The Southeast

36 Hours in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

With more freezing rain and cold temps predicted for early last week, we finally cried uncle. We knew we wanted to head for the Charleston area for a little charm and a taste of spring, but totally balked at the expensive last minute flights. We don’t shy away from a long road trip, so we knew we’d drive - BUT - with a 14 hour trip ahead, breaking it up into two parts (and exploring a new place on the way!) sounded pretty appealing. After so many amazing recommendations on this post (thank you!!), we finally settled on Old Town Alexandria since it was perfectly half-way. Well, and because once I saw all those American flags and old brick sidewalks, I was sold.

Old Town Alexandria Travel Guide

With only about 36 hours to play with, we didn’t even scratch the surface here, but if you’re interested, read on for where we strolled, stayed, dined, and played on our quick trip. Can’t recommend it enough as a stop on your road trip south or as a destination on it's own!  

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The Historic District | Brick sidewalks with 19th century gas lamps lighting the path, cobblestone streets, arched gates leading into perfectly manicured gardens, American flags waving in the breeze, and original antique door knockers on every door. There was a photo opportunity around every corner here, made even better by the lingering cherry blossoms and wisteria!
Don’t miss: Captain’s Row (the 100 block of Prince Street) with the cobblestone street leading right down to the waterfront.

Old Town Alexandria Virginia Travel Guide


Morrison House | Always on the lookout for a charming, historic inn, I stumbled upon Morrison House early in my search and we loved it. While we didn’t have much time to linger there, the location was perfect - tucked right into Old Town’s historic neighborhoods and just a block from King Street.  
Don’t miss: enjoying a cocktail on the patio out front, admiring that classic Federal style entrance and fountain.

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Without much time for research ahead of time, we just enjoyed popping into whatever restaurants we came across (and those that didn’t have a wait!). Here’s what we found:

Coffee | Killer E.S.P. | Right around the corner from Morrison House, how can you go wrong when E.S.P stands for Espresso, Sorbet, and Pie?! We loved this casual spot, and especially loved how dog friendly it was - we met so many pups inside!

Brunch + Drinks | Virtue Feed and Grain | Right near the waterfront, the outdoor patio (and the mimoas) were perfection on a sunny day. Bonus points for the historic brick building - a feed house from the 1800’s!

Dinner | Hank’s Oyster Bar | We ducked in just as two seats opened up at the bar, and loved the New England vibes (and the Goldfish to snack on while we perused the menu!). Don’t miss the lobster roll or the key lime pie.

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Nationals Park | Is there anything better than overpriced beer, popcorn, and a day at the ballpark? It ranks pretty high up in our book, and although we’re Mets fans, we don’t typically pass up an opportunity to take in a game when we find ourselves in the vicinity of a major league park. As luck would have it, the Nationals were home while we were in town and we were able to snag some last minute tickets on Stubhub. 
Don’t miss: catching the boat (!!!) to the game from the dock just a quick walk from our hotel. Avoiding all traffic and parking woes AND a bar (okay, a cooler with drinks for sale) on board was a huge win.   

Old Town Alexandria What to Do Where to Stay

On our list for next time: Sugar Shack Donuts, Brabo Tasting Room, Vermilion, Magnolia’s on King, shopping at The Hour, Book Bank, Home on Cameron, Red Barn Mercantile, touring Mount Vernon Estate, and so much more. Would love your additions to the list if you’re local!

In my bag this trip: