Get lost in holiday wonder in Alexandria, just minutes from Washington, D.C., as you meander along enchanted streetscapes beneath boughs laced with glimmering lights. See why Oprah Magazine named Alexandria one of the Most Magical Christmas Towns Across the World in 2019 as you Instagram everything from a towering holiday tree in the center of Old Town to a brand-new, brightly-lit winter village at Cameron Run Regional Park. Here are our top Instagram spots, whether you’re looking for a last-minute holiday card photo or the perfect shot to capture your wintery escape to Alexandria. Tag your shots #VisitALX for the chance to see them credited on Visit Alexandria’s Instagram feed, @VisitAlexVA.
1. 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 duck into shining storefronts and buzzing eateries all the way down to the waterfront. Then, line up the perfect angle to see the canopy of branches twinkling in the twilight all the way up the King Street Mile.
2. Charming Wreaths and Door Décor Around Old Town
Wander off the beaten path for doors draped in garland, festive holiday wreaths and all sorts of adorable adornments around Alexandria’s historic district. Carry your camera 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. Wherever you explore, prepare to be charmed as decorations ranging from traditional to whimsical catch your eye, and your camera’s viewfinder.
3. Alexandria’s Holiday Tree at Market Square
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 city tree lighting ceremony on November 23, 2019. Snap the tree from all angles and pose for a group shot before the dazzling backdrop.
4. The Campagna Center’s 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade
On December 7, 2019, capture the colorful revelry of The Campagna Center’s 49th Annual 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 heritage. 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.
5. Festive Greenery and Glowing Storefronts
Continue your holiday photo tour along Old Town’s scenic streetscapes and take care of holiday shopping to boot. Check out resplendent displays at stores like The Hour Shop, Red Barn Mercantile and K. Aubrey Flowers, then pop in for leisurely gift-shopping as you snag mod barware, home décor and more. For drinks, head to Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Pub, with a spruced-up façade that matches a warm and welcoming interior. Take a photo with pals in front of the threshold bedecked with bows, ribbons and wreaths. Afterwards, enjoy the wintry waterfront view, seconds from O’Connell’s doorstep.
6. Ice & Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run Regional Park
Prep your portrait mode for the first annual Ice & Lights: Winter Village at Cameron Run Regional Park, and explore a 20-foot walk-through tree, a kaleidoscopic LED-lit tunnel, glowing heated igloos and more. Stop by the wreath photo op, prance around giant hanging stars, then lace on your skates and take to the ice.
Image Credit: Josh Weilepp
7. 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. Wander past charming holiday scenes, or better yet, enjoy the murals from the inside, while savoring a hot drink at one of Del Ray’s beloved coffee shops or indulging in a celebrated dining destination. Look out for community-based holiday events in Del Ray, from pop-up markets to a tree-lighting with Santa.
8. Winter Wonderland at Jackson 20 and The Alexandrian
New this year, toast the season at Jackson 20 and The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection‘s Winter Wonderland, set up from November 29, 2019 through January 10, 2020. See the lobby’s luminescent Christmas tree, then stay cozy in the courtyard filled with festive décor, heat lamps, warm blankets and pop-up shops. Raise your glasses and pause for a “clink!” shot as you sip specialty holiday cocktails and sample small bites. Your heart will be even warmer knowing that a portion of all proceeds will benefit Children’s National Hospital.
9. New Year’s Eve Fireworks at First Night Alexandria
For a spectacular conclusion to 2019, spend New Year’s Eve at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of 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 twinkling King Street corridor.