It is so easy to love where you live when you live in Old Town Alexandria! From its amazing restaurants to outdoor recreation; from its walkability to its charm, Old Town offers something for everyone. Here are our Top 10 reasons to call Old Town home.
Without a doubt, the #1 reason people love living in Old Town is its walkability. East to west, Old Town runs about 1.5 miles; north to south, about two miles. You can literally walk the entire town from end to end!
Best of all, you could leave your car untouched all week and walk to restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and any number of fitness studios. Evening entertainment such as a glass of wine at Brut, live music at Blackwall Hitch, or touring art galleries at the Torpedo Factory are all an easy walk from just about anywhere in Old Town. Weekends, you can walk to the year-round Farmer’s Market in the center of town or along the waterfront.
Many large companies and associations call Old Town home, so some residents are fortunate enough to walk to work as well! The US Patent and Trademark Office, The Motley Fool, and United Way are just a few of the large employers headquartered in Old Town. If your commute takes you further, it’s still a breeze from Old Town since two Metro stops and countless bus stops are within walking distance.
A Rich History
Residents of Old Town soak up its rich history on a daily basis. America’s Founding Father, George Washington called Alexandria home – he even sold his produce at the Old Town Farmer’s Market. Being sited on the Potomac, Alexandria served as a key seaport during colonial times and later as a major slave-trading port. Alexandria played a key role in the Civil War; its Union hospital center even inspired a hit PBS series, Mercy Street.
Old Town has been home to many notable people, including Winston Groom, the author of Forrest Gump, much-loved weatherman Willard Scott, and countless politicians and professional athletes. You may catch a glimpse of one of Alexandria’s own — Dermot Mulrooney, Christopher Meloni, or the Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl when they visit their hometown!
Whether you are seeking a date night spot with river views, a casual family dinner, a working lunch, or gourmet takeout, Old Town has a dining option within a short walk. Local favorites for fine dining include Brabo, Virtue Feed & Grain, Bastille, and The Warehouse. Or enjoy a more casual meal at Don Taco, Hard Times Cafe, Union Street Public House, or Faccia Luna. For those weekday lunches, we personally love Sweetgreen– we can’t get enough of that European flair right around the corner! Of course, if you need something heartier, you can find Five Guys and Chipotle on Old Town’s main thoroughfare, King Street.
Shopping, Shopping and more Shopping!
Shopaholics rejoice! Old Town has it all. You can find charming, locally-owned stores that have been around for generations, such as King’s Jewelry or The Christmas Attic. Chic boutiques such as Lou Lou Boutiques, The Lucky Knot, Red Barn Mercantile, Bishop Boutique, and The Shoe Hive carry today’s trendiest fashions. Rest assured, you can also find national chains like Anthropologie, H&M, Lululemon, Banana Republic, and Williams Sonoma in Old Town as well.
You do not need to venture outside of Old Town for your weekly grocery run! Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Balducci’s, and Safeway all have Old Town locations. Of course, first, you will want to stop by the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market for fresh local produce, bread, cheeses, flowers, and more.
Old Town is a cultural haven. Countless artisans showcase their work in Old Town. The Torpedo Factory alone boasts 82 studios and six public galleries. There, you can meet some of its 165 artists and watch them as they work. The Torpedo Factory is also home to The Art League, which offers art exhibits, education, and several local outreach programs.
Old Town offers much more than just the visual arts. You can enjoy live theater at Old Town’s Metro Stage or The Little Theatre, flamenco at La Tasca, opera night at Trattoria de Franco or excellent local jazz at LaPorta’s Restaurant.
Close to Transit
In addition to its proximity to Metro, Old Town also offers its own Amtrak stop. Washington’s Union Station is just nine short miles away. Washington National Airport is an easy metro ride or short ride (less than four miles) up the road.
Old Town offers an easy six-mile commute to Pentagon (even bikeable along the Mount Vernon Trail!), downtown DC, Capitol Hill, Tyson’s Corner, and National Harbor. Interstate 395, the Capital Beltway, Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and George Washington Parkway are all easily accessible from Old Town.
For a leisurely crossing of the river, you can take one of the Potomac Riverboat water taxis that pick up from the Old Town Waterfront. This fun and easy option will take you to National Harbor and Nats games, allowing you to skip the traffic and have more fun getting there! Rest assured, it is home to several preschools, daycare centers, and elementary schools as well.
Not many cities even come close to Old Town Alexandria in the charm department! With its riverfront setting, gas lights, cobblestone streets and sidewalks, and twinkling lights along King Street, Old Town oozes charm and romance. It’s not unusual to see film crews around town or couples and families using Old Town as a backdrop for their photos!
Old Town has eight parks that line its spectacular waterfront. Whether you’re looking for a place for your toddler to run free or a basketball court for your pickup game, Old Town has it! Old Town is also home to a stretch of the the Mount Vernon Trail, an 18-mile paved trail that stretches from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in the Fairfax County section of Alexandria, to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Arlington. Jones Point Park, anchoring the south end of Old Town, is home to the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia, built in 1855!
The Potomac River offers endless options for outdoor enjoyment. You will see Old Town residents enjoying walks or jogs along the Potomac. Rowers and sailors love the easy access to the river too! Water sport lovers, from novice to professional, make the most of Old Town’s prime riverfront location.
We are Dog Friendly!
Dog lovers will appreciate Old Town’s many open spaces for their furry friends. Old Town parks such as Founders and Windmill Hill Parks are a haven for Alexandria’s many canine residents. Old Town is SO dog-friendly with several of the local restaurants allowing dogs on the outdoor patios.
Sense of Community
Old Town residents love to come together to celebrate and to make this city even better. Throughout the year, you will find residents gathering for community events such as the Scottish Christmas Walk, Holiday Boat Parade, the city’s birthday and fireworks display. Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day are much loved and celebrated events in Old Town. You will see residents gather regularly at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market or for strolls along the Potomac.
Old Town residents are always striving to make their city a better place to live. Old Town residents are beautiful people inside and out. Whether they are active in a local charity, civic association, or one of the local schools, Old Town Alexandrians work tirelessly to make their city a great place to live!
Do you need any more reasons to love Old Town? Contact us today for a neighborhood orientation tour. We’d be happy to show and tell you more about this city we love!
Complete the form below to sign up for our weekly blog roundup.