ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- If you like frozen custard and bungalows, you'll like the Del Ray neighborhood.
Del Ray has a charming, small-town feel to it, even though it's a short drive to D.C. proper and is accessible to the Braddock Road Metrorail stop. (For better or possibly worse, it might be getting a free trolley soon, too.)
As for real estate options, as you can see from the slideshow of Realtor.com listings below, there are lots of bungalows for sale in the $500,000 to $900,000 range. A sign of change, perhaps: there's a loft-style condo building with two-bedrooms for sale for just under $850,000 there now, too. A lot of these properties are a quick walk to Del Ray's main drag on Mount Vernon Avenue, the Braddock Road Metrorail station, or both.
About the neighborhood's main drag, Mount Vernon Avenue: It is lined with yoga studios, boutiques and terrific places to eat, like the newly reopened Evening Star Cafe and the Cheesetique cheese shop-cum-wine bar. Our favorite is The Dairy Godmother, which specializes in frozen custard. A lot of Del Ray's restaurants have outdoor seating. It's hard to overstate just how pleasant it is to eat outside in Del Ray on a summer night, if it's not too hot.
Del Ray has a good weekly farmers market, and ample neighborhood activities, like outdoor films and art festivals. Expect lots of families with kids and dogs at all events. There are occasional rumors -- unsubstantiated -- that baby carriages and golden retrievers are issued to newcomers who arrive in Del Ray without them.