Founded in 1894, Del Ray is a charming neighborhood in Alexandria “where Main Street still exists”. Del Ray is located northwest of Old Town and is considered to be the area bordered on the west by Russell Road, east by Jefferson Davis Highway, south by Braddock Road and north by East and West Glebe Roads. This community is a national historic district and features a range of architectural styles in its housing choices: arts & crafts bungalows, brick cottages, American farmhouses, colonial and Tudor revival homes plus townhomes and condos. Many of these historic homes have undergone complete renovations and are very modern and up-to-date on the inside.
Living in Del Ray
Front porches are common here and you will often find neighbors out socializing, walking their dogs and generally enjoying life! The bustling and vibrant Mount Vernon Avenue is the highlight of Del Ray. You will find a unique mix of restaurants and coffee shops (many with outdoor eating spaces), specialty shops, art galleries and places to hear live music. Popular destinations include Los Tios, the Evening Star, the Dairy Godmother, Thai Peppers and Fireflies. There are also many beauty/health facilities such as yoga/Pilates studios, salons, wellness centers and fitness clubs. The year-round farmer’s market features a wide range of produce and baked goods; it takes place on Saturday mornings. Many residents and business owners choose to join the voluntary Del Ray Citizens Association; its goal is to keep its members informed about the many assets of life in the city of Alexandria.
A variety of community events, festivals and parades take place throughout the year in Del Ray. First Thursdays, which occur between May and September, allow residents to participate in events catered to a specific theme. They typically include demonstrations, restaurant specials and activities related to the topic; First Thursdays take place along Mount Vernon Avenue from 6-9 PM. As an enclave for the arts, Del Ray takes part in Arts on the Avenue, a multi-cultural arts and music festival, which takes place on the first Saturday in October. There are musical acts, craft vendors and live demonstrations. The local arts scene is anchored by the Del Ray Artisans, an exciting artists’ cooperative. Other favorites are the annual Halloween parade, the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5 mile run and the holiday lighting ceremony. Nearby Arlandria is home to the Birchmere, “America’s Legendary Music Hall”; which features a wide range of musical performances.
If you are looking to venture outside of Del Ray, Old Town Alexandria, Arlington and D.C. are just around the corner! Each offers its own mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Transportation is easy when you hop on either the Metro (yellow and blue line trains from the Braddock Road station) or a DASH or Metro bus that services the neighborhood. Several performing arts venues such as the Gunston Arts Center, Signature Theatre and the Little Theatre of Alexandria are close by.
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