Explore Old Town Alexandria: Past & Present
From sightseeing and sipping to wandering and window-shopping — Old Town Alexandria is both a designated historic district and beloved community of hundreds of local boutiques and acclaimed restaurants, all in a wonderfully walkable city center just minutes from Washington D.C.
In this postcard-perfect place, every cobblestone street stroll and waterfront walk is like a window to the past, lined with perfectly-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture — but the present has just as much to offer.
Explore King Street
Lorien Hotel and Spa sits directly on King Street, bursting with old-fashioned charm and dozens of vintage boutiques, art galleries, and eateries. Named one of America’s “great streets,” this postcard-picture stretch is easily explored by foot or trolley from misty morning to twinkle-lit night.
Sightseeing Cruises & Water Taxis
Our historic port city is meant to be admired by boat. Embark on a river cruise or water taxi excursion boarding at Old Town’s vibrant marina, just a 20-minute walk from the Lorien. Marvel at national landmarks on a monuments tour, take a short cruise over to D.C. or set sail for National Harbor and George Washington’s Mount Vernon to explore the estate and gardens.
- City Cruises Anchored by Hornblower
- Experience the Waterfront
- Mount Vernon from Alexandria or National Harbor
A Walk Back in Time
In Old Town Alexandria, history is all around. Stroll back in time on a guided walking tour of storied sights and sites, like Carlyle House, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, and Barrett Library, to discover centuries-old stories. Open the doors to nine historical sites with the Key to the City attractions pass, and dive deep into Alexandria’s past from the 1700s to today.
- Alexandria History Tours
- Manumission Tour Company
- Carlyle House
- Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
- Key to the City Attractions Pass
The Torpedo Factory Art Center
Housed in an old munitions plant is the nation’s largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios under one roof. Explore three floors of studios for ceramics, glass, painting, sculpture, and beyond, chatting with the artists along the way. With over 160 national and international artists, 82 in-house studios, and seven galleries, it’s the perfect place to find that one-of-a-kind treasure to take home.
Fine waterfront dining, romantic riverfront restaurants, history-rich courtyards, bustling beer gardens — Old Town is home to dozens of chef-driven eateries serving up memorable experiences. In addition to its countless picturesque dining locations, Alexandria’s diverse food scene is praised by critics across the country for its twist-on-comfort-food creations, from famed barbecue to imaginative eggrolls.
Raise a Glass
Make a hop-infused stop at Old Town’s award-winning brewery, Port City Brewing Company. With a name inspired by Alexandria’s rich origins as a key brewing center and home of the largest brewery in the southern United States, Port City’s grain-to-glass brews are innovative, well-balanced, and perfectly refreshing after a few hours spent exploring the King Street Mile.