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Old Town Alexandria Lines Streets with History

Old Town Alexandria
Tree-lined neighborhoods surround Old Town Alexandria's main district. Credit: Wikimedia (Creative Commons License)
Old Town Alexandria offers a relaxing stroll along historic streets filled with shops and restaurants. It is especially beautiful during the Christmas holiday season.

This waterfront neighborhood in northern Virginia, which once was home to George Washington and Robert E. Lee, dates back to 1749.

The main draw is the cobblestone-lined King Street, the location of many historic buildings.

Visitors can spend the day exploring the boutique shops and art galleries, hang out at Waterfront Park by the Potomac River or spend the evening listening to live music at a local pub.

On some days visitors will even see live street entertainment.

If time permits, try venturing off to side streets to see attractive tree-lined neighborhoods and townhomes.

An ideal time of the year to visit is during the Christmas season when the streets and shops are decorated for the holidays and the streets are lined with sparkling lights.


Anyone who starts or ends their stroll on King Street at the water’s edge will find the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

The building was constructed in 1918 to produce torpedoes. It now features 82 working artists studios, six galleries and the Art League School.

Other galleries include traditional and contemporary art at Paul McGehee’s Old Town Gallery, local artists in monthly exhibitions at Del Ray Artisans and exhibits throughout the year by students of The Art League at the Torpedo Factory.

The Old Town Boutique District has more than 30 small shops with home decor, artisan jewelry, and high-end fashions. The district also has about a half dozen antique and vintage shops.


Old Town Alexandria has dozens of restaurants ranging from casual to high end. Outdoor dining is plentiful during warm weather.

Options include all major international cuisines including Italian, Asian, Japanese, Irish, Indian and Mediterranean.


Alexandria offers at least 25 hotels with some closer to King Street than others.

Hotels closest to the district include Hilton, Wyndham, Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, Hampton and Lorien. All of them are right on King Street or within a few blocks of it.

Major nearby hotels have shuttles that take guests to convenient dropping off and picking up locations.

They also can take the free King Street trolley in case they get tired from all the walking.

A Metro subway station on King Street makes the district easily accessible from other parts of the southern District of Columbia suburbs.

Hours and Location

Location: Alexandria
Address: 221 King Street, 22314
Telephone: (800) 388-9119
Web site:
Cost: Free
Latitude: 38.80459
Longitude: -77.042336
Categories > Northern Virginia > Alexandria > Cultural > Shopping

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