things to do in alexandria va

Our Favorite Things To Do In Alexandria VA

January 31, 2017 | Inside Alexandria | By: The Goodhart Group

Our Favorite Things To Do in Alexandria VA

From historic sites to modern conveniences, there are plenty of exciting things to do in Alexandria VA to keep you occupied. Though this historic city is located just seven miles from downtown Washington, DC – you never need to leave Alexandria for all of your shopping, dining, fitness, social, and cultural needs! You can also check out our separate guide of seasonal events in Alexandria VA.



There are so many ways to explore Alexandria and get a sense of its impressive history. From colonial tours, civil war or Mercy Street tours, ghost tours, food tours, photo tours or bike tours – we’ve got you covered! This is a great way to get your bearings in this exciting city.

The Waterfront

One of Alexandria’s anchors is its beautiful Potomac River waterfront. Enjoy strolling its shore or using the adjacent trail for walking, running or biking with a breeze! If you’d rather sit and people watch, there are always musicians, street performers and vendors – not to mention fabulous restaurants – along the waterside. Spending time along the waterfront has always been one of our favorite things to do in Alexandria VA.

Boat Rides

Want to get out on the water? No problem! You can take a boat ride across the river to Maryland and visit the National Harbor and MGM Casino. You can head south down the river to George Washington’s Mount Vernon or up to DC to Georgetown, the Monuments or over to Nationals Park to catch a baseball game. Old Town also has several marinas if you’re lucky enough to own your own boat!  

Bike Share

Prefer to stay on land while you explore? Check out a bike at one of the many bike share stations throughout the city to bike your way around town. The bike trail will also take you all the way south to Mount Vernon Plantation and north to DC!

Outdoor Sports

We have plenty of opportunities to get active outside, including plenty of tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields and playgrounds (a complete list can be found here).  There are also several golf courses. Many are private but if you go into the Fairfax County portion of Alexandria, you can hit the driving range at Top Golf or play a round at Pinecrest Golf Course.


There is no shortage of pools around town to keep cool during Alexandria’s blazing hot summers. Check out the many available options for summertime swimming at our Alexandria pools here! 

Playgrounds & Parks

Similarly, Alexandria has plenty of parks and playgrounds to enjoy.  Check out our complete list of Alexandria playgrounds & parks here!



Old Town Boutique District

You could spend a whole day strolling the streets of Old Town shopping and still need to come back for more! Of course, we have chain stores like Anthropologie, Sur la Table, Williams Sonoma, Loft, and Banana Republic, but with fabulous home design stores like Random Harvest, women’s and men’s fashion boutiques like Dash’s of Old Town, Bishop Boutique, Sara Campbell, and The Hive, specialty stores for vintage cocktail glasses at The Hour and cooking goodies at La Cuisine, who needs a chain? Not us!

“The Avenue”

Don’t forget to leave Old Town and explore the shops in Del Ray on Mount Vernon Avenue. There are specialty shops for pets like Nature’s Nibbles, consignment stores for both adults and kids, and trendy boutiques like Kiskadee.



Crossfit, Orange Theory, Solidcore, yoga, pilates and barre studios aplenty, personal strength training at Fitness on the Run, running clubs at Pacers, spinning at Ascend Cycle, real bike trails along the water- we literally have it all! It’s easy to stay in shape in Alexandria!




Live Music

From The Birchmere, our quirky live music hall that pulls in big name performers, to our very own Alexandria Symphony Orchestra – we cover all types of music here in Alexandria!  Looking for something a bit more casual or spur of the moment? Stop by one of the following restaurants that offer frequent live music: Blackwall Hitch, 219, Fireflies, Evening Star Cafe, or LaPorta’s.


Alexandria offers amazing theater options, including The Little Theatre and Metro Stage. Both produce several excellent shows over the course of the year.


There is art aplenty in Alexandria! From the Torpedo Factory, a haven for artists, to the Art League School, Del Ray Artisans and the large number of independent galleries along King Street, there is something for all aficionados and collectors!


Mount Vernon Plantation, George Washington’s Estate, is one of our most famous museums here in Alexandria. However, there are plenty more sites to explore! Stop by the old watering hole Gadsby’s Tavern for more “founding father” history, or the Black History Museum, Apothecary Museum, Carlyle House, Atheneum, or Lyceum for more Civil War era exploits.



Farmers’ Markets

Here in Alexandria, we are blessed with a plethora of fantastic farmers markets. In fact, we are home to the nation’s oldest running farmers market where George Washington once peddled his goods! You can enjoy this market year round every Saturday morning until noon, where you can buy meats, cheeses, produce, flowers, pizzas, pastas, pastries, pickled items, coffee, fresh juices, art and really, anything your heart desires! But, don’t stop there! We have a lot of other fantastic farmers markets throughout the city on different days of the week. Check out our complete list of Alexandria Farmers Markets here


Alexandria has so many restaurants – it’s hard to pick our favorites! Check out a comprehensive list of restaurants here or head to just a few of our favorites, including Hank’s Pasta Bar, Jackson 20, Restaurant Eve, Landinis, Magnolia’s on King, Vermillion, Fontaine Caffe & Creperie, Brabo Tasting Room, Cheesetique, Taqueria Poblano, Momo’s Sushi, The Sushi Bar or La Fromagerie – just to name a few. Yum!

Wine Bars

What can we say? We love wine! Stop by Grape & Bean in Old Town or Rosemont, Sonoma Cellar in Old Town or Emma’s in Del Ray.  You won’t be disappointed!


There are many seasonal events and things to do in Alexandria VA as well that you don’t want to miss! From parades, street fairs, festivals, wine tastings, movies and more – there is something for everyone. In fact, there are too many to list in this article, so we’ve created a separate post for all of those fun activities. Be sure to also check out our guide for all of the exciting seasonal events in Alexandria VA.



What can we say? We love where we live! Want to know more about what it’s like to live here? We can arrange an immersive neighborhood tour to show you the lay of the land.

If you ever have any questions about things to do in Alexandria VA or our local real estate market, please don’t hesitate to ask. From restaurant recommendations to out of the box ideas, we’re always happy to help recommend things to do in Alexandria VA and throughout the DC Metro area. Just contact us below!

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