Historical Treasures in Alexandria
Words like “quaint” and “pretty” don’t even begin to cover everything that the neighborhood surrounding your apartment in Alexandria. After all, it’s not just a beautiful, bustling city – it’s also the key to some amazing moments in American history. That’s why we love it here.
We’re not stuck in the past, but we choose to remember those pivotal moments as we blaze forward, creating a new future for this city every day. Here are some of the best historical treasures in Alexandria.
Wander Through Alexandria’s Historic Districts
Alexandria’s Old Town is George Washington’s hometown, and it’s a delightful mishmash of old and new – quaint stores and boutiques line the streets next to historical fixtures like Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 N Royal St.). Skip driving, and bike down to Old Town Alexandria this weekend. Roll by the Old Town Farmer’s Market, and test craft beers at a Port City Brewing Company. If you’re hungry, you can’t go wrong by stopping by one of the many great restaurants in the district.
Play Historical “House”
No, you can’t actually pretend you live in these amazing historical homes, but they’re available for you to explore and tour as you soak up VA history. Yes, you could take the virtual tour of Mount Vernon (Washington’s Home), but why would you do that when you could experience it live? We’re willing to bet some of those historical facts will come up during pub trivia!
- Mount Vernon (3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy)
- Pope-Leighey House (99000 Richmond Hwy)
- Lee-Fendall House (614 Oronoco St)
- Gunston Hall (10709 Gunston Rd)
- Carlyle House Historic Park (121 N. Fairfax St)
Marvel at New and Old Artistic Creations
Craving astounding art? The Athenaeum (201 Prince St) and the Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St) should be your first stops. The latter has been around since it actually was a torpedo factory in the early 1900s. Yes, there’s a bright green torpedo onsite (painted so the Navy could find it easily underwater), and there are plenty of other explosive (pun intended) exhibits for you to explore, including graphic prints, intricate fiber arts, and enamel work. The Athenaeum may not have a torpedo onsite, but its works of art are equally astounding, and their contemporary works of art are an interesting juxtaposition with the stately Roman architecture of the building.
Museums to See
The Alexandria Black History Museum (902 Wythe St) isn’t too far from your apartment in Alexandria, and it’s well worth the visit, as this was a major site during the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, there’s a 9-acre park a few blocks away that’s the site of a 19th century African-American burial ground. The Lyceum (201 S Washington St) is another must-see historical site, and if you want to learn more about the history of Virginia in lecture format, this is the place to be. Once upon a time, the city of Alexandria – mostly made of flammable wooden structures – fought fires frequently (say that three times fast). The Friendship Firehouse (107 S Alfred St), the first volunteer firehouse built in the area, was as godsend.
Want to explore Alexandria with a guide? Check out Alexandria Colonial Tours for some fun and informative tours, including a ghost-graveyard tour that’s sure to chill and thrill.
Thinking about moving to Alexandria, VA? The Parker in Alexandria waits for you to become a part of Alexandria’s brilliant future, while exploring its past. Get in touch with us today!
Image Source: Flickr