Alexandria, Va., Ranks as Top Place to Travel in 2018; Next-Door Neighbor Washington, DC, Says, ‘Huh?’

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Washington, D.C., suburb Alexandria, Va., is the top place to visit in 2018. According to the Washington Post, in an article titled, “Alexandria, Va., Outranks Home of Disneyland as Top Place to Go in 2018, Survey Says”:

[Money] magazine said in a description of its rankings called “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2018” that it looked at locations internationally and in the United States that “deliver the highest value for your dollar.” It also gives tips on what it considers “must-do experiences and amenities,” and it claims that its suggestions are a deal and even a “steal.”

For U.S. travel, Money ranked Alexandria, Va., in first place.



According to Money:

To truly experience the Old Town neighborhood, grab an outdoor table at Hank’s Oyster Bar during happy hour on a Friday night. Hank’s is one of dozens of cafes, boutique shops and galleries that line the walkable mile of King Street that ends at the historic wharf. Art lovers should check out the nearby Torpedo Factory Art Center, a space housing 82 artist studios and seven galleries, featuring everything from pottery to stained glass. On the other end of town stands the legendary Birchmere Music Hall, where greats like Johnny Cash and Dave Matthews once played.

Alexandria is also the perfect jumping off point to explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate ($20 for adults), says Evan Godt, a Lonely Planet destination editor for the Americas. Tour the colonial mansion and its four formal gardens, which have been restored to their 18th century appearance. Or rent a car (roughly $40 a day, reports Hipmunk) and explore Virginia’s burgeoning wine country. A little over an hour away, you’ll find RdV Vineyards (tours, $65 per person), which is known for its cult-status red blends.

Look, I like Alexandria. I literally go there every single day when I drop my daughter off for school. I like Old Town just fine, and if I were a (multi) millionaire, I’d buy a house in Alexandria. Floods a bit much for my taste, but ya know, you can’t win them all. But Alexandria is not a tourist destination—not from out of town.

It’s barely a destination for people who live in D.C. In almost no universe are people paying money to venture specifically to Alexandria. You come to D.C. and then go to Alexandria because the site you on where you booked your hotel made it seem like the hotel was “right outside of Washington, D.C., with views of the Capitol at night!”

Nearly every single thing you can do in Alexandria, you can do in D.C., and it ain’t THAT much more expensive. The article mentions cobblestone streets. Georgetown got those. It mentions Alexandria as a jumping-off point for George Washington’s Mount Vernon plantation Estate, which is not even in Alexandria. You have to drive THROUGH Alexandria to get there. Again, Old Town is cool ... it’s very quaint. I enjoy going down there on infrequent occasions and watching street performers along the river, and there is lots of shopping along King Street.

But Georgetown, again, whips Alexandria’s ass, and it’s right across the water in D.C. D.C. has all of the museums—you may have heard of the Smithsonian. D.C. has all of the fine eateries and all of the public transportation, and basically, I mean, put it this way, it’s a fine suburb of D.C. to live in or find a fun and interesting thing to do in the off-the-beaten-path CityPaper. Or, like, to go to a concert at the Birchmere.


You don’t travel from Montana to Alexandria because of the Birchmere, though. This is like that time some folks out in Fairfax County—another suburb of D.C.—tried to float the idea that Tysons Corner was basically turning D.C. into its suburb. Tysons has exploded. It’s got the biggest mall and the mall with all of the high-end stores. Lots of rich people live out yonder. It’s also far. And in nobody’s world is Tysons Corner a draw to the region.

Now, I’m not judging Money’s survey. OK, I’m lying; I’m totally judging their survey. But I’d truly like to understand how a suburb of an actual destination ranks as the No. 1 spot to travel to when nearly EVERYBODY who would visit Alexandria would most assuredly spend the vast majority of their time in the major city next door that is an international tourist destination. How the hell is the hotel spot a top travel destination in any year? Something is awry.


Listen, I’m not saying anybody with some clout made a call. I do know that way back in time, ads for the Almighty RSO kept showing up in The Source magazine, and nobody could understand why because nobody actually ever listened to the Almighty RSO. Yet, every single month, The Source was telling me I needed to check our their album and even gave them a four-and-a-half-mic rating, back when that shit really mattered.

I don’t know if a Benzino-like character runs Money. What I do know is that every single person who reads this survey and says, “Hey, honey, we should check out this Alexandria, Va., place!” is assuredly going to end up finding out it’s next to D.C. and say, “Well, why don’t we just go to D.C. and check out these places in Alexandria on one of our free days!”


Chicago, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and other actual tourist destinations made the list. But somehow Alexandria, Va., residential suburb of Washington, D.C., is the top destination in 2018. A fine city, but the top destination for 2018???? And D.C. isn’t even on the list?

Survey says? Nope.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.


Tired Old Feminist

Excellent rebuttal. I live in the area and agree with you! Plus, The Birchmere is NOT famous for having Johnny Cash and - Dave ... Matthews? playing there. It started as a bluegrass venue, and was nationally renowned among Bluegrass nerds.

One quibble: Mt. Vernon IS in Alexandria, just not the hoity-toity-best-place-to-visit City of Alexandria. It’s technically in the Rte. 1, Harry Smith Motel, Krispy Kreme part, which I personally prefer, thank you very much!