Historic Sites in Northern Virginia

Historic Sites in Northern Virginia: Bonnie’s Top 25

September 26, 2020 | Lifestyle & Community | By: The Goodhart Group

Historic Sites in Northern Virginia:

Bonnie’s Top 25

There’s certainly no shortage of historic sites in Northern Virginia! We are so fortunate to live in an area with such a rich history. Here are my Top 25 must-visit historic sites in Northern Virginia.

25) National Marine Corps Museum

18900 Richmond Highway
Triangle, VA 22172

This museum is a public-private partnership between the US Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The National Marine Corps Museum is designed to be a lasting tribute to all US Marines, past, present, and future.

24) Sully Historic Site

3650 Historic Sully Way
Chantilly, VA 20151

This Fairfax County site re-creates the early 19th century life of the Richard Bland Lee family, tenant farmers and enslaved African Americans. Sully features both Georgian and Federal architecture.

23) Manassas Battlefield Park

12521 Lee Highway
Manassas, VA 20109

History buffs will appreciate the historic sites, activities, vistas, and trails of this National Park, site of two significant Civil War battles.

22) Stratford Hall

483 Great House Road
Stratford, VA 22558

Stratford Hall, birthplace of Robert E. Lee and home of the Lee family, is home to many special historic collections. It also hosts public and private special events.

21) Jones Point Park Original DC Boundary Marker

End of South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

On April 15, 1791, the Alexandria Masonic Lodge placed a small stone at the south corner of then Washington DC at Jones Point along the Alexandria waterfront. This stone was replaced in 1794 by the stone in place today, which bears the inscription “The beginning of the Territory of Columbia.”

20) James Madison’s Montpelier

13384 Laundry Road
Montpelier Station, VA 22957

Montpelier is the historic home of President James Madison. Enjoy touring the historic home, gardens, exhibitions, tours, archaeological sites, and more than eight miles of on-site walking trails.

19) Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey-House

9000 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA, 22309

Get two for one at the Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey-House, part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Woodlawn was once part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. He gifted the land to his nephew and his bride (Martha’s granddaughter). The couple built the Georgian/Federal house, designed by architect of the U.S. Capitol. The Pope Leighey-House is one of Frank Lloyd Wright 100 modest “Usonian” homes. NOTE: this site is only open from April to December with limited weekday hours.

18) Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site

4301 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22304

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the set of Union forts. It protected Washington, DC during the Civil War. Take advantage of its many Civil War exhibits, programs, tours, and lectures.

17) Iwo Jima Memorial

Arlington, VA 22209

The Iwo Jima Memorial honors the United States Marine Corps and represents the nation’s gratitude to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of our country. The statue depicts one of the most famous scenes of World War II from atop Mount Suribachi in Japan.

16) George Washington’s Grist Mill at Mount Vernon

5514 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Alexandria, VA 22309

George Washington’s former grist mill is interpreted, fully-functioning, and open to guests from April to October. See its water wheel turn and gears rotate as wheat and corn are ground.

15) Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151

Aviation lovers, make the trip to Chantilly to see this Smithsonian collection of aviation artifacts from the Wright Brothers’ glider to the Concorde. Take in an IMAX movie, watch demonstrations, and check out its various ride and flight simulators

14) Historic Huntley Plantation

6918 Harrison Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306

This Federal-period villa built for Thomson Francis Mason, grandson of George Mason and former mayor of Alexandria. It’s been used as a summer retreat, grain farm, encampment for the troops during the Civil War, and dairy farm. Note: Historic Huntley is closed December – February.

13) Old Presbyterian Meeting House

323 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The Old Presbyterian Meeting House is a historic church was established in 1749 to accommodate the many Scottish Presbyterians who founded the City of Alexandria. Here you will find architectural styles ranging from Georgian to Greek Revival.

12) Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary Museum

105-107 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Martha Washington, Nelly Custis, and Robert E. Lee were all customers of this Apothecary. Its museum boasts a vast collection of herbal botanicals and medical equipment, as well as an amazing archive of journals, letters, diaries, prescription and formula books, ledgers, orders and invoices.

11) Alfred Street Baptist Church

301 South Alfred Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Alfred Street Baptist Church traces its origins to 1803, when Alexandria Baptists, who had been worshipping at the Backlick Baptist Church on Little River Turnpike, left to form the Alexandria Baptist Society. It remains an active church to this day.

10) George Washington’s Ferry Farm

268 Kings HIghway
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

George Washington’s childhood home offers a display of colonial and Civil War artifacts as well as a working archaeology lab. Note: Ferry Farm is closed in January and February.

9) Christ Church Alexandria

118 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

This Episcopal, Georgian-style church was built in 1767. George Washington and Robert E. Lee both worshipped at Christ Church (Washington even bought a box family pew). The churchyard was the burial site for the City until 1809. It remains an active parish today.

8) Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Avenue
Arlington, VA 22211

Arlington National Cemetery is our nation’s premier military cemetery and shrine honoring those who served in the Armed Forces. Here you can visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the graves of Presidents Kennedy and Taft and watch the Changing of the Guard.

7) Claude Moore Colonial Farm

6310 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

Visit this living history museum to capture a glimpse at life on a small farm in pre-Revolutionary War Virginia. Three times a year, Claude Moore Colonial Farm hosts an 18th-century Market Fair.

6) George Washington Masonic Memorial

101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, VA 22301

George Washington served as the Charter Master under the Grand Lodge of Virginia at this Alexandria landmark. It is now a repository of many his artifacts and that of his family. The George Washington Masonic Memorial was recently named to the National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places.

5) Appomattox Court House National Historic Park

Appomattox, VA 24522

The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia took place here in the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House. This meeting between Generals Lee and Grant marked the end of the Civil War. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park also offers a 4.5 mile long wooded and scenic trail.

4) Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

John Carlyle, one of Alexandria’s founding fathers (and a wealthy merchant) and a founder of Alexandria, finished building this iconic stone mansion in 1753. Today, his home, the Carlyle House, remains one of the finest examples of Georgian residential architecture in the country.

3) Arlington House

1 Memorial Avenue
Arlington, VA 22211

Located inside Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House was the residence of Robert E. Lee and his family before the Civil War. It is now a memorial honoring the Civil War general.

2) Gadsby’s Tavern

138 N. Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Enighlishman John Gadsby operated this center of political, business, and social life in Alexandria from 1796 to 1808. The tavern was both a meeting place and performance space. Prominent patrons include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Gadsby’s Tavern continues to operate today; its Colonial-era dining rooms provide a truly unique setting for a meal or special occasion.

1) George Washington’s Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Here you can visit the final resting place of George and Martha Washington. You can also tour their mansion and its scenic grounds plus several museum galleries. Mount Vernon offers exceptional educational programs and special events.


Did I miss your favorite historic sites in Northern Virginia? Please let me know if I did; I would love to check it out!

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