History is everywhere in the independent city of Alexandria. It’s in the collection of historic buildings, the famous Old Town, the various community events scheduled throughout the year, and the wide variety of arts and cultural spaces in the city. But don’t be mistaken. Alexandria is not stuck in the past. In this historic setting, an urban locale thrives. Old things have been updated and repurposed to cater to the modern Alexandria lifestyle without losing respect to the city’s yesteryears.
Covering a total area of around 15.3 square miles, Alexandria is Northern Virginia’s largest city and crowning glory. It’s across the Potomac River, with the distance between Washington D.C. and Alexandria just roughly seven miles. Alexandria is not just close to the capital geographically, but historically and culturally as well. Approximately 159,000 Northern Virginians reside in Alexandria.
- Alexandria was established in 1749, but it took over 120 years for it to be incorporated as an independent city.
- Archaeological evidence suggests that Alexandria was already inhabited as far back as 13,200 years ago. These Native Americans stayed in the area until 1675, which coincides with the Contact Period when Europeans arrived in the New World.
- Alexandria is originally part of a land grant that included 6,000 acres. It was given by Sir William Berkeley, the Governor of Virginia, to Robert Howson on October 21, 1669. Not long after, Howson sold the land to John Alexander in exchange for 6,000 pounds of tobacco.
- Years after the sale, the area became a hub for tobacco. Several warehouses were built near the waterfront. Further into the 18th century, Alexandria was founded with the help of the young George Washington and later became a major trade center and port in the region.
- In addition to George Washington, several other people made Alexandria their home. This includes Robert E. Lee, a Civil War general, and Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Homes for sale in Alexandria, VA
You can say that Alexandria VA real estate perfectly encapsulates Alexandria’s prevailing character: a city where old meets new. House hunting here is quite an adventure, with the city being home to 159 beautiful neighborhoods. The real estate stock, however, is more or less the same. Wherever you go looking for Alexandria VA homes for sale, you will find pre-war properties, contemporary homes, rowhouses, new developments (including single-family and semi-detached), and august Georgian luxury residences along the city’s historic streets.
Alexandria, VA is never in shortage of architecturally distinctive homes for sale. Areas such as Queen Street, Captain’s Row, and Prince Street are home to eye-catching Federal and Colonial homes that have become synonymous with Alexandria real estate as a whole. Some of these properties have colorful brick or clapboard facades. Palladian-style mansions and Victorian-inspired rowhouses add more personality to the mix. If you prefer more contemporary styles, Alexandria also offers mid-century homes, one of which was designed by none other than .
What is it like living in Alexandria, VA?
Getting around Alexandria
Alexandria is a highly walkable city with wide sidewalks that encourage everyone to explore the streets at a slow pace. If you prefer a faster mode of transportation that is just as healthy and environmentally friendly, try cycling around the city. As for traveling to Washington, D.C, the most efficient way is to take . This will take you directly to the heart of the capital. Driving is slightly discouraged as traffic jams occur often with only one bridge connecting the two cities.
A city of landmarks
There are many points of interest located in Alexandria, including the , , and of course, , which is the city’s historic heart. For outdoor recreation, a part of the is accessible from Old Town. You can hike or bike around the area or choose to go all the way to or .
Great schools all around
Alexandria is home to the , which is recognized as . Some of the best private schools in the Washington, D.C. metro area are also located here, such as , a private and co-ed boarding school, and . For higher education and graduate studies, there is , , and .
Call Alexandria, VA your home
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