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Washington DC Day Trip to Old Town Alexandria

If you are visiting Washington DC, spend a day on a day trip to Old Town Alexandria. Alexandria is a postcard-pretty and well preserved 18th century town and full of history.  

A long time ago Alexandria was a big port and the commercial center of the region. Many historic buildings remain from those days and otherwise the town has a nice small-town feel with boutiques, restaurants and historic landmarks. Yes, everything in Old Town Alexandria has a connection to American history.

An old house, day trip to Old Town Alexandria

To visit Old Town Alexandria from Washington DC you can simply use the Washington DC subway. Take the blue or yellow subway line south and travel a few subway stations on after the Reagan Airport. Before you notice you will reach the historic Old Town of Alexandria.

The old town itself is located two or three  miles from the subway whicht will not cause you problems as there is a free tourist bus every thirty minutes. The bus looks like this:

King Street trolley, Old Town Alexandria

It is a red bus with the sign King Street Trolley. Take the King Street Trolley all the way through the city to the harbor and then start walking back.

 

Day Trip to Old Town Alexandria on the Map

 

The map shows you the location of Old Town Alexandria south of Washington DC and the day trip itinerary using the subway. If you want to drive, it’s almost the same route, just take the highway to the airport and it will go on to Alexandria.

So we took the King Street Trolley and went all the way to Alexandria Harbor:

Alexandria Harbor

Day trip to Old Town Alexandria, the harbor

So begin with the harbor which is quite pretty. Follow the waterfront to see Washington DC at distance. You can even take a ferry to get back to Washington DC if you feel like that.

The blue tower in the picture is a restaurant. When we visited it was a Sunday and many families had come to Old Town Alexandria for their Sunday lunch. All harbor restaurants were fully booked.

 

King Street

King Street, Old Town Alexandria

King Street begins in the harbor. It’s Old Town Alexandria’s main street where you can find most shops and restaurants. Old Town Alexandria has a lot of pretty artisan and handicraft shops:

Click on the small photos to see them in a slideshow.

 

 Sunday Lunch in Old Town Alexandria

Seafood, Old Town Alexandria

We were looking around and wondering where we could have our Sunday lunch and decided to try seafood in the main street. There was a restaurant with a nice outdoor sitting area on the pavement.

The Wharf (that was the name of the restaurant) turned out to be a good choice. They served us fresh, super tasty seafood and salad and we enjoyed Old Town Alexandria November sun with lunch, beer and white wine.

 

Historic Alexandria Houses

Historic house, Old Town Alexandria

To find the oldest houses of Old Town Alexandria you will have to get into the side streets. Look at these! And there are many more of this kind.

 

Back to the station

Washington Day Trip to Old Town Alexandria, King Street

When you think you’ve seen Alexandria it’s just to get back to the station. Start walking back and take the King Street Trolley to the subway from any bus stop that is marked with a trolley sign.

 

More Things to See on a Day Trip to Old Town Alexandria:

  • On the way back to Washington DC choose the blue subway line and stop at the Arlington Cemetery. The cemetery is only a short walk from the subway station with the same name.
  • In case you feel like shopping on the way back there’s a big shopping mall in Pentagon City, also an easy walk from the subway. And of course Pentagon is a big sight in itself.

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