Autumn in Alexandria, VA means showstopping trees sweeping historic streetscapes with autumn hues, photo-ready rowhouses decked out with seasonal décor and gas lamps flickering above red brick sidewalks. Find timely artwork, sip a rainbow cider flight and more this fall—camera in hand. Fall foliage is predicted to peak the week of October 18, so pack a mask, put on portrait mode and get inspired with our ideas below.
1. Burst of Orange Color at Carlyle House
Image Credit: Instagram user @lhcalligraphy
Come October, historic Carlyle House’s front lawn begs for a fall foliage photoshoot, with orange-hued maples framing the mansion’s stone façade. Visit the lush backyard garden for a beautiful bonus oasis in the heart of Old Town. Find our city-wide guide to fall foliage-viewing here.
2. Doorways Decked out with Pumpkins
Old Town’s always photogenic rowhouses are prettier than ever with pumpkins and gourds gathered around seasonal mums, vibrant doors, Halloween decorations and more. Try S. Lee Street or leave it to serendipity to see what you stumble upon.
3. Cider Flight or Craft Beer
Celebrate National Cider Month in October with a photogenic flight from Lost Boy Cider, Northern Virginia’s first urban cidery. Taste your way through a rainbow color palette filled with flavors like IPA-inspired Hazy Hopped, blackberry-tinted Bramble and Thai Rope Walker, spiked with strawberry and basil. Order cans for pickup or grab a seat outside—just be sure to snap a pic before you sip. More of a beer fan? Opt for fall-themed brews from award-winning Port City Brewing Company.
4. Mount Vernon Trail’s Fall Foliage
The Mount Vernon Trail makes the perfect backdrop for a stroll, jog or bike ride in the riverside autumn air. Head south along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and capture a gorgeous golden hour with red, orange and yellow leaves filtering the fall lighting. Keep your viewfinder ready to snap wildlife sightings, from sun-tanning turtles and stately bald eagles.
5. New South Old Town Mural
Head to South Old Town to see a vibrant and inspiring mural painted in late summer 2021 by artist Joanna Kosmides Edwards outside The Linder Academy at 607 S. Washington Street. See portraits of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis and former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, painted as children as a nod to the school inside, plus poet and activist Amanda Gorman, paired with quotes from the three icons.
6. Flickering Gas Lamps
As the temperature chills and the sun sets earlier, feel swept back in time by the flickering gas lamps fixed out front of historic rowhouses, remnants of the 19th-century gas lighting system. Come twilight, look for the lamps along quieter side streets off King, such as Prince Street or cobblestoned Captain’s Row.
7. Halloween Décor on Captain’s Row
Residents of cobblestoned Captain’s Row, a stop on the ever-popular Ghost & Graveyard Tour, transform their block into a Halloween haven each year. Head to the 100 block of Prince Street to capture scenes ranging from the spooky (think: skeletons scaling a brick rowhouse) to the quirky (like the Wicked Witch of the East’s ruby-slippered feet peeking out from a pumpkin patch).
Check out more Alexandria Instagram inspiration here and don’t forget to tag #visitALX for the chance to be featured.