Alexandria Travel Guide, Virginia
Settled 5 miles South of Washington, Alexandria was founded in 1749 by a group of Scottish merchants.
The historic heritage of the town is partly preserved in the Old Town Alexandria - the city's official historic district - and there’s a archaeological and historical research program that deals with restoring the city’s past and such a great job has been done that Washington and Lee would still recognize their old hometown despite the presence of new constructions of shops, boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Old Town boasts with tourists and the streets are crowded especially in weekends. The most walked street is King Street as here are all the major attractions, but with the appearance of Metro visitors also began wandering west of Washington Street.
It is not difficult to get around Old Town as the cross streets are divided by King Street and all the major historic sites are within walking distance so you can leave your car in the parking lot, prepare a good pair of walking shoes and start your tour of Old Town, in the end you will be glad you chose this option of visiting it. For those who see walking as a problem there’s a free shuttle that takes you along King Street on weekends. And it is also advisable to use the city’s bus system called DASH to get from the King Street Metro station to the Ramsay House Visitor Center.
A good tip for tourists is that they can get a “Discounted Attraction Pass” at Ramsay House Visitor Center, a "Key Pass” and a “Very Important Patriot Pass" with discounts if they choose combined admission. Change in discounts is possible so it’s better to check with the center beforehand.
There are plenty of buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries to be visited in Old Town. Among them Gadsby’s Tavern the place where George Washington and his men discussed politics and freedom, Christ Church and the boyhood home Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The house was built in 1785 and there were some important men that visited this house like George Washington and General Lafayette that has a room named after him.
Downtown is a great place to start your night with fantastic bars, nightclubs, lounges, dance clubs and live music venues. The centre of nightlife is King Street where you can find some of the best venues. Two-Nineteen is one of them and features live jazz, the Fish Market is another where you can hear perform either a guitarist or a pianist.
If you fancy live Irish bands go to Murphy's and you can also enjoy good corned beef and cabbage while you listen to your favorite music. Seniors would prefer the Morrison House where they can sing along with a resident pianist. And bluegrass, country, and folk stars are to be found at Birchmere.
Whatever you fancy in this city, visiting historic sites or listening to some quality music you can come at any time that suits you as you’re sure to run into some activity or other -- a jazz festival, a tea garden or tavern gambol, a quilt exhibit, a wine tasting, or an organ recital. (For the ones planning to visit the Old Town they should bear in mind that most attractions are closed on Mondays)
Alexandria welcomes its visitors of any age and interest and makes sure they will enjoy their visit to the limit.
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