The Van Dorn neighborhood in Alexandria’s West End is filled with hidden gems, outdoor adventures and some of the best craft beer experiences and affordable ethnic restaurants in the D.C. region. The neighborhood, which has received buzz in 2017 with the opening of pre-Prohibition inspired Portner Brewhouse, is accessible via the Van Dorn Street Metro stop on the Blue Line, and is most easily navigated by bike or car. Keep reading for our top things to do in Alexandria’s Van Dorn neighborhood.
Visitors seeking uncommon tour experiences will find a wealth of options in Old Town Alexandria, a neighborhood steeped in history while humming with a cosmopolitan feel, located just outside of Washington, D.C. Joining a robust calendar of history, ghost, and boat tours are new niche tours including Fetching Photos, which presents walking photo tours for both smartphone and SLR users (and dogs are always welcome!); Nightly Spirits, featuring a “Frights and Pints” tour for beer fans who love a scare; Manumission Tour Company, which explores Alexandria’s rich African American history through curated heritage tours; and Discover Alexandria, presenting tours such as “Virginia is for Runners,” visiting iconic sites while on a brisk run, and “Sweet History,” combining history with the city’s best dessert spots. Keep reading to learn more about new niche tours in Alexandria.
Alexandria, Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., is nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved 18th– and 19th-century architecture, including many sites important to women’s history. To celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up our top 10 ways to explore women’s history in Alexandria, from sites associated with abolitionist Harriet Jacobs to new waterfront restaurant Vola’s Dockside Grill named after Alexandria’s first female city manager and local Civil Rights leader Vola Lawson. You can also celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting women-owned businesses in Alexandria, including almost 90% of the shops in the Old Town Boutique District. Keep reading to learn more about the people and places in Alexandria who helped forge the way for women’s rights.
Now that season two of the PBS Civil War-era drama Mercy Street has aired, Alexandria, Virginia has rolled out a new exhibit of costumes from the show plus 12 tours inspired by the series. PBS’ first American drama in a decade is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria. Visitors can explore more than 50 Mercy Street-inspired tours, exhibits and events taking place in Alexandria in 2017.