Monday, June 12, 2017

Summertime fun in Old Time Alexandria, Virginia

No Shortage of Things to do in Old Town during the Summer Months . . . 

The Old Town section of Alexandria never lacks for things to do and summertime is a fantastic time to spend a day, evening or even a week exploring this quaint and happening city. Alexandria is located just south of Arlington along the Virginia side of the Potomac River. Once a part of Washington D.C., it is a part of the land given back to Virginia in the 19th century. 

Old Town Alexandria is the section of the city where there is a lot of activity going on. and visitors taking a stroll along the streets can typically find lots to do. Both locals and tourists spend time at the many museums, restaurants, ice cream shops, historic landmarks, live music and enjoy the numerous things to see and do.

There are also many annual summer events. Whether you are visiting Alexandria specifically or just want to explore beyond the Washington, D.C. area, here are some fun summertime things to check out:

Ideas for things to do on Father's Day

Gadsby's Tavern, Friendship Firehouse and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary offer free tours for Dad on Father's Day (the Firehouse is free for the whole family that day). Whether you are looking for something different or are a real history buff, you'll enjoy learning about places chocked with history and where prominent families, such as the Washingtons, Carlyles, and Lees, along with other noteworthy people, spent time. 

The Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site is a well-preserved fort in the U.S. from the Civil War era. Fort Ward usually offers Civil War reenactments and tours led by soldiers. Additionally, you can tour the museum to see their extensive exhibits and collections.

Other museum events in Old Town

Carlyle Housewarming

Each first Saturday in August brings the Carlyle Housewarming at Carlyle House. During this event, visitors can watch period era interpreters recall the 1753 moving in day of John Carlyle and family to their new mansion

Additionally, on this day John and Sarah Carlyle's son, William, arrived. Usually, Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle are present for these types of events and you can participate in a meet and greet with these historic figures (they stay in character).

Friendship Firehouse Museum

The Friendship Firehouse Festival also hosts an annual birthday celebration the first Saturday in August - fun for the whole family. Originally established in 1774, the Friendship Firehouse Company is a landmark. Fun, history and celebration wrapped up in one.

Festival of the Arts

The Alexandria Festival of The Arts takes place every September. Stroll down King Street and enjoy the paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photos and more! This annual event showcases many different styles of art and caters to different budgets. You can browse, buy and/or talk with the artists about their work. It's a large event and some have said it's one of the best art festivals in the country. Artists from all over the U.S. attend. 2017 celebrates the festival's 15th year.

Other things to see and do in Old Town

There are plenty of other things to do in Old Town during the summer. We often take a ride over there on a whim and explore the museums, stop in one of the numerous great restaurants or pop into one of the quaint shops. We also often like to just walk along the riverfront area. On your way down to the riverfront, stop by one of the many ice cream shops and grab a cone to bring with you.

Stop in the Torpedo Factory to learn about its history, then browse through the many artist studios which are now housed in the once factory. You can also buy tickets at the riverfront and take a boat tour along the Potomac. Many people simply like to sit down, relax to watch the boats. Or they feed the birds and ducks that hang out in this area.
Sunset at Alexandria's waterfront area

If you drop by the Ramsey's Visitors' Center on the Corner of King and Fairfax Streets, they are happy to give you brochures, answer questions or just get more information about what there is to see and do (Note: There are also restrooms here). 

The local Farmer's Market, which is believed to be one of America's longest running markets, offers a variety of fruit, vegetables, baked goods, flowers, plants and crafts for sale. The market runs every Saturday from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. If you don't make it in the summer, the market is a year-round one.

Alexandria is a wonderful destination for a summer getaway, or if you're local, it's a great day trip. For more scheduled events that might be going on at any given time, check out the The City of Alexandria's website.

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