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Old Town Alexandria
Old Town (Old Town)
Visitor center: (1) 703-746-3301 | www.visitalexandriava.com
HOURS/TIMESVaries by venue
PRICE (ADMISSION)Varies by venue
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; summer
RESERVE IN ADVANCENo (except at restaurants and nightlife)
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone (except at restaurants and nightlife)
HIGHLIGHTSHistoric sites; galleries; shopping; restaurants
METROKing St-Old Town
Old Town was established in 1749 and went on to become the turf of early America's foremost political superstars, including George and Martha Washington, and visitors Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe. Now a cobblestoned neighborhood within modern Alexandria, Old Town has quaint sidewalks, historical homes, and art galleries, in addition to some delightful eating and drinking establishments. Old Town is DC urbanites’ quiet retreat for a day of strolling, snacking, and sightseeing.
GO HERE WITH
Significant other; parents; US history buffs
WHY WE LIKE IT
When we say Old Town is quaint, we aren’t using that as a euphemism for “there’s nothing to do.” Some of Old Town’s interesting highlights are Lyceum (1839 museum), Athenaeum (1852 bank turned community art center), Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (1792 family business turned museum), Torpedo Factory Art Center (art galleries and studios), George Washington Masonic Memorial (Freemason GW memorial building), Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (1785 tavern and hotel), and Carlyle House (1753 historic mansion). Plus, there are plenty of restaurants and shops to wander into.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
Any way we can arrange for a little less traffic? The foot and car traffic can get tiresome.
GOOD TO KNOW
Museum tours tend to run about 30 minutes to an hour, so plan to spend the day here if you want to really get the history lessons and enjoy yourself. The traffic around here can be bad, but since Old Town is a nice walking neighborhood, we’d recommend using public transportation to get there. For those driving, you can acquire a free visitor’s parking pass to override the two-hour limits at the meter and park for free at the Visitor Center off King Street. There is also the free Old Town King Street trolley that goes between the waterfront and the King Street Metro. Be forewarned: the trolley can get extremely crowded and hot on the weekends. There’s a fun farmer’s market on Saturdays.
All information within this website was checked for accuracy at the time of publication. But since the world moves quickly, things may have changed. Pardon us for any errors as we strive to give you the most up-to-the-minute details!