The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023

Alexandria is a charming city with picture-perfect cobblestone streets and easy access to northern Virginia’s wineries. But these days, the main reason to go is to see how well the city is dealing with its own history, as places all over the American South deal with the Confederate past. Alexandria, established in 1749 as a port for tobacco, was the hub of the nation’s largest domestic slave trade for decades of the 19th century. The Freedom House Museum now features three brand-new exhibits that pay tribute to those who were brought here by force. In the meantime, the African American Heritage Trail, which will open in 2020, follows the Potomac River and features 11 stops that cover nearly 200 years of history, including the Torpedo Factory, where many Black men and women worked during World War II. Waterfront Park, the port from which enslaved people were trafficked to places like New Orleans, will be one of 20 new stops on an extension of the route that will go into operation in February 2023. Visitors can learn about Benjamin Banneker, an inventor, mathematician, and free African American from Maryland who was a part of the 1791 surveying team that decided the border of the new U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. (Book a tour with Manumission Tours, which is run by a fourth-generation Alexandrian, for an even deeper look at the city’s Black experience.) The Morrison House Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection, which was recently named one of the best city hotels in the continental United States in T+L’s 2022 World’s Best Awards, is the city’s most elegant stay. In Old Town, a brand-new Hotel AKA is expected to open in the winter of 2023. Cantrell, Liz

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