Northern Virginia, being rich in history, is filled with quaint and beautiful historic towns. These small hamlets represent not just remnants of critical moments in our nation’s history, but the encapsulation of “small town America” that people love. One Northern Virginia neighborhood with historical flair and prettiness in abundance is Old(e) Town, Alexandria.
Old Town is minutes away from the nation’s Capital, situated on the opposite bank of the Potomac from Washington, D.C. It dates back to 1749, before the Revolutionary War even took place. One notable resident of this part of Alexandria was none other than George Washington, who built Mount Vernon nine miles away.
Today, Old Town is a vibrant community with over 200 boutiques and restaurants, as well as a slew of historical museums and attractions. Visitors can buy a Key To the City pass, which gives them access to eight of the neighborhood’s fascinating museums. The hub of Old Town life is the bustling waterfront, where citywide events tend to take place. Lined with picture-perfect cobblestone streets and red brick sidewalks, Old Town attract pet walkers, parents with strollers, and casual walkers drinking in the sights. At the heart of Old Town is its main thoroughfare, King Street, which is recognized as one of America’s great Main Streets. To explore its length, visitors can hop aboard the free King Street Trolley.
Some of Old Town’s historic buildings include Carlyle House, a tremendously lovely merchant’s house dating back to 1753. It features an immaculate city garden and gorgeous interior carvings, and the Athenaeum - recognizable for its pink color and neoclassical-style. Built in 1851, the building once held a bank but now holds an arts center.
Old Town is home to the oldest farmer’s market in the country! On Saturday mornings you can join the crowds that gather there to buy fresh produce, flowers, and handmade goodies. Enjoy breakfast or lunch like the locals do! If you want a sense for how old the market is, just imagine the fact that George Washington sold crops from his farm there.
Beer lovers can’t visit without downing a pint of Port City Beer, made fresh locally at Old Town’s award-winning brewery. Named the Best Small Brewery in the U.S. in 2015, Port City is the oldest craft brewery in the D.C. region.
Like previously said, Northern Virginia is full of history. One place to start exploring it is Old Town Alexandria, which is as scenic as it is relevant to our country’s past.
(CC photo by AgnosticPreachersKid)