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Ask a Local: Find Your Fun in Alexandria, Virginia

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Travel guides and fellow tourists can give you a lot of suggestions on things to do when you're visiting a town, but the best way to get in the know is to ask a local. If you're looking for a quick and easy escape from Atlanta this summer, the Virginia and Washington D.C. area is a great choice, reachable by a short flight or by driving. We asked Julia Carabillo Imig to tell us some of her favorite spots in her current hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, and these were her suggestions:

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Torpedo Factory Art Center: If you like art but tend to get overwhelmed by stuffy museums, this is a great option. Julia notes that you can really interact with the local artists as they work in their studios. They are happy to answer questions, and you may find a new work of art for your home!

Historic Walking Tours: Again, reading about the history of the area is not as exciting as taking a tour lead by a guide in historic costume. There are several different options, and it's a great way to make the past come to life. Julia recommends the evening ghost tour.

Shopping: Whatever you are in the mood to shop for, Alexandria has it! Whether your tastes run to interesting antiques or the Gap Outlet, there are plenty of stores located along the town's main street. You can hop on a trolley from the King Street metro station or you can take a water taxi from Georgetown.