Best Places to Live

Alexandria, VA

Population: 149,315
Rusty Kennedy

Few places offer the historical architecture and significance you’ll find in downtown Alexandria, Va. As hip as it is historic, Old Town Alexandria’s growing collection of restaurants and artistic establishments is drawing in new residents. The downtown area has a high share of the so called “creative class,” which includes scientists, engineers, researchers, artists and designers, among other professions. Household incomes in Alexandria are projected to increase by as much as 4 percent over the next five years as the demand for homes in and around Old Town remains high.

It’s easy to see why Old Town Alexandria was picked as one of the Top 10 Best Downtowns. Alexandria's downtown consistently receives praise, and yes, we've given the city high marks before. See where Alexandria ranked on our Best Downtowns, 2014 list. Perched on the banks for the Potomac River, just across from Washington D.C., this historic area is filled with homes, churches, buildings and brick-lined streets that date back hundreds of years, allowing residents and visitors to experience an equal mix of sophistication and charm. Restaurants like Vermillion, Virtue Feed & Grain, Columbia Firehouse and Momo Sushi keep patrons coming back for more with farm-to-table ingredients, captivating flavor combinations and superb service. Alexandria's extraordinary dining scene helped it rank as one of our Best Foodie Cities in 2013. Events like First Night Alexandria, a giant New Year’s Eve Party, celebrate the city’s cultural and artistic vibe with live musical performances that range from Scottish fiddlers to Grammy-nominated rock-and-rollers. The free King Street Trolley helps both residents and tourists get to the many shops, attractions and restaurants in downtown Alexandria, while a network of sidewalks and pathways make walking or biking easy.

See where Alexandria ranked on our previous list of Best Downtowns