Visitors seeking uncommon tour experiences will find a wealth of options in Old Town Alexandria, a neighborhood steeped in history while humming with a cosmopolitan feel, located just outside of Washington, D.C. Joining a robust calendar of history, ghost, and boat tours are new niche tours including Fetching Photos, which presents walking photo tours for both smartphone and SLR users (and dogs are always welcome!); Nightly Spirits, featuring a “Frights and Pints” tour for beer fans who love a scare; Manumission Tour Company, which explores Alexandria’s rich African American history through curated heritage tours; and Discover Alexandria, presenting tours such as “Virginia is for Runners,” visiting iconic sites while on a brisk run, and “Sweet History,” combining history with the city’s best dessert spots. Keep reading to learn more about new niche tours in Alexandria.
Image Credit: Kerinia Cusick/Fetching Photos
Fetching Photos offers the perfect tours for shutterbugs, whether you’re a novice looking to get more likes on Instagram, or a pro searching for tips and photography friends. Visitors can choose from a range of private and seasonal tours that are all customized to your interests and goals and are all dog-friendly. Regular tours include “Walk and Snap” where you’ll explore Old Town Alexandria’s most photogenic spots and “Night Photography” where you can learn more about long exposures and more. Seasonal tours include everything from cherry blossom tours to full moon tours, with new events and special tours popping up all the time. Check the Fetching Photos blog and sign up for their newsletter to get the inside scoop.
Image Credit: M. Chenet for Visit Alexandria
Discover Alexandria is a veteran-owned business that offers tons of tours with something for everyone. Visitors can choose from a range of special tours including their newest offering, “Shop Alexandria” where you’ll enjoy a guided tour through some of Alexandria’s best kept shopping secrets; “Sweet History” where you’ll visit some of Alexandria’s best sweet spots, sample desserts and learn about Alexandria’s history; the “Historical Pub Crawl” where you’ll learn about some of Alexandria’s famous residents as you enjoy the best beer in town; the “Virginia is for Runners” 3 mile running tour that takes you off the main streets of Alexandria to explore Old Town’s hidden history; and the “Mercy Street-Inspired Tour” where you’ll visit sites that inspired the PBS’ series Mercy Street. Other tours cover everything from ghost tours to the “Discover Alexandria” tour that explores Alexandria from past to present. Dogs are welcome on many of the tours. Check their blog for the latest tours and special offerings.
Manumission Tour Company
Image Credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Alexandria
Manumission Tour Company has already generated a lot of buzz from regional outlets like the Washington Post, and it’s not hard to understand why. Owned by a fourth-generation Alexandrian, Manumission Tour Company offers guided cultural heritage tours designed to highlight Alexandria’s extensive African-American history. “Alexandria’s Fight for Freedom” is a 90-minute walking tour that provides visitors with insight into slavery in Alexandria, and those who fought back and resisted against the “Peculiar Institution.” Tours are offered on weekends and include walking and bus tours that can be personalized with special requests.
Image Credit: Chadwicks
Alexandria is well known as a craft-beer destination and a historical hotspot with some of the best ghost tours in the region. What do you get when you combine the two? The Nightly Spirits “Frights and Pints” ghost tour in Old Town. On this 2.5 hour tour, visitors follow a costumed tour guide walking through Alexandria’s most haunted and historic spots while stopping at 3-4 different pubs along the way. It’s a fun and unique way to spend a night with friends, and can be booked for private groups.
Find more on Alexandria’s unique tour offerings on Visit Alexandria’s website.
Header Image Credit: Kerinia Cusick of Fetching Photos