South Alexandria is an area of southeastern Fairfax County, Virginia. Despite the name, it is not part of the City of Alexandria; it is a colloquial name used by locals because the area has an Alexandria mailing address.
South Alexandria includes communities such as Huntington, Hybla Valley, Fort Hunt, and Mount Vernon. While mostly known for the commercial corridor along U.S. Route 1 leading south from DC, the area has some hidden gems.
South Alexandria is very car-centric, and it is easiest to drive. The 1 Huntington Metro station is the current end of the Yellow Line and is just south of the Alexandria border. The rest of South Alexandria is accessible by bus.
- 1 Huntley Meadows Park. An oasis of wilderness in the middle of suburban sprawl, notable for the amount and variety of wildlife that congregates there. Features a large beaver lake with a boardwalk constructed across it. Popular with bird-watchers.
- 2 Dyke Marsh. One of the largest remaining pieces of freshwater tidal wetlands left in the DC area, accessible by a short hiking trail
- 3 Historic Huntley. Saturday 10AM–4PM, May–October. A 19th-century plantation house
- 4 River Farm. A historic mansion that is headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. The grounds are open to the public, and there is a garden shop.
- 5 Fort Hunt Park, 8999 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, (On George Washington Memorial Parkway about 3½ miles north of the estate), ☏ . sunrise to sunset. Popular with joggers and picnickers, the park holds defensive batteries from the former army installation, the exterior of which can be explored. free.
- 6 Mount Vernon. George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens; has its own article
- 7 Woodlawn Manor.
There are several large shopping centers with big box stores along U.S. Route 1. The largest of these are Beacon Center and Mount Vernon Plaza.
There is a large cluster of reasonably priced motels/hotels on Hwy 1 starting about half a mile south of Interstate 95/495. Take the Ft. Belvoir exit to get to them. This cluster of motels/hotels have the added advantage of being within walking distance of the Huntington Metro, though getting to or from it may require a map, assistance from a metro/hotel employee, or a shuttle service. Motel/Hotel options in this area range from cheap, old, local roadside inns to much newer chain hotels like a Red Roof Inn or a Holiday Inn Express. Prices in the area will likely run about half what more posh accommodations on King Street in Old Town would.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Mt. Vernon Alexandria South, 8843 Richmond Highway, ☏ . Rooms and suites with work desk, free internet, flat screen TV. Guests have access to free parking, free hot breakfast, indoor pool and fitness center. $150.