Alexandria Virginia is located in the northern region of Virginia on the banks of the Potomac River and sits across the water from Washington, D.C., nine miles north of Mount Vernon. The city was originally included in a 6,000-acre land grant from Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, which was awarded to Robert Howsing, an English ship captain, on October 21, 1669. Howsing later sold the land for 6,000 pounds of tobacco to John Alexander. In 1789, Alexandria and a portion of Fairfax County were ceded by the State of Virginia to become a part of the newly created 10-mile-square District of Columbia. Formally accepted by Congress in 1801, Alexandria remained part of the new federal government until it was granted back to Virginia in 1847. In 1852, it acquired city status and gained a new charter, and henceforth became known, again, as Alexandria Virginia.
Today, an Alexandria vacation will feature colonial-era architecture and take you through winding cobblestone streets before depositing you amidst an art center, theater, or historical attraction. When in Alexandria Virginia, do as the natives do, and soak in the history.
This historic city is perhaps most lauded, socially speaking, for the Alexandria Virginia restaurants. Historic monuments aside, Alexandria Virginia restaurants are just plain good eatin'. Try the Villa D'Este if an Italian Alexandria restaurant is what you crave. Each dish is individually prepared fresh with the utmost care in their gourmet kitchen. If you'd prefer seafood, as many do when in Virginia, seek out the Chart House, featuring seafood, steaks and pastas combined with a stunning view of the Potomac and the Capitol Dome. For a more adventures Alexandria restaurant experience, go aboard the Dandy Restaurant Cruise Ship, featuring gourmet dining and dancing on a 460 square foot marble dance floor in the main salon. You'll spend the evening enjoying gourmet, five-star Alexandria restaurant cuisine while cruising under our Nation's monuments to Georgetown and back to historic Old Town Alexandria.
Alexandria Virginia restaurants are just the beginning of course, so be sure to visit Old Town Alexandria, a retail Mecca with a district consisting of colonial-era architecture and cobblestone streets. Just outside of Old Town you'll also find 13 large and modern shopping centers to pick up just about anything you forgot to bring on your Alexandria vacation.
Come night fall, you'll be half glad you've made a reservation for Alexandria's Ghost & Graveyard Tour where visitors get the chance to visit haunted rooms, creep down eerie streets, and visit a graveyard. Bring a friend to stifle your screams. The tour is given 4 nights per year on Oct. 22, 23, 29 & 30, 6:30-9:15 p.m. The price is $10 adults, $8 children (7-12), and free for those aged 6 & under.
Before taking leave of your Alexandria vacation (after you've eaten a stomach full at a gourmet Alexandria restaurant and had the wits scared out of you at an Alexandria graveyard), visit the Gadsby's Tavern Museum, a circa 1785 establishment that was a center of political, business, and social life in early Alexandria. The tavern was the setting for dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances, and meetings of local organizations. Our first president George Washington even visited the tavern as well as other prominent historical figures including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Daily, school, and group tours are available. Check with the museum for rate information. It's closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.