Top 10: Summer Essentials

Where better to soak up the summer sun than along Alexandria’s scenic waterfront? Along the Potomac, visitors and locals alike delight in ice cold drinks, lively festivals and outdoor activities as they stroll down historic streets and bask in the city’s extraordinary culture.

Need a little extra guidance? The Alexandria Visitors Center is a perfect one stop shop for maps, tickets and expert tips. If you’re ready to roll, use this top 10 list as your guide to all-things Alexandria this summer:

  1. Waterfront Activities
    Alexandria’s waterfront is on the up-and-up, with a full revamp already underway. In the mean time, you can still be part of the bustling marina atmosphere and stop for a dockside drink, hear weekend street performers and linger in a scenic waterfront park.
  2. Alexandria’s Birthday
    Happy 265th birthday, Alexandria! To celebrate, partygoers can gather along the waterfront in Oronoco Bay Park and enjoy live music from the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and a dazzling fireworks display.
  3. War of 1812
    To commemorate the bicentennial of Alexandria’s involvement in the War of 1812, the city’s historical sites have put together thought-provoking exhibits, lectures, an outdoor concert series and walking and biking tours throughout 2014. On August 31st, the year’s festivities culminate at the waterfront with a signature event, featuring a good-spirited rematch with the British Embassy taking place over the festival weekend.
  4. Baseball Boat
    Calling all Nats fans! Baseball enthusiasts can now take a leisurely Potomac Riverboat Co. cruise from Old Town’s marina directly to Washington Nationals Park – all the fun and none of the traffic. Need I say more?
  5. Outdoor Dining
    Nothing says summer like dining alfresco. Diners can enjoy gourmet meals along bustling King Street, rooftop decks or quiet outdoor patios.
  6. Biking in Alexandria
    As a mega bike-friendly city, Alexandrians know how to cruise on two wheels. This summer, you can take advantage of Alexandria’s number of biking amenities like bike rentals, bike tours and the waterfront Mount Vernon Trail for heart-pumping trips down historic avenues.
  7. Summer Fashion
    Peel away those layers and bring out the shorts, floral dresses and sandals – this summer, fashionistas can find favorite new trends at Alexandria’s crazy number of locally-owned businesses or at the annual Sidewalk Sale, where fashion and good deals overtake the city’s brick-lined walkways.
  8. Bars and Pubs
    When George Washington left Alexandria, he made room for other history-makers; liquid history-makers, might I add. At Alexandria’s own brewery Port City Brewing Co., beer enthusiasts can tour the grounds and sip on an award-winning pint, or grab a handcrafted cocktail made by master mixologist Todd Thrasher at speakeasy-style bar PX.
  9. Pets Welcome!
    In Alexandria, man’s best friend is always welcome. Dog lovers can take Fido to luxurious hotels (nearly all the city’s hotels are pet friendly), aboard a Potomac Riverboat Co. Canine Cruise—even “Doggy Happy Hour” at Jackson 20.
  10. Luxurious Accomodations
    Just in time for summer, the city’s hotels turn up the deals. Alexandria’s great location just a stone’s throw from Washington, DC makes the city a great home base for a DC vacation, or an awesome destination of its own, with most hotels only steps from festival venues, historical sites and award-winning restaurants.


For more ideas on what to do this summer in Alexandria, click here.