Located in the northern US state of Virginia and influenced by Washington DC, which is just 7 miles away, the independent city of Alexandria covers 15.5 sq miles, bordering Arlington and Fairfax counties. The small city is nationally recognized for its rich history with well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century beautiful architecture and is the home to the first US President, George Washington.
Geography And Climate Of Alexandria
Looking over the Potomac River to the east, bordered by Arlington County to the north and the northwest, and Fairfax to the south, Alexandria stretches over 15.5 square miles, of which 15.0 square miles is land and 0.42 square miles is water.
Just like the rest of Virginia's cities, the climate of Alexandria is humid subtropical, with hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. With partly cloudy and rainy days throughout the year, the temperature typically varies from -1 °C to 31 °C and is rarely below -8 °C or above 35 °C. January is the less pleasant and coldest month when snowfall might happen. The best times for tourists to visit Alexandria for warm-weather activities are June and mid-August to early October.
Brief History Of Alexandria
Settled by the English colonists in the late 1600s after being inhabited by Susquehannock, its native Indian community- the area was named Belhaven in 1731 by the English and Scottish merchants and hired as a shipping center and a tobacco warehouse. Later on, in 1749, the settlement was renamed Alexandria after John Alexander, the founder. Incorporated as a town in 1779, Alexandria was yielded under the District of Colombia in 1789. It was then ceded back by Virginia in 1846 to be chartered as an independent City in 1852. After its occupation by the Union troops during the American Civil war in 1861, the city's river port trade activities didn't recover as expected. The shipping regression stayed until World War I when it flourished through the construction of the Naval Torpedo Station and the reopening of the shipyards.
Population And Economy Of Alexandria
Based on a recent estimate, the current population of Alexandria is 160,505 residents. 72.76% of Alexandria's residents were born in the United States, with 21.31% of them born in Virginia and 16.22% not being US citizens. The largest majority of those not born in the United States are from Latin America. Alexandria's economy is heavily influenced by its proximity to the Federal Capital and its government agencies and offices, and its access to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Moreover, some prominent businesses offer a major source of jobs and revenues as professional services like lawyers, marketing and accounting agencies, and the information technology and engineering firms, which are also a sturdy factor in the city's economic structure. From another perspective, Alexandria's individual income averages about $55,000 per year, undergoing a 5.8% income tax and a 6% sales tax.
Top Attractions In Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria And Waterfront: Considered the heart of Alexandria and a nationally designated historic district on the Potomac River waterfront, the beloved downtown is located just minutes from Washington, DC. Oldtown is a picturesque place to take in the charming views of the Potomac River while dining and enjoying street performers and music, surrounded by brick-lined King street mile sidewalks that are studded with centuries-old architecture and historical attractions.
Mount Vernon: Constructed in 1734, this historic estate served as the home of the first president of the US, George Washington, in 1761. The 21 rooms in the mansion were faithfully recreated, reflecting daily life on the plantation and the president's legacy. Also, Mount Vermont overlooks the Potomac River with four gardens and an animal farm and is located about 15 miles south of Washington, DC.
In addition to the above iconic points of interest, the city has a wide selection of museums and historical spots that attract history buffs like the Carlyle house, Spite House, Torpedo Factory Art Center, and Alexandria black history museum. And for outdoor and nature enthusiasts, the city offers charming extensive bike-friendly nature trails and eight waterfront parks, along with romantic stone-studded walkable streets to calmly admire the city's beauty around, or even experience a legendary ghost tour!
A small city with a rich history, a charismatic character, and a key location near the US capital, Alexandria blends its sparkling culture with its vital, yet romantic flavored streets. No wonder that the city residents and visitors always repeat, "Alexandria is for Lovers."