Where exactly is Alexandria, Virginia?
Alexandria is in Northern Virginia, on the Potomac River, southwest of Arlington and Washington, DC. Richmond is located 105 miles away from the city, while Washington, DC is only 8 miles away and 2 hours away.
Keep in mind that congestion will undoubtedly lengthen this route.
Alexandria is well-known for its historical Old Town and as the entrance to Mount Vernon. This guide highlights the various activities can do in Alexandria, as well as places to stay and dine.
In the spring, it is an ideal day excursion from Washington, DC to avoid crowds.
If you do have any recommendations, please write them in the comments so that other tourists can visit the same places!
King Street Mile
Stroll down the mile-long red-brick sidewalk dotted with independent businesses and interesting restaurants.
Bookshelves, cafés, restaurants, thrift stores, salons, museums and galleries, home stores, and boutiques selling sustainable apparel, handicrafts, stationery, and vintage products, to mention a few.
Along the way, you’ll notice various bright murals that are ideal for stopping to shoot. This area also has some of Alexandria’s top coffee shops!
When visiting Alexandria’s Old Town, be able to examine Classical Movements, a business that delivers unusual outdoor performances!
While they are not really on King Mile Street, they are close by on Princess Street. They have presented 74 concerts inside the garden in which they are located since June 2020.
They have a lot of programs (typically on Thursdays) and run them throughout summer till the end of August. Everything from jazz to opera and more may be found here! More information may be found on their website.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
The Gadsby Tavern initially opened in 1785, followed by the City Tavern and Hotel in 1792. This two-building structure is now a monument with daily visits to learn about life in colonial times.
George Washington attended Birthnight Balls in his honor hosted in this city. You may eat in the tavern restaurant, which has a historic feel to it.
Gadsby’s is located at 138 N. Royal St in Alexandria. For more information, see their website. The Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Historic Gadsby’s Tavern - Alexandria, Virginia
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
This apothecary company was founded in 1792 by pharmacists Edward Stabler and operated as a family business until 1933.
Customers now include George and Martha Washington, as well as Robert E. Lee. After the shop closed, it was converted into a museum.
Many original items and materials used by the families for over 140 years may be shown, such as historic medical equipment, recipes, notebooks, ledgers, hand-blown glass containers, and herbal treatments.
Harry Potter enthusiasts will especially like this location because some of the original products used at the business, such as mandrake root, valerian, dragon’s blood, and castor oil, appear in the Harry Potter series.
You may learn about the real-world applications of these medications. The museum tour will take you around the shop’s selling floor and the storage floor. The admission fee is $5.
The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is located at 105 S Fairfax St in Alexandria. For more information, see their website. The Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday
Escape Room Live
While Virginia has good weather, it is not always perfect, and if you find yourself on a wet day and looking for something fun to do, I strongly recommend visiting an escape room in Alexandria.
Escape Room Live has a range of distinct escape rooms, each with its own unique theme! The Wizard’s Apothecary is just a 45-minute play that lasts several hours and is rated 6/10 challenging!
You’ll also discover Sherlock Holmes: Bomb’s Away, a 45-minute slot machine game!
If you want something a little longer, Sherlock Holmes: A Matter of Time is just a 60-minute alternative in which you will search for the investigator himself!
Escape Room Live is located adjacent to 814 King Street in Alexandria.
Alexandria Farmers’ Market
The Old Town Farmers’ Market is among the country’s oldest farmers’ marketplaces. George Washington even sent fruit from Mt. Vernon to sell at this market.
Over 70 merchants sell meat, milk, slices of bread, pastries, pasta, fruits, veggies, plants, flowers, jewelry, soap, and art during peak season.
There are many things to explore at this market, whether you choose to buy souvenirs, food, or simply wander about and look at the many items on sale. The Market Square Parking Garage offers free parking, and the Old Town Trolley and DASH bus provide access.
The Alexandria Farmers’ Market is located at 301 King Street in Alexandria. It is held every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Take a Ghost Tour
A ghost tour is an intriguing and eerie alternative for your stay in Alexandria. Alexandria Colonial Tours is a nocturnal ghost tour conducted by a Colonial-costumed guide around six streets of Old Town Alexandria by lantern light.
You’ll hear scary stories, unsolved mysteries, mythology, folklore, and snippets of Alexandria’s history. The trip costs $15 for each person and lasts one hour.
Visit their website to learn more.
The Frights & Pints Old Town Alexandria Tour is for you if you’re curious about both pubs and ghosts! This pub crawl mixes drinking glass with hearing a ghost narrative delivered by your costumed guide as you explore three to four different pubs and various historic sites along the route.
A must-see in Alexandria, not only for its historical significance but also for its lovely gardens and vista. Mt. Vernon was George Washington’s residence for years, owned by his family.
The trip might begin at the house, that has been renovated to look how it did during colonial times. Many original objects, such as furniture, presents, and even President Washington’s deathbed, may still be seen.
Other structures to see include a museum chronicling George Washington’s life and administration, as well as slave quarters near the mansion.
You may also wonder about the grounds, see the view of the lake from the back porch, and explore the four-acre farmland, barn, distilleries, and gristmill.
There are occasionally special events, like - enactment, so check the schedule to see if anything unusual is occurring during your visit. For history buffs, this is among the most popular things to do in Alexandria.
Mt. Vernon is located at 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information may be found by clicking here.
John Hollensbury built this teeny-tiny cottage in 1830. He was fed up with horse-drawn wagons and loiterers in his alleyway, so he constructed the home to upset them and keep them from using it, hence the moniker “spite house.”
It’s two floors tall and barely seven feet wide! It is presently privately held, therefore you cannot visit it, however, it is an excellent location for photographs.
The Spite House is located at 523 Queen Street in Alexandria.
Mt. Vernon Trail and Dora Kelley Nature Park
The Mt. Vernon Trail is a paved walking and bicycle path that runs beside the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the Potomac River for 18 miles.
It runs from the northern trailhead on Theodore Roosevelt Island down through the airport, via Old Town Alexandria, and south along the river to the Mt. Vernon estate.
This route allows you to catch some fresh air while viewing the Washington D.C. skyline and the Potomac River.
It is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every year. For additional information, see the National Park’s website.
If you want to do something a little less urban, visit the Dora Kelley, Nature Park. This 50-acre woodland park is the best refuge tucked away from the city.
Hiking and bike routes, picnic spots, bathrooms, and park information are all accessible. Keep a look out for the many different sorts of birds and intriguing flora that reside here. Visiting the natural park is a terrific way to get away from the city without having to go far.
Dora Kelley Nature Park is located at 5750 Sanger Avenue in Alexandria. More information may be found by clicking here.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
This tribute to George Washington is modeled after the historic Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt. The memorial stands 333 feet tall at the summit of Shooter’s Hill.
The structure was consecrated in 1932, but the inside was not completed until the 1970s.
The Memorial Hall, Monument Theater, and many levels of displays dedicated to the work of the Freemasons, George Washington, a memorial library, and ancient Egyptian and Hebraic architectural traditions comprise the memorial’s nine stories.
A guided tour is required to see any floors other than the first and second. Adult admission is $18 and children are free.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is located at 101 Callahan Drive in Alexandria. It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information may be found by clicking here.
Torpedo Factory Art Center
In 1974, an abandoned navy ammunition factory was turned into an art complex, which presently comprises 82 artist studios, seven galleries, two workshop spaces, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
All art areas are accessible to the public, and you are allowed to go around the building, talk to the artists, and see them at work. There are frequently seminars and workshops offered, so check out their website for additional information.
Sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelers, printers, and glassmakers are among the artists on display. Check out the Beaded Curtain Mural on the building’s exterior for a unique photo opportunity.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center is located at 105 N. Union Street in Alexandria. It is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 9 p.m. More information may be found by clicking here.
Jones Point Lighthouse
The Jones Point Lighthouse served as an essential navigational aid for ships sailing down the Potomac River. It was in operation between 1856 and 1926 and was converted into a museum when Jones Point Park was founded in 1964.
It is the only remaining riverine lighthouse in the Chesapeake Bay. This location is beautiful and ideal for an outdoor stroll and picnic by the river. There are also two playgrounds, two basketball courts, instructional signs about the region and its importance, a canoeing launch point, and two fishing docks at the park.
The lighthouse is now closed to the public while the inside is being renovated. It is a magnificent Alexandria attraction when it is open.
The Jones Point Lighthouse is located on S. Royal St., on the southern end of Old Town Alexandria, beneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It is normally open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. More information may be found by clicking here.
Take a Boat Cruise in Alexandria
Enjoy seeing D.C. from a different angle… from the river! Take a trip along the Potomac and experience the sites from a different perspective.
A taxi ship between Alexandria to Washington, D.C., a pirate boat, a sunset yacht, an Mt. Vernon cruise, and a landmarks tour ship are all available.
Visit the city of Alexandria’s website to learn more about cruise choices.
Alexandria Black History Museum
This museum is situated in what was formerly the city’s first segregated library. It chronicles the local and national history, as well as African American culture and contributions.
The objective of the museum is to “enrich the lives of Alexandria’s citizens and tourists, develop tolerance and understanding among all cultures, and stimulate awareness of the uniqueness of the African American experience.” In addition, the museum manages the Alexandria African American Heritage Park and a cemetery.
The Alexandria Black History Museum is located at 902 Wythe St in Alexandria. More information may be found by clicking here.
The political and social life of Alexandria. After the mansion was finished in 1753, rich British trader John Carlyle and his family moved in.
The home has been rebuilt and is now available for public visits. The house’s owner, NOVA Parks, took great care to collect as many of the original interior components as possible, providing an intriguing peek into what mansions of the era might have looked like.
The home also has a lovely garden that has been kept in the elegance that it had when the Carlyles owned it.
The Carlyle House is located at 121 N Fairfax St in Alexandria. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, and from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Mondays are off-limits. More information may be found by clicking here.
Find a Delicious Restaurant in Alexandria
There are so many fantastic restaurants in Alexandria that it is difficult to pick just a handful. The following is a list of some of the top restaurants and cuisines. Good luck!
Fontaine Caffe: Come here for excellent European-style crepes. On weekdays, they provide breakfast, lunch, and supper, and on weekends, they serve brunch. It can be found at 119 S Royal St in Alexandria.
Taverna Cretekou: Delicious Greek cuisine from a family-run restaurant that has been in operation for over 50 years. Attempt to grab a table on their lovely terrace! It can be found at 818 King Street in Alexandria.
Don Taco: a taqueria that serves 14 different types of tacos and also empanadas, churros, tortilla soup, and ceviche. It is located at 808 King Street in Alexandria.
Smoking Kow BBQ serves American barbecue tacos, sandwiches, and “mac ‘n’ meat” (signature bbq meat over mac ‘n’ cheese). It’s at 3250 Duke Street in Alexandria.
Del Ray Pizzeria: these are some of the greatest places to get fantastic pizza, but also sandwiches, with many of the ingredients produced directly next to the terrace. It is located at 2218 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria.
Mia’s Italian Kitchen: Choose from a wide range of brick oven pizzas, housemade pasta, and family-recipe-inspired dishes, including morning spaghetti and brunch pizza. It is located at 100 King Street in Alexandria.
Caphe Banh Mi: This Vietnamese restaurant provides staples such as banh mi sandwiches and soup bowls. It is located at 407 Cameron Street in Alexandria.
Hen Quarter: a café serving traditional Southern fares such as chicken and waffles, hushpuppies, shrimp, and collard greens. It is located at 801 King Street in Alexandria.
Captain Gregory’s: Only accessible through a hidden entrance in Elizabeth’s Counter, a great doughnut shop with several vegan options, is this trendy speakeasy with great bar food and mixed beverages. It is located at 804 N. Henry Street in Alexandria.
Nicecream: Made to order with local milk & fresh produce, your cream is frozen on the spot with liquid nitrogen. It is located at 726 King Street in Alexandria.
Should You Travel to Alexandria?
Alexandria is a historic city in Virginia that you should absolutely include on your itinerary for Northern Virginia. There are plenty of excellent things to do in Alexandria for history and environment enthusiasts. However, if you have a vacation planned to Washington, DC, it is also a terrific place to visit.
We hope you include Alexandria on your Virginia bucket list and find this guide helpful!
Party Buses in Alexandria
Party buses are a great way to have a good time. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be rented for different purposes.
If you are looking for the best party buses in Alexandria, click here.
There are different types of other vehicles services also available:
Accommodation in Alexandria
If you plan to spend the night in Alexandria, there are various options. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to stay in Alexandria. Most are close to the top things to do in Alexandria or Old Town.
Here are some Alexandria hotel options for every budget:
Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria Autograph Collection Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria Quality Inn Mount Vernon