Old Town is a charming neighborhood in the heart of Alexandria, just outside of Washington, D.C. It boasts cute streets, restaurants, homes (basically everything here is pretty cute), and a waterfront.
Old Town Alexandria is the perfect day trip, especially in the fall. Here are five things not to miss!
Explore the Oldest Farmer’s Market in the Country
The Old Town Farmer’s Market
is the oldest farmer’s market in the nation, so it’s worth a visit for that fact alone. It runs year-round from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, and during the busy season, boasts over 70 vendors. If you like history, you’ll appreciate the fact that George Washington sent his products from Mount Vernon to be sold at this market, and you’ll love how picturesque the market looks and feels against the backdrop of historic Virginia homes. Plus, all those fresh veggies, artisanal breads, and the variety of jams and cheeses! You can check out more detailed information here
Enjoy the Torpedo Factory Art Center
hosts the largest amount of artist studios in one public space, and almost all of them are currently working on projects. This is great news, because you can wander through the industrially designed building and pop into each of the studios to check out the art. You're able to purchase already-completed pieces and peek into masterpieces in progress. The art ranges from paintings, to sculptures, to even jewelry. Plus, there’s something a little extra cool about seeing artists at work on their craft.
The Art Center sits right on the waterfront, so once you’ve had your fill of browsing and (hopefully) purchasing, you can step out and take the pictures on the boardwalk and grab a cocktail on one of the patios with views of the water.
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Drinks and Oysters on the Waterfront
Which brings us nicely to the next thing you should do, which is (of course) to check out the waterfront. And what better way to experience the waterfront than on a restaurant patio with a drink and oyster in hand? Grab an outdoor table at Blackwell Hitch
, order fresh oysters from the raw bar, and try one of their signature cocktails
. The full menu can be found here
. At nights, they also feature live music
, so if at the end of your day, you’re not ready to leave, they’re the perfect nightcap spot.
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Go Shopping on King’s Street
Once you’ve had that afternoon snack, you can be ready to take advantage of all the shopping Old Town has to offer. The main street is called Kings Street, stretching from the waterfront all the way to the Old Town metro station, and it’s filled with charming local shops, vintage stores, and also more recognizable brands. Now that it’s appropriate to get excited for the holidays again, make a stop at Christmas Attic
, which features an eclectic array of holiday decorations. If you love consignment shops, you must visit Encore Consignment
on Union Street, right off of King Street; it’s the cutest little store with big designers.
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Dine and Wine in History
All the restaurants in Old Town are charming. They’re usually on the bottom floor of some historic building or another, and almost always feature exposed brick décor. Check out Gadsby’s Tavern
, an establishment that has been serving classic American fare since the 1770s. Servers still wear period garb, and the ambience will immediately take you back in time. Other great options include Vermilion
, both full of old-world elegance. If you love seafood, make sure to not miss the Fish Market Restaurant
, featuring the best seafood the mid-Atlantic has to offer. But really, in Old Town, you just need to walk up and down King Street, and you’re sure to stumble on something that caters to your tastes.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Old Town? What are you most excited about checking out next? Let us know in the comments below!