Alexandria covers 15.75 square miles of lush, grassland and is situated at an elevation of 30 feet above sea level. The community lies to the North of I-95 on the Virginia side of the Wilson Bridge and is conveniently located near three major airports: Washington Dulles International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, just three miles away. The city has two Amtrak stations and several major interstate highways.
In winter, the air is cool with temperatures in the low 30s. Mild snowstorms occasionally hit during January and February. The summers are warm and sometimes humid from July through early September.
The city provides a number of recreational facilities including Cameron Run Regional Park, Chinquapin Park, Daingerfield Island & Washington Sailing Marina, Fort Ward Park, Four Mile Run Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway Trail, Jones Point Lighthouse & Park and Mark Center Botanical Reserve. Skiing, golfing, bowling, and visiting historic mansions are just a few more activities to add to your list.
Alexandria's school district devotes 85% of its budget to instruction and instructional support for students attending the city's many public, private and parochial schools. Alexandria has eight universities and 10 universities in surrounding cities within 18 miles. Alexandria City Public Schools take pride in providing strong leadership at all levels, a dedicated school administration and school board, and devoted teachers and support staff, and a caring community. Students are welcomed into a close-knit, family-like system and are provided with resources for state-of-the-art teaching and learning. Parents have the benefit of a strong support network through individual PTAs, specific programs designed to meet their needs, and a collaborative relationship with their child's teacher and principal.
Alexandria offers an abundance of cultural centers to visit which include the Alexandria African American Heritage Park, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, the Black History Resource Center, the Friendship Firehouse, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Torpedo Factory Art Center and The Athenaeum and The Lyceum.
Alexandria's coastal location has been vital to its materialization as a leading business center. In addition, businesses are only a short distance from Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the rest of the Northern Virginia Technology Corridor. Since 1988, Alexandria has experienced remarkable commercial development that continues to flourish. The city's Old Town historic district offers a variety of museums, architecture, special events, fine restaurants and hotels, and other attractions that draw more than 1.5 million international and domestic visitors to it each year. More than two million square feet of new office buildings have been constructed and with this development, the city has dominated in divisional, regional, national, and multinational headquarters for operations ranging from research and development to high technology, associations, and professional services.
Alexandria is named in honor of its original owner, Scotsman John Alexander, who purchased the land in 1669 for six thousand pounds of Tobacco and Cask. In 1749, the city was established as a seaport for nearby plantations. Its busy harbor brimmed with brigs, schooners and ships of the line, which traveled the great seas and participated in international and coast wide trade. During the Revolution, Alexandria was one of the top colonial trading centers and ports.
Since the beginning of Alexandria's existence, its citizens have known war. George Washington disciplined his troops at Market Square in 1754, and the town served as a supply and hospital center during the Revolutionary conflict. During the Civil War, the city was again occupied by military troops and became a logistical supply center for the federal army.
Alexandria is almost 50 years older than Washington D.C. and is one of America's most historic communities. Many unique eighteenth-century buildings line the streets of Old Town, which has been preserved by strict architectural and demolition control.
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