Conjure up George Washington as a youthful surveyor, as he is responsible for much of the planning of Alexandria's streets long before he was the first US President. Mere minutes from the center of Washington DC, Alexandria is stepping into a different universe overflowing with creative spirits and an independent nature. With revolutionary roots and cobblestoned streets, Alexandria sits on the western bank of the Potomac River about 11km from downtown Washington DC. Officially founded in 1749, its history actually goes back about 13,200 years, with the first settlers arriving in 1669.
The locals here are a mixture of federal civil service professionals, US Military or workers for one of the companies providing services to the federal government. The area is a high-income domain that you can easily walk around, as it is very compact with an eclectic mix of antique shops, theaters, top-end boutiques and swish eating establishments.
You can actually go to the church George Washington used to attend, Christ Church and if you are not into praying, have a tour of this historical building. You will find a museum to saunter through in what was once the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary built in 1792. For the ammunitions punter, check out the torpedo factory built in 1918 where you will also find a huge art center "Torpedo Factory Art Center" of 80 studios, galleries and an archaeology museum. Tread lightly down lower Prince Street and Princess Street where the ghosts of long past trod on the same cobblestones and take in the 18th and 19th century architecture surrounding you. The history buffs will hightail it to Carlyle House, considered to be the birthplace of the American Revolution, whilst the foodies will make a quick escape to the Saturday morning markets for their necessary supplies of fresh produce. You can take in a show at the Old Town Theater or simply quaff a beer at the Port City Brewing Company.
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