Hotel at a Glance: Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
This posh Hilton is a convenient home base for exploring both Washington, DC, and its suburbs. It’s just 7 miles from the National Mall and 5 miles from Old Town Alexandria. The hotel’s free shuttle drops guests off at the Fashion Centre Mall at Pentagon City, where they can either catch trains to the nation’s capital or to Alexandria’s historic Old Town district.Skyline views of DC and Northern Virginia from guest rooms Surf and turf and sushi: Finn & Porter restaurant serves up Black Angus steaks and fresh oysters along with specialty rolls. Splish splash: The pool has both indoor and outdoor sections, allowing for year-round swimming. The great outdoors: A gazebo by the property’s small lake provides a nice spot to get fresh air. Alexandria, Virginia: Stomping Grounds for Historic Icons near Washington, DC
Situated about 8 miles south of Washington, DC, on the banks of the Potomac River, Alexandria was once the home of some of America’s most legendary figures. In Old Town Alexandria, the city’s official historic district, George Washington surveyed his troops from the door of Gadsby’s Tavern. Years later, a young Robert E. Lee attended Christ Church, a Georgian-style church built in 1773 that still hosts services today. Today, guided walking tours pass by both of these landmarks, as well as a dozen other historic sites and museums. These tours head down brick sidewalks lined with more than 2,000 buildings that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. And the city seamlessly merges the past with the present—it’s the kind of town with horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone streets.
To see even more of the city, hop on the free King Street Trolley. The trolley runs about every 15 minutes, stopping at 20 cultural and historic attractions. Along the way, you can stop at the salmon-colored Athenaeum, a 19th-century building that’s currently an art museum, or learn about old herbal remedies at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, a medical-remedies store from 1796. Hop off at the Potomac River waterfront, where you can walk along the hiking and biking trails that line the river.
From Alexandria, you can easily get to many of Washington, DC’s best attractions via the King Street Blue Line Metro station, which stops at Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian museums along the National Mall, and the Washington Monument. The mall stretches 2.5 miles east from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building on the other end. Across the Tidal Basin, stop in to see the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, which features a series of waterfalls, sculptures, and inspiring quotes from the 32nd president. To avoid crowds, tour the monuments after dusk, when they’re lit up.
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