54 // NEXT STOP: ALEXANDRIA
THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO CROSS THE POTOMAC.
There’s never been a better time to cross the Potomac.
Alexandria is the kind of city you’ll want to wander leisurely through, whether along the side streets, lined with Federal-style row homes, or on King Street, which serves as the main drag for dining and shopping. Stroll the streets of Old Town, the historic downtown area, and you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled a couple of centuries back in time. Another part of the city’s charm is its convenience—after all, it’s just a stone’s throw across the river from the nation’s capital.
If you like the waterfront dining at Cantina Marina, you’ll love Blackwall Hitch. Hankering for an evening by the harbor? Head to Old Town’s Potomac waterfront, opt for a seat on the patio, and order a dozen oysters and a cold craft beer. Just as at Cantina Marina, you’ll be able to take in the harbor’s sights and sounds as the boats sail in the breeze amid the twinkling lights. Plus, there’s plenty of fresh seafood, including jumbo lump crab cakes and fish tacos. After dinner, head inside to the restaurant’s main stage to dance alongside local musical acts, which perform Thursday through Sunday, starting at 9 5 Cameron St., Alexandria, 703-739-6090; theblackwallhitch.com
If you like the playful summer style of Lilly Pulitzer, take a swing through Sara Campbell.
A lotusland for prepsters, Old Town’s Sara Campbell is a shopping destination that rivals Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines for flowery prints and preppy designs. This is your go-to spot for polka dots, nautical stripes, and paisley prints. 320 Prince St., Alexandria, 703-996-9074; saracampbellwebsite.com
If you like the seasonal American fare (and mood lighting!) at Birch & Barley, check out Evening Star Cafe. This is your quintessential neighborhood spot for weekend brunch. Located in Del Ray, the diner serves up mouthwatering chicken and waffles, and it’s no wonder—the restaurant is run by the same folks who run Birch & Barley, another hot spot for this savory Southern staple. 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703549-5051; eveningstarcafe.net
If you like the elegant tasting menu at Komi, make a rezzie at Restaurant Eve. Chef Cathal Armstrong’s “nourish the palate” mantra at Restaurant Eve manifests itself in a five- or seven-course progressive menu that features local produce from the surrounding Chesapeake and Shenandoah regions. Just as at Komi, each dish is steeped in old-world charm while adding a touch of modern American whimsy. 110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria, 703-706-0450; restauranteve.com