Visit Alexandria, VA
Collected by Christina Saull, AFAR Ambassador
Founded in 1749, Alexandria has seen its fair share of history: a big tobacco trading post; the largest slave-trading firm in the country was based here (yet was home to a large number of free blacks); an occupied city in the South during the Civil War; and now a hip suburb of Washington, D.C. Alexandria was home to George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Jim Morrison, Mama Cass and even President Gerald Ford. Located just 9 miles from D.C., Alexandria is a great place to play, shop and eat.
301 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
Whenever I'm traveling, I love to spend Saturday morning exploring a local farmers market. You can also find lots of locals there, shopping for their weekly produce, and it's also a great place to sample food from local restaurants. Every Saturday...
105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
As you walk along the waterfront, it will immediately catch your eye—a large, Art Deco building with an unusual name: the Torpedo Factory. Once actually home to a factory that produced torpedoes for WWII, it has since been taken over by painters,...
127 S Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
Located down a quiet side street off of Old Town’s main drag, the Shoe Hive is the local answer to the chain stores that have popped up along King Street. Filled with shoes for every imaginable occasion, women, you’ve been warned: you can spend a...
728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
Alexandria has been around since before the founding of our country and has always been home to a number of taverns. However, during Prohibition, Alexandria was also home to something else: a speakeasy. In the decades since alcohol started flowing...
904 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
Pizza seems to be everywhere, but good pizza is notoriously hard to find. When in Alexandria, look no further than one of Old Town’s newest pizza places, Red Rocks. A local chain (there are one or two others in the DC area), Red Rocks is all about...
100 S Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
What could possibly be so special about a Starbucks? There are seemingly millions of them dotting the street corners, parking lots, airport concourses and hotel lobbies world wide. But this Starbucks is different. You’ll still find the same array...
121 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
The building in which Il Porto is housed, on the corner of Lee and King Streets right in the heart of Old Town, has an interesting history. First it was built and owned by a sea captain. Then it was a brothel (!). Then it was a shop that sold...
2310 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301, USA
Don’t let the line snaking back and forth inside the Dairy Godmother deter you: it is worth the wait. A visit on any summer evening (and even sometimes in the winter) will find the line double-backed inside this Del Ray hot spot. Liz, the Dairy...
2201 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301, USA
Every first and second Thursday from June through September, Alexandria buzzes with excitement. On First Thursdays, the neighborhood of Del Ray (a short cab or BikeShare ride away) displays its small-town roots: Boutiques stay open late, sidewalks...
2051 Jamieson Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
I’m not usually one for chain restaurants, even when they’re local chains, but tucked back into the Carlyle area of Old Town, across the street from the Westin, is Old Town’s best Thai restaurant. The third location of a local chain, Pasara Thai...
Mt Vernon Trail, United States
Alexandria has an extensive trail system that connects George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home with D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood and beyond. An extremely popular activity with locals and visitors is to grab a bike and ride on the Mt. Vernon Trail....
1120 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
A focus on seasonal, farm to table offerings with a modern twist makes Vermilion one of the jewels of Alexandria's dining scene. The cozy ruby hued booths downstairs are perfect for a romantic date night while the casually modern space upstairs is...
211 N Union St #250, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
One of the best ways to take in the monuments that make D.C. famous is from the water. The advantages are many: less crowds, no parking issues, cool Potomac breezes, and a unique point of view. I love an evening tour, when you get to see...
1A Prince St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
One of the best walking tours in Alexandria is along the waterfront. Spanning from Oronoco Bay Park down to Waterfront Park, several gravel paths connect this 0.8 mile stroll. Stumble into Oronoco Bay Park on any given summer weekend and you're...
104 S Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA
You won't find any cheesy FBI t-shirts here, which is why this store is popular with locals and visitors. Locals flock here for their great selection of Virginia wine (my favorites come from the Little Washington Vineyard and Afton Mountain...
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