Things To Do On the Alexandria Waterfront

Waterfront fun is a summer mainstay in Alexandria, from new riverside dining to boat cruises, live music, festivals and more. Are you a foodie? Art lover? Dog owner? Hopeless romantic? Get your slice of summer with all the things to do on the waterfront in Alexandria:

Waterfront Dining 

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The perfect pairing for your fresh-caught seafood? Stunning views of the Potomac River, of course. At waterfront hotspot Blackwall Hitch, catch live music, an oyster bar and outdoor dining. Just footsteps away, Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge opens this June from Alexandria Restaurant Partners (Virtue Feed & Grain, Majestic, Lena’s Woodfire Pizza + Tap) and is sure to be an instant favorite. On Daingerfield Island in Alexandria, Indigo Landing offers spectacular waterfront views while boats sail in and out of the harbor.

Water Taxis

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Take the scenic route from Old Town Alexandria to the National Mall, National Harbor or Nats Stadium aboard a water taxi. En route you get skyline views of Old Town and Washington lining the water for a 30-minute trip that’s not only convenient, but also panoramic. (The Baseball Boat is the best way to get to a Nats game, hands down.)


Boat Cruises

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You can cruise the Potomac with pets, pirates or to the first president’s home on one of our many boat tour and river cruises departing from the Alexandria marina. Fido gets to be a real sea dog aboard the Canine Cruise, kids meet Captain Jack aboard the Pirates on the Potomac Cruise, and history buffs dive into the past aboard the Alexandria by Water Seaport Cruise. Hop on the Washington by Water Monuments Cruise for a no-sweat solution to seeing DC highlights, head south to our first president’s estate on the Mount Vernon by Water narrated boat cruise or opt to bike there and cruise back on the Mount Vernon by Bike and Boat tour.


Waterfront Parks

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With eight waterfront parks in Alexandria offering ample green space and gorgeous views, riverside picnics are a must. Some of my favorites include Founders Park, with an unfenced dog run, a volleyball court and lots of open space for play; and Oronoco Bay Park for picnics atop the hill to admire national monuments on the horizon. Jones Point Park, part of the National Park Service, is home to the last riverine lighthouse in Virginia and one of the original boundary stones for Washington, DC. What better way to celebrate the NPS Centennial in 2016 than to #OptOutside and picnic or play at Jones Point Park.


Waterfront Attractions & Activities 

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Need somewhere cool to escape on a hot day? Wander the hallways and witness artists at work inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the city’s visual arts powerhouse and former World War II torpedo plant converted into 82 working artist studios, six galleries and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum—all open to the public. With 165 resident artists working in media including ceramics, fiber, glass, bubblegum (!) and more, there’s always something new to see at TFAC. Or to catch a breeze on the water, you can rent kayaks, canoes or sailboats at the Belle Haven Marina and the Washington Sailing Marina.


Mount Vernon Trail

alexandria-va-waterfront-things-to-do-mount-vernon-trailImage credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria

Alexandria’s Mount Vernon Trail beckons runners, walkers and cyclists with 18 miles of waterfront vistas, loads of green space and an easily accessible route that runs all the way from George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate up to Arlington through Old Town Alexandria. Pro tip: check out a bike from the nearby Capital Bikeshare stations and pedal along the Potomac via this treasure of a trail.


Waterfront Entertainment

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Alexandria’s waterfront bustles with dockside performers and entertainers (don’t miss the glass harp player, a perennial favorite) and long-standing annual events like the Comcast Outdoor Film Festival, Alexandria/USA Birthday Celebration and Vine on the Waterfront food and wine festival. Fireworks? Live music? Birthday cake? Food? That’s right, you definitely want to mark your calendar for these signature Alexandria events.


For more information on things to do on the waterfront in Alexandria, click here.


Header image credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria