Though small in size, Alexandria makes a big impact because of its exciting, energetic, diverse neighborhoods and communities.
From the Potomac River waterfront to the King Street Metro, restaurants, shops and historic attractions line King Street and the side streets radiating from it. Events – including parades, house tours and a two-day art festival – make Old Town a lively neighborhood year-round.
Founded in 1894 as a “streetcar suburb” to Washington, D.C., Del Ray is a cozy neighborhood and national historic district that describes itself as “where Main Street still exists.” Much of the pride in the neighborhood revolves around the charming late 19th and 20th century architecture. Del Ray bustles with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants that are clustered around Mount Vernon Avenue. Del Ray is also an enclave for the arts, celebrated each year on the first Saturday of October with Art on the Avenue, a multicultural festival.
North of Del Ray along Mount Vernon Avenue is Arlandria, a small neighborhood nestled between Arlington and Alexandria. It is also popularly known as Chirilagua, the El Salvadoran village that was home to many of its residents. Small shops and restaurants with an international clientele line its streets. The highlight of this community’s calendar is the Arlandria-Chirilagua Festival held every summer.
The Eisenhower Valley is home to the United States Patent & Trade Office, a complex of five buildings that, when completed in 2005, will accommodate more than 7,000 federal employees. An easy walk of just two blocks away is Hoffman Town Center, which bustles with restaurants, an ice cream shop and a 22-screen theater. A short drive away is Cameron Run Regional Park, popular with families for its miniature golf, waterslide and wave pool.
Only eight miles from downtown Washington DC with easy access to I-395, this is the city’s largest and fastest-growing neighborhood. Home to a large, diverse variety of restaurants and several fine hotels (and plenty of parking), points of interest include the Civil War-era Fort Ward Park.
Alexandria has consistently been ranked as one of the country’s best places to live and work, with Ladies’ Home Journal naming it the best city for women in 2000. Many of the reasons are to be found in these neighborhoods that come together to make Alexandria the Fun Side of the Potomac.