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Neighborhood Favorites: Old Town Alexandria

1 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314

Hours change by location.

$

local-highlights

Spend a day experiencing the beauty and charm of historic Old Town.

The neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria runs along the Potomac River and boasts cobblestone streets and 18th Century row homes. It is a blend of residential and commercial spaces, with numerous small museums, many restaurants, and lovely boutiques along and around historic King Street.

The waterfront overlooks the Potomac River with a view of Woodrow Wilson Bridge that connects Virginia and Maryland. The King Street Metro is just over a mile from the waterfront, which is walkable, but there is also a free King Street Trolley that runs every fifteen minutes. 

For the older kids, a neighborhood scavenger hunt is available here or drop into the Visitor's Center at 221 King Street for more information. This interactive family activity is a great way to expose the kids to Old Town history while making a game out of it. Break into two teams or complete it together.

Wander over to The Armory Tot Lot at 208 S. Royal Street for a fun distraction with your little ones while the older children search the neighborhood. There is a sandbox, a fair amount of shade, and a variety of toys and playground equipment.

At lunchtime, reconvene at Sweetgreen a five to ten-minute walk up King Street from the waterfront area. For a sit-down meal with more variety, check out Chadwick's just steps from the Waterfront.  

Following your meal, join the Mount Vernon Trail which runs through Old Town and head further into Northern Virginia. The trail is 18 miles in total and runs about ten miles from Old Town to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, so take a long bike ride with the big kids. If you seek a shorter journey, walk just 2.2-miles to Dyke Marsh Wildlife Refuge, or just ½ a mile to Jones Point Park where you will find playgrounds, a lighthouse, and much more to explore in the surrounding parkland.

On the way back stop at Windmill Hill Park for some more playground time overlooking the Potomac River and the newly renovated shoreline. Once back in Old Town, stop for a treat at local favorite Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream (109 King Street) and take your cones out to stroll the waterfront. 

If handmade sweets and chocolates are what you seek, head over to Kilwins Alexandria (212 King Street) and stroll the neighboring market square. Check out some of the amazing boutiques, including a favorite of ours, Bishop Boutique on King Street. As an added bonus, live music is commonly available around the neighborhood. If you'd rather wait to eat until you're headed out of the neighborhood, grab a late lunch or dinner at Lost Dog Cafe - Alexandria.


 

Features

Good for All Ages History Architecture
Thoughtfully captured by:
Randi Banks
Randi (Betts) Banks grew up in New York and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She moved to Washington, D.C. more than thirteen years ago with her husband, Eaghmon, and they love to explore the area and seek out adventure, now with their two young children along for the ride. Growing up right near the beach, they are happiest when on or near the water, so exploring the rivers, lakes, and streams in the greater DC area is a favorite pastime for their family. In addition to serving as one of the Washington, DC area ambassadors, Randi is also the Editor in Chief and Co-founder of happyly.
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