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October Events in Alexandria, VA [2022]
The city of Alexandria, which rests on the shores of the Potomac River and houses several centuries of history, is one of the best places to spend the month of October. With a few frightful spots to visit and plenty of harvest-themed activities to enjoy, Alexandria offers something for people of all ages during this crisp and cool season. These are the best October events that are scheduled to take place in Alexandria, VA: Art on the Avenue Art on the Avenue is an annual tradition held amongst homes for sale in the Del Ray neighborhood, where neighbors, residents, and visitors gather to celebrate this multicultural arts and music festival. For 27 years, this festival has celebrated local artists, live music, flavorful food, and family fun. Hundreds of artists attend the festival each year to display their work and showcase it to the local community. There are three stages for live music, with performances scheduled throughout the event. Not only are the neighborhood restaurants open for business, but there are many food vendors on-location to serve the hundreds of people who attend the festival. One of the event's highlights each year is the Kid's Art Corner, where the youngest attendees can create free art projects that local non-profit organizations provide. Location: Del Ray Neighborhood, 2308 Mt. Vernon Avenue, #727 Alexandria, VA 22301 Time & Date: October 1, 10 a.m. to 6p.m. Ghost & Graveyard Tours of Alexandria The history of Alexandria dates back to the early 18th century, and at this time of year, parts of the city take on a spooky atmosphere. You can indulge in your supernatural cravings in October by booking a Ghost & Graveyard Tour through the Alexandria Visitor Center. Tours begin nightly at the visitor center in Old Town, one of Alexandria's most walkable neighborhoods. Experienced local guides will take you on a journey through cobblestoned streets to tell you more about the frightful experiences and haunting moments that have taken place in this historic city. Location: Alexandria Visitor Center, 221 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Time & Date: Daily Tours at Various Times Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour at Mt. Vernon The Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour at Mt. Vernon is a unique event that takes place each year in October, designed to showcase wines from Alexandria's best vineyards and celebrate the beauty of this historic estate. This after-hours event provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the home of George Washington on a relaxing fall evening when all of the tourists have left for the day. Admission to the event includes unlimited samples of wine and a tour of the first and second floors of the mansion. It is a private and intimate experience that sets itself apart from the traditional tours at the estate. Location: George Washington's Mt. Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121 Time & Date: October 7–9 from 6–9 p.m. Fall Harvest Festival at Mt. Vernon The Fall Harvest Festival at Mt. Vernon is an annual event that brings the traditions of an 18th-century harvest to life. The festival takes place throughout one weekend, and admission to the festival is included as part of a daily ticket. Some of the events and activities at the Fall Harvest Festival include 18th-century cooking, candle making, horseshoeing, farming demonstrations, and an opportunity to meet George Washington. It is a family-friendly experience that showcases what life might have been like for the people of George Washington's era. The fall colors begin to arrive in earnest during October, and the breeze switches from the warm, moist summer air to the cool, crisp autumn winds. It is one of the most spectacular times to explore the city—for residents and those vacationing in Alexandria—and with so many interactive and engaging events, it's impossible to be bored in Alexandria during this month. Location: George Washington's Mt. Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121 Time & Date: October 22-23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New Property Tax Rates - Northern Virginia
Effective July 1, 2022 The residential real estate tax rates have been published for the majority of Northern Virginia with minor changes this year. Below we have provided a list of the new rates by jurisdiction: City of Alexandria     $1.11 Arlington County     $1.013  City of Fairfax     $1.075  Fairfax County     $1.14  City of Falls Church     $1.32 Town of Herndon     $0.265 + Fairfax County tax Loudoun County     $0.98 Prince William County     $1.115 Town of Vienna     $0.2225 + Fairfax County tax Rates are for FY 2021-2022. All rates are per $100 of assessed value.  Your mortgage payment may, or may not, be adjusted to reflect these changes.  Please consult with your lender. *Information provided by NVAR. 

4 Best Pest Control Companies in Alexandria VA
Roaches, rodents, wasps—sometimes it seems like the list of pests invading our homes can go on forever. When it comes to the best pest control services in the city of Alexandria, we've got you covered. With some of the research already done, you'll be able to prevent pests and maintain your home much more easily. Planet Friendly Pest Control Offers Eco-Friendly Solutions Planet Friendly Pest Control is dedicated to giving customers a bug-free home with minimal impact on the environment. In order to reduce water pollution from contaminants like pesticide sprays, Planet Friendly Pest Control uses unique and innovative solutions. If you entertain outdoors, improving your backyard with pest control is a must. For example, a technician might use a combination of traps and larvacide to eradicate an entire generation of mosquitos from your property. Another bonus offered by this company is their customized treatment plans. Quotes are free, and the company boasts a series of stellar reviews. Location: Planet Friendly Pest Control at 696 N Armistead St, Alexandria, VA 22312 Hours: Monday–Friday 8 AM–6 PM; Saturday 10 AM–3 PM; closed Sundays Phone: 800-990-0335 The AR1 Group Provides a Variety of Specialized Pest Control The AR1 Group offers pest control services for single and multi-family residential properties. This company has a solid rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), offering several specialty services that many competitors don't. In addition to tackling common pests, AR1 Group employs technicians specializing in wildlife abatement services, deceased animal removal, bird nest removal, and more. You can contact the AR1 Group for everything from regular maintenance to unsafe pest emergencies, like infestations of venomous spiders. Location: The AR1 Group at 308 Calvert Ave. Suite 102, Alexandria, VA 22301 Hours: 8 AM–6 PM daily (emergency line open 24 hours) Phone: 1-866-580-1977 (emergency line: 703-349-5095) Call in a Certified Expert with Raven Termite & Pest Control Raven Termite & Pest Control is a family-owned company that's been in business for over 30 years. The owner and founder is a certified entomologist with the Entomological Society. That means this company not only excels in exterminating pests, but also knows how those pests behave—which comes in handy when hunting down elusive bed bugs, light-sensitive roaches, and other tricky insects. Technicians place a heavy emphasis on safety, innovation, and expert knowledge. You can call the company for a free quote on services. Address: Raven Termite & Pest Control at 5568 General Washington Dr. Suite A206, Alexandria, VA 22312 Hours: Weekdays 8 AM–5 PM, closed on weekends Phone: 571-489-8563 Better Termite & Pest Control Offers Comprehensive Services Since 1968, Better Termite & Pest Control has serviced over one million homes in and around Alexandria, VA with premier pest prevention and eradication methods. Better Termite & Pest Control can likely handle any challenge, whether an unwelcome critter or a venomous creepy-crawly. Some of their more unique treatments include odorous house ants, silverfish, and stink bugs. They even have an all-in-one program for homeowners, which is great to include on your yearly home maintenance schedule—especially when it comes to gutters, which can be a breeding ground for mosquitos and gnats if not cleaned regularly. Be sure to ask about their green pest control options during a complimentary consultation. Address: Better Termite & Pest Control at 2647 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: 8 AM–10 PM, closed Sundays Phone: 571-601-3567 or 703-822-5582 Pest Control Solutions Abound in Alexandria, VA These top-rated pest control businesses are considered some of the best in the Alexandria area. With free consultations and reasonable pricing, your home will be in good hands with these companies.

5 Tips for Buying Your First Home
Prospective homebuyers purchasing their first home often look in the “starter” category. Usually smaller, more affordable homes, buying a starter home is a great way to break into the real estate market. However, buying your first home can be an intimidating process. Before jumping in head first, consider these five important tips. For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction. Know What is Affordable When initiating the house hunt, learning how much “house” is affordable should be a huge priority. To determine the range of home prices to explore, follow these steps: Assess outstanding debt Add up monthly recurring expenses Determine income Learn credit score Determine down payment Look at home prices Factor in closing costs Calculate monthly payment Add in annual taxes and home insurance Add in HOA fees (if applicable) When you add up all these factors, including your current financial obligations, you can determine your budget for a monthly payment. Even if you are approved for a higher amount, there's no point in exploring homes outside your price range. Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage Knowing your credit score is part of the affordability factor, but it also affects getting pre-approved for a mortgage. People with great credit can usually obtain lower interest rates and better terms. Someone with fair credit, on the other hand, will need to factor in more money to cover the extra costs of higher interest rates. Many mortgage options are specifically designed for first-time homebuyers, so shop around before making a final decision to make sure you're getting the best mortgage terms available. Decide What Type of Home You Want Once armed with all the information necessary to determine the ability to buy a starter home, it's time to decide what type of home to buy. Single-family homes, townhouses, and condos are probably the most common type of starter homes. However, if you're in a position to buy a duplex or other multi-family home, renting out the extra space can help pay down a mortgage and gain home equity faster. Choose Your Ideal Location It's a good idea to determine roughly how long you plan to stay in an area. Life can be unpredictable and you may not meet every real estate goal as soon as you planned. Consider nearby amenities, like public parks and shopping centers. If walkability is important to you, check how the neighborhood is laid out compared to the surrounding area and what public transportation is available. Plus, if the location is desirable, you could sell your home at a greater value when you do decide to move. Evaluate the Condition of the Home Don't forget to thoroughly inspect any potential home. Home prices on the low end may indicate the need for costly repairs. Others might only need cosmetic touch-ups. While some homes are a great deal, talk to a trusted real estate agent about market rates and if the home is comparable to others like it. Good agents have a discerning eye and can potentially provide a rough estimate of how much repairs will cost. Not to mention, homes appraised too low may complicate the ability to be approved for a mortgage. A Starter Home is Just the Beginning Investing in a starter home is a great way to wade into the real estate waters, even if it can be overwhelming at first. If you're looking to buy your first home, contact Sallie McBrien at (703) 286-1333 to get started. For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

September Events Taking Place in Alexandria, VA | 2022
Locals and visitors can take advantage of the lovely September weather in the city of Alexandria, VA with plenty of fun fall festivals and gatherings. Here are some of the best 2022 September events in and around Alexandria. Celebrate Labor Day Weekend at the 2nd Annual BLOCK PARTY Attendees will surely flock to the stage to see the talented Chuck Brown Band and Go-Go Mickey at the 2nd Annual BLOCK PARTY. Revelers can dance the night away, hit the various food vendors, and enjoy cigar and hookah table service in a designated area. Arrive early to get the best parking spots and secure prime viewing of the main stage. Location: The Garden Alexandria at 5380 Eisenhower Ave Suite C, Alexandria, VA 22304 Date: September 3, 2022 Time: 7 PM to midnight Cost: $25 General Admission Experience Old Ireland at the Ballyshaners Irish Festival As the halfway mark to St. Patrick's Day arrives, so does the excitement of the Ballyshaners Irish Festival in Alexandria. Taking their name from the oldest town in Ireland, Ballyshannon, the Ballyshaner organization proudly hosts an event filled with the sights and sounds of Celtic music, dancing, and other Irish entertainment. Come hungry and thirsty for visits to the food trucks and the beer wagon full of Irish-inspired brews. Location: The Waterfront Park at 1A Prince St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Date: September 17, 2022 Time: 11 AM to 7 PM Cost: Free Admission Get Creative at the 20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival Alexandria is one of the nation's premier artistic hubs, and thousands of people passionate about the creative arts will be heading to the 20th Annual Alexandria Old Town Art Festival. Sunshine Artist Magazine rates this juried art festival as one of the top 100 art shows in the US. Artists from across the country will submit works, and many regional artists will be on-site to speak with fans and art lovers. Location: John Carlyle Square at 300 John Carlyle St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Dates: September 17–18, 2022 Time: 10 AM to 5 PM Cost: Free Admission Enjoy "Corny" Family Fun at Cox Farms Fall Festival The annual Cox Farms Fall Festival is the largest fall festival in Northern Virginia and promises to be bigger and better than ever in 2022! This fun-filled event is packed with rope swings, inflatable slides, hayrides, and the Cornundrum corn maze. There are tons of exciting games and activities, along with a petting zoo with adorable animals. Bring the family and welcome autumn to Alexandria. Location: Cox Farms at 15621 Braddock Road, Centreville, VA 20120 Dates: Begins September 17–18, 2022, and runs from Thursday to Monday through November 7, 2022; plus Tuesday, November 8, 2022 Times: 10 AM to 6 PM for the month of September Cost: Tickets start at $10, vary by day and activities Travel Back in Time at the Colonial Market & Fair Artisans will present their era-inspired talents and wares in a traditional market setting at the Colonial Market & Fair, located in the city of Mount Vernon. The market will feature shops filled with 18th-century crafts, including baskets, ironwork, leatherwork, and more. There will be Colonial-era music and entertainment at the fair, plus an opportunity to visit General Washington. Location: George Washington's Mount Vernon at 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121 Dates: September 17–18, 2022 Time: 9 AM to 5 PM Cost: Fair tickets are included with regular admission to the estate; members get in free Stroll Into Autumn on a Historic Alexandria Homes Tour The 80th annual Historic Alexandria Home Tour features several of the community's most prized historic homes. Many homes include original structures, historical collections, and curated artwork. Most have lavish gardens with amazing native and exotic flora. This walking tour is a perfect way to soak in the sites of the neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria and the beautiful autumn scenery. Location: Start at Boxwood at 128 S Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Date: September 24, 2022 Time: 10 AM to 3 PM Cost: Tickets start at $40 Fall is Fun in Alexandria, Virginia While there are fun things to do all year long in Virginia, one of the best times to get out and about in Alexandria is in the balmy September autumn. Be sure to mark these events on your calendar and check local websites to stay current on updates or special offers from organizers.

A Simple Guide for Successful Real Estate Auctions
In some situations, it doesn't make sense for a seller or lien-holder to sell their home using traditional methods. Alternately, some buyers find that buying a home using routine procedures isn't the best route for them to take. In such cases, looking into real estate auctions could be a good solution for all interested parties. Many homes are auctioned due to foreclosure; others might be fast attempts by sellers eager to get out and move on. Either way, auctions for homes are similar—yet different—from estate auctions and those held in auction brokerage arrangements. Check out this short guide to home auctions for more insight into navigating the home auction process. For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction. Understanding the Different Types of Auctions Before sellers put up a home for auction or home shoppers make a bid, both should understand what type of auction they're participating in. In general, there are three different types of auctions: Absolute auctions are considered traditional auctions where the highest bidder wins the title to the home. This type of sale is most common in the realm of foreclosures. Minimum bid auctions are those where the home is sold only when the bids meet a pre-determined minimum bid, aka the reserve amount. Reserve auctions involve the winning bid being provided to the seller in the form of an offer. From there, sellers can decide if they want to sell or pass on the offer and keep their property. The type of auction is likely to change how buyers strategize their bidding methods, so buyers and sellers being familiar with them ahead of time can be a huge asset. Setting a Selling Price or Budget Should the property be in foreclosure or part of a home short sale situation, the bottom line price may be at least what is owed on the mortgage. However, this isn't always the case. Some sellers may have a lot of equity in the home and owe a minimal balance, and these homes can often sell for a nice profit. In either situation, a minimum price to sell at—called a reserve price—should be defined within documentation concerning the auction. Buyers may be investing to flip the home, moving in themselves, or using it as a rental property. Knowing a budget ahead of time can prevent rash bids from coming to fruition during a live auction's excitement. Leaving with a successful purchase is far better than dealing with buyer's remorse by the time you return to your vehicle. List the Home for an Auction or Register to Bid Individual sellers must find a reliable auction to facilitate everything from vetting bidders, navigating the proper paperwork, and handling the auction and the closing process. Shoppers will need to check the rules and guidelines for the auction to see what paperwork they'll need to place legitimate bids. This typically includes cash for the purchase, in-place financing, identification, and other necessary documentation. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan Buyers will need pre-approval for a mortgage before bidding on a property sale at auction unless they have enough cash upfront before the show begins. Bidders can only call bids up to that cash amount, plus any financing in place. With this in mind, it's a good idea to have both cash and a loan pre-approval for high-dollar property auctions. Sellers will want to ensure that the auctioning broker requires this before approving would-be buyers for the bidding floor. Considering Home Auctions? Whether buying or selling, it is paramount that you do the proper research. Auctions for properties have quite a few rules that differ from traditional sales. However, home auctions can be an excellent solution for buyers and sellers looking to move a property quickly and with less hassle. For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Alexandria Travel Guide: Best Hotels, Restaurants & Activities For Vacations & Staycations
The city of Alexandria, VA, is a historic community located on the banks of the Potomac River, just outside of Washington, DC. The city is known for its well-preserved 18th-century architecture and its vibrant waterfront district. Those taking an Alexandria vacation will find plenty of things to do, from exploring the city's many museums and historic sites to enjoying the outdoors. There are also a variety of shops and restaurants to enjoy, all coming together to make Alexandria a great destination for a day trip or a longer vacation. Alexandria Resorts Overnight options include a variety of spas, resorts, classic hotel chains, and bed and breakfast establishments. Resorts in Alexandria typically take advantage of the historical legacy of the area while adding modern convenience. Lorein Hotel & Spa Mere blocks away from the center of downtown Alexandria, Lorein Hotel & Spa puts tourists close to historical landmarks. The hotel is 20 minutes from the nation's capital and only blocks away from the Potomac. Tourists can enjoy nearby guided tours of the community, including historical reenactments. Standard rooms start as low as $186 per night, with suites around $455. Additionally, the hotel offers other services that would not be found at traditional overnight establishments. Guests can take advantage of onsite massages, facials, and body treatments. Lorein Hotel & Spa Amenities Close access to public transportation routes Onsite spa with a variety of services Spa and hotel packages Nearby downtown Alexandria and several historical areas Plenty of meeting and event space Club Wyndham Old Town Alexandria Located in Old Town, Club Wyndham has a colonial-style resort feel. The facility has plenty of modern touches like Wi-Fi internet, a business center with desktop computers, elevators, and underground parking. To help coordinate the vacation itinerary, there's an activities desk and concierge services. Visitors can stay in shape using the fitness center or nearby miniature golf courses and tennis courts. Enjoying warm weather is also a great idea in the picnic areas. Staying long term? Take advantage of the laundry facilities and relax in the owner lounge each night. One-bedroom suites start at about $200, but a variety of larger suites are available. Club Wyndham Old Town Alexandria Amenities Timeshare process for frequent visitors Underground and surface parking Elevators and other accessibility perks Full fitness center Laundry facilities Hotels and B&Bs in Alexandria While resorts and timeshares are the perfect lodgings for some, others prefer hotels or B&Bs. Whether you're looking for luxurious accommodations or a cozy place to rest your head, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the Alexandria area. The Alexandrian The Alexandrian is an excellent option for people who want the historic feel of colonial Virginia with the modern conveniences of national chain hotels. The facility is located in the middle of the Old Town community, just steps from the waterfront and draped in a red brick facade. Those staying in Old Town to enjoy its legacy can take one of the formal tours or simply walk the streets—visitors can also rent a bicycle to cover more ground. Take a seat inside the King & Rye restaurant for delicious locally sourced seasonal ingredients. The fitness center features a wide variety of exercise equipment, including elliptical machines, treadmills, and free weights. Guests can also expect many other popular services, including meeting space and room service. Those with furry friends can also bring pets under 80lbs with a $25 non-refundable fee per stay. Onsite parking is available by the day or hour, and electric car charging stations are included. Standard room rates begin at about $273. The Alexandrian Amenities Located near public transportation Heated indoor pool and great fitness center Onsite restaurant Plenty of meeting and event facilities. Pets welcome The Grace on King Street Just blocks from the water, The Grace on King Street is another jewel of Old Town. Guests can drink coffee or enjoy lunch from nearby establishments on the patio, and the historic feel of the building adds to the mystique and colonial charm. Partly designed as a long-term living complex, guests can find many of the conveniences of home. Get to know the neighbors inside the exterior courtyard, and ask about the best local restaurants and tourist sites. Guests can enjoy fast Wi-Fi, professional cleaning, and fresh towels inside the room, while the elevator and luggage storage areas make moving in and out easy. The living spaces are studios or one-bedroom apartments and include kitchenettes, dishwashers, and microwaves. Rates are as low as $72 for members, and the contactless check-in makes it easier to go straight to the room. The Grace on King Street Amenities Fast Wi-Fi throughout the facility Contactless check-in Outdoor sitting space with artisanal coffee Rooms include a kitchenette with dishwasher and microwave Affordable rates for members Stone Manor Boutique Inn Visitors to Alexandria searching for a more homely experience may prefer to stay at one of the local B&Bs. Stone Manor Boutique Inn is a beautiful destination venue with room for overnight guests and intimate events. Built as a manor home in 1908, the facility was restored to serve as a luxury romantic experience. Its location about an hour outside Alexandria also provides guests with a lush green backdrop. The region also furnishes easy access to wine and beer production facilities that offer tours. The guest rooms feature seven large rooms reminiscent of the colonial experience. Visitors can enjoy the landscaped grounds, reading nook, and entertainment space. Room rates differ based on the size and location of the quarters, from $200 for the East Wing Suite to $350 for the Manor. Stone Manor Boutique Inn Amenities Proximity to winery and brewery tours Delicious breakfasts Luxurious colonial-style rooms Located in lush green mountainous lined backgrounds Romantic suites and event locations Food and Dining in Alexandria Alexandria restaurants offer people a grand assortment of flavors and culinary delights to fit all desires and budgets. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and Potomac River provides great access to seafood, but the area offers much more. American Cuisine: Evening Star Located on Mt Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, the Evening Star restaurant is a 24-year-old local favorite. As a great combination of venue and eatery, the facility provides a wide variety of experiences for visitors. The menu mixes fresh ingredients and delicious American cuisine, and the restaurant features a rooftop garden and agreements with local farms. Wine fans may also take advantage of Planet Wine next door, which provides a vast selection of vino. The restaurant offers outdoor and indoor areas and several private rooms for event rentals. It's open Wednesday through Fridays for dinner and serving brunch through dinner on weekends. Calling in advance for reservations is usually a good idea. Popular Dishes at Evening Star Roasted Pork Chop Cornmeal Crusted Trout Ricotta Cavatelli Roasted Carrot Risotto Local Seafood: Blackwall Hitch Seafood lovers will want to check out Blackwall Hitch. With a patio overlooking the Potomac River and located next to Founders Park, views from the restaurant also provide backdrops of DC-area buildings like the Capitol and several monuments. On Fridays and Saturdays, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., guests can enjoy dinner, drinks, and local bands. On Sundays, the live entertainment shifts to jazz groups complementing brunch. During the warm weather months, locals and tourists love to enjoy one of the two outdoor patios. Popular Dishes at Blackwall Hitch Shrimp & Scallop Risotto Shrimp & Grits Blackened Grilled Swordfish Flaming Crab Dip Spicy Crispy Tuna Tartar Nepalese and Indian: Royal Nepal Royal Nepal in Alexandria offers guests Nepalese Indian Cuisine and once-in-a-lifetime meals. The owners focus on providing traditional dishes in a welcoming environment that exudes comfort, so visitors can expect a combination of fresh local ingredients and authentic recipes. The decor features solid oak tables and rich dark brown colors. Guests can enjoy outdoor patio space in warm weather, and there are exciting selections of wines and other beverages. Popular Dishes at Royal Nepal Bhuttan Chowmein Clay over roasted wild boar app Crispy eggplant Ghee chicken or paneer Attractions in Alexandria As mentioned, Alexandria is a historic destination that offers visitors various creative outlets and scenic sites. No matter your interests, you're sure to find something to love about Alexandria's many attractions. George Washington's Mount Vernon George Washington is among the most famous names in US history. That's why one of the most popular destinations in the area is George Washington's Mount Vernon. As the home of the first President of the United States, this residence is an essential stop on any historical tour. Located in the nearby Mount Vernon community, the plantation provides various amenities and experiences. Adult tickets are just $28, but admission for youths between 6 and 11 is $15. Tickets for kids under five are free. In addition to historic buildings, the grounds also include manicured gardens and farms. Outdoor lovers can also exercise using the various trails or touring the distillery and gristmill. For a more educational approach, visit the education center, museum exhibit, and tomb. The Little Theatre of Alexandria Blocks away from Alexandria Historical District and Windmill Hill Park, The Little Theatre of Alexandria is a great place to visit for live shows and entertainment. Created back in 1934, the organization began as a small play-reading group. A few years later, the organization purchased space for rehearsals and performances. Since then, the theatre has created more than 450 productions and trained numerous performers. Watch fun shows like Sister Act or Tiny Tim's Christmas Carol featuring local performers, or experience international comedies and unique creations by local artists. If watching isn't enough, adults and youth can take acting classes or volunteer for roles like costume design. Torpedo Factory Art Center Fans of art visiting Alexandria can enjoy creative outlets beyond stage performances or live music at restaurants. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is nearly half a century old and is one of the country's largest collections of artist studios. Guests can find various artists using nearly every medium imaginable, and they can view or purchase everything from thought pieces to landscape views for the office. Managed by the City of Alexandria, the facility is part of the push of programs to promote the local arts. There are more than 70 artist studios, including those working in ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, printmaking, and sculpture. Adventures in Alexandria The most popular tourist cities create memorable adventures. Fortunately, Alexandria meets this challenge with many special excursions that are not easy to forget. Green Spring Gardens Outdoor lovers have several great options for fresh-air fun. The Green Spring Gardens is a treasure trove of horticulture exhibits, including native plants, gift shops, and reference libraries, and plant enthusiasts can also find classes on gardening and landscaping. Explore the site during a free weekend, or take a guided tour for a more focused encounter. During the summer, it is also a good idea to check out the Farmer's Markets for the best fresh produce. King Street Mile Whether shopping for souvenirs, food, or locally sourced clothing, the King Street Mile is the heart of the Old Town neighborhood. The area is a beautiful site for an afternoon stroll just blocks away from the Potomac River. The cobbled streets, boutique shops, and restaurants can all provide a reason to visit regularly. Start the trip with the King Street Trolley for a free way to view the entire area, which includes dozens of attractions. An American in Paris has offered French-inspired designer women's clothing on King Street for over two decades. Imagine Artwear also offers women's clothes, but there are accessories and items for the house too. King Street also has national stores like Warby Parker and Patagonia. Cherry Blossom Season Of all the reasons to visit the Alexandria community, perhaps the most popular natural attraction is the yearly cherry blossom season. The DC area has numerous cherry blossom trees that sprout fluffy pink and white blooms each spring. Because these trees are so widespread, residents and visitors find this time great for outdoor activities. Even a regular walk in an Alexandria park can feel like a wonderland experience because of the sea of beautiful flowers. Restaurants, bars, and bakeries get in on the fun with various cherry-themed entrées and drinks. When to Visit Alexandria The best time to visit the city depends on the purpose of the stay. April through June provides the best combination of comfortable temperature and light humidity, though the fall can also be a great time for outdoor activities because of low precipitation. However, as mentioned above, the last week in March is the best time to visit for cherry blossom-themed fun. Visit Cherry Blossom Heaven in Alexandria Alexandria is a city rich in history and culture, with something to offer visitors all year round. From cherry blossoms in the spring to delicious seafood, Alexandria has a wide variety of fun for visitors. History buffs will love the colonial-themed architecture and tours featuring the wonder of yesteryear, while outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy walks along the city streets and parks. No matter the reason for the vacation, you're sure to find something to enjoy in this unique and vibrant city.

Where to Get the Best Brunch in Alexandria, VA
Alexandria is a food haven with an abundance of trained chefs and plenty of organic, fresh foods. However, there's nothing quite as satisfying as an incredible brunch after sleeping in on the weekend. Appease those cravings by visiting these top brunch spots in the picturesque city of Alexandria, VA! Get All the Extras at Extra Perks Coffee, Brunch & Bubble Tea Extra Perks Coffee, Brunch & Bubble Tea is situated in the charming Old Town neighborhood and is an informal cafe with an American and British breakfast, lunch, and brunch-style menu seven days a week. Grab a quick cup of gourmet coffee, traditional British tea, and a pastry whenever you're on the go. Better yet, stay awhile to partake in regional brunch favorites with a mimosa. A must-try is the Italian French toast made with ciabatta bread, amaretto liqueur, and freshly ground cinnamon. There are plenty of extras and perks to be enjoyed at Extra Perks Coffee, Brunch & Bubble Tea! Extra Perks Coffee, Brunch & Bubble Tea: 822 N Fairfax Street, Alexandria Brunch Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Daily Phone: 703-706-5886 Dish It Up at Del Ray Cafe Farm-to-table French-American fusions come to life and are served from morning to mid-afternoon at the Del Ray Cafe in Alexandria. The cafe, situated in a quaint, 1925 refurbished farmhouse, offers a sizable assortment of starters and brunch favorites like omelets, French toast, and sweet or savory crêpes. The chefs use fresh, local ingredients, and this is by far one of the city's most popular brunch spots. Del Ray Cafe: 205 E Howell Avenue, Alexandria Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Phone: 703-717-9151 Refuel with Brunch at Fontaine Caffe & Creperie Sweet and savory crêpes and other fresh and inspired French fare are brunch favorites at Fontaine Caffe & Creperie, located just off of King Street. This intimate neighborhood treasure has a relaxed vibe but is always bustling with hungry patrons, so it's not unusual to have to wait for a table. Food is made to order, so the written menu is just the beginning of what's available. Just ask, and a service person can create custom dishes any way customers desire. Be sure to order a craft beer or local cider or pair dishes with a selection from the diverse wine menu. Fontaine Caffe & Creperie: 119 S Royal Street, Alexandria Brunch Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Phone: 703-535-8151 Chat Over Brunch at Table Talk Restaurant Table Talk Breakfast is one of the more casual places to enjoy brunch in Alexandria, VA. Of course, the tables don't talk, but diners' stomachs will only speak of satisfaction after a meal here. Oh, and word of mouth around town about this American diner keeps the tables filled during their all-day brunch hours. Adorned as an old-school classic diner, Table Talk has a chill vibe, affordable food, and oversized portions. So, those who want a midday meal and some leftovers for later might find their new home away from home. Bring friends and family out for brunch here any day of the week! Table Talk Restaurant: 1623 Duke Street, Alexandria Brunch Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily Phone: (703) 548-3989 Try it All at the Best Brunch Restaurants in Alexandria With many restaurants offering breakfast and lunch, why not hit the sweet spot in the middle with brunch? Some top Alexandria restaurants only serve brunch on weekends, while others provide brunch menus during open hours. You can't make a wrong turn when heading for any of the above top options, but these are just the beginning of the culinary experiences waiting in Alexandria, VA!

Your Guide to Summer Entertainment: August Events in Alexandria, VA
The summer might be winding down, but the season's hottest events are coming this August to the beautiful Potomac River community of Alexandria, VA. Historical events, summer picnics, shopping and dining events, and fun festivals are all possibilities, and many are free! Take a look at these sizzling summer events for the best August activities Alexandria has to offer. Shop 'Til You Drop at the Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market They say nothing ages as well as a fine wine, but don't tell that to the thousands of visitors who flock to the treasures that await at the Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market. Held on the 2nd Saturday every month, 50+ vendors have booths featuring antiques, vintage and thrift items, and one-of-a-kind artisan goods. Recently named the best flea market in VA by Domino Magazine, shoppers can find items such as sports memorabilia, housewares, children's items, artwork, furniture, and vintage clothing. A Rocklands food truck will serve smoked BBQ, homemade sides, and cold drinks at the market. Location: 1900 Mount Vernon Avenue Date: August 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission: Free Enjoy Song and Suds: Join the Bands and Brews Summer Bar Crawl The Del Ray neighborhood will be rocking and rolling while hitting the top hot spots for cold ones during the Bands and Brews Summer Bar Crawl on August 21. Meet up with friends and other attendees for a good time you won't soon forget during this fantastic afternoon out on the town. Ticket holders will ride the trolley through town, focusing on the Avenue District, and stopping at 15+ restaurants and bars with top mixologists, live music, food & stellar drink specials. There will be fun surprises along with a 50/50 raffle. Location: The Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, Mt Vernon Avenue & E Oxford Avenue, Alexandria Date: August 21, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: $15 in Advance / $20 at Door Take a Culinary Trip: Around The World Cultural Food Festival Take a global culinary excursion and return home with a happy palate and a full stomach after spending the day at the Around the World Cultural Food Festival. This Alexandria event is an all-around treat serving the culture and cuisine of over 40 countries. There will be singers, dancers, and plenty of artisans and sensational food vendors across Oronoco Bay Park. While the entrance is free, attendees must purchase food and drinks. The festival is also pet friendly and will press on rain or shine! Location: Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria Date: August 27, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission: Free Fun by Land & Air at the Arlington County Fair Once again, the Arlington County Fair brings the community five days of fun and is known as one of the largest free events along the East Coast. In addition to livestock and artistic competitions (get those art supplies ready!), there will be a bounty of exciting things to do at the fair. The Cole Shows Amusement Company will be bringing some of the most beloved rides and a few new ones designed to take riders to top heights and speeds. The midway will boast dozens of games suitable for all ages. The entertainment tent will be rocking on Saturday with hot local and regional bands and other special presentations. Take the youngsters to the kid's court for a variety of age-appropriate activities. Interactive games, face painting, live performances, arts and crafts, and bounce houses will be ready for action. Everything in the kid's court is also free! Location: Thomas Jefferson Community & Fitness Center, Arlington Dates: August 17—21, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Admission: Free w/ Paid Attractions Don't Miss the Top August Activities in Alexandria 2022 Take advantage of the warm weather before welcoming Autumn by attending these top events and attractions in Alexandria that will wrap up summer. Come and experience this historic city, meet the locals and explore the best neighborhoods in Alexandria, VA.

Best Alexandria Businesses That Offer Military Discounts
Locals and visitors might be hard-pressed to find a business in or around Alexandria that doesn't offer some military discount. And it's very likely that simply asking those who don't advertise military discounts will result in snagging one, reflecting the community's pride in its veterans and active members. Keep reading for the patriotic city of Alexandria's best businesses offering generous military discounts. Select Auto Imports Any member or former member of the Armed Forces or a member of their immediate family who finds themselves in need of a vehicle can enjoy great military discounts at Select Auto Imports. They offer high-quality used cars at reasonable prices in their pre-owned inventory. The dealer also offers a free- or low-cost extended warranty at discounted prices for veterans and their families. Select Auto Imports: 5630 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria Phone: 877-971-9100 Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Spine Care of Alexandria The folks at Spine Care of Alexandria show their appreciation for the courage and strength held by those who serve or have served the country in defense of national freedoms. The chiropractic team offers a few special offers and discounts to military servicepeople and their family members to express gratitude. The deal includes 50 percent off the cost of the initial examination, x-rays, and the first spinal adjustment; follow-up visits are offered with a $10 discount per service. Spine Care of Alexandria: 6285 Franconia Road, Alexandria Phone: 703-719-7302 Hours: Monday to Saturday (varies by day) SONOVA Music Concerts The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia is proud to boast numerous former and current military members and their families among the orchestra itself. For this reason and more, SONOVA knows just how important family time is for many arts patrons in Alexandria, VA. Those who qualify for military discounts can enjoy high-quality cultural experiences for just $10 each, and children ten and under can attend for free! Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia: 805 N. Howard Street, Alexandria Concert times vary Chick-fil-A While many Alexandria, VA restaurants offer military discounts, those on the go might choose Chick-fil-A. They offer a 10 percent discount for servicepersons and their families at all locations in the city and nationwide. Present a valid form of military ID, and start sinking those teeth into soft, buttered buns, hand-breaded chicken, salads, and much more at Chick-fil-A at reduced prices. US National Park Service Many military members have traveled worldwide, often with their families in tow, for extended deployments. However, imagine being able to finally travel around the nation on a recreational journey with a free annual pass from the US National Park Service. The pass covers all US national forests, grasslands, US Army Corps of Engineers, and US Bureau of Reclamation sites. Active duty military, reservists, and National Guard members and their dependents can head to any of more than 2000 federally protected recreation sites free of standard entry and amenity fees. With the military pass, up to four adult passengers in a personal vehicle along with children 15 and under are admitted for free. Served Our Country? Claim Military Discounts in Alexandria, VA Veterans or active duty service members and their immediate families may qualify for military discounts by showing their military or Veteran ID card. Should a business not offer one, vouchers for deals are typically available at a nearby commissary or exchange and redeemable at local retailers, restaurants, shops, and other service providers. Whether past or present military, moving to town, or visiting for one of the nearby annual festivals, Alexandria and its best businesses are here to welcome you.

Amenities Your Waterfont Home Needs: Boat Accessories, Waterfront Furniture & More
Buyers who have recently landed a remarkable waterfront home can enjoy a vacation-like lifestyle almost any time of the year. Many buyers want to make the most of the views and water, whether the property sits along a coastal shoreline, river, or lake. With that in mind, we'll dive into some essential purchases for waterfront homes. Go Offshore With Key Boating Accessories Who doesn't dream of racing across the water or catching the perfect breeze? Motorboats and sailboats are some of the first purchases to come to mind when you have a body of water right outside your door. In addition to being a ton of fun in and of itself, having a boat also enables a score of other activities, such as water-skiing and off-shore fishing. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before parking a boat by your waterfront home. Having a few floatation devices, skis, fishing poles, and a loaded ice chest are amazing boating accessories, but it's also essential to know the rules of the water before taking a boat out. The first thing owners need to know is what boats are permitted on the water. Some communities may allow both motorized and non-motorized watercraft, while others may have some restrictions. Other regulations may include the size of vessels that are permitted. Regardless of the boat's size and type, it's essential to understand the National Maritime Rules and enforced boating regulations. Just like knowing the rules of the road while driving, knowing what to do when approaching another boat prevents accidents—and unlike roads, open water doesn't come with clearly marked lanes and traffic flow. Wake rules and no-wake zones are like speed limits or speed bumps, except they also protect other boats from straining at their moorings and other boaters from experiencing turbulence in confined spaces. Essentials to have on board include: Life jackets or personal flotation devices First-aid kit Fire extinguisher Floating VHF handheld radio Telescopic boat anchor Inflatable Furniture for Lounging on the Water Imagine relaxing in the water without a care in the world while soaking up the sunshine. Having a few inflatables ready to go makes that an option whenever the urge surfaces. Some of the most popular types of inflatables include rafts, inner tubes, floating hammocks, game tables, and novelty sit-ins. Another clever option that is relatively new on the waterfront marketplace is inflatable docks. These are perfect for owners without a dock or who reside in a waterfront community forbidding docks. Some models inflate and deflate on demand and are strong enough to hold several people simultaneously. However, options with solid surfaces with floats on the perimeter for stability also exist. These are a bit more costly, but they are ideal for those who want to put chairs out or fish from their dock. Comfortable Furniture for the Porch Most waterfront properties will have one or more decks, patios, or a gazebo. These spaces should be comfortable, inviting, perfect for entertaining, taking in meals, or simply soaking in the magnificent views. A few cozy pieces of outdoor furniture and accessories are sure to create a unique space for guests and occupants. Rockers, high-back chairs, loungers, and porch swings are solid choices for any waterfront home. Be sure to invest in waterproof cushions. Tables for dining and resting beverages are essential, and a few throw rugs are a nice touch to complement the decor. Should there be a lack of shade in the area, a rollback cover, umbrellas, or extending the roof from the home will cover the patio or deck. Indispensable Fishing Gear Fishing gear is a no-brainer for enthusiasts, but even those who aren't anglers might want to have some equipment on hand for guests. Some must-have fishing gear includes: Fishing poles or rods Waterproof tackle box Weights and sinkers Hooks of various sizes Floaters and bobbers Bait Ice chest, keep line, or bucket Before dropping a line, know all the water's rules. There may be required permits, catch limits, and other community, local, state, and national fishing regulations that anglers must follow in certain bodies of water. Optimal Outdoor Lighting for Waterfront Homes When the sun goes down, the good times can roll on as long as the property has adequate lighting. Many owners only consider using bright floodlights to illuminate decks, gazebos, and pathways to the waterfront. Yet, those bright lights can take away from the ambiance in certain areas. Most landscape design professionals recommend using various types of lighting to create a truly stunning effect. Use a few spotlights to showcase sprawling areas of the lawn, pool areas, and the boathouse (if one is present). Next, light up the pathways so people can safely move about the property without accidentally stepping on surrounding landscaping. Consider using solar stakes to line these areas. Those with pivoting heads can also be directed toward plant beds worth showcasing. Strings of LED lights are excellent for outlining deck railings and stairways. Waterproof string lights are also a good choice for many areas around the outdoors. Fuel-fired torches or electrical-powered hanging lanterns can add a touch of elegance and help guide the way throughout the property. Ignite the Night with a Fabulous Fire Pit Outdoor fire pits come in many shapes and sizes, and they can have a variety of uses ranging from becoming a centerpiece for evening chats or even cooking food. A fire pit should complement the primary theme of the current outdoor decor so it will be attractive during daylight hours, too. There are dozens of models in stores that range from low-rounded bowls to tall and narrow. The majority of pre-fabricated fire pits are made of metal or cast iron. However, those who want a stand-out piece may want to look at these incredible DIY fire pit projects that use resilient bricks. Brick and cement pits are easy to clean and last for decades, while iron and metal tend to rust and require more maintenance. Maximize the Possibilities at Your Waterfront Home While these ideas are geared towards all types of waterfront homes, the purchases may vary slightly depending on the type of shoreline that fronts the property. With a few essentials, entertaining guests will be easy as the onshore breeze!

5 Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying Waterfront Property
Living in a waterfront home or a community with waterfront views is a choice most people would probably make if given the opportunity. There's nothing quite like relaxing in a backyard oasis and listening to the water lap against the shore – the word "tranquil" can't even begin to describe it! From the stunning views to the smell of the water, everything about waterfront living contributes to stress relief, health, and well-being. But how does someone ensure that a waterfront home is right for them? Asking the right questions during the house hunting phase is critical to answering that. Read on to discover five questions that help potential buyers get their feet wet before buying a waterfront home. Can I Do the Activities I Want? Homeowners should carefully consider everything they want to do to maximize their enjoyment of living by the water, including the activities that can and cannot be done on or in the body of water. Is fishing allowed? If so, is it safe to eat the fish? Is the water suitable for swimming, i.e., free from pollutants or irritants that prohibit swimming? Is boating allowed on the body of water? If so, what types of watercraft are allowed? Are there a lot of mosquitoes in the area? Does the water smell different during certain times of the year? All these questions about activities can help to decide on a property. Using the water for the owner's desired activities is a significant quality of life consideration. Do I Need Additional Insurance? If the waterfront home you're considering falls within a potential flood zone, you might need flood insurance to protect your investment. The cost of a flood insurance policy will be determined by the likelihood that the home and its surrounding area will flood. A higher risk will mean more expensive policy premiums. Buyers should ask specific questions regarding the potential for flooding and any past floods in the area. FEMA maintains maps of places that have flooded. Another thing buyers should check on is whether their homeowner's insurance policy covers flooding. What's the Shoreline Like? Sometimes the shoreline will need to be cleaned up to make it suitable for the new homeowner's needs. Whether the shore is sandy, rocky, weedy, or muddy, it might not be what the owner is looking for. Another thing that people might not know about waterfront homes is that sometimes they'll be buying the house but leasing the land on which the home sits. This could be a lease from the federal government or a local municipal government, depending on the body of water. In this case, homeowners must enter a long-term lease with the government, which can add hundreds of dollars to monthly payments on the property. What Will the Maintenance Involve? The elemental exposure of living next to a body of water can significantly impact the wear and tear on a house and surrounding structures. Saltwater is particularly rough on oceanfront homes and can even reduce the lifespan of an HVAC system. Year-round maintenance tasks will have to be kept up with to keep the property in pristine shape, and there are more tasks involved with many waterfront homes. A seawall, a dry dock, a boat house, a boat lift, and other structures must be cared for and maintained. In some cases, even the body of water might be the homeowners' responsibility through an association. If that's the case, the association may be responsible for keeping invasive plant species out of the water. These maintenance tasks will add to the cost of owning a waterfront home. Is There a Dock? If Not, Can I Build One? Docks and waterfront homeownership can be a tricky combination. Even if there is a dock on the property, it may not have been properly permitted when it was built. An unpermitted dock can lead to surprise fines or other legal challenges. Sometimes a dock can be owned by another entity, even though it touches the homeowner's property. Therefore, it's essential to do due diligence when exploring a property with a dock. If there's no dock present, will the owner be able to build one? Adding a dock to the waterfront might not be allowed in some protected zones. Find this out before purchasing a property that doesn't have a dock. Waterfront Living at Its Very Best It's important to talk to a real estate expert who has experience in waterfront homes when considering this type of purchase. Everyone loves spending idyllic days on the lake or sunning themselves on their own dock. But each property is unique, and the above factors can all come into play. Be sure to ask all these questions when exploring the possibility of a waterfront home.

The 5 Best Interior Design Teams in Alexandria, VA
Located just minutes from the nation's capital, the city of Alexandria is a cosmopolitan community with a unique style. Its rich history and its elegant homes are beautifully complemented by professional-quality interior design. Fortunately, there are numerous fantastic design teams to choose from in Alexandria. Whether you're interested in redoing part of your home or fully renovating your property, there's a team in town to help you get it done. Keep reading to learn about the best interior design teams in Alexandria. Ivy Lane Living Situated in a charming historic property in Old Town Alexandria, Ivy Lane Living is one of Alexandria's leading interior design firms. It is run by a team of two professional designers who believe all design projects should focus on the client's lifestyle while simultaneously incorporating formal design and fashion techniques. It is a full-service interior design firm that will take on clients looking for complete home renovations and those who need one-room redesigns. Address: Ivy Lane Living, 309-C Cameron St. Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: By Appointment Only Phone: (703) 566-6582 Asha Maia Design Asha Maia Design is an Alexandria interior design studio that opened its doors in 2016. While it may be a relative newcomer to the interior design scene in the city, Asha Maia Design has quickly earned a reputation for being one of the region's most innovative and creative firms. The principal designer, Asha Maxey, is known for creating visual appeal with layers and textures. She and her team use professional expertise and intuition to bring timeless designs to life. Phone: (703) 831-7965 ADG: Akseizer Design Group Those looking for a team of luxury designers in Alexandria, VA, should look no further than ADG: Akseizer Design Group. This esteemed firm was founded in 2006 and has grown to become one of the leading teams of lifestylists in the capital area. Clients can work closely with interior designers, marketing professionals, and architects who have experience creating cohesive plans for residential, multi-family, commercial, and hospitality spaces. Its 4,000-square-foot studio in Alexandria is one of the largest of its kind in the city. Address: Akseizer Design Group, 1315 Powhatan St. Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday Phone: (703) 288-9488 LUSH Interior Design With its commitment to professional development and passion for staying informed of the latest design trends, LUSH Interior Design has quickly become known as one of the best interior design teams in Alexandria, VA. From construction to renovation, the team strives to bring clients' vision to ever step of the process without stress. They cover everything from multi-family buildings and Alexandria luxury homes to retail spaces and commercial properties. Address: LUSH Interior Design, 108 S. Columbus St. Suite 100 Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday Phone: (571) 970-4853 Stuart Nordin Interiors & Architectural Design Stuart Nordin Interiors & Architectural Design is an up-and-coming interior design firm with both a studio and a retail boutique location in Old Town Alexandria. This firm's renowned interior design team accepts all types of design requests, ranging from full room interior decorating to custom home design. Its broad range of services and its ability to customize its offerings for each client makes this one of the most in-demand interior design firms in Alexandria, VA. Address: Stuart Nordin Interiors & Architectural Design, 600 Cameron St. Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: Boutique: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Design Studios: By Appointment Only Phone: (804) 482-0633 Design Your Dream Home in Alexandria Whether a person has just purchased a home in a new residential development on the outskirts of a city or an individual has invested in a stately historic property in Old Town Alexandria, the best interior design teams in the city can create a space that is both distinguished and inviting. The interior design firms in Alexandria, VA, are known for their professional expertise and superior style.

Pros & Cons of Townhomes, Condos & Single-Family Homes For First-Time Buyers
Buying your first home is a big decision. Condos, townhouses, and single-family homes are all great choices for your first home, but they come with unique pros and cons. Before making any financial commitments, buyers should consider each of these types of real estate to determine what style fits their life the best. Each property has different advantages when it comes to ownership rights, community fees, amenities, and potential resale value. Keep reading to decide if you'd rather buy a townhouse, condo, or single-family house as your first real estate investment.  What Is a Townhouse? Townhouses are single-family dwellings with multiple floors, attached or adjacent properties, and private entrances. They are similar to duplexes but generally are individually owned properties. Townhouses and row houses are somewhat the same. The biggest difference is that row houses line up in rows next to each other. Townhomes have different configuration options and are available in many cities, often closer to the downtown area. Their name comes from an old English term where royalty would have a home "in town" separate from their residence in the countryside. They tend to be smaller than the traditional standalone home. A townhouse may be a good option for those who do not mind living close to others or want to be in more tightly knit communities or in downtown areas where larger homes are not as commonly found. Benefits of Owning a Townhouse Townhouses come with numerous benefits. They tend to be less expensive than a detached home and work well for those who don't like to do a lot of yard work since most have small yards. Generally, these homes have less overall maintenance because of the shared walls and limited space. Additionally, being so close to neighbors may help create more of a sense of community. Many of these communities have a significant number of homes next to each other, creating opportunities for meeting new people. Townhouses work well for those who don't want or need a larger home. Drawbacks of Owning a Townhouse Townhouses are not ideal for some because they are typically smaller parcels of land and have a smaller overall footprint. That lack of space may be challenging for people with larger households or plan to be in the coming time. Because people are so close to each other, there's less overall privacy, meaning neighbors know what is going on a little more so than in detached homes with ample space between them. It's also important for interested buyers to consider fees. Townhouses may be slightly harder to finance than detached homes with some lenders. Most townhouses have HOA fees, which help take care of common or shared elements. What Is a Condo? Condominiums are a popular option for many people. Condos are typically a building structure that's divided into several individual units, each of which is usually separately owned. There are also communal spaces of the building called common elements. These are owned jointly by those who own the condos themselves. Condos are not always side-by-side structures. They can be individual units in a high-rise community or properties around each other. The biggest difference between a condo and an apartment is that most condos are owned rather than rented. Condos are an option for people who do not need or want a lot of room. It may be a good option, for example, for those who are looking to downsize. They are also located throughout cities, not just in a downtown area, providing more versatility regarding where to live. Benefits of Owning a Condo Condos offer several benefits, including typically being more affordable than a single-family home. However, location plays a role in this. Condos in high-demand areas can be lavish and demand a significantly higher value. However, costs are lower for most condos, translating into spending less on home insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Often, condos are located in desirable areas, closer to the center of town or in a park-like setting. Their location may make them a better option in some areas where traditional detached homes are unavailable. Drawbacks of Owning a Condo Condos are smaller, generally providing far less interior and exterior space than detached homes. These dwellings may not be ideal for those who need more space, especially if they lack a garage, yard, or parking. Condos in mid and high-rise buildings may lack any outdoor space at all. That may make things like grilling or owning a pet a bit more challenging. Condos may also be harder to finance than detached homes because they have shared space with other property owners. Additionally, their value relates to maintaining their amenities and desirability. They may not appreciate as quickly in some areas as detached homes. What Are Single-Family Homes? Single-family homes are often referred to as detached homes because they are not attached to other dwellings. These homes come in many styles and sizes and are in many areas, from the heart of downtowns to deep into the countryside. Some sit far closer to each other than others, but that depends on the neighborhood or subdivision layout. These homes come in many architectural styles, such as Victorian and Colonial. Ranches typically are single-floor properties, sometimes with a basement. Bungalows and split-level homes have slightly different configurations as well. Single-family homes traditionally are larger, making them a better fit for those who live with numerous other people. They may be a good option for those who plan to increase their household size, too. Benefits of Owning a Single-Family Home Numerous benefits exist when owning a single-family house. Perhaps the most notable is the freedom and privacy to live as desired. Detached property owners can typically decorate and remodel their property in any way they want to without getting approval from another person or party. Single-family homes are also far more spacious. The amount of space depends on the property, but most have some outdoor areas for parking, including a garage. Detached homes also typically appreciate over time. Though the amount depends on location and the market, most owners see their value increase as long as they maintain the property. Drawbacks of Owning a Single-Family Home There are a few drawbacks to these homes, especially for those who may not need a lot of space and don't want to maintain it. There are higher upfront costs to purchasing in most areas, plus there may be taxes on the property higher than other options. Maintenance and insurance costs are higher as well. Single-family homeowners are responsible for all related expenses, as they are not split with others. Townhouse Vs House Now that you understand the difference between townhouses and detached properties, it's time to evaluate your personal needs and decide what's better for your first home purchase. There are a few key factors that you should consider when making your decision. The first is location. If you're looking for an affordable property near the heart of the city, you might prioritize townhomes in your search. Urban areas have limited land, so detached homes are often out of the price range for first-time buyers. Next, consider how much space you need. Townhouses are typically smaller than detached homes, so they're better suited for buyers who don't need a lot of extra room. Finally, how much maintenance are you willing to take on? Generally speaking, townhomes require less time and money for maintenance than single-family houses, making them an ideal option for first-timers. Condo Vs Townhouse Condos and townhomes are popular for first-time buyers, but which is right for you? Here are a few key factors to help you decide between buying a condo or a townhome. Start by thinking about your budget. Condos are generally cheaper than townhouses, but they almost always come with expensive homeowners association fees that add up quickly. Size is a factor, too. If you've been renting an apartment for a while, you might feel ready to move to a larger space. If you're not ready for the financial investment of a single-family home and want something bigger than a condo, townhome communities are the perfect option. Consider potential resale value before deciding between a condo and a townhouse. Townhouse owners generally have the freedom to update the exteriors of their property, while condos are beholden to association rules. Owners who want complete control of their resale value might prefer townhomes. Which Property Type Is Best for Your First Home? Deciding which type of property to select means considering lifestyle choices, budgets, and the community itself. In some areas, buying a condo may be vital because it lets the buyer live close to the downtown amenities. Other times, those seeking out larger homes may need the benefits of a detached house. Consider all factors before making a buying decision.

9 Places to Take Dogs in Alexandria VA: Best Dog-Friendly Parks, Restaurants, Shops & Hotels
Noted for its rich history and the many 18th-century buildings that line the streets, the city of Alexandria is an extraordinary place to call home. People moving with pets will be excited to learn about the best dog parks and dog-friendly activities in the area. Fortunately, Alexandria is very pet friendly. Play off-leash at dog parks, explore Alexandria's best trails, and dine side-by-side at pet-friendly patios all in a day with your dog. Keep reading to find out what makes Alexandria so dog friendly. Best Dog Parks in Alexandria Many of the best parks in Alexandria include a wide range of off-leash and on-leash dog parks. For those who live in the area, it helps to know all the options and what to expect when visiting. Dog owners must supervise their pets in all parks. While many communities across the country may have one or two dog parks, this city boasts six dog parks as well as a dozen dog exercise areas. The dog parks are fenced areas and are designed for dogs of various breeds and sizes. The dog exercise areas are not fenced and ideal for well-trained dogs off-leash. Local residents can often relax at these dog parks and exercise areas with their beloved pets. Simpson Stadium Dog Park Simpson Stadium Dog Park is a fenced-in area that allows dogs off-leash to run and play. The park is located on Monroe Avenue and is easy to get to from the nearby residential area. This park is lighted, making for a fantastic opportunity to explore the outdoors early in the morning or the evening. It is a simple park that often offers a sandy, gravel surface rather than lots of green. There are some park benches and ample room for dogs to run and play. This is a popular city park, and it tends to be busy, specifically on the weekends. It is also off-leash, meaning dogs of all sizes can run and mingle with each other. Simpson Stadium Dog Park Additional Information Address: 426 E Monroe Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301 Hours: Dawn to dusk Chambliss Street Dog Park Chambliss Street Dog Park is a semi-wooded area with plenty of shade. This off-leash area provides plenty of room to explore; however, there is no separate area for smaller dogs. As the dogs play, you can relax on one of the many benches. One of the excellent features of this park is that it is located near the Dora Kelly Nature Preserve. For those that plan to spend some time exploring this area, which is possible to do with a dog on a leash, it can be the perfect place to let them run a bit afterward. The park can get muddy, especially in the spring months, but there is ample drainage to help it to dry out quickly. Chambliss Street Dog Park Additional Information Address: 2505 N Chambliss St, Alexandria, VA 22311 Hours: Dawn to dusk Duke Street Dog Park Duke Street Dog Park is a fun place to visit for dogs that love the water. It is a large fenced-in area with lots of room to run and play. It also has a water area that dogs can get into and cool off on a hot day. The area is perfect for those with larger dogs enjoying the water but wanting to remain in shallow water. As for the park itself, there is a grassy area for running in. In addition, there tend to be a few toys available to keep dogs moving. There are no drinking fountains in the area, though, so dog owners should bring their own for their pets. One of the only drawbacks is the limited amount of available parking. There is also a bit of walking to get to the park. Duke Street Dog Park Additional Information Address: 5000 Duke St, Alexandria 22312 Hours: Dawn to dusk Dog Run Park at Carlyle For a laid-back local feel, check out Dog Run Park at Carlyle. This park is fun for pets who like to dig and explore as it has mostly gravel and dirt path. It is large enough for lots of running, frisbee throwing, and tennis balls. The varied terrain makes it a fantastic place to be for some dogs. One of the excellent benefits of this park is that it offers a separate play area for smaller dogs. That helps keep all dogs safe and enjoy the amenities the park offers. Dog Run Park at Carlyle Additional Information Address: 450 Andrew's Ln, Alexandria, VA 22314 Hours: Dawn to dusk Ben Brenman Dog Park Ben Brenman Dog Park is an outstanding place to spend time with a dog. The surrounding woods cast plenty of shade on warm summer days. The park is off-leash to allow dogs to run and play, but it is a smaller park overall and can be busy on weekends. The park has one enclosure for dogs of all sizes to be together. The mulch and grass areas can get muddy on some days, but it does drain well so that they can dry out quickly. The dog park is a part of the Brenman Park, which is more than 59 acres of wooded and open areas, walking trails, and bike paths to explore. Keep in mind there are no doggie stations here for clean-up; owners must bring their own bags for waste. Ben Brenman Dog Park Additional Information Address: 4800 Brenman Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22304 Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Dog-Friendly Activities in Alexandria It is not uncommon to see dogs throughout Alexandria. Many people bring them to area parks on a leash, outdoor festivals, and much more. The key here is finding new ways to have fun with dogs. Here are some ideas. Torpedo Factory Art Center Torpedo Factory Art Center is a dog-friendly location to visit. It is an old munitions plant that has become a dog-friendly art study. It is also home to an extensive range of artists working on their own pieces. There's a lot to see and do, including getting involved in various activities, including creating paintings or photographs. Historic Sites Most of the area parks and historic sites welcome leashed dogs. That includes the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, where it is possible to keep a pet on a leash outdoors to explore the grounds. George Washington's Mount Vernon is also dog-friendly for the most part. It is possible to take the dogs out to explore the gardens, the tomb, and the views of the river itself. Other locations that welcome dogs include James Madison's Montpelier and Andry Jackson's Hermitage. Potomac Riverboat Company Canine Cruises Taking dogs out onto the waterfront on a rented boat or walking along the park and the riverfront is also possible. Check out the Potomac Riverboat Company Canine Cruises, too. This 45-minute boat ride around the Alexandria Seaport is fun for all involved. On these pet-friendly cruises, dogs are welcome aboard and allowed to see the sights of Alexandria from the river. This tour is popular among travelers and a favorite among residents who don't often see their city through the eyes of a tourist. Dogs get to enjoy the cruise for free. Be sure to book these experiences in advance to ensure there is room available. Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club Frolick Dogs Canine Sports Club offers pet parents in Alexandria a unique take on a dog daycare. This is the area's first dog gym, where dogs who spend the day there enjoy fitness activities and behavioral training exercises. During their time at the gym, dogs work with trained professionals and have fun while doing it. The exercise is good for the dog's overall health and well-being, and pet parents love that their dog is burning energy while they work. Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Alexandria For those who are out on the town and want to stop for a meal, many restaurants welcome dogs on a leash. Keep in mind that most of these require outdoor dining, and limitations on the type of dog or amount of space may be likely. Those looking for a place to get something to eat with their dog should start with Lost Dog Café. Its menu boasts gourmet pizzas, specialty sandwiches, and pasta meals. While its meals are delicious, what stands out to pet owners is the fact that this restaurant donates a portion of its proceeds to a local pet rescue organization. It's a fun place to enjoy a meal and good beer, with a pet enjoying a meal, too. It offers outdoor seating, but there is a lot of shade. Another option is to visit Barkhaus, an off-leash indoor and outdoor dog park with a bar and restaurant with refreshments for people and pups alike. Owners sit and relax with a bite to eat and some drinks while the dogs get to play and mingle with others. There are limitations regarding how many dogs can be within the space, and complete vaccination records are required. Other pubs and restaurants may welcome dogs, too. That includes Bastille in Old Town Alexandria, which features a French menu and a romantic interior. It has an outdoor patio that welcomes dogs. Le Refuge Restaurant is another fantastic French restaurant that offers classics and a patio that allows guests to bring dogs. Also, check out Chadwicks on Strand Street. It has a beautiful view of the river and lots of barbeque to offer along with other options, especially known for its craft beers. The sidewalk tables are dog-friendly. Dog-Friendly Shopping in City When it comes to finding everything necessary to care for a dog here, Alexandria offers a wide range of services. It is home to numerous larger chain shops, including Petco and PetSmart. However, some of the treasures here are the smaller shops that offer something special for dogs. Nature's Nibbles For example, Nature's Nibbles is an excellent location for those who want an all-around good pet store offering dogs many natural and organic foods. It also has a do-it-yourself-dog wash and hosts various pet seminars from time to time. It is a good choice for those who want an alternative to traditional dog foods. Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming For some fun treats, visit Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming. It is home to a wide range of food products, including options for grain-free diets and raw and frozen products. Aside from the foods, it is noted for its large bakery of dog treats. That includes a lot of freshly made items designed just for dog consumption. This location also offers a grooming service. Olde Towne School for Dogs Olde Towne School for Dogs is another fun place to visit. It is a noted training provider in the area, but it also has a large selection of dog toys, clothing items, leashes, and much more. It has been serving the area since 1975 with high-quality products. Ally & Indy Pet Boutique Also, check out Ally & Indy Pet Boutique. It is sure to be the place to go for those who are looking for fun gifts to give or special, personalized items. It has food and health products, fun toys, and decorative items to pick up. The Dog Park The Dog Park is a boutique store in Old Town Alexandria that specializes in unique items for both dogs and cats. The shop owners take pride in the fact that the products at their store are not easily found at large, corporate chains. Some items that shoppers may find at this store include sweaters for pets, all-natural pet food, pet toys, and pet beds. Additionally, gift items are available for all the pet lovers. Of course, dogs are welcome in the store, and all four-legged customers receive a special treat upon arrival. Pet-Friendly Lodging Many people visit Alexandria each year for tourism or business. Having appropriate accommodations for those traveling with a pet is not always easy. However, numerous hotels and other facilities in the area allow dogs (and sometimes other animals) to stay. Here is a look at a few of those options. Lorien Hotel and Spa may be noted for its beautiful accommodations, but it also allows up to two pets per room for guests. That could be dogs or cats. Pets are not able to be left unattended in their room, though. There is a nearby dog park but no on-property options for pets. The Alexandrian Autograph Collection is a charming place to stay. It offers accommodation for up to two pets at a time in any room. There is a fee of $25 per night, and both cats and dogs are welcome here. There is a grassy area nearby to use for dogs. Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria is another option. It allows dogs up to 80 pounds, which is larger than some other locations. There is a fee of $25 for the total stay for the dog, and it's possible to bring up to two dogs and cats at a time. One key thing to note is that pets need to be crated when left unattended in a room. Alexandria Loves Dogs, Dogs Love Alexandria There are plenty of reasons to set out on a tour of Alexandria with a dog on a leash. With so many things to do in Alexandria, there is no doubt that the days can be action-packed. Many of the parks, including the national parks and state-run parks, in the area welcome dogs, too. Venturing out with your dog is one of the best ways to enjoy all Alexandria offers.

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