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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options—house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location—it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods in Alexandria, so you don’t have to.
(and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Alexandria movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods and created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local.
Looking to move north of the Potomac? We also offer moves in Washington, DC.
A Little About Alexandria and its Neighborhoods
This pretty, residential pocket, about 8 miles south of downtown D.C., is home to some of the oldest homes in the area. The King Street Mile offers character-rich homes with worn, cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks. The entire east length of the neighborhood lines the Potomac River, giving Alexandria its spectacular waterfront views, great walks and runs, and river-side dining. Travel + Leisure’s Magazine rated Alexandria one of the top cities in 2023.
Friendly Alexandria is known for its love of dogs, and a multitude of local businesses offer “yappy hours” where patrons can bring their pups along with them. In fact, it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t allow pets on the patio! But Alexandria doesn’t stop at dogs—bikers, walkers, joggers, and stroller-pushers are all welcome here. And the city is laced with many lanes, paths, and trails made especially for peddling pedestrians. Happily, Alexandria rates a lower crime rate than the national average.
Want something unique to Alexandria to do. Take a selfie in front of the Spite House, the skinniest, historic home in America. Or go shopping at the oldest, continually running farmers market in the country on Saturdays near City Hall.
The area is full of top dining spots and a thriving bar scene. Sugar Shack Donuts will most likely be the most unique and creative donut shop you’ve been to. Don Taco, a tasty taqueria serving Mexican street food and margaritas, is a popular local hub. Vermilion, a farm-to-table hub hosts promotional events about local farmers and foragers. And Brabo, a fancy French restaurant cooks up some kick-butt cocktails.
This little city offers its special blend of history, culture, arts, food, and entertainment. The Torpedo Factory Art Center boasts of more artist studios (82, to be exact) available for public visits than anywhere else in the country. (Yes! The Navy used to make torpedos there.) Plus, they offer seven galleries so art lovers can be sure to find something worth seeing.
The Alexandria Black History Museum honors the African American experience and the cultural diversity within the neighborhood. Jones Point Park weaves a path through the city’s past. Tours pass by the DC boundary stones laid in 1791, a lighthouse established in 1855, and a World War I shipyard.
But where in this burgeoning city should someone like you call home? Today, we’re diving in and exploring the most envied neighborhoods in the city. Let’s take a closer look at the 3 best neighborhoods in the lovely city of Alexandria.
First on our list of the best neighborhoods to live in Alexandria is the one and only, Old Town. This neighborhood is aptly famous for its meticulously preserved pre-Revolutionary War architecture. Old Town is one of the city’s hottest spots for visitors and tourists. Packed with some of the best things to do in Alexandria, Old Town is also safer for the lucky families who have snagged a spot in this popular neighborhood.
What’s Happening in Old Town
Old Town’s streets are lined with renovated colonial rowhouses, cozy coffee shops, fun bars, a plethora of boutiques, and local eateries. Places like Crooked Beat Records and T.J. Stone’s pub give Old Town its unique character. Sample some of the best international dishes at Sunday in Saigon or artisanal gelato from Old Town Dolci Gelati, .
The area also houses several large parks where locals and visitors can enjoy some sunshine, run along waterside trails, or spend the day boating along the Potomac River. With all its offerings, plus a short 20-minute drive or Metro ride via the King Street Station into Washington, D.C., residents of Old Town will never have a day bored and at home.
Schools in Old Town
Schools in the area include Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School, George Washington Middle School, Fusion Academy Alexandria, and T.C. Williams Satellite Campus among others.
Homes in Old Town
In addition to its historical homes, North Old Town now offers newer townhouses and condos. Sadly, Old Town is not for every budget, and housing in this historic neighborhood, which was founded in 1749, can be pricey. In this popular neighborhood, homes have a median purchase price of $$1.1 million.
n the southwestern section of the city, Eisenhower is the hip flip of Old Town. While Old Town is known as the historic center of the city, Eisenhower is known as the “economic engine of Alexandria.” The neighborhood is home to anything from grass-root businesses to science and innovation establishments, like The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
What’s Happening in Eisenhower East
Eisenhower East has its own art museum, water park, and health food stores. The area is also home to the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum and the African American Heritage Park. This park and the Edmonson Sisters sculpture park host community events and pop-up shops on the regular.
For a taste of the area, check out the local favorites like pricey Whiskey & Oyster and Tequila and Taco. Residents commonly enjoy a round of golf at the nearby Belle Haven Country Club. And because I-495 runs through the region, locals have easy access to Washington, D.C., and other nearby neighborhoods.
Schools in Eisenhower East
Schools in this area of the city include Matthew Maury Elementary School, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy, George Washington Middle School, and T.C. Williams High School among others.
Homes in Eisenhower East
Several historic homes and buildings speckle this notable Alexandria neighborhood. But Eisenhower East is full of stunning condos with floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful views of the city.
While parts of Del Ray do evoke that small-town feel, this community is much more eclectic than more suburban areas in the city. Neighborhood features like the Del Ray’s Exotic Planetarium, and Dairy Godmother serving homemade custard, and its main street, Mount Vernon Avenue, create Del Ray’s quirky feel and laid-back vibe.
What’s Happening in Del Ray
This up-and-coming neighborhood is full of young families. It’s Alexandria’s artsy, community-minded, and wellness hotspot. In fact, Del Ray has earned the nickname “Well Ray” because it’s home to numerous holistic health businesses.
The area primarily attracts families who love to walk to nearby local businesses, dog shops, frozen custard cafes, butcher shops, and boutiques. Each year, the community celebrates together with local events, like the Art on the Avenue. On free weekends, families can meet up with their neighbors at numerous playgrounds, dog parks, or long walks.
During a visit, peruse the wide selection of seasonal veggies, fresh-baked pastries, and artisanal goods each Saturday year-round at the Del Ray Farmer’s Market. Stop in and see why many locals think Del Ray Cafe has the best brunch in Alexandria and sample their Scottish Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and Buttermilk Pancakes.
Schools in Del Ray
Del Ray’s families are served by several schools, including Maury Elementary, George Washington Middle, T.C. Williams High School among others.
Homes in Del Ray
Del Ray’s housing market is hot and draws wealthy investors and professionals looking for a place to settle down. With a median sale price of nearing $1M, many of these homes feel like they’ve been transplanted from small-town America. White picket fences border boxy brock homes that resemble those built in the late 1800s. You’ll find bungalows, a few Victorians, townhomes, and rowhouses scattered throughout the community.
Affordable West End sits just 8 miles away from Washington D.C. West End is, besides being one of Alexandria’s most family-friendly neighborhoods, also one of its largest and fastest-growing neighborhoods.. Home to Alexandria’s best BBQ and beer, as well as gardens, parks, and international dining, West End is the most expansive neighborhood in the city.
What’s Happening in West End
West End is home to popular city spots like Aslin Beer Company and Port City Brewing Company—nationally recognized and pumping out quality-brewed beers. This side of the city is also home to the Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, the Dora Kelly Nature Park, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Northern Virginia’s only professional orchestra.
Here, you’ll find some of the best Thai, Vietnamese, and Ethiopian food in the city. Try the pet-friendly West End Farmers Market, selling fresh coffee, lemonade, seasonal produce, and local hand-crafted goods. For a bit of fresh air, explore the Winkler Botanical Preserve, which houses 44 acres of indigenous trees and flowers.
Schools in West End
West End is home to a long list of schools, including Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, St. Stephens & St. Agnes Middle School, and George Washington Middle School among others.
Homes in West End
Affordable condos and apartments in West End draw many young professionals to the area. West End also features lots of urban revitalization, and it’s also home to Seminary Hill. This residential area is full of single-family homes. Average home prices are $440,000 with condos priced around $335,000.
Sitting between Del Ray and the Potomac River, this green neighborhood is highly popular among young professionals and families. The arrival of Amazon a few years back really kick-started the Potomac Yards development into high gear. Today, this neighborhood has a few hundred thousand rental apartments, condos, townhouses, and single-family homes.
What’s Happening in Potomac Yard
In addition to plentiful housing, this area is home to great outdoor amenities. The city has built a multi-use trail that runs along the rail track all the way from Braddock Metro and connects to a 21-acre park at Potomac Yard.
Richmond Highway runs along the western border of Potomac Yard, and this road is lined by lots of local and international eateries. Check out Souvlaki Bar or cozy Vaso’s Kitchen for Greek fare, Hinata Sushi Bar & Grill for Japanese classics, and Rustico, a brick-walled gastropub serving wood-fired pizzas.
Schools in Potomac Yard
Schools in the area include Mount Vernon Community School, George Washington Middle School, and T.C. Williams Satellite Campus, Alexandria Country Day School among others.
Homes in Potomac Yard
In Potomac Yard, you’ll find stunning historic brick townhomes for over $1M. The area is also home to lots of condos available at an average price of $750K.
There you have it: 3 of the best places to live in Alexandria!
We hope our guide to the best neighborhoods to live in Alexandria was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge soon, we offer last minute moving services in Alexandria and other nearby cities such as Richmond and Washington DC should you be interested. Good luck with your move!