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

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New Waterfront Experience at the Foot of King Street

One of the most highly anticipated transformations of the Old Town Alexandria waterfront unfolded in 2019 with the opening of a new expansion of Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street. The greatly expanded new park area seamlessly connects Old Town’s historic retail corridor with the water and features four distinct areas—an open plaza, a waterfront promenade, shade structures and a modular space that can adapt to different purposes throughout the year. The park, which is adjoined to the original Waterfront Park, is designed for ongoing enjoyment and special activations and events. Mirror Mirror, on display from March through November 2019, is the first in an annual series of temporary public art installations in the park.

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Interactive Art Installation

Art lovers and Instagrammers have a new reason to head to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. Mirror Mirror is a temporary sound-responsive interactive public art installation on display in Waterfront Park at the foot of King Street from March through November 2019. During the day, step inside the 25-foot diameter, eight-foot tall art installation and be bathed in rainbow-hued as you pose for the perfect photo. As the sun sets, dance, play and sing inside and around the artwork and enjoy the interactive light show. Visitors can share their images of the artwork on social media by using the hashtag #mirrormirrorALX. Mirror Mirror is a site-specific temporary installation by SOFTlab, a New York-based design studio led by artist and architect Michael Szivos, and is the first in an annual series of temporary public art installations in the park presented by the City of Alexandria's Office of the Arts. 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.

Tall Ship Providence

Celebrity Tall Ship Providence

Alexandria recently welcomed a new maritime history experience to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. The tall ship Providence (Visitor Center located at 1 Cameron St., lower level) provides a living link to Alexandria’s rich maritime, naval and Revolutionary history. Providence is a reproduction of the first ship authorized to serve in the Continental Navy and John Paul Jones’ first American command. When Providence opens to the public in fall 2019, visitors will be welcomed aboard to see the ship to meet John Paul Jones and get a taste of what life was like aboard an 18th-century sloop. Visitors can also take cruises on the Potomac, including family-oriented adventures and a regular craft beer cruise. You can even rent the ship for special tours to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or corporate event.

What’s Now

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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.