Waterfront Development News

Minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River, Old Town Alexandria delights travelers from all over the world. A busy seaport from colonial times through the Civil War and even during World War II when the Torpedo Factory Art Center was a naval torpedo factory, Alexandria’s waterfront is currently undergoing a major revitalization. Here’s what’s new, what’s now and what’s next.

What's New

Waterfront 2

New Waterfront Experience at the Foot of King Street

One of the most highly anticipated transformations of the Old Town Alexandria waterfront is unfolding in 2019 with the opening of a greatly expanded new park area at the foot of King Street, seamlessly connecting Old Town’s historic retail corridor with the water. The expanded Waterfront Park space, which features four distinct areas and is adjoined to the original Waterfront Park, is designed for ongoing enjoyment and special activations and events. The official opening celebration will take place in March to coincide with the opening reception for a major new public art installation.

Mirror Mirro Mirror

Interactive Art Installation

Coming to the new Waterfront Park area in late March and on display through November, Mirror Mirror is a site-specific sound-responsive temporary public art installation from SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos. Mirror Mirror is an interactive piece that responds to sound with light. The artwork draws inspiration from the prismatic lens used at Alexandria’s historic Jones Point Lighthouse—the Fresnel lens, considered the most advanced lens technology of the 1800s. Two original Fresnel lenses can be viewed at Alexandria’s History Museum at The Lyceum. Mirror Mirror is the first in an annual series of temporary public art installations in Waterfront Park. Dance and music performances inspired by the installation will join the new Portside in Old Town programming, a series of free-to-the-public waterfront happenings.

Providence Tall Ship

Celebrity Tall Ship Providence

A new maritime history experience is coming to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront in 2019. The tall ship Providence arrives this summer as a permanent attraction that will offer public tours, chartered cruises, educational programs, and beer cruises presented in partnership with Alexandria’s own Port City Brewing Company. This celebrity tall ship, which has appeared in the international blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, is a full-scale replica of one of the U.S. Continental Navy’s first warships, built in 1768, which was captained by John Paul Jones, the father of the U.S. Navy, under the leadership of General George Washington.

What’s Now

water taxi wharf

Water Taxi to DC’s The Wharf

DC’s Southwest Waterfront is undergoing a $1.5 billion redevelopment known as “The Wharf,” which features a mile-long stretch along the Potomac River with concert venues like The Anthem, restaurants, retailers, residences, and businesses. Potomac Riverboat Company offers high-speed water taxi service from Alexandria’s waterfront to The Wharf. Groundbreaking of Phase II of The Wharf is scheduled for mid-2018 and expected to be finished in 2021.

Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria & Hummingbird

Alexandria welcomed its first waterfront hotel in May 2017, the highly anticipated Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria. Touches of Alexandria’s colonial past blend with contemporary design at the boutique hotel, nestled on a riverside site where a 300-year old ship was discovered and excavated during the hotel’s development. Located inside the hotel, Hummingbird is the latest creation of James Beard nominee Cathal Armstrong and is the newest addition to Alexandria’s menu of waterfront restaurants. Earning high praise from The Washington Post, this airy eatery offers beautiful views of the Potomac River from the dining room and outdoor patio. Hummingbird is an energetic bar and kitchen inspired by the American spirit of cherished traditions: clambakes and crab boils, fish fries and oyster roasts.

MGM Resort and Casino

MGM National Harbor

Accessible via water taxi or the NH2 shuttleMGM National Harbor, which opened in December 2016, is one of the DC area’s hottest new entertainment destinations. Located on the banks of the Potomac just over the bridge from Old Town Alexandria, MGM National Harbor is the premier luxury resort and casino experience on the East Coast. MGM National Harbor features a casino floor bigger than the White House, a 15,000 square foot conservatory with breathtaking displays that change seasonally, fine dining from world renowned chefs such as José Andrés and the Voltaggio brothers, and an intimate 3,000-seat theater where you can experience the biggest names in entertainment.

Couple on Water Taxi

Water Taxi Connectivity to the Region

Visitors can access the region with Potomac Riverboat Company’s many cruises, including ones to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, The Wharf, Georgetown, Nationals Stadium, and National Harbor.


Photos submitted by Alexandria visitors like you.