Alexandria is a charming town, especially the compact Old Town Alexandria where I spent most of my time. It is full of boutiques, restaurants, antique shops and theaters as well as historic sites that played a role in the development of the creation of the U.S.A.
Something as simple as the Market Square, with it's lovely landscaping and fountain, is full of history. Today it is a popular market place as it has been, without interruption since 1753. In fact it had been the second largest slave market in the country at one time.
a large fountain and extensive landscaping,
If you don't have a well versed friend to show you around, stop at the Alexandria Visitor Center at the Ramsay House. Here you can learn about the places you might like to see. Located at 221 King Street.
If you're a real history buff it might be fun to take the Alexandria Historical Scavenger Hunt while there.
Fair warning, while visiting Alexandria you may be infected with the desire to learn EVERYTHING about the early history of the USA!!
I just posted this for fun. While exploring beautiful Alexandria, we walked pass this business who is very proud of their Guard Samoyed. If you look at his paws their wrapped behind his ears. I just thought this was cute.
Alexandria Visitor Center
221 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314
Located at along Cameron Street
Parking in Alexandria can be tricky with meters, no parking zones and conflicting parking signs. Make sure you look at the signs to ensure you don't get a ticket or towed. There are several municipal parking lots scattered around town which usually have paring spaces available.
Right before I left on my Summer 2009 vacation that included Alexandria, I sprained my ankle. Because of that I made sure to wear supportive shoes, but that's not always the case.
In Historic Alexandria all of the sidewalks are cobblestone. Many times my foot landed unevenly and I was wincing in pain. One day I wore flip flops and a few times my ankle was pretty sore. So, my warning is to bring some supportive athletic shoes or at least some sandals with lots of support.
Watch out for snow in Virginia. Though we might not get a lot, people here are not the best drivers, and they like to run red lights. Guess what happens when people run red lights in the snow? Accidents!
Even better is when the snow blows into the metro station and the station workers just sit in their heated booths while commuters slip and slide on the snow and ice. Can I bring my own shovel next time?
Unless you are with someone who knows the area, I would suggest not traveling further north than Princess St in Old Town Alexandria. That is where the low income, bad part of town begins. You will be okay on the main streets such as Washington St or down by the waterfront when going north.
When it snows like it did in February, 2003 (when Alexandria received 27"- 67,5 cm.- of snow), sizeable snow drifts pushed aside by road crews remain. These drifts make it inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst to navigate the streets. I ought to know. I tried to mount one of those snow drifts to take a snap of Las Tapas. Not only did that fail, but I fell backwards on my head. Fortunately, however, neither my camera nor I were seriously injured or damaged. In fact, I think the camera came out of the deal better than I did. I went across the road to take a safer snap, but that fall knocked a knot on my head that you wouldn't believe. Don't worry about me, I just hope I didn't crack the sidewalk.
When you get 27" (67,5 cm.) of snow followed closely by remarkably warmer temperatures, the Potomac River can flood the streets and businesses of lower Alexandria. For approximately a block and a half, businesses put sand bags in front of their stores.
This adventurous baby squirrel had a tete-a-tete with one of my cats, who was sitting in the window. He (she? the picture's not that clear . . ) had been wandering around the deck right before this, and would have come into the house, I think, if I had but opened the door. His (her?) father (mother?) was showing him (her?) the ropes around the squirrel neighborhood, which includes our deck, drainpipe, and roof.
Who's in whose backyard? This deer wandered into our suburban neighborhood this summer. We don't normally see them in our yard, although others closer to a big park a few miles away do. We were in the middle of a drought and this deer was probably looking for water (it was eating our neighbor's flowers when my husband first spotted it). Suburban sprawl has put a squeeze on the wildlife.
Prohibitions in Market Square:
- No Skateboarding
- No Bicycle or Moped riding
- No Radio and Tape playing unless wearing headphones
- No wading in the fountain, including pets.