Top 8 Things to Do in Old Town

​Located minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River waterfront, Alexandria 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 the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure or are taking a detour from your D.C. getaway, here are the top experiences you must try.

Stroll King Street

  1. STROLL KING STREET— Centuries-old architecture, brick-lined streets, cobblestone alleys and a canopy of twinkling lights during the holidays make strolling King Street the #1 thing to do in Alexandria. Explore dozens of independently owned restaurants and boutiques, or take a ride on the free King Street Trolley.


  1. EXPLORE THE WATERFRONT— Take in stunning views of the Potomac River and D.C. monuments, people watch, hop on a Potomac Riverboat Company cruise, dine at one of our many waterfront restaurants or stay at our first waterfront hotel, Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria.

Couple at Torpedo Factory

  1. VISIT THE TORPEDO FACTORY ART CENTER— See art in progress at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the nation’s largest collection of working-artists’ open studios under one roof. A fully operational munitions plant during WWII, the center is now home to 82 artists’ studios, seven galleries, two workshops, the Alexandria Archaeology Museum and The Art League School. Free admission!

Carlyle House Family

  1. TOUR MARKET SQUARE MUSEUMS—Purchase a Key to the City museum pass for just $15 at the Alexandria Visitor Center for access to 8 historic sites, then explore three nearby museums all within one block of Market Square: Carlyle House, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum.

Outdoor Dining

  1. DINE IN HISTORIC BUILDINGS—With more than 20 new restaurants opened in 2016, Alexandria is a dining destination. The city is filled with restaurants housed in repurposed buildings, from Columbia Firehouse, once the 1871 Columbia Steam Engine Fire Company, to Virtue Feed & Grain, a former feed house that is now one of the hottest spots in Old Town. Enjoy award-winning cuisine in a can’t-beat historic atmosphere.

Bishop Boutique Shopping

  1. SHOP IN OUR BOUTIQUES—Alexandria is the D.C. region’s Shop Small headquarters, where visitors find independent boutiques run by owners who are behind the counter offering their expert advice and creating a community with special events.

Old Town Farmers Market

  1. CHECK OUT THE OLD TOWN FARMERS’ MARKET—Visit the oldest farmers market in the country each Saturday morning year-round for gifts to take home, a quick breakfast or a taste of living like a local. George Washington sold his produce here, and today you’ll find everything from fruits and vegetables to fresh pasta.

Port City

  1. GRAB A PINT OF PORT CITY BEER—Whether you head to the brewery and tap room or find the beer on the menu of local restaurants, trying a pint from Alexandria’s award-winning local brewery is a must. Named the Best Small Brewery in the U.S. in 2015, at only 6 years old, Port City Brewing Co. is the oldest craft brewery in the D.C. region.

Explore more about Old Town on our website or stop by the Alexandria Visitor Center at 221 King Street.