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Things to do in

Alexandria, Virginia

Top sights in Alexandria, Virginia

Our most recommended things to do in Alexandria, Virginia

Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

1. Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

Avoid the traffic and see Washington DC from the Potomac River on this cruise from Alexandria's Old Town to Georgetown. Choose from a tour with or without a return trip. View sights from the water like the Lincoln and Jefferson memorial and the Washington Monument. Arrive at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront and simply hop onto the comfortable boat. Sit back and relax on a cruise to Georgetown, one of the district's most historic and fashionable neighborhoods. Make the most of your day and choose either a one-way cruise and return to Old Town Alexandria on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip cruise with 2 hours to explore Georgetown.  Visit Georgetown's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques.

From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

2. From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

Discover the historic Old Town Alexandria on a guided day trip from Washington. Ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate, the former residence of George Washington. Enjoy pickup in a luxurious, climate-controlled vehicle while your guide explains the significance of some of the city’s most recognizable monuments. A short drive brings you to the candy-colored architecture of Alexandria, where you can take a tour of some monuments notable to the former president – including the Masonic Temple and Christ Church. Arguably the birthplace of the city itself, George Washington’s former estate is located just 13 miles from the capital’s center. Then, go for an in-depth foray through the mansion, with entrance tickets to the grounds and gardens included. Interactive, historic reenactments bring the founding father’s story to life, while a guided tour of the building helps shine a light on his fascinating story. Next, you'll ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate - one of the Washington, DC, area’s premier sightseeing attractions. Explore historic Mount Vernon – from the mansion’s interior where President Washington resided to his beloved gardens, and final resting place.  Take some time for lunch at the Mt Vernon Food Court if you like, then learn more about George Washington’s life and legacy in both the Museum and Education Center – home to more than 700 original objects (including his false teeth) and 25 theaters and galleries. There is even a multi-media theater where it actually snows. After shopping for unique gifts at the Mt Vernon Shops, you will be entertained by your guide as you return back to Washington DC.

National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

3. National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

Admire Maryland and Virginia’s historic sites from a unique perspective on a two-person catamaran boat, also known as a Craigcat, journeying down the Potomac River. You will be guided down the Potomac River by a guide in their own boat and will guide you by radio. Your journey will see you navigating down the river at speeds of up to 25-miles per hour. Meet at the boat pier at National Harbor, be fitted with a life jacket, and complete a 20-minute training session to receive your 10-day boat license waiver before taking the journey down the river. Travel down the Potomac River and stop at different points-of-interest including, National Harbor, Jones Point Lighthouse, Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, and Little Hunting Creek. The Potomac River is home to a mixture of wildlife, so along the way, you might see Bald Eagles, Osprey, and different types of fish.

Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

4. Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Georgetown Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute ride as you witness the district's historic landmarks and monuments. Before you know it, you'll arrive in Old Town Alexandria, a historic town full of quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops. As you relax on your cruise, listen to an informative narrated story about Washington, D.C.'s history and many iconic sights, all the while cruising past top attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and many more. Marvel at the architectural details of the various landmarks on an afternoon cruise, or see them lit up at night. Make the most of your day: either choose a one-way water taxi cruise and return to Georgetown on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip water taxi cruise while still having time to explore Old Town Alexandria. In either case, you will be able to visit Old Town's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

5. Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

Experience a great American adventure on this boat trip to the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Enjoy a round-trip cruise from Alexandria to Mount Vernon, including entrance to the Mount Vernon estate. Start your tour with a fully narrated cruise down the Potomac River to Mount Vernon (1.5 hours one way). Tour the gardens and grounds of this national historic landmark and learn the history of one of the country's most important leaders. Spend approximately 3 hours at the estate viewing the gardens, strolling the many trails, visiting the farm, and stopping by the many restaurants and shops, on a tour that allows you to travel back in history to the time of colonial America.

Alexandria: Spirits of Old Town Walking Ghost Tour

6. Alexandria: Spirits of Old Town Walking Ghost Tour

Take a journey through historic Alexandria’s most spine-chilling haunted locations on this walking tour. Listen to tales of betrayal, murder, and magic as you wind through the shadowy streets of Old Town. Upgrade to an extended tour for even more ghost stories. Meet your guide at the meeting point, then set off on your ghostly walk, armed with a lantern. As you go, hear chilling, first-hand accounts of paranormal activity dating as far back as the 1800s. You might even capture your own evidence. Stand at the gates of the harrowing Carlyle House, where an ancient Scottish tradition has been warding off evil spirits for the last 100 years. Investigate a 19th-century murder in the Wilkes Tunnel, and gather clues about the mysterious dead stranger hanging around Gadsby’s Tavern. At the Schafer House, follow young lovers from their first meeting to their tragic deaths and beyond. Wander the same paths as George Washington, mingle with the ghosts of Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers, and gain insight into the darker side of American history. At the end of the tour, circle back to the meeting point with plenty of spooky tales to entertain friends and family. This isn’t your average tour of Old Town Alexandria: are you brave enough to step into the shadows?

Alexandria: Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon

7. Alexandria: Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon

Discover the most popular historical sites of Alexandria during this half or full-day outing with a local guide. Visit George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Pohick Church, and the US Army Museum on this private tour with entry tickets. Start your day with a 20-minute drive along the Potomac River on the George Washington Parkway. Once you arrive, enjoy a 4-hour tour of the Mount Vernon mansion and grounds including the many outbuildings and gardens, George Washington's tomb, museum, and education center. Throughout the day learn from your guide, a former Mount Vernon history interpreter who lives on land formerly a part of the estate and who is an avid student of George Washington and colonial history. Half-day tours will return to Old Town Alexandria for a driving tour of its colonial homes and sites. Full-day tours may choose to visit George Washington's working grist mill and distillery, George Mason's Gunston Hall, Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House, and Pohick Church. Don't miss the exciting new Museum of The US Army with amazing artifacts from America's wars since 1775. Witness landing craft from D-Day, a representation of the trenches in World War I, a Sherman tank from World War II, drones from Afghanistan, and a gallery of art painted by soldiers. Return to Old Town Alexandria for a driving tour of one of colonial America's most important ports.

Washington DC: Guided DC Bus Tour

8. Washington DC: Guided DC Bus Tour

Explore the best of Washington, DC on this small-group 8-hour tour including a reserved entrance to the U.S. Capitol Building and the National Archives Building! After an in-depth tour of the U.S. Capitol, you'll continue through the city to discover some of DC's most famous landmarks and attractions. Also stop at the Georgetown Waterfront for lunch and then proceed to take a 1- hour boat cruise of the Potomac River. With fully guided walks and plenty of photo opportunities, you'll see the best of DC on this VIP day tour. This tour is conducted in the customized glass-top or open-top convertible Mercedes Sprinter bus - offering unique panoramic views of Washington, DC.

Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner

9. Washington, DC: The Original Brew Tour with Tasting & Dinner

On this all-inclusive tour, taste the beer of the nation’s capital as you learn about beer history and the brewing process. Go behind the curtains where the brewmasters of Washington, DC, work their magic and enjoy scrumptious beer and food pairings for an unparalleled brew tour experience.   On this guided brew tour, visit 4 breweries in Washington, DC, which may include:   • Red Bear Brewing Co: Situated in downtown DC (NOMA), this brewery produces a variety of flavorful beers to sip on. You can enjoy your drink while watching one of their near-daily events.   • Right Proper Brewing Co: This company churns out some of the tastiest beers in the region, starting from a vision of heading to your local pub to grab a fresh glass of beer brewed on-site. • Brookland Pint: This characteristic spot offers a relaxing beer and meal pairing experience. At Brookland Pint, local ingredients are sourced to produce mouth-watering menu items.   • Port City Brewing: Tucked at the westernmost tip of Washington, DC, Port City Brewing is churning out some of the most incredible craft brews. They generously offer tour-goers special samples and beers that are exclusive to the brewery.

Alexandria: Old Town Boutique Food Tour

10. Alexandria: Old Town Boutique Food Tour

Meet your guide and the rest of the group at your first restaurant stop where you'll learn what to expect during the tour. After enjoying your first tasting, follow your guide along the tour route, designed to highlight the historical importance of Old Town Alexandria. Make multiple stops at restaurants and between stops, learn about to the evolution of the neighborhood, from the role played during the Revolutionary War, to the Civil Rights Movement, to modern day. End the tour at the last restaurant stop, where your guide will be happy to provide tips about how to spend the rest of your day or assist in helping you find your way to your next activity. A portion of each ticket is donated to bread for the city, a charity that provides services to DC locals including providing food, clothing, and legal and medical services.

Other Sightseeing Options in Alexandria, Virginia

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What people are saying about Alexandria, Virginia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 190 reviews

It was a very awesome experience and I would strongly recommend to anyone that wants to take a break from touring the other sites! I took a Lyft from my hotel and had extra time to spare before check in! The boat training was very short and then we were on our way! I thought I would get soaked but I didn’t thank goodness! Bring sandals or swim shoes and there’s a a little storage compartment on the boat itself to keep your personal effects dry! Instructors were awesome!

Had a lot of fun. Driving was easy. Got splashed occasionally which was a lifesaver because it was crazy hot out. The water was not even slightly chilly in mid July. Traveled farther than expected. Some huge estates along the river and the guide stopped to tell us about a couple of historic sites along the way.

This was a truly worthwhile experience for my slightly older, less mobile visitors who wanted to see all they possibly could of the city. Every step of the process was a turnkey operation and provided a relaxing and unique point-of-view to even the most seasoned D.C. explorers.

Christopher, our guide, was the best! His knowledge far surpassed our expecting & his sense of humor added to our beautiful day!

The tour guide Christopher did an amazing job!!! He was very knowledgeable and made the trip extra enjoyable!