Old Town Alexandria is one of the most quaint and historic neighborhoods in the Washington D.C. area. It is located on the eastern and southeastern sides of Alexandria and features a lot of rich history, culture, and spectacular architecture.

Old Town Alexandria was first founded by Scottish merchants in 1749. Today it has retained most of the buildings and design of the area which makes it so popular with both locals and tourists. As the hometown of George Washington and Civil War General Robert E. Lee, Alexandria has a rich cultural heritage all its own and has played an important role in the Civil War and the American Revolution.

There is a lot to do in Old Town Alexandria. You can soak in the history by just walking around and admiring the centuries-old architecture which has been impeccably preserved. Head over to the Market Square which began in 1753 and used to be the site of one of the largest slave markets in the country. Today, Market Square is one of the oldest marketplaces that is still operational and has a fountain and a farmer’s market every Saturday. You can also see a replica of George Washington’s home, the Lee Fendall House, and the house where Robert E. Lee grew up.

Old Town Alexandria is known for its great shopping. Here you can browse many excellent boutiques and antique shops where you will find one-of-a-kind items. Art lovers will also revel in the magnificent galleries spread out across the town such as the Torpedo Factory Art Center which has working studios for over 140 artists and the Del Ray Artisans. With so much great art, it’s no wonder Old Town Alexandria was voted by American Style magazine readers as the “Third Best Arts Destination among Mid-Size Cities”.

Old Town Alexandria is also home to some of the most delicious restaurants in the area, serving up everything from seafood to Italian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Cuisines. For a delectable meal, head over to Restaurant Eve, the Landini Brothers for the best Italian food in Old Town, Mai Thai by the water, the historic Chart House, and Gatsby’s Tavern.

To fully explore Old Town Alexandria, you can take the Old Town Trolley which shows you all the historic places and popular attractions that this charming village has to offer. You can also take a walking tour. Check out the Alexandria Colonial Tours, and the Bike and Roll Alexandria tours which use bicycles. You can also discover another part of Alexandria through a ghost tour with Alexandria’s Footsteps to the Past Ghost Tours Company, or learn everything there is to know about the civil war during the Civil War Tour. Since Old Town Alexandria is right on the Potomac River, check out the various cruises and charters such as the Potomac Belle Charters or the Potomac Riverboat Company.

With its scenic location by the river, historic architecture, rich cultural heritage, vintage antique shops, and delicious restaurants, Old Town Alexandria is the perfect place to spend the day. If you’re visiting from downtown Washington D.C., the best way to get there is by Metro. Just get off at the King Street station located on the blue or orange lines.

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