Alexandria, VA

The City of Alexandria is among the country’s best small cities, according to new rankings.

Condé Nast Traveler magazine ranked Alexandria the No. 3 small city in the U.S. Charleston, South Carolina ranked first on the list, which was based on votes from 600,000 readers about cities with a population under 350,000 people. Santa Fe, New Mexico ranked No. 2.

“Washingtonians are all in on the secret, but it’s no surprise the rest of the world is catching up: Alexandria, Virginia, the charming, historic city just across the Potomac River from our nation’s capital, draws travelers and would-be residents alike,” the magazine wrote. “Most folks start to imagine moving there just after setting foot in Old Town, once they’ve strolled the red brick sidewalks, clocking street after street of perfectly preserved rowhouses from the 18th and 19th centuries.”

The ranking included a a sun-washed photo of restaurants Vermilion and Vaso’s Mediterranean Bistro on King Street.

Alexandria beat out Savannah, Georgia (fourth place) and Key West, Florida (fifth place) and Aspen, Colorado (sixth place) in the list of top ten cities.

“When you visit, scope out King Street, packed with boutiques, restaurants, and specialty shops, before landing at the waterfront,” the magazine advised. “End the day at Gadsby’s Tavern, where some of our founding fathers used to drink, and don’t mind the actors in colonial garb performing for you.”

Washington, D.C., meanwhile, ranked No. 5 among large cities on the list.

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