A Southern, Greek Revival mansion once owned by General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army, the Arlington House is much more than just a beautiful house. Steeped in history and surrounded by hardwood forest, the 1,100-acre plantation was the general’s residence before the war started. It’s now a standing piece of history and a tribute to his military service before, during, and after the war.
Long before it was General Lee’s home, the house claimed its place in US history as the home of George Washington Parke Custis—Martha Washington’s grandson. G.W.P. Custis built one of the nation’s first museums of historic American artifacts, largely from mementos of his childhood at Mount Vernon.
The 19th-century mansion was never intended to be the site of one of the country’s most significant military cemeteries. Bodies were buried here during the Civil War, in part to ensure General Lee was unable to return home after the war ended. What began then has since grown into the Arlington National Cemetery. The estate overlooks the cemetery and the Potomac River, allowing for beautiful views of Washington DC.
Located in the Arlington Cemetery grounds, get to Arlington House by car or metro. It’s a ten minute walk from the Arlington Cemetery Visitor Center and parking area. By metro, take the Blue Line to the Arlington Cemetery subway station. It’s free to enter and open year-round from 9:30am to 4:30pm, with extended hours during summer months.