cemetery's app, ANC Explorer, or use the computers at the Welcome Center.
ANC Tours by Martz Gray Line buses leave every 15–25 minutes from just outside the visitors center April through September, daily 8:30–6:30, and October through March, daily 8:30–4:30. You can buy tickets here for the 40-minute tour of the cemetery, which includes stops at the Kennedy gravesites, the Tomb of the Unknowns, and Arlington House.
Touring the cemetery on foot means a fair bit of hiking, but it can give you a closer look at some of the thousands of graves spread over these rolling Virginia hills. If you decide to walk, head west from the visitors center on Roosevelt Drive and then turn right on Weeks Drive.