Are you looking for a neighborhood where residents hang out on their porches in the evening and call out a friendly hello as you take a stroll? Want to grab a cup of coffee at the type of place where everyone knows your name or walk to the farmers market on Saturday morning? Then you need to take a look at the community of Del Ray in Alexandria.
Del Ray is one of the original and still thriving "front porch" communities that you find in Northern Virginia. Founded as a railroad community for workers at the nearby Potomac Rail Yard, Del Ray's history can be tracked back to the mid 1800's. With the Alexandria area being a major point for multiple train companies no longer in existence, Del Ray was crisscrossed by not only a significant number of train lines but streetcar tracks as well. As the train companies went out of business the fortunes of Del Ray turned as well.
When the bulldozers arrived at so many other smaller communities close to DC a small but vocal group of citizens fought to maintain the feel of Del Ray. Their success is evident as you walk through the antique stores, eateries and small business that line the "avenue". Shop owners have water dishes out for the dogs and the work of local artists can be found in the shops fronting on the main through street. The Del Ray Artisans have classes for children that are booked solid every year. Locals head for breakfast at St Elmos, dinner at Evening Star and ice cream at Dairy Godmother to name just a few of the great local spots.
Life in Del Ray doesn't come cheap. Due to the close proximity to DC, Old Town Alexandria and the metro prices can seem steep to anyone not familiar with the area. A two bedroom, one bath bungalow with 800 square feet is priced at $379,000 and on the other extreme a completely renovated five bedroom, 4 bath house with 2800 square feet is priced at $1,099,000.
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