Founded in 1749, Old Town Alexandria is one of the D.C. region’s oldest neighborhoods and the third oldest locally designated historic district in the U.S. The local newspaper, the Alexandria Gazette Packet, is even one of the oldest continually published newspapers in America, originally founded in 1784. With such a rich span of history, Alexandria is home to some unique historical sites and discoveries, including old traditions that are worth a new look. We’ve rounded up 10 of Old Town’s oldest spots you don’t want to miss.
Think “Old Town Alexandria” and visions of bustling King Street come right to mind. But step off King and explore the southern part of the neighborhood to find a treasure trove hidden gems and local favorites, from top restaurants to historical hotspots, waterfront parks to yoga boutiques, this neighborhood has something for everyone.
Visitors in Old Town love to admire Alexandria’s beautiful cobblestone streets, but looking up also has its rewards—our city boasts an astonishing collection of historic architecture with unique and interesting features. With 2016 Virginia Architecture Week happening April 9-16 and warmer, longer days, now is the perfect time to take a walk through Old Town to explore the extraordinary architecture around every corner. You can also sign up for the popular Walking Tour of Historic Alexandria this Sunday, April 10 for a more in-depth experience.
If you can’t wait to see your favorite characters from PBS’ Mercy Street on-screen again, we’ve got you covered. This fall, some of the cast members and producers of Mercy Street toured Alexandria with us, which you can see in the videos below. With spring right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a trip to the city that inspired the series and retrace the steps of the stars of Mercy Street in Alexandria. Keep reading to see what the cast thought about our city! (spoiler alert: they thought it was “extraordinary”)
The stories of PBS’ Mercy Street live in Alexandria. Now that you’ve seen the show, you can explore the real sites, stories and people that inspired the series right here in Alexandria.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! After nearly a year of special events, tours and exhibits honoring Alexandria’s role in the War of 1812, the celebration will close with the much-anticipated Signature Event Weekend on August 30-31. Continue reading
Excellent news! This weekend starts on Thursday, with more exclusive Alexandria events than ever before. Continue reading
When you think summer, you think fireworks, ice cream and the National Anthem sung at every baseball game. These things have ties to a war that’s usually one paragraph in history books – the War of 1812. Continue reading
After more than 260 years on the map, Alexandria has not only hosted American presidents (ever heard of George Washington?) but become an award-winning cultural hotspot filled with killer restaurants, independent boutiques and an incredible arts and cultural scene. You’ve found yourself here, but where to begin? Continue reading