Alexandria’s Old Town has been named one of the top 10 downtowns in the nation by Livability.com.
Old Town ranked No. 3 in the nation, following Fort Collins, Colo., and Charleston, S.C.
For the list, Livability editors whittled down a list of 500 cities with populations between 100,000 and 300,000.
They considered the downtown’s economic vitality by assessing the city’s unemployment rate, downtown vacancy rate, distance between residential areas and downtown amenities and residents’ average income levels.
The website’s editors noted Old Town is the third oldest historic district in the nation, featuring colonial architecture and cobblestone streets.
“While the area is big on charm, it also offers a cosmopolitan feel and a culinary scene that is getting international attention. Virtue Feed & Grain, located near the waterfront in Old Town, was recently named on a list of best new restaurants by Bon Appetit magazine," the editors said.
King Street, with its restaurants, pubs and shops, was named one of the 10 "Great Streets" of 2011 by the American Planning Association.
“This list highlights those cities with downtowns that offer residents and visitors valuable experiences – museums and theaters for families to visit, restaurants and coffee shops where friends can gather, shops and boutiques for finding memorable keepsakes” Livability.com spokesman John Hood said in a statement. “We chose cities in which the residents and government leaders have invested in downtown revitalization projects, providing a favorable atmosphere for older businesses to thrive and for new businesses to grow.”