I'll admit this headline is pretty deceiving. There really isn't anything in Alexandria that I'd consider a mistake! I love our town, but here are a few things locals and visitors should consider when planning a day in Alexandria. Here's what not to do:
1. Going to a chain… especially an ice cream chain
As much as I love that Jeni's Ice Cream is right around the corner, Alexandria's local ice cream shops will always have my heart! Skip the Ben & Jerry's and go for Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats at 200 Commerce Street, Dolci Gelati at 107 N Fairfax Street, and Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream at 109 King Street!
2. Only drive or walk in town
Old Town Alexandria is an extremely walkable city. From historic cobblestone streets to riverside walking paths, taking a stroll has never felt so right. But, don't let the ease of walking around make you forget about our town's local transportation. I always like to remind visitors about the King Street Trolley. It's free to ride, easy to spot, and conveniently takes its passengers from the metro to the waterfront. I would be lying if I said I hadn't taken a ride from lower King St up to the Hard Times Cafe for some chili on a rainy evening (it definitely beat walking in the rain!) When venturing out of Alexandria, don't forget about the City Cruises sightseeing and water taxi services! Instead of driving, take a ride from Old Town to D.C. or National Harbor along the Potomac River.
3. Thinking you're too cool for the tourist activities
We've all seen the colonial men and women standing outside the Alexandria Visitors Center at 221 King Street, so why not join them as they take us back in time through our city's history! The Old Town Ghost & Graveyard and History Tours are a family-friendly activity and an easy opportunity to gather some Alexandria fun facts to whip out at your next dinner party! There's also Alexandria The Great Tours. ATG Tours is a fun and unique way to experience Old Town. From Segway tours and walking tours of George Washington's favorites to Food & Drink Tours and a Farmers Market Breakfast Walking Tour, Alexandria The Great will teach you more about our town than you'd think!
4. Take Rt 1 when you can take the Parkway
The GW Parkway is one of Alexandria's best features! It's scenic and captures every season's blooming colors. Although it can be the "long way" around, depending on where you are headed, it's worth it to drive along the riverside and escape the chaos. Skip the red lights and opt for the GW Parkway!
5. Eating only at the 100 Block of King Street and the waterfront
There are so many amazing restaurants in Old Town. Even just on King Street, there's Augie's, Hanks Oyster Bar, and The Rub in walking distance of the waterfront, but these may be forgotten when the waterfront parks and pedestrian streets are so appealing! We get it! There's so much offered down by the water like fabulous restaurants, ice cream parlors, walking paths, parks, and water views. But try trading in your waterfront park bench with the stairs of the George Washington Masonic Temple, overlooking the city. Or check out fabulous restaurants in North Old Town like Sister's Thai, Oak Steakhouse, and Cafe 44 to add to your list of favorite spots!
No matter your itinerary, there is no wrong way to experience Alexandria, Virginia. I just ask you to remember to keep our local and small businesses in mind before making your next reservation or adding to your online shopping cart. We'd love to keep you in our loop on all our favorite places and things to do, as well as connect you with local real estate! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date on new listings, open houses, community, and real estate news!