A Day in Alexandria, Virginia
Our trip to Alexandria, Virginia was definitely an unplanned one. My friend Olive and I are supposed to visit Washington DC only, however, all accommodation including hotels and Airbnb are super pricey, so we weighed our options if we will stay in Baltimore or in Alexandria. In the end we chose Alexandria because there are more tourist spots there and the commute to DC is easy.
I had the whole day for myself since Olive attended some church activity. I decided to explore Old Town in Alexandria because it is a must visit place in Virginia. As the hometown of George Washington, Alexandria and its surrounding areas are no stranger to history. I listed down the important landmarks and tourist spot that I visited on my one day tour in Alexandria.
1. Around King Street
I started my day with sumptuous breakfast at Hen’s Quarter, a recommendation from a friend in Virginia. It’s sooo good and the serving is big for me but my tummy expansion is not to be underestmated so I was able to finish it on my own. Burp!
The iconic King Street Trolley. The best thing about this bus is, it’s totally free and there’s audio for tourist to know Old Town landmark with short history telling. It travels from the Waterfront to the King St – Old Town Metrorail station.
Old Town’s classic building structure, cobblestone streets and red brick sidewalks made me feel like I escaped modernization and entered the 17th century world.
Anything with US flag is of course picture worthy!
2. Potomac River Waterfront
I got lost and before I knew it, I was already in Potomac River Waterfront. The Potomac River is the fourth largest river along the Atlantic coast and the 21st largest in the United States. This river connects Washington and Virginia, so riverboat companies offer boat cruise along Potomac River. It was gloomy and beautiful day at the same time. There are actually a lot of activities that tourist can enjoy in Potomac River Waterfront, you can dine in restaurants and order seafoods, book a boat cruise across Potomac River or just sit on the side bench and appreciate the beautiful view. I chose the later because dining out or going on cruise is not fun when you’re alone.
3. Torpedo Factory Art Center
Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest collection of working-artists’ open studios with wide variety of media–including painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture. Artists are also there to assist you, you can ask questions and even observe if they are painting. I am a sucker for beautiful arts, so I made sure that this is included in my must-visit-list in Alexandria.
Unicorn painting and colorful leggings!! Very tempting so I exit immediately before I could hand over my credit card. Lol
These are magazine cut outs soaked in clear glassy solution.
4. Carlyle House Historic Park
Carlyle House Historic Park is home to an eighteenth-century historic house museum. It was built by Scottish merchant John Carlyle for his bride, Sarah Fairfax of Belvoir in 1753. Their home quickly became a center of social and political life in Alexandria with important people in history as constant guests.
Unfortunately, it was closed on the date of my visit so I can only show you the mansion’s façade.
5. Lee Fendall House
The Lee-Fendall House, another important house in American history. Based on my research, this house has served as home to thirty-seven members of the Lee family, hundreds of convalescing Union soldiers during the American Civil War, Alexandria’s locally prominent Downham family, and one of the nation’s most controversial and significant 20th century labor leaders, John L. Lewis.
It was also closed when I went there, but I don’t feel like getting inside. It’s an old wooden house that looks creepy and hunted. Lol.
6. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
Named after John Gadsby who operated the tavern from 1796 to 1808. The tavern was the setting for dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances, and meetings of local organizations. Prominent guests includes George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. They are all US presidents! After my trip to the US I got fascinated about US Presidents so I took time to read their biography.
Gadsby’s Tavern is the five-star hotel of the 18th century! I can’t believe but I have to because it looks lavish for 18th century lifestyle.
This is the City Tavern’s Ballroom where George Washington’s Birthnight Ball in 1798 and 1799 was held, as well as Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Banquet in 1801.
7. Christ Church
Christ Church has historical significance for people in Virginia because the churchyard served as the mass grave for thirty-four Confederate prisoners of war who died during the Civil War. The memorial stone in the churchyard commemorates their deaths.
Christ Church is also known for its notable parishioners such as George Washington and Robert E. Lee.
That’s about it for my short Virginia tour! I will be posting my Washington DC adventure next.