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, plus new touches like an 18th-century ship draped in Christmas lights. 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 virtual tree lighting ceremony, streamable beginning November 21, 2020. Snap the tree from all angles and pose before the dazzling backdrop. Don’t miss more picturesque pines at Waterfront Park and in Del Ray. Tune into Del Ray’s virtual tree lighting on December 6, 2020. Then, from December 10 to 18, 2020, see the neighborhood’s menorah lit every evening of Hanukkah along with a blessing from a community member.
Ice & Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run
Prep your portrait mode for the second annual Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run. Explore a kaleidoscopic LED-lit tunnel, bask in more than a dozen holiday light displays, then lace up your skates and take to the ice. Ice & Lights is open nightly from November 20, 2020-January 3, 2021, and then for skating only on weekends from January 9-February 28, 2021. 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. Starting December 5, 2020, pick up the Holiday Scavenger Hunt at Pat Miller Square or download it online for a chance to win gift cards to local businesses. Wander past charming holiday scenes, or better yet, mask up to grab a treat and hot drink at one of Del Ray’s beloved coffee shops.
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 from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s. Book a dockside tour to get an even closer look, complete with historical interpretation.
Al Fresco Dining Experiences
This year, Alexandria’s restaurants are going the extra mile to create a cozy outdoor eating experience that will warm you up as the temperature drops. Reserve an igloo and toast holiday cocktails at King & Rye’s Winter Wonderland, or try one of the many eateries offering seasonal patio seating, such as Yunnan by Potomac Noodle House (pictured above). Dine beside winter-proof heaters beneath twinkling lights, and don’t forget to take a pic between bites.
Old Town Holiday Lamp Post Art Walk
New this year, amble along Old Town Business Association’s Art Walk and snap pics of unique pieces from some 25 artists from The Art League. Discover works of art adorning lampposts on each block of King Street between Union and Diagonal, as well as select side streets. Use this map of the artwork, on display from December 5, 2020 to January 8, 2021.
Discover more Insta-worthy experiences this holiday season.