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

Mercy Street PBS

Alexandria, Virginia’s New Tours, Exhibits and Events Bring PBS’ MERCY STREET to Life

PBS’ first American drama in nearly a decade is inspired by true stories of Civil War Alexandria, Virginia. This historic city will celebrate the unprecedented national spotlight on its heritage by presenting new visitor experiences for fans of the upcoming PBS series, MERCY STREET. Premiering on Sunday, January 17, 2016, at 10 p.m., MERCY STREET will follow the final season of “Downton Abbey” on Masterpiece. The six-episode series takes viewers beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front. More than two dozen new tours, exhibits and events have been planned in Alexandria, kicking off in January 2016 when the show debuts. View press release. View web page.

Waterfront Renaissance

A new water taxi from Old Town Alexandria to the National Mall in Washington, DC is one of the latest developments in the revitalization of Alexandria’s waterfront. Patrons can enjoy waterfront dining at a brand-new Blackwall Hitch and the nearby Waterfront Market, while Carluccio’s offers an authentic Italian restaurant and market just steps away. A boutique hotel is under development, as well as a new architectural landscape redesign of the entire waterfront by Olin Group (designers of Bryant Park in New York City).

Booming Dining Scene

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 soon-to-open donut speakeasy Captain Gregory’s in Parker-Gray. Experience lauded fare at restaurants by pre-eminent chef Cathal Armstrong, including Restaurant Eve and the “epicurean emporium” Society Fair, and sample Port City Brewing Company’s award-winning beer on a brewery tour or at bars and restaurants around the region.

A Haven for Hounds

Alexandria is famous for its love of dogs, boasting pet-friendly hotels, attractions and boutiques. 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 and the Olde Towne School for Dogs.

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.

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 Museum 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