Things to do in
Old Town, Alexandria

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Top sights in Old Town, Alexandria

Our most recommended things to do in Old Town, Alexandria

From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

1. 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.

Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

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

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute 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. In either case, you will be able to visit Georgetown's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

3. 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

4. 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: Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon

5. 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.

Alexandria: Old Town Boutique Food Tour

6. 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.

Alexandria: American Revolution and Civil War Guided Tour

7. Alexandria: American Revolution and Civil War Guided Tour

Walk around scenic Old Town of Alexandria, the colonial-era hometown of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, with an ex-"Tonight Show" writer and former presidential speechwriter who has authored 15 books on history, humor, science, and politics. Start at the lodging of Marquis de Lafayette where the French hero stayed during his so-called "reunion tour" of America, then proceed past the mansion of a Confederate general who was nearly lynched on the night of Lincoln's assassination, but was saved by Union troops. Stop next at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in the graveyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House dating from 1775.   Then, move on to the home of George Washington's physician who tragically mistreated his patient during the retired president's fatal illness. See the burnt remains of a rebel newspaper office where Union troops and Confederate sympathizers clashed and the tenement house that Washington bought on speculation for his wife Martha. Pass by the old prison and its evidence of attempted escapes by southern prisoners of war.   See the homes of Washington's beloved older brother Lawrence, and that of an officer who introduced him to Martha. Continue to the pharmacy and general store where George Washington and Robert E. Lee did their local shopping, and where the latter first heard of Fort Sumter. See the bank that hid Civil War funds used for the reconstruction of Mount Vernon, Washington's estate and the training grounds where he lost a fist fight. Move towards the site of the first fatalities of the Civil War from bayonet and shotguns, and the dreaded dock where slaves were brought in chains from Africa. See the colonial mansion where a famed rebel spy ferreted secrets to the Confederacy, and where a youthful Washington helped plan the French and Indian War. Also, see several homes of the Underground Railroad that carried escaped slaves to the soil of free states. Marvel at fine colonial and antebellum structures designed by the likes of Benjamin Latrobe, commonly known as “the father of American architecture,” and the banks and churches turned into Civil War hospitals. See also the Quaker library that witnessed the first civil rights sit-down protest and the taverns where the inaugural celebrations of the first six American presidents, including James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams were held. Pass by the meetinghouse where their colleague, George Mason, penned the Bill and Rights to the U.S. Constitution. The final stretch of this remarkably detailed look into America's past will draw upon such sites as Washington's townhouse where he conducted his commercials affairs and the antebellum homes where Robert E. Lee was raised. Lastly, see the stunning church where both Washington and Lee were parishioners and that also includes the graves of figures from all eras of America's rich past.

Alexandria: Old Town E-Bike Rental

8. Alexandria: Old Town E-Bike Rental

Explore the historic city of Alexandria, Virginia, by pedaling around town on a state-of-the-art E-bike. Discover its famous Old Town, with brick sidewalks and well-preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings. Begin your adventure by picking up your e-bike at the rental booth. A helmet, bike lock, map, and all necessary safety equipment will be provided to you to ensure a safe ride around town. When you are ready, hop on your bike and set off. There is no better way to get up close and personal with all the great sites of Alexandria. Riding at your own pace, you can stop at your leisure to take in the sights around you. Choose between a 2-hour, 4-hour, or a full-day rental. No matter what your schedule is, you can fit in a ride and see the sights. Admire historic landmarks and beautiful city views as you cycle around town with ease.

Other Sightseeing Options in Old Town, Alexandria

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What people are saying about Old Town, Alexandria

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 101 reviews

Ken was awesome, full of information and could answer ALL of our questions. His passion for Mount Vernon was very noticeable. He loved sharing what to him is his deep appreciation for George Washington, all he did and the specialness of Mount Vernon. A great experience for all us...teenagers included!! :-) BC

We had an excellent tour with Chris. He was extremely knowledgeable and communicated the life at Mount Vernon very well. We got an extra treat by stopping at Arlington Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard. It was a day well spent.

Had an absolutely great time! Edgar is an absolute treasure and is most passionate in his profession as a tour guide! Would most definitely recommend this to family and friends.

Edgar was a knowledgeable and awesome guide and group photographer.

Great way to get to alexandria. Crew was very accommodating