Old Town Alexandria gives photographers plenty to work with in terms of scenery, color and life: the city is studded with vibrantly colored doors and brick, cobblestone streets and stunning views of the Potomac River. With so much extraordinary scenery and architecture, Alexandria offers sought-after locales for engagement shoots, weddings, family photos, fashion shoots, and of course those no-filter-needed Instagrams.
Whether you are in town for a visit or you live in the area, capture your special Alexandria moments in just the right places. For this, we’ve put together our list of the top 7 places for photos in Old Town Alexandria.
1. Cobblestone Streets (Captain’s Row and Princess Street)
This city is all about its cobblestone. On Prince Street between Lee Street and Union Street you’ll find “Captain’s Row,” a cobblestone street dating to the 1790s that has become one of Old Town’s most iconic places. Head a few blocks north to Princess Street, just east of Washington Street, for another photo-ready block whose cobblestones are said to be imported ballast laid by Hessians prisoners during the American Revolution. If this doesn’t scream Old Town, I don’t know what does.
2. The Spite House
Image credit: Maria Jose Ovalle
When John Hollensbury built this 7-foot-wide house at 523 Queen Street in 1830 to keep loiterers out of his adjacent alley, he could not have imagined its popularity with passersby nearly two centuries later. As the narrowest house in America, the vivid blue Old Town landmark may have been built for spite, but today it brightens Queen Street and makes for a fun and uniquely Old Town setting.
3. Old Town Waterfront
Image credit: R. Kennedy for ACVA
With views of the Washington Monument and National Harbor across the way, Alexandria’s Waterfront is incredibly photogenic. Take a stroll by the water and you will find scenic paths and greenery just begging to be your backdrop.
4. King Street
Image credit: Colton Photography
The heart of Old Town, King Street offers embellished storefronts, red brick sidewalks, a constant flow of pedestrians (and their pets), outdoor seating and the King Street Trolley. The 18th and 19th century building architecture is always camera-ready and the sense of living history adds warmth to any photo shoot.
5. Historic Alleyways
Image credit: Sarah Marcella Hallee of The Lovely Thread
The quiet alleyways that crisscross Old Town are the bones of Alexandria’s past, offering glimpses of the city’s original architectural elements. These alleys are your go-to spot if you need to get away from the crowds and strike your pose for a timeless but unmistakably Alexandria image. Find two great options in the 100 block of S. Lee Street.
6. Market Square
Image credit: Fotos by Nadine Photography
Located in front of City Hall at 301 King Street, Market Square makes a perfect picture day or night. Sit along the benches, at the edge of the fountain or stop by on a Saturday and let the colors of the Old Town Farmers Market light up your photo shoot.
7. Wilkes Street Tunnel
Image credit: Kate Headley
Originally constructed to support commerce between the wharves and warehouses of Alexandria and Richmond, Wilkes Tunnel is one of only two remaining 19th century railroad structures in the city. The tunnel saw heavy traffic during the Civil War; today it greets runners, cyclists and sweethearts with its ivy-covered gray sandstone. Visit this Tunnel of Love at the corner of Wilkes and South Royal Streets for a beautifully framed couples shoot.
Other spots not pictured that make for extraordinary backgrounds: colorful doors, Carlyle House, La Cuisine (pink and turquoise painted boutique), the Ice House (Payne and Commerce St.)
What are your favorite places to photograph in Old Town? Use #ExtraordinaryALX to tag your own photos of iconic Old Town locations!