As George Washington's hometown, Alexandria has more than 140 locations with ties to the nation's first president, along with a host of intimate museums highlighting the beginnings of America. Just nine miles south of Old Town Alexandria at George Washington's Mount Vernon, traipse through the historic grounds, perusing documents and ephemera once sacred to key historic players. Several sites work to weave the rich tapestry of the city's history from the 18th-century to the present, like the Carlyle House, once home to Alexandria co-founder John Carlyle, and the Alexandria Black History Museum, which details the city's strong African-American leaders from the Civil War to civil rights and beyond.
Alexandria also nods to its vast creative history at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a former World War II munitions factory turned 82 artist studios and six galleries, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum at the US Patent and Trademark Office, whose interactive exhibits celebrate modern innovation.Explore Alexandria with the "Key to the City" museum pass, which grants visitors access into nine premiere sites, or celebrate the city's history at lively seasonal events. This year, Alexandria celebrates the bicentennial of the city's involvement in the War of 1812 with special tours, film viewings and a waterfront festival featuring a rematch with the British Embassy.