One way to make the most out of your Washington intern experience is to keep a list of “don’t miss” DC area neighborhoods. And any native Washingtonian would tell you that Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, just off of the King Street Metro, should be included. The center of Old Town is a brisk, 10-block walk down King Street from the Metro, but you can also hop on the free King Street Trolley, which will take you all the way down to the waterfront.
The City of Alexandria was established in 1749, predating Washington by several decades. Until the Civil War, Alexandria was part of the District of Columbia. Over the years, Alexandria has been home to historical American figures, including George Washington, Robert E. Lee and civil rights attorney Samuel Tucker. Old Town, with its brick row houses and specialty shops still carries the charm of an old colonial port.
Be sure to check out…
- Gadsby’s Tavern – Want to dine where our founding fathers dined? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson patroned this historic restaurant, where you can eat period food in the original dining room
- Torpedo Factory – Ever heard of beating swords into plowshares? How about converting a torpedo factory into an art center? The Torpedo Factory, which once produced WWII torpedoes now hosts 82 artist studios.
- Museums – Alexandria’s impressive museums include the Black History Museum and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
- Shopping – Old Town is famous for its shopping, from upscale boutiques like Hysteria to specialty shops like La Muse.
- Walking Tour – To really appreciate the history and beauty of this old colonial town, be sure to take a walking tour offered by Alexandria Colonial Tours, which include a Ghost and Graveyard tour highlighting some of the city’s little-known folklore.
For those of you interning in the summer, be sure to stop by on the evening July 10, 2010, when Alexandria celebrates its birthday. Festivities include an outdoor street festival and a spectacular fireworks display over the Potomac.