Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Tue May 12 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Alexandria, Va. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | May 12, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Alexandria, Va. You Need

We Say:

Situated six miles south of the nation's capital along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria, Virginia, combines a plethora of American history with beautiful scenery.

Whether you prefer to dine and shop inside or out when you travel, Old Town Alexandria is the place to be. Boasting an array of museums, art galleries, restaurants, bars and boutiques, you'll have a tough time completing your itinerary in the oldest part of town, which dates back to 1749.

Alexandria's other neighborhoods are just as walkable as Old Town, though, and on a nice day, you'll want to stroll down to the Potomac River, where gorgeous views are inescapable.

They Say:

“On the Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA is nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture — an extraordinary backdrop for a thriving boutique scene; acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants; vibrant arts and culture; and a welcoming, walkable lifestyle. Get carried away in Old Town's enchanting waterfront setting, Del Ray's artsy and eclectic scene, and neighborhoods beyond. Whether you're planning a romantic escape, family vacation, girlfriends getaway or organizing an important meeting or group event, let us connect you with an array of accommodations, events and things to do. Alexandria is the relaxed and refined home base for your DC vacation and an unforgettable getaway of its own.” -Alexandria CVB



Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: Ronald Reagan National Airport

Public Transit: Alexandria Transit Company

Bikeshare: Capital Bikeshare

Walkability: 61 at Walk Score

Parking Options/Expense: Park Me

Best Accommodations: ( Highest Guest Rated w/ at least 50 Reviews)

Boutique: Hotel Monaco Alexandria 

High End: The Westin Alexandria 

Mid Range: Residence Inn by Marriott Alexandria Old Town/Duke Street

Bargain: Hampton Inn Alexandria/Pentagon South

Foods to seek out:

Fried Chicken: Wash it down with more comfort food and a cold cocktail at The Majestic Cafe

Mussels: Try Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s signature mussels at Brabo Tasting Room

Lobster Bisque: Stop in for a heartwarming bowl for lunch or dinner at Restaurant Eve

Known for:

Old Town: AthenaeumBishop Boutique, Eamonn's: A Dublin ChipperLavender Moon CupcakeryMetro Stage, The Little Theatre of Alexandria

History: Alexandria Black History Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum

Potomac River: Jones Point Park, Washington Sailing Marina, Mount Vernon Trail

Sports Teams:

Collegiate Baseball League: Alexandria Aces

High Schools: TC Williams Titans, Bishop Ireton Cardinals, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes Saints

Cool Attractions:


1. See where Martha Washington and Robert E. Lee once shopped at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

2. Don't leave town before visiting the George Washington Masonic National Memorial 

3. Get a glimpse of pre-Revolutionary Alexandria with a tour of the Carlyle House, or, if you've had enough history for one day, tour the brewery and sample some craft beer at Port City Brewing Company


1. Watch artists at work inside a former World War II torpedo factory at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

2. Shop, meet locals, and enjoy the beautiful views at Old Town Waterfront

3. Take a water taxi ride across the Potomac to explore Maryland's National Harbor


1. Experience an array of wildlife up close at Huntley Meadows Park

2. A playground, basketball, volleyball, and gorgeous views await at pet-friendly Windmill Hill Park

3. If the season and weather suffice, take the family to Great Waves Waterpark, miniature golf or the batting cages at Cameron Run Regional Park


1. Happy Hour/Late Night Drinks: Bilbo Baggins 

2. Music Venue: The Birchmere

3. Cigar Lounge: Two NineTeen Restaurant

Alexandria is:

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