New to the Area?
This is an update on an old article I put together for people who are brand new to Northern Virginia. Because of the many employment opportunities and because of the pleasant nature of the city of Alexandria, Alexandria often and consistently rates as one of the nation’s best cities. If you’re brand new to the area, it’s hard to know where to start when looking for a home or residence. There are TOO MANY CHOICES.
Before you can find your house you have to find your neighborhood. Before you find your neighborhood you have to find your way around the city. For this reason, a quick description of the components of Alexandria is helpful.
Old Town (sometimes called Olde Town, Old Towne or Olde Towne) is the heart of Alexandria. As the name implies, Old Town is the oldest part of the city. Alexandria was a port in colonial times owing to its location along the Potomac. These days Old Town is found just inside the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and then north toward Reagan National Airport. Old Town is served by the King St. Metro and the King St. trolley. With over 100 restaurants, shops, boutiques, coffee shops, ice cream houses and more, Old Town has both a small
town, upscale and touristy feel. For most folks there is a bit of prestige attached to an Old Town address. There are two high rises near the waterfront at the Alexandria House and Port Royal. Old Town Alexandria has many townhouses, row houses and a smaller number single family homes. Click Old Town
to search listings of properties in Old Town Alexandria.
Although its history doesn’t stretch to the colonial days, Del Ray is another relatively old neighborhood. Del Ray was founded in 1894 as a “streetcar suburb” to Washington, DC. Most of Del Ray was built from the 1890’s to the 1950’s and retains that small town charm despite being so close to the center of the universe. Quaint streets with brick or stone homes are found on streets that branch off from Del Ray’s arteries.
At the heart of Del Ray is the main street: Mount Vernon Avenue. This where you’ll find a hometown mix of shops, restaurants and hardware stores. Braddock Road metro serves Del Ray and condos such as Colecroft Station are available here.
Click Del Ray for a map of Del Ray and for listings of properties for sale in Del Ray. Or, click Del Ray for listings for sale in the Del Ray subdivision of Alexandria.
As the name implies, Arlandria at the border of Alexandria City and Arlington County. Arlandia is just north of Del Ray at terminus of Mount Vernon Avenue. Some residents also call this neighborhood Chirilagua. Arlandia has many small shops and restaurants. Click Arlandria for a map of the general area and to search properties listed for sale in Arlandria.
The Eisenhower Valley describes the area found along Eisenhower
Avenue. At the western end of Eisenhower Avenue one will find
warehouses and businesses such as FedEx and UPS who appreciate easy
access to the Interstate. Click Eisenhower West to search property at the west end of Eisenhower, near the Van Dorn Metro station.
On the east end, where Eisenhower Avenue approaches Old Town, you’ll
find the United States Patent & Trade Office and the high-end high-rise neighborhood of the Carlyle District. The USPTO is a complex of five buildings that accommodate more than 7,000 federal employees. Residents of the Carlyle District have easy access to the Hoffman Town Center at the Eisenhower Metro. The Carlyle District is an intriguing place to live because it’s so close to the charm and amenities of Old Town, but is new and modern. Click Eisenhower East to find properties listed for sale here.
Like the Eisenhower Valley, the West End of Alexandria is a mixed bag. Condos and high rises abound in “Condo Canyon” near Landmark and Lincolnia. But development from the 1950’s and 1960’s is also found tucked on side streets and around unexpected corners. The homes around and near Seminary Road are regarded by many as stately and highly desirable. Another interesting neighborhood in the West End is Cameron Station. Cameron Station is a newer development of townhouses and condos, but the stylings and architecture imitate the best of Old Town. Cameron Station is relatively close to both Landmark Mall and Old Town.
The West End is well connected to Washington DC via I-395. The West End is the newest and largest part of the city. The West End has a diverse selection of restaurants and shops as well as Landmark Mall and several fine hotels. Fort Ward Park and Museum is found in the West End of Alexandria. Click
West End for a glance at what’s for sale and to see a map of the West End.
Properties in Alexandria
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||About the Author — Will Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria and Nesbitt Realty.
Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in
Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne.
Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in