Alexandria Press Profile and Story Ideas

Within eyesight of Washington, DC on the Potomac River waterfront, Alexandria, Virginia is nationally recognized for its acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants, bustling boutiques and dynamic arts set against a backdrop of 18th- and 19th-century architecture still intact from its days as George Washington’s hometown. Old Town Alexandria hums with a cosmopolitan feel and a walkable lifestyle—a hidden gem tucked beneath the nation’s capital.

Accessible and Easy to Get Around

  • 3 airports, with Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport minutes away, plus Dulles and BWI international airports
  • Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express
  • 4 DC Metrorail stations – King St-Old Town one mile from the waterfront
  • Free King Street Trolley
  • Capital Bikeshare, bike rentals and Mount Vernon Trail
  • Water taxis and Potomac River cruises
  • Walkable and compact


PBS Historical Drama "Mercy Street"

Ridley Scott’s "Mercy Street," PBS’s first original drama in nearly a decade, is inspired by real events of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. As PBS announces a second season for "Mercy Street," Alexandria rolls out nearly two dozen new tours, exhibits and events inspired by the series that will provide visitors with a close look at Alexandria’s historic sites while uncovering the real people behind the show’s characters, the realities of Civil War medicine, women’s changing roles and the breakthrough experience of enslaved African‐Americans claiming their freedom.
Press release about Alexandria experiences
Web page of Alexandria experiences


Craft Beer Culture

Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Co. was named “Small Brewing Company of the Year” at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival (GABF), considered to be the Oscars of the beer world. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the brewery and a variety of unique beer‐wellness programming including Beer Yoga, Joggers and Lagers, and Pedals and Pints. Opening in 2016, an historic Alexandria brewery is revived 100 years later by the founder’s great‐great granddaughters. The Portner sisters are bringing Robert Portner Brewing Co. as the Portner Brewhouse, a pre‐Prohibition‐inspired brewery, restaurant and Craft Beer Test Kitchen™, serving historic recipe brews and contemporary seasonals.

Waterfront Renaissance

Alexandria’s historic marina is brimming with new activities. Street performers, an art center, al fresco dining, and river cruises are joined by a new water taxi linking Alexandria to the monuments on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Waterfront views and live music are on the menu at the new, rustically elegant Blackwall Hitch. In 2016, Alexandria Restaurant Partners will unveil a new riverside restaurant as the area also prepares to welcome the city’s first waterfront hotel in 2017, a Hotel Indigo of the InterContinental Hotels Group.

Epicurean Escape 

Alexandria’s culinary scene is booming, from the recent addition of Carluccio’s first U.S. location in Old Town to hot biscuit joint Stomping Ground in Del Ray and the donut speakeasy Captain Gregory’s in Braddock neighborhood. Experience lauded fare at restaurants by pre‐eminent chef Cathal Armstrong, including Restaurant Eve and the “epicurean emporium” Society Fair.

Water taxi couple

"Most Romantic City in the U.S."

Alexandria was named the “Most Romantic City in the US” by in 2016. Lined in cobblestones, steeped in history and dotted with dessert shops, countless dates, engagements and weddings happen in Alexandria. President Obama and the First Lady celebrated their anniversary at Restaurant Eve and Valentine’s Day at Vermilion in Old Town. Also in the area is La Bergerie, which is on OpenTable’s list of 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America for 2016.

A Haven for Hounds

With 150,000 human residents and 40,000 dogs, and boasting pet‐friendly hotels, attractions and boutiques, Alexandria is one of the most dog‐friendly cities in the US. Four‐legged favorites include the loved‐by‐locals Doggy Happy Hour at the Hotel Monaco, Canine Cruises by Potomac Riverboat Co., the Dog Park boutique, the Olde Towne School for Dogs, and Frolick Dogs, a canine gym.

Read about 21 dog-friendly things to do in Alexandria

Presidential Dining Hotspots

From George Washington to Barack Obama, presidents have long sought Alexandria’s dining scene. The Obamas celebrated their anniversary at Restaurant Eve and Valentine’s Day at Vermilion in Old Town, while the President treated his daughters to frozen custard at The Dairy Godmother in Alexandria’s eclectic Del Ray neighborhood.

DC’s Boutique District

The Wall Street Journal praises, "The King Street area has some of the best stores and galleries in the [DC] region." Nearly 80% of restaurants and retailers in Old Town’s King Street corridor are independently owned. Fashionistas flock to shops of the Old Town Boutique District for high‐end shoes and unique clothing finds from the latest designers. The city is also a hub for interior designers, who come for the array of home décor shops and antiques galleries bursting with statement pieces.

torpedo at factory

A Top Art Place

Named one of America's Top Art Places, Alexandria is a community with a "backbone of creative culture.” The city's visual arts hub is the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a former munitions factory transformed into an arts powerhouse with three floors of artist studios and galleries. America’s legendary music hall, the Birchmere, hosts the biggest names in country, folk and rock. Theater‐goers flock to performances at MetroStage for "Off‐Broadway on the River's Edge" and productions at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, the area's oldest continuously operating community theater presenting musicals, comedies and dramas.

An Extraordinary American History

Most known as George Washington’s hometown, Alexandria made national headlines for the former slave pen at the Freedom House and its connection to the story depicted in the film 12 Years a Slave. Recognized as a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust of Historic Preservation, the city’s history is effortlessly woven into the culture of modern life. Visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, just a boat or bike ride away. Tread down cobblestone paths past century-old buildings, where history lies around every corner, and walk where our nation’s founders once tread.

Top Attractions

  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center
  • Carlyle House Historic Park
  • Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
  • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
  • Potomac River waterfront

Top Touring Activities

  • Mount Vernon by Bike and Boat
  • Old Town Food Tour
  • Potomac Riverboat Co.
  • Walking tours – Including ghost tours

Annual Signature Events

  • George Washington Birthday Parade
  • King Street Art Festival
  • Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend
  • First Night Alexandria – New Year’s Eve bash with more than 100 live performances

Offbeat and Unexpected

  • Doggy Happy Hour
  • Canine Cruises
  • Glass harp player on the waterfront
  • Spite House – Tiny home is 7 feet wide