This year, we know just the place for an extra dose of holiday cheer. Alexandria, VA delivers with dazzling holiday trees and twinkling lights along Old Town’s historic King Street, picture-perfect door décor, photogenic signature seasonal events and more. Grab your camera, mask up and start exploring.
King Street’s Mile of Lights
As the temperature drops, bundle up and stroll beneath glittering lights draped over the trees lining historic King Street. Soak up the holiday magic as you pass by flickering lamps and sparkling store displays (and don your mask to pop in for seasonal shopping). Then, line up the perfect angle to see the canopy of branches twinkling in the twilight all the way up the King Street Mile.
Old Town residents love to spruce up their door décor with seasonal greenery. Wander off the beaten path for doors draped in garland, festive holiday wreaths and adorable detail work. Foray to the 600 block of Princess Street, the 200 block of N. Columbus Street, the 100 block of S. Patrick Street, or forge your own festive path. Inspired to grab some greenery of your own? Explore the collection at Greenstreet Gardens.
Come twilight, the city streets shimmer with seasonal spirit. Find flickering gas lamps and cascading Christmas lights among bright-lit displays from the subtle to the spectacular to catch your eye—and your camera’s viewfinder.
Holiday Trees and Hanukkah Menorah
Find the height of holiday cheer at Alexandria’s Market Square, where the city’s seasonal tree cuts a sparkling silhouette against the evening sky. See the stunning spectacle come to life at the Tree Lighting ceremony on November 20, 2021. Snap the tree from all angles and pose before the dazzling backdrop. Find another picturesque pine, plus a bright-lit menorah, during Del Ray’s annual Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting on December 5.
The Campagna Center’s 50th Anniversary Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
On December 4, 2021, capture the colorful revelry of The Campagna Center’s 50th Anniversary Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. The parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. floods Old Town with Scottish-style merry-making while saluting Alexandria’s Scottish history. Bring your camera for kilted bagpipers caravanning in front of historic townhouses and plaid-wearing pups parading down centuries-old streets. Keep snapping for Scottish dancers, reenactments groups, local dignitaries and the D.C. region’s most beloved Santa.
Ice & Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run
Photo-ready Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run will return this year, featuring an ice rink, multiple new holiday light displays perfect for Instagramming, a retail area, food, music and more. Ice & Lights is open nightly from November 19, 2021 to January 2, 2022, and then for skating only on weekends from January 8-February 27, 2022. Image Credit: J. Weilepp Photography for Visit Alexandria.
Continue your holiday photo tour along Old Town’s scenic streetscapes and support local businesses to boot. Check out resplendent displays at stores like Twist Boutique, Boxwood, Today’s Cargo and more. Put on your mask and pop in for gift-shopping as you snag consignment fashion, home décor, the perfect piece of jewelry and more.
Window Murals in Del Ray
As the next stop on your picturesque pilgrimage, head to the artsy Del Ray neighborhood’s made-for-strolling Mount Vernon Avenue to see delightful displays hand-painted on storefront windows. Don’t miss Del Ray’s holiday happenings, including the annual Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting on December 5, 2021, which will include thousands of luminarias, and the 6th Annual Candy Cane Bar Crawl on December 11.
Glittering Lights Atop Tall Ship Providence
See the Potomac River lit up by tall ship Providence, an 18th-century full-scale reproduction of the first ship authorized to serve in the Continental Navy and John Paul Jones’ first American command. See the sloop draped in white Christmas lights throughout most of December, and book a dockside tour to get an even closer look, complete with historical interpretation.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks at First Night Alexandria
For a spectacular way to ring in 2022, spend New Year’s Eve in Old Town, enjoying festive King Street, special restaurant menus and the 27th Annual First Night Alexandria, an annual live music and performing arts festival with fun for the entire family, culminating with a fireworks finale over the Potomac River. At midnight, capture the magical moment as the night sky is filled with cascading colors above the river.
Discover more Insta-worthy experiences this holiday season.