Hugging the left bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is a historically rich city south of Washington, D.C. It centres around an atmospheric Old Town and is home to several outstanding museums that bring the earliest years of the United States to life.
Things to do in Alexandria
Stroll the brick sidewalks of Alexandria’s Old Town, which is clustered with beautifully preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings. Independent boutiques, antique stores and gourmet restaurants dominate the King Street Mile, a major thoroughfare that has been designated as one of the “Great Streets of America”. You can soak up the sights onboard the King Street Trolley, which departs from Alexandra City Hall.
One of Alexandria’s most impressive architectural landmarks is Carlyle House, which was built in 1753 by the city’s founder, John Carlyle. It offers insight into life here in the 18th century, with costumed interpreters, guided tours and changing exhibits. Admire the Palladian Revival-style architecture and stroll through the landscaped grounds or coincide your visit with the annual reenactment of the “Grandest Congress”.
Take a step back in time at Gadsby’s Tavern, which was a popular place for the country’s founding fathers to dine. It comprises two 18th-century buildings that have been transformed into a fascinating museum where period objects and old photographs are exhibited. Learn about the tavern’s famous patrons, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and the influential conversations that took place here.
Getting around Alexandria
Alexandria is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Washington, D.C. and just 10 minutes from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Regular trains connect to the Alexandria railway station while subway services stop at the King Street-Old Town metro station. Buses travel throughout Alexandria and the Old Town is ideally explored on foot.