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Alexandria, VA has a long history that dates back to the earliest days of American settlement. The city got its start in the late 1600s and during the 1700s it really started growing as businessmen and tobacco farmers sought to open up trading routes with territories further inland. The modern day city of Alexandria is a different matter entirely, with its heavy concentrations of high tech industry and government contractors. Alexandria has been shaped in large part by its close proximity to Washington D.C.: the Department of Defense of one of the city's largest employers and the United States Patent and Trademark Office is headquartered there.
Most visitors to Alexandria, VA will find themselves visiting the historic Old Town neighborhood at some point, and with good reason. It is the location of many hotels and upscale shopping venues as well as a number of historical sites. Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Lee-Fendall House, is here in Old Town and the nearby Market Square is the oldest continuously operating marketplace in the country.
On the western edge of Old Town is Rosemont, which showcases the architecture and craftsmanship of the early twentieth century. Here is where you'll find the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, an interesting building that houses some of the first U.S. President's personal possessions. The monument is quite unlike most others; it is designed to resemble the ancient lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt. Fitting, given the identical names of these cities, but this is also due to the interest the Freemasons have always taken in the structures of the ancient world. Originally intended as an outlying suburb, Rosemont has since become a central part of Alexandria.
To the northwest of Old Town is an area known as Del Ray. This up-and-coming neighborhood was once part of the separate city of Potomac but is now considered part of Alexandria proper. Del Ray has been experiencing a certain amount of revitalization in recent years, with numerous new developments being built and planned. Del Ray hosts a yearly Arts on the Avenue festival that draws thousands of visitors every October.
The sprawling West End area of Alexandria, VA is perhaps of more interest to locals and potential new residents than other neighborhoods. This is the location of many of Alexandria's newer residential developments and shopping malls. The neighborhoods that make up West End mostly lie on the western side of Quaker Lane, which is a major north-south thoroughfare for the city.
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Whether you're in the mood to browse through a mall or spend some time in a boutique, Alexandria has the place for you!
From American cuisine to international menus, Alexandria plays host to a diverse group of dining venues.
Local attractions in Alexandria include historic landmarks, festivals, events, and performances.
Travelers can rent a car or use public transportation. Alexandria has many options for youre traveling needs.