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Having the icons of Washington, DC in your backyard doesn’t hurt. But having history, art, culture, creative dining, and historic riverfront activities in your front yard is even better. So is the story of Alexandria, Virginia.

Just 10 miles across the Potomac River from the White House, Alexandria is a picturesque community with a rich history. Although George Washington spent much of his time at nearby Mount Vernon, he considered Alexandria his hometown. And today’s Old Town, the third oldest historic district in the country, welcomes visitors to step into the pages of history by dancing where our forefathers danced, shopping where they shopped, and exploring the cobblestone streets where they lived.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Christ Church, Friendship Firehouse, and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum are some fine examples of buildings that were built during Washington’s era and still in use today. Others, like the Torpedo Factory, have been renovated into 80+ working artists’ studios and galleries that welcome tourists and locals alike.

The dining scene is creating its own history by offering up some of the more creative menus and ambiance in the area. From a 5, 7, or 9-course tasting menu at Restaurant Eve by one of Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2006, Cathal Armstrong, to a throwback to the speakeasy era at PX, to the upscale take on fish-and-chips at Eammon’s - a Dublin-inspired ‘chipper’, and the American classics being served at the landmark Majestic, George Washington would be proud.

And if all this wasn’t enough, just around the corner, outdoor pursuits are available in the forms of kayaking into the Dyke Marsh wildlife preserve section of the Potomac, a sightseeing cruise of the Potomac, or sailing and windsurfing lessons at nearby Belle Haven Marina.

History, old and new, is making a name for itself in Alexandria.