Hi friends! It’s time to talk about one of my favorite places – Old Town Alexandria! If you’re new here, you may not know that I was born in Alexandria, Va., just a few miles from the Nation’s Capitol. Old Town Alexandria is known for its old world charm, and I feel lucky to again live just a few miles from the historic area. Since spring is a time when many of us are breaking out of our homes and finding things to do, I figure there’s no better time than now to share my favorite fun activities in Old Town Alexandria. Many of these activities are free or low cost and can be done year-round!
Side note: If you’re planning on visiting D.C. during the Cherry Blossom season, swinging by Old Town Alexandria is a must!
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Fun Activities in Old Town Alexandria
Tour the Torpedo Factory Art Center
Originally a World War II torpedo factory, this art center is home to the largest collection of publicly accessible working art studios in the U.S. In fact, there are 82 artist studios open for guests to visit, plus seven galleries and the the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. Located near the waterfront area, the Torpedo Factory is a collective of galleries and artists’ studios located near Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront. It’s free and open to the public. You can also check out their calendar for special events.
Check out the Farmers Market
If you’re visiting Old Town on a weekend, you need to check out the country’s oldest continuously-run farmers’ market. For more than 260 years, a farmers market has been held at the Market Square on King Street. Even George Washington used to sell his produce from Mount Vernon at this market.
Visit the Spite House
This house is a must-see for Instagrammers and photographers because it is the skinniest historic house in the U.S. It’s only seven feet wide! Built in1830 by John Hollsenbury out of spite to keep loiterers out of his alley, the Spite House is located at 523 Queen Street. Walking to the Spite House will give you the perfect chance to take in Old Town’s historic red brick sidewalks, cobblestone alleys and plenty more photo-worthy row-houses.
Eat at Columbia Firehouse
I couldn’t help but mention one of my favorite places to eat in Old Town Alexandria! Home to the Columbia Steam Engine Fire Company of the late 1800s, Columbia Firehouse is located just off of King Street. If offers delicious American Cuisine, including seafood and steak, and is open for lunch, dinner and brunch on the weekends.
Treat Yourself at Pop’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream
This old school ice cream parlor fully delivers on charm and tasty ice cream. Located on King Street and just one block from the waterfront, you can eat your ice cream in the parlor or take it with you on a stroll along the Potomac River.
Related: Where to Eat in Alexandria VA According to a Local
Go on a Ghost Tour
What’s better than tour around Old Town? A tour at night that includes ghost stories! These historic ghost tours make for a fun way to learn about the history of Alexandria’s Old Town.
Transportation Tip: Take the *Free* King Street Trolley
The King Street Trolley runs every 10-15 minutes between the King Street Metro station and Union Street, near the waterfront. If you’re visiting DC and want to visit Old Town Alexandria for the day, take the metro to the King Street station. From there, you can take the trolley or walk around, as you’d like. If you’re visiting Old Town Alexandria by car, you can easily park on the street or find a parking garage all over the area. Still, take advantage of the Trolley to see as much of Old Town as you can. It’s one mile long from the King Sreet metro, where Old Town begins, to the waterfront. Click here for the latest King Street Trolley schedule.
I hope these fun activities are helpful if you’re planning a trip to Old Town Alexandria. And if you aren’t heading here any time soon, I hope this inspires you to discover fun things to do in your hometown. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re missing out on unless we explore!