Things to do in
Alexandria, Virginia

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Top sights in Alexandria, Virginia

Our most recommended things to do in Alexandria, Virginia

From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

1. From Washington DC: Mount Vernon & Old Town Alexandria Tour

Visit the colorful and historic Old Town Alexandria and the former home of George Washington on this unmissable private tour of the two!\. Walk in the footsteps of Washington with this sensational five-hour excursion from the capital. Enjoy pickup in a luxurious, climate-controlled vehicle while your guide explains the significance of some of the city’s most recognizable monuments. A short drive brings you to the candy-colored architecture of Alexandria, where you can take a tour of some monuments notable to the former president – including the Masonic Temple and Christ Church. Arguably the birthplace of the city itself, George Washington’s former estate is located just 13 miles from the capital’s center. Then, go for an in-depth foray through the mansion, with entrance tickets to the grounds and gardens included. Interactive, historic reenactments bring the founding father’s story to life, while a guided tour of the building helps shine a light on his fascinating story. Next, you'll ride along the Potomac River and visit the Mount Vernon Estate - one of the Washington, DC, area’s premier sightseeing attractions. Explore historic Mount Vernon – from the mansion’s interior where President Washington resided, to his beloved gardens, and final resting place.  Take some time for lunch at the Mt Vernon Food Court if you like, then learn more about George Washington’s life and legacy in both the Museum and Education Center – home to more than 700 original objects (including his false teeth) and 25 theaters and galleries. There is even a multi-media theatre where it actually snows. After shopping for unique gifts at the Mt Vernon Shops, you will be entertained by your guide as you return back to Washington DC.

National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

2. National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

Admire Maryland and Virginia’s historic sites from a unique perspective on a two-person catamaran boat, also known as a Craigcat, journeying down the Potomac River. You will be guided down the Potomac River by a guide in their own boat and will guide you by radio. Your journey will see you navigating down the river at speeds of up to 25-miles per hour. Meet at the boat pier at National Harbor, be fitted with a life jacket, and complete a 20-minute training session to receive your 10-day boat license waiver before taking the journey down the river. Travel down the Potomac River and stop at different points-of-interest including, National Harbor, Jones Point Lighthouse, Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, and Little Hunting Creek. The Potomac River is home to a mixture of wildlife, so along the way, you might see Bald Eagles, Osprey, and different types of fish.

Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

3. Old Town Alexandria: DC Monument River Cruise to Georgetown

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute cruise to Georgetown, one of the district's most historic and fashionable neighborhoods. Make the most of your day and choose either a one-way cruise and return to Old Town Alexandria on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip cruise with 2 hours to explore Georgetown. In either case, you will be able to visit Georgetown's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

4. Georgetown: DC Monuments River Cruise to Old Town Alexandria

Avoid the traffic and see Washington, D.C., from the Potomac River. Once you arrive at the Georgetown Waterfront, simply hop on to the boat, sit back, and relax on this 45-minute ride as you witness the district's historic landmarks and monuments. Before you know it, you'll arrive in Old Town Alexandria, a historic town full of quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops. As you relax on your cruise, listen to an informative narrated story about Washington, D.C.'s history and many iconic sights, all the while cruising past top attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and many more. Marvel at the architectural details of the various landmarks on an afternoon cruise, or see them lit up at night. Make the most of your day: either choose a one-way water taxi cruise and return to Georgetown on your own, or choose a convenient round-trip water taxi cruise while still having time to explore Old Town Alexandria. In either case, you will be able to visit Old Town's historic streets and alleyways, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques, making the most of your trip to Washington, D.C.

Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

5. Old Town Alexandria: Mount Vernon Sightseeing River Cruise

Experience a great American adventure on this boat trip to the home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Enjoy a round-trip cruise from Alexandria to Mount Vernon, including entrance to the Mount Vernon estate. Start your tour with a fully narrated cruise down the Potomac River to Mount Vernon (1.5 hours one way). Tour the gardens and grounds of this national historic landmark and learn the history of one of the country's most important leaders. Spend approximately 3 hours at the estate viewing the gardens, strolling the many trails, visiting the farm, and stopping by the many restaurants and shops, on a tour that allows you to travel back in history to the time of colonial America.

Washington DC: 6-Hour Glass-Top or Open-Top Bus Tour

6. Washington DC: 6-Hour Glass-Top or Open-Top Bus Tour

Discover Washington, DC, in a glass-top, convertible Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — the first in the capital of the United States. Hop aboard and catch incredible panoramic views with an expert tour guide as your chauffeur and narrator. Begin by exploring the National Mall to observe the United States Capitol, White House, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and much more while seeing and learning about other significant landmarks. Next, pass through Embassy Row, Georgetown, and Northern Virginia along scenic routes. Your journey will conclude following a stop at the iconic US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

Alexandria: Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon

7. Alexandria: Private Tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon

Discover the most popular historical sites of Alexandria during this half or full-day outing with a local guide. Visit George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Pohick Church, and the US Army Museum on this private tour with entry tickets. Start your day with a 20-minute drive along the Potomac River on the George Washington Parkway. Once you arrive, enjoy a 4-hour tour of the Mount Vernon mansion and grounds including the many outbuildings and gardens, George Washington's tomb, museum, and education center. Throughout the day learn from your guide, a former Mount Vernon history interpreter who lives on land formerly a part of the estate and who is an avid student of George Washington and colonial history. Half-day tours will return to Old Town Alexandria for a driving tour of its colonial homes and sites. Full-day tours may choose to visit George Washington's working grist mill and distillery, George Mason's Gunston Hall, Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House, and Pohick Church. Don't miss the exciting new Museum of The US Army with amazing artifacts from America's wars since 1775. Witness landing craft from D-Day, a representation of the trenches in World War I, a Sherman tank from World War II, drones from Afghanistan, and a gallery of art painted by soldiers. Return to Old Town Alexandria for a driving tour of one of colonial America's most important ports.

Alexandria: Old Town Boutique Food Tour

8. Alexandria: Old Town Boutique Food Tour

Meet your guide and the rest of the group at your first restaurant stop where you'll learn what to expect during the tour. After enjoying your first tasting, follow your guide along the tour route, designed to highlight the historical importance of Old Town Alexandria. Make multiple stops at restaurants and between stops, learn about to the evolution of the neighborhood, from the role played during the Revolutionary War, to the Civil Rights Movement, to modern day. End the tour at the last restaurant stop, where your guide will be happy to provide tips about how to spend the rest of your day or assist in helping you find your way to your next activity. A portion of each ticket is donated to bread for the city, a charity that provides services to DC locals including providing food, clothing, and legal and medical services.

Alexandria: American Revolution and Civil War Guided Tour

9. Alexandria: American Revolution and Civil War Guided Tour

Walk around scenic Old Town of Alexandria, the colonial-era hometown of George Washington and Robert E. Lee, with an ex-"Tonight Show" writer and former presidential speechwriter who has authored 15 books on history, humor, science, and politics. Start at the lodging of Marquis de Lafayette where the French hero stayed during his so-called "reunion tour" of America, then proceed past the mansion of a Confederate general who was nearly lynched on the night of Lincoln's assassination, but was saved by Union troops. Stop next at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in the graveyard of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House dating from 1775.   Then, move on to the home of George Washington's physician who tragically mistreated his patient during the retired president's fatal illness. See the burnt remains of a rebel newspaper office where Union troops and Confederate sympathizers clashed and the tenement house that Washington bought on speculation for his wife Martha. Pass by the old prison and its evidence of attempted escapes by southern prisoners of war.   See the homes of Washington's beloved older brother Lawrence, and that of an officer who introduced him to Martha. Continue to the pharmacy and general store where George Washington and Robert E. Lee did their local shopping, and where the latter first heard of Fort Sumter. See the bank that hid Civil War funds used for the reconstruction of Mount Vernon, Washington's estate and the training grounds where he lost a fist fight. Move towards the site of the first fatalities of the Civil War from bayonet and shotguns, and the dreaded dock where slaves were brought in chains from Africa. See the colonial mansion where a famed rebel spy ferreted secrets to the Confederacy, and where a youthful Washington helped plan the French and Indian War. Also, see several homes of the Underground Railroad that carried escaped slaves to the soil of free states. Marvel at fine colonial and antebellum structures designed by the likes of Benjamin Latrobe, commonly known as “the father of American architecture,” and the banks and churches turned into Civil War hospitals. See also the Quaker library that witnessed the first civil rights sit-down protest and the taverns where the inaugural celebrations of the first six American presidents, including James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams were held. Pass by the meetinghouse where their colleague, George Mason, penned the Bill and Rights to the U.S. Constitution. The final stretch of this remarkably detailed look into America's past will draw upon such sites as Washington's townhouse where he conducted his commercials affairs and the antebellum homes where Robert E. Lee was raised. Lastly, see the stunning church where both Washington and Lee were parishioners and that also includes the graves of figures from all eras of America's rich past.

Alexandria: Private Walking Tour of Historic Alexandria

10. Alexandria: Private Walking Tour of Historic Alexandria

Enjoy an excursion to Alexandria to explore the unique history of the city as out of Alexandria came DC. Enjoy a walking tour with a private historian guide while uncovering the city through stories of notable American figures who called Alexandria home at the forming of the nation. Start the tour with tales of America’s famous founding fathers, and their ties to the town—from Washington and Jefferson to Frenchman Lafayette and founding trustee John Carlyle. Uncover the larger-than-life figure, Washington, by traversing the places which made Alexandria his home. Visit the church where Washington was a member. Walk by the home of his first love and the home of his physician. Then, visit Gadsby’s Tavern and hear of the letters written between other notable past presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, political opponents who went on to have an epic friendship. Listen to the providential tale of how both died on the same day, July 4th. Along your walk, learn how the city of Alexandria arose from its landed gentry to its slave heritage who built much of the infrastructure that remains today. At the end of your tour, explore the town at your own pace. Get recommendations from your guide. Grab a bite to eat or see the farmer's market and enjoy the town's waterfront.

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What people are saying about Alexandria, Virginia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 131 reviews

We had an excellent tour with Chris. He was extremely knowledgeable and communicated the life at Mount Vernon very well. We got an extra treat by stopping at Arlington Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard. It was a day well spent.

Had an absolutely great time! Edgar is an absolute treasure and is most passionate in his profession as a tour guide! Would most definitely recommend this to family and friends.

Great tour of DC area that includes a boat trip. Our tour was great (Nick). We would take another tour with this company in future.

Our guide Nick did a great job. Provided lots of info and kept us entertained as well. Highly recommended.

Edgar was a knowledgeable and awesome guide and group photographer.