30 Fun Things to Do in Alexandria, VA

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A view of a river next to houses and greenery under a blue sky with some clouds
Alexandria features many unique attractions, from museums to nature parks

Located in Northern Virginia, Alexandria is an exciting place to visit that's about 20 minutes outside Washington DC. During a trip, you'll find many fun things to do in Alexandria, VA!

Activities range from biking along the Mount Vernon Trail or wandering around Green Spring Gardens to going on a memorable Potomac River dinner cruise from DC. If you're interested in learning more about all the things to do in and around Alexandria, keep reading for 30 activity ideas!

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🏨 Top accommodations in Alexandria

☂️ Top tours and experiences in Alexandria

30 Fun Things to Do in Alexandria, Virginia

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Fun Things to Do in Alexandria, VA

A brick building with an American flag on it sitting in a square under a blue sky
Old Town Alexandria has 18th-century buildings and unique shops to check out

Explore Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria is a fun place to explore when in the city. The historic neighborhood is full of boutiques, bars, and restaurants, many of which are housed in 18th-century buildings. You can also visit a Saturday farmers market. Visitors can explore the area on foot or hop between Old Town attractions on the free King Street Trolley.

🏨 Nearest accommodations to Old Town

Create home decor pieces at AR Workshop

Located along the King Street Mile, AR Workshop is a must-visit attraction for arts and crafts enthusiasts. The venue hosts various crafting workshops where you can create home decor items like wall hangings, pet beds, door mats, and much more. No matter what things you decide to make, you'll learn a new skill and go home with a one-of-a-kind piece for your house or to give as a gift.

🏨 Accommodations nearby AR Workshop Alexandria

Walk through Dora Kelley Nature Park

The Dora Kelley Nature Park is an ideal place to go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air. Visitors can follow various trails that go through woodlands and other scenic surroundings. This park is also a great place to go wildlife watching and animals to see include turtles, salamanders, and many birds, like bald eagles and hawks.

🏨 Stay nearby Dora Kelley Nature Park

A square with a fountain and trees next to a brick building with a US flag at night
You can hear spooky stories and explore Old Town Alexandria by night on a ghost tour

Dare to go on a ghost tour

If you're wondering what to do in Alexandria, VA, during the evening and you like the paranormal, join an Old Town Alexandria ghost tour. The tour will take you to some spooky locations in the area where you can hear tales of eerie events and ghost sightings. This experience also includes a few stops at local pubs where you can grab some drinks with your ghost tour guide.

🏨 Stay near 480 King St

Visit the Alexandria Black History Museum

Another can't-miss museum in the city is the Alexandria Black History Museum. The museum has exhibits that cover the civil rights movement and tell the stories of African Americans in and around Alexandria over the last hundreds of years. You can also see many artifacts and visit the Watson Reading Room.

🏨 Places to stay near the Alexandria Black History Museum

Grab a beer at Port City Brewing Company

Port City Brewing Company is an excellent place to visit for a beer or two. The local brewery has a trendy industrial-style tasting room and also offers tours on which you can learn more about the brewing process. After a tour, you can try a selection of craft beers, and there are often food trucks on-site if you want to enjoy some snacks with your drinks.

Tackle an escape room at Escape Room Live Alexandria

Going to an escape room venue is a fun activity that will appeal to most people. At Escape Room Live Alexandria, you can tackle an escape game and use various clues and puzzles to attempt to solve the game and escape. This activity is an especially great one to try on a cold or wet day in Alexandria.

🏨 Accommodation nearby Escape Room Live Alexandria

One of the fun things to do in Alexandria, VA, is seeing the Jones Point Lighthouse
Seeing the Jones Point Lighthouse is one of the fun things to do in Alexandria, VA

Snap a photo of the Jones Point Lighthouse at Jones Point Park

Another of the Alexandria, VA, things to do outdoors on a nice day is exploring Jones Point Park. The park sits on the Potomac River and is the ideal place to go for a walk or jog. You can also easily access the waterway to go kayaking or canoeing.

As you walk around the park, you can also pass the famous Jones Point Lighthouse to take some pictures. Constructed in 1855, the small river lighthouse was used to guide ships into the Washington Navy Yard and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Snap pictures of the Hollensbury Spite House

A unique attraction in Alexandria is the Hollensbury Spite House. This home is extremely narrow, standing at only seven feet and six inches wide. While you cannot see inside the house as it's a private residence, you can snap some pictures of the tiny blue home from the street!

Dine at Virtue & Grain

You can discover many outstanding eateries in Alexandria, one of which is Virtue & Grain. The popular restaurant is housed within an 18th-century granary and serves dishes like quinoa salad, steak quesadilla, and pan-seared salmon.

Decadent desserts, such as peanut butter and chocolate icebox pie or flourless chocolate cake, are also on offer. In addition, you can accompany your main meal with craft cocktails, wine, beer, or a spirit flight.

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A red brick building next to a sign that says "Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum"
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum is housed within a shop that opened in 1775

Look around the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

One of the most fascinating attractions in Alexandria is the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. The museum is located within a historic apothecary shop that opened in 1775 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. At the museum, you can learn more about the shop's history and see antique medical equipment.

Get drinks at Union Street Public House

If you're looking for a relaxed place to enjoy some drinks, head to Union Street Public House. Situated in the Alexandria Historic District, the bar and eatery serves various craft cocktails as well as specialty seasonal drinks. Other beverages on the menu include wine and beer, and there's a whiskey bar to check out, which is open Wednesday through Saturday.

Admire artworks at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Art lovers will want to plan a trip to the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The gallery is housed within a former US Naval Torpedo Station and has been used as an art center since 1974.

Interestingly, the venue doesn't only showcase works, it also houses art studios, where you can see artists as they work. Mediums of art to see range from paintings and drawings to stained glass works and jewelry.

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A stone tower building sitting on a hill surrounded by greenery under a blue sky
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is an iconic landmark in Alexandria

See the George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Virginia has the nickname "Mother of Presidents" due to being home to eight presidents, including George Washington. To commemorate the first president of the United States, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial was constructed.

The memorial building, which is one of the must-see attractions in Alexandria, Virginia, was opened in 1932. It comprises nine stories, which include a museum, and was interestingly modeled after Alexandria Lighthouse in Egypt. At the museum, you can learn more about George Washington, masonry and those that built the structure, and much more.

🏨 Accommodation in close proximity to George Washington Masonic National Memorial

Check out the Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Another of the fascinating Alexandria, Virginia, things to do that teaches you about the history of the area is visiting Gadsby's Tavern Museum. This attraction comprises two buildings, a tavern opened in 1785, and a tavern and hotel opened in 1792.

At the museum, you can explore the taverns and hotel rooms, some of which are decorated as they would have been in the 18th century. You can also learn more about life in Alexandria at the time.

Shop at the Old Town Farmers' Market

One of the most famous landmarks in Alexandria, that's still active to this day, is the Old Town Farmers' Market. The market opened over 260 years ago and today operates on Saturdays.

You can discover a range of local vendors at the market, selling items from fresh produce and flowers to craft items. Even if you don't purchase anything, wandering around this vibrant local market is a fun thing to do on the weekends.

A river next to grass and two benches with green trees opposite
You can enjoy views of the Potomac River while walking along the Mount Vernon Trail

Hike or bike along the Mount Vernon Trail

If you enjoy outdoor activities, you'll definitely want to check out the Mount Vernon Trail. The 18-mile hiking and biking trail traverses the George Washington Memorial Parkway that goes from Mount Vernon to Theodore Roosevelt Island. Along the route, you can enjoy views of the Potomac River and the Alexandria city skyline.

Eat your way through an Old Town Alexandria food tour

Old Town Alexandria has many excellent eateries, and deciding which to try can be a challenge. A great way to discover some unique spots is by going on an Old Town Alexandria food tour.

During the tour, your guide will take you to many food spots and historical sites, where you can learn some unique facts about Alexandria's history. If you enjoy finding outstanding eateries, going on a food tour is definitely one of the most memorable things to do in Alexandria, VA!

Stroll around Huntley Meadows Park

Huntley Meadows Park is another excellent outdoor attraction to visit in Alexandria. The 1,452-acre outdoor space features scenic nature trails and a wetland restoration area.

Wildlife lovers will also have the chance to spot many animals, including numerous bird species. In addition, you can visit the Norma Hoffman Visitor Center, which has educational exhibits about the park and its ecology.

🏨 Accommodation close to Huntley Meadows Park

A brick path through a garden with trees, grass, and green plants
The Green Spring Gardens are a beautiful and relaxing place to go for a walk

Stroll around Green Spring Gardens

Green Spring Gardens is a beautiful park that features scenic trails, ponds, and flower displays. Along with the pretty gardens, you can see historical buildings, including those from the 18th and 19th centuries. There's also a museum that showcases artworks and exhibits on local ecology.

Pick up a coffee at Misha's

Misha's is a popular spot in the city to drop by for a drink. The quaint coffeehouse serves up a variety of hot and iced coffee beverages made with freshly roasted coffee. There are unique specials as well, such as a pistachio latte or raspberry mocha. You can also get tea and delicious baked goods, plus fun cocktails are sometimes on offer!

Catch the game with a beer at Joe Theismann's Restaurant

If you're looking for a sports bar to watch a live game, heading to Joe Theismann's Restaurant is a must. NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL games, plus other professional sports, can be seen.

As you enjoy the game, you can order beer or other alcoholic drinks, and dishes like wings, burgers, and salads are available. There's also a great happy hour, Monday through Friday, and you can enjoy brunch on the weekend while watching football!

A white arched gate with a sign that says "Fort Ward"
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site is a must-visit place for history enthusiasts

Go to the Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

The Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site sits on what was a Union Army site in the Civil War. Interestingly, it was the fifth largest fort constructed to protect Washington DC from Confederate troops. Today, you can tour the 35-acre area and learn more about its uses during the war.

🏨 Accommodation in close proximity to Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

Fun Things to Do Near Alexandria, VA

A white stone structure with a domed roof surrounded by grass and trees
You can see world-famous landmarks, like the Capitol Building, when in Washington DC

Spend the day in Washington DC

Washington DC is a globally known city due to being the capital of the United States and home to many iconic attractions and historical sites. DC is only about 20 to 30 minutes from Alexandria, depending on traffic, making it an excellent day trip destination.

Things to do in Washington DC range from going on a Washington DC landmarks sightseeing tour to visiting museums and dining at world-class restaurants.

🏨 Accommodations nearby Washington

Enjoy the amusements at Six Flags America

Going to Six Flags America is one of the most fun things to do near Alexandria, VA! The theme park is situated just across the state border in Maryland, and you can reach the park in approximately 30 minutes when driving from Alexandria.

Rides to enjoy at the park include various roller coasters and kid-friendly amusements like a merry-go-round and spinning tea cups. You can also see different shows, and there are multiple food outlets to get theme park snacks like funnel cake.

A white mansion house with a red roof and trees and green grass in front of it
Mount Vernon is a must-visit US landmark that's located 20 minutes from Alexandria

Plan a trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon is a famous Virginia landmark located around 20 minutes from central Alexandria. Mount Vernon was one of George Washington's former homes and is where he lived throughout his presidency.

Visitors today can tour the home and grounds and learn more about the property in the 18th century. If interested in visiting, buying a Mount Vernon admission ticket in advance is recommended.

Have a day out at Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm

Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm is an open-air living history museum that teaches you about farming practices. The park is operated by the National Park Service and is located in Oxon Hill, Maryland, only 15 minutes from Alexandria. At the garden and farm, you can learn about the history of the farmland and see farm animals.

🏨 Nearest accommodation to Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm

A river with a bridge over it next to city buildings at dusk
A Potomac River dinner cruise allows you to enjoy views of Washington DC

Experience a Potomac River dinner cruise

Another of the things to do near Alexandria, Virginia, is heading to Washington DC to experience a dinner cruise along the Potomac River is a memorable evening activity. You can reach the departure location of the cruise in around 15 to 30 minutes when driving from Alexandria, depending on traffic and where you're driving from exactly.

Once aboard, you can dine on a delicious three-course meal and admire views of the river and the illuminated DC skyline. Notably, this activity is one of the most romantic date ideas in Washington DC and the surrounding area to enjoy with your partner.

🏨 Places to stay close to the Potomac River

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A Ferris wheel on a pier next to water under a blue sky
Riding the Capital Wheel offers stunning views over Alexandria and Washington DC

Take in the views from the Capital Wheel

The Capital Wheel is a Ferris wheel situated across the Potomac River from Jones Point Park at National Harbor, Maryland. You can reach the attraction in only ten minutes when driving from downtown Alexandria and it's open from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Whether you ride the wheel during the day, at sunset, or at night, you'll be able to take in beautiful views of Alexandria. You can also see the Potomac River and even some landmarks in Washington DC, like the Washington Monument.

🏨 Stay nearby The Capital Wheel

A city skyline next to trees and water with boats on it under a blue sky with clouds
Baltimore is a fun day or overnight trip destination located an hour from Alexandria

Plan a trip to Baltimore

If you're happy to travel outside Alexandria, planning a trip to Baltimore is a great idea. The city in Maryland is located about an hour from Alexandria when driving. The destination makes an excellent day or overnight trip spot, depending on how much you want to do and see.

Things to do in Baltimore include seeing Maryland landmarks on a sightseeing tour, experiencing a dinner cruise on the Inner Harbor, and visiting attractions, like the Baltimore Museum of Art.

🏨 Accommodations in close proximity to Baltimore

In Conclusion

If you've been wondering what to do in Alexandria, Virginia, this article should have given you many ideas. This unique and exciting city features an array of outdoor attractions as well as fun bars, excellent museums, and much more!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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