The Eisenhower East/Carlyle District
lies on the western edge of Old Town
in a recently developed area that extends the look and feel of the historic part of town to this up-and-coming neighborhood. Beautiful, high-end red-brick apartment and office buildings set the tone in this area that blends luxury and convenience perfectly.
Like many Alexandria neighborhoods, this is a compact, walkable, high-income suburb of Washington, D.C. Its population consists mainly of professionals working in the federal civil service, the U.S. Military
or one of the private companies that provide services to the federal government. A U.S. Federal District Courthouse and the headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sit in the heart of the Eisenhower East/Carlyle District.
This lively area occupies a prime location less than 10 miles from the nation's capital and sits minutes from Old Town Alexandria, known for its art galleries, antiques, shopping, entertainment and restaurants. The Eisenhower East/Carlyle District's proximity to major roadways and public transportation makes it easy to get to other Virginia suburbs, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
Restaurants & Nightlife
A variety of restaurants can be found in the Eisenhower East/Carlyle District. For a romantic evening, try Laporta's, a neighborhood institution that predates the newer development. Relax with a creative cocktail while you peruse the menu. Consider ordering the bourbon barbecue hangar steak, the wild mushroom pasta or the Maryland crab cakes while live jazz music drifts in from the lounge. Top off your meal with the chocolate mousse cake or blueberry cobbler.
Grab a bite at the San Antonio Bar and Grill in the Hoffman Town Center. This restaurant serves authentic Tex-Mex food in a casual atmosphere. In mild weather, sip a margarita or mojito on the outdoor patio. Order the tilapia cerviche for a light, slightly spicy start before moving on to the asada puertoriqueno, a grilled marinated flank steak served with rice, fried plantains and a side salad. Be sure to save room for the homemade desserts, such as flan or tres leches.
Also in the Hoffman Town Center, Delia's features Mediterranean cuisine and brick-oven pizza in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. The friendly staff welcomes you warmly as they bring you satisfying rustic dishes, such as the chef's risotto and creamy penne with mushrooms and sausage. Delia's cooking emphasizes the Mediterranean staples of olive oil, fresh vegetables and seafood, and the menu highlights both Greek and Italian influences.
When it comes to nightlife, you can always catch a movie at the 22-screen theater complex at the Hoffman Town Center. Another option is The Carlyle Club, an elegant supper club with live jazz bands. The venue features great aesthetics, ambiance and acoustics, and all the seats in this intimate setting have a good view.
For more nightlife entertainment options, head to Old Town, where you can enjoy live theater, street performers, music, fine dining and bars of all kinds, including sports-themed varieties to Irish pubs to old-fashioned speakeasies.
History & Culture
In the late 1700s, the Eisenhower corridor became home to two flour mills along Cameron Run. One later became a pumping station and remained so for more than a century, and the other operated until 1919. Cameron Farm occupied much of the land in the 1930s.
The area changed in the 1960s with construction of nearby Interstate 495, and it changed again in 1983 with the opening of Metro's Eisenhower Avenue Station. The station saw little traffic since the area consisted mainly of industrial warehouses, but when Eisenhower Avenue connected directly to I-495 in the 1990s, development soon followed.
Subsequent growth has left the area lacking in museums and cultural attractions. However, Old Town Alexandria's thriving art scene lies minutes away and includes the annual King Street Art Festival in the fall. Take the Metro to Washington, D.C., and explore its extensive and varied assortment of museums.
You can easily travel in and around the Eisenhower East/Carlyle District via its two main roads, Duke Street and Eisenhower Avenue. Use Duke Street to go into Old Town Alexandria and to access Route 1 (Richmond Highway) to the east and Interstate 395 (Shirley Highway) to the west. Eisenhower Avenue connects you to Interstate 495 (the Capital Beltway) and Interstate 95.
Public parking comes at a cost in most neighborhood locations; Hoffman Town Center includes a parking garage
that charges $4.50 for three hours. The apartment buildings and businesses include parking garages, and some paid street parking exists as well.
Most people in the area find it convenient to have a car, but locals find that they don't really need one within the neighborhood, as most locations sit within walking distance. While you won't have any luck hailing a taxi, you can always call a cab company to schedule a pickup, and Uber does provide service to the area.
The flat terrain makes biking an option, but Duke Street and Eisenhower Avenue do not have bike lanes, and the congestion makes cycling on these streets a potential dangerous option. Several streets in Old Town Alexandria do include bike lanes, however. If you don't own a bike, Capital Bikeshare operates several stations in the neighborhood, and you can return the rental bikes to any station.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority operates Metrorail and Metrobuses in the area, and the city of Alexandria operates its own bus system, DASH. Residents can walk to either the Eisenhower Avenue or King Street Metro stations. Commuting by Metro from Eisenhower Avenue to Metro Center in Washington, D.C., takes fewer than 30 minutes. Commuting from King Street to Metro Center takes about 25 minutes.
Amtrak also operates a station near King Street with Metroliner service to all points on the Amtrak system and trains from the Manassas and Fredericksburg lines of the Virginia Railway Express.
When you need to fly to your destination, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport sits less than 15 minutes away by car or a quick trip on Metro's yellow line from either the King Street or Eisenhower Avenue stations.
Living in this upscale community costs about 29 percent more than elsewhere in Virginia and 40 percent more than the national average.
apartment costs about $1,880 per month. You can expect to pay approximately $6 a bottle if you go out for a beer in the neighborhood.
A tank of gas costs roughly 10 percent more than the national average. If you leave your car at home and commute to Washington, D.C., via Metro, you'll pay $3.85 from Eisenhower Avenue to Metro Center and $3.65 from King Street during peak hours using a SmarTrip card. Expect to pay $1 more if you use a paper fare card.
The Eisenhower East/Carlyle District doesn't have much in the way of shopping, but you can shop for many basics, such as pharmacy items and home goods, in the chain stores located in strip malls just to the west on Duke Street. Turn to Old Town Alexandria for antiques, national chain clothing stores, boutiques, gifts, specialty stores and more.
Chinoiserie on King Street in Old Town specializes in unique home decor. Pick up hand-painted bowls or a teapot, or find just the right gift. The choices range from traditional to contemporary, and in spite of what the name implies, not all the items have Asian designs. The spacious presentation lets you browse without feeling like you've missed something.
Get in the Christmas spirit any time of the year at The Christmas Attic. Spread over two stories and jam packed with Christmas merchandise, this shop includes ornaments, decorations, collectibles, books and more.
You can also shop at Landmark Mall, which sits about 3 miles west and features Macy's, Sears and Bath & Body Works. For more upscale shopping, take the Metro's yellow line to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, which includes Coach and Hugo Boss.
When you need to pick up groceries, you can choose from several options located close by. Whole Foods Market on Duke Street sits within the neighborhood. Choose from more than 200 organic fruits and vegetables daily, or stop in for lunch at the bistro station and burger bar. Other grocery options include Giant Food in the Alexandria Commons Shopping Center and Safeway in Old Town. Heads to Balducci's for specialty items, and pick up some of the shop's "gourmet on the go" items.
Shop for fresh local foods year-round at the Old Town Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings in the Market Square plaza. During the peak season, more than 70 vendors sell meat, poultry, cheese, fruits and vegetables, bread, fresh pasta, pickled vegetables, cut flowers and more.
Not many parks exist in the Eisenhower East/Carlyle District, but you don't have to go too far to find one. A park that does lie within the neighborhood is the Dog Run Park at Carlyle. You can let your dog run free in this fenced play area.
A couple blocks away from the Carlyle District, King Street Gardens Park combines an outdoor art project with a public park to create an oasis in a dense urban space. The park includes a large metal sculpture, hanging and sunken gardens, and tables and chairs. The park serves as a venue for public enjoyment as well as outdoor concerts.
To the west on Eisenhower Avenue, past Telegraph Road, lies Cameron Run Regional Park, which features a water park, a miniature golf course, batting cages and picnic shelters. Ride waves in the water park's wave pool, plunge down speed slides, twist and turn down four-story water slides or splash in the shallow waters of the play pool. Fees apply for all the activities and vary by season and age of the participants.
Hensley Park is home to softball, soccer and lacrosse fields used by adult and youth leagues. The park also includes picnic areas.
Bikers, joggers, walkers and rollerbladers frequently take advantage of the scenic 18-mile Mount Vernon
Trail that extends from Rosslyn, Va., to Mount Vernon, just south of Alexandria.