Top 10 Reasons to Live in Del Ray

October 8, 2021 | Inside Alexandria | By: The Goodhart Group

If you are looking for that perfect blend of walkability, community events, tree-lined streets, look no further than the Alexandria neighborhood of Del Ray, located just outside downtown Old Town.

Metro Access

One of Del Ray’s most touted features is its walkability to Metro. The southern end of Del Ray near Braddock Road is an easy walk to the Braddock Road Metro station on Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines. There are also numerous bus stops along Mount Vernon Avenue that go to both Arlington, Old Town, and downtown Washington, DC.

Convenient to Main Roads

If Metro is not your means of commuting, rest assured many main commuter roads are also easily accessed from Del Ray. Route 1, 395, the George Washington Parkway, and The Capital Beltway-495 are all within a 10 minute drive. If you are a frequent flyer, you will enjoy having Washington National Airport just four miles up the road as well.

Close to Dining and Entertainment

Evening and weekend entertainment is just a (very) short stroll away from Del Ray, which is neighbored by both Old Town and Rosemont. Residents can walk to fabulous Del Ray restaurants such as Evening Star, Taqueria el Poblano, Cheesetique, and Del Ray Pizzeria or grab dessert at The Dairy Godmother or Junction Bakery. Residents can soak up the local culture in Old Town with jazz, art, dance, and more or with live music at The Birchmere or St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray. There are also several boutique stores to check out including The Purple Goose, Kiskadee, Top if Off and The Dog Store.

Walkability

The walkability is part of what makes Del Ray so special. While it may feel like a big community, almost everything is within walking distance like your favorite shops, restaurants, parks, and schools. If you’re looking for a neighborhood where you want to be able to walk to most things that you want to do, then Del Ray is for you!

del ray pizza

St. Elmos

This charming neighborhood coffee shop is located in the heart of the neighborhood and is the perfect Del Ray gathering spot for a coffee date or quick breakfast. St. Elmo’s is one of the original Del Ray institutions, St. Elmo’s was established in 1996 and continues to be an iconic neighborhood fixture. St. Elmo’s offers delicious Stumptown coffee and breakfast pastries including Bullfrog bagels and the very popular apple cider donuts from Ashbank Farm. St. Elmo’s is also attached to Market 2 Market which offers made-to-order sandwiches and craft beers.

Parks and Recreation

The Mt. Jefferson Park Trail runs through Del Ray starting at Commonwealth and Ashby and running all the way down to Richmond Highway and E. Mount Ida Avenue. Del Ray also has plentiful greenspace including Mt. Jefferson Park, Charles Hill Park, Judy Lowe Neighborhood Park, and Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.

Tree Lined Streets

Perhaps one of Del Ray best features is its lovely tree-lined streets. Mature oak, maple, dogwood, and locust trees create a gorgeous canopy over the neighborhood. Del Ray is a sight to behold in the spring months when all of the flowers bloom.

Classic Architecture

Del Ray real estate grew to be a diverse community and began a renaissance in the 1980s when its Sears bungalows became a popular home style. Soon after, The Del Ray Artisans established a studio and the neighborhood began to be recognized for its funky and eclectic feel. During the 1980s, an effort was made to revitalize its main thoroughfare, Mount Vernon Avenue (which had lost businesses during the 1970s), now often referred to as “The Avenue” for short.

History

Del Ray is a vibrant and active community within the City of Alexandria. It was once its own town in the late 1900s, designed around the major railroad line that ran north to south. Its growth was stimulated by the opening of The Potomac Yards railroad yards in 1906. At that time, Del Ray incorporated with the town of St. Elmo to become the Town of Potomac with its own governance system.

Events

Del Ray is home to several beloved annual events. Neighbors gather for an annual Halloween Parade, First Thursdays along Mount Vernon Avenue, and the annual Art on the Avenue festival. Residents and visitors alike also enjoy the local Saturday morning farmer’s market where local vendors and farmers come to sell their goods.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Del Ray or take one of our neighborhood orientation tours, please reach out. We’d love to introduce you to this charming Alexandria neighborhood!

 

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