Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I stayed with friends in Washington, D.C., and decided to make a trip to nearby Alexandria. (Just 20 minutes by car.)  I’d long heard about the charms of this historic city, which was named a Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2021 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and one of the South’s Best Cities 2020 by Southern Living.


 Alexandria didn’t disappoint. With Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria as my home base, I spent two days exploring, enjoying a delicious lunch of oysters, clam chowder and a lobster roll at the riverfront  Vola's Dockside Grill on a spectacularly sunny day and an indulgent dinner of red wine and lasagna at the  convivial Mia's Italian Kitchen.


And, with Rebecca Doser of Visit Alexandria as my guide, I walked along the waterfront paths and the lovely red-brick sidewalks of Old Town, enjoying the beautiful centuries-old rowhouses, the boutiques of King Street and historic sites like the cobalt-blue Spite House. A mere seven-feet wide and 325 square feet in total, this private residence earned its name in 1830 when a peeved homeowner built it to keep horse-drawn wagons out of his alleyway.


Rebecca also pointed out that Alexandria is a popular destination for groups. With affordable hotels, group-friendly restaurants and a wide range of attractions and activities, it’s highly appealing as a setting for meetings and conferences, an option for an afternoon or evening outing for meetings centered in Washington, D.C., or for a couple of days of pre- or post-meeting leisure. You can learn more at visitalexandriava.com/groups


At Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, meetings are more than just meetings. Yes, it’s an exceptional place to talk serious business. But it's what you can enjoy after your agenda is complete that sets this place apart. No matter the season, there are plenty of great ways to spend your quality time at Crystal Mountain.



With a beachside locale and a laidback, surf-town vibe, Ventura County Coast is awash with inspiration for your next meeting and event. The region is home to four communities— Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme—and is ideal for groups from 10 to 1,000.  


With its astounding beauty, low-key charm and endless ways to enjoy the outdoors, there’s no better antidote to a stressful couple of years than this northern New York destination.