Excerpts from 900 word article. Pictures available.

BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES FOR VIRGINIA'S ALEXANDRIA

by Pam Hobbs

It is said you can tell the natives from tourists in this town because they all wear running shoes. Not quite, but certainly Alexandria's citizens are sufficiently wary of the brick and cobblestone sidewalks to wear sensibly flat shoes. Uneven roads and pavements lead to the prettiest part of the city's Old Town, where a hundred blocks square are peppered with more than a thousand buildings preserved or restored to the 18th and 19th centuries. An attractive aspect of this enclave is that it is no sterile re-creation. Most buildings are in everyday use, as offices, shops, homes, galleries and restaurants. The city's oldest dwelling houses the tourist office. Taverns serve meals from recipes used when George Washington was a regular. So dress for comfort, and enjoy....

Since 1732 there has been a settlement of sorts here at the foot of Oronoco Road, a "rolling road" that, so called because hogs' heads filled with tobacco would be rolled down to a warehouse beside the Potomac River. A community sprouted around the warehouse, and by the mid 1740s plans were underway for a proper town. When in the summer of 1749, lots were auctioned, a youthful George Washington assisted in the surveying. Named for Scottish merchant John Alexander who owned much of the land, the town flourished as a seaport through the l8th and l9th centuries. Now tourism is its most important industry...

The Scottish influence is everywhere. Homes and warehouses belonging to some of the original Scottish merchants are here still. The city has its own tartan, and bagpipe and drum corps. Shops display Scottish imports, restaurants advertise finnan haddie. Summer brings the Celtic County Fair featuring Highland games, Scottish music and dancing. While the Scottish Christmas Walk each December has everyone turning out in their Sunday-best tartans.....