By Robin Tierney
“Virginia is for Lovers” ranks among the most recognized tourism slogans. “Alexandria is for dog-lovers” could easily be claimed by the state’s culturally rich town that edges Washington, D.C. Alexandria, Virginia has more than one dog for every four residents, 18 public off-leash dog parks and the honor of being named one of the nation’s most dog-friendly cities by Animal Planet.
Great places to stay and go
What about visiting canines? They are more than welcome. More than half of Alexandria’s hotels are Fido-friendly. The roughest part of planning your trip may be deciding on lodging since there are more than 2,000 Fido-friendly hotel rooms in the city. Welcoming properties include Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, which provides a concierge list of Fido-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques, and The Westin in Alexandria’s Carlyle neighborhood, which offers its plush Heavenly Dog Bed and other special amenities.
Just eight miles from Washington, D.C., Alexandria’s independently owned shops, museums, galleries and cosmopolitan-casual restaurants occupy beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Founded in 1749, the waterfront destination is easy to reach, and its spectacular historic downtown, Old Town, is a walkable mile from the waterfront to the Metrorail system connecting to the nation’s capital. Both historic and hip, Alexandria’s attractions run the gamut from timeless favorites to fresh cultural pursuits for all tastes.