What to do in Alexandria VA
The Best Things to do in Alexandria VA in One Day
If you’re visiting the Washington, D.C. area, you need to spend a day exploring the charming city of Alexandria, Virginia, which is located right next door to D.C. This cute city is home to a great variety of coffee shops, stores, parks, architecture, and restaurants. Keep reading for the best things to do in Alexandria VA!
With its quaint Old Town, Alexandria is known for its 18th and 19th-century buildings, brick sidewalks, and being George Washington’s hometown. This is a very walkable city, making for a great day trip from DC. From shops to historical monuments, admire the charm that Alexandria has to offer.
Things to do in Alexandria VA
1. Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum
There are many museums and art galleries to enjoy in Alexandria, but they often take several hours to see. We recommend opting for one, the Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum because it focuses on the history of Alexandria and admission is budget friendly (general admission is USD $3).
2. North Patrick Street to King Street
There are houses of every color in Alexandria, especially in the Old Town area (King Street). If you enjoy architecture, then I highly recommend walking down Patrick Street and King Street. There is a free trolley on King Street, which is awesome for those who want to utilize public transportation.
Learn about the history of slavery in Alexandria in the house that was responsible for the trafficking of thousands of Black people. According to AlexandriaVA.gov, “This Museum honors the lives and experiences of the enslaved and free Black people who lived in and were trafficked through Alexandria.”
Once an alley, the Spite House was built by a homeowner who was upset by people constantly wandering down the alley next to his house. It’s the narrowest house in the US at only 7 feet wide! This is a fun site to see and a great photo opportunity.
5. Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum
A family-run business open until 1933, this once apothecary is now home to a fascinating museum. Alongside medicine, they sold cleaning supplies, dyes, and more. Learn about famous potions that were once made and sold here with a guided or self-guided tour.
Start your day off well with a delicious coffee and pastry, quiche, or sandwich. Buzz Bakeshop is known for its incredible desserts and pastries which make for a sweet way to begin your Alexandria adventuring. If you’re going for sweet, I recommend a s’more tart, but if you prefer savory, you have to try their quiche!
This is a plus if you have your dog with you as it’s totally dog friendly, inside and outside! However, even if you don’t have a dog, this is a great place to stop for a nice drink and delicious bites to eat. We highly recommend veggie tacos, parmesan truffle fries, and sourdough flatbread.
This Mediterranean restaurant is sure to hit the spot. At Barca, you’ll find mouthwatering wines and tapas, as well as riverfront dining views in nice weather. Two must-try options here are the patatas bravas and the Tzatziki with pita bread!
9. Sisters Thai
If you like Thai food, then this is definitely a must-visit while in Alexandria. The decor is vibrant yet elegant, the staff is very friendly, and the food is absolutely delicious. We tried several things here because we’re slightly obsessed with Thai food, and nothing was a disappointment. In fact, everything was a 10/10 for us!
Want to enjoy some authentic and delicious Italian food? Head over to Mia’s, sip on a glass of sangria, enjoy a wonderful meal and admire the stylish decor. They have a great selection of pizza, pasta, and desserts. Reservations are highly recommended.
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11. Explore the Shops and Boutiques in Old Town
Old Town Alexandria has an incredible array of shops to venture in. From Persian carpets to fashion to pet boutiques, you’ll find it all in Old Town, especially on King Street. The vibe here is charming, so even if you don’t want to go shopping, it is well worth a walk around here.
12. Stroll over to the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront
Admire the Potomac River, public art installation, and maybe an ice cream while you stroll around the area. You can stop by the Torpedo Factory Art Center, talk to local artists, and find a unique souvenir to take home.
There is so much more to see and do in Alexandria VA, but if you’re in a time crunch, we recommend checking off some of the above. Make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes and a day bag for convenient exploring.
Read Also: Best Coffee Shops in Alexandria VA
There are buses in Alexandria, but it’s really fun to walk around and admire all the beautiful architecture if you can do so easily. Remember there is a free trolley on King Street!
Now you know what to do in Alexandria VA so you can start packing! Get ready for charming city vibes, incredible food, fun shops, river views, and more.
What are you most excited about while in Alexandria? Our favorite part was learning more about US history and eating delicious food!