Spring was a late bloomer this year. Even though Easter was at the end of April, we had no flowers to speak of, so it was a sight for sore eyes to see springtime in Old Town Alexandria while we visited my brother.
While I’ve been to Washington D.C. several times, this was my first visit to Old Town Alexandria. It’s a beautiful, historic area. The town has preserved a few of the old streets, similar to the village on Nantucket, with its old cobblestones and brick row houses.
King Street is the main road in Old Town and is lined with places to eat and shop. The town is quite extensive and one could easily fill an afternoon popping in and out of stores.
At the end of King Street you will find a short walkway along the Potomac. You will also find the Torpedo Factory Arts Center, one of my favorite places we checked out over the weekend. The Torpedo Factory Arts Center is a large building full of small studios/galleries belonging to artists – painters, jewelery makers, etc.
Seeing as we were in a hotel all weekend, we tried a number of restaurants:
The Fish Market: Being part of my family means loving seafood, so we were all excited for dinner at The Fish Market. Eager for some local flavor, I had the Imperial Crab (blue crab grilled in a clam shell), which was delicious. The spiced peel-and-eat shrimp were seasoned in Old Bay, and the crab-stuffed avocado were also highlights.
The Pita House: My family had never had shawarma, which I love to eat. I was more than happy to introduce them to it at this tasty Mediterranean restaurant.
The Warehouse: We went here for Easter brunch. The inside decoration is full of fun caricatures and service was very speedy. I had read reviews on Yelp that the French Toast was divine, and fortunately they didn’t disappoint!
Wonderfully located, Old Town is a short distance (about 20 minutes) from downtown Washington D.C. We spent an active afternoon visiting the Capitol building, the Mall, Washington Monument, and the World War II, Korean War Veterans, and Lincoln Memorials.
Unfortunately we missed the Cherry Blossom Festival by a week. Maybe next year!
D.C. is also well-known for its plethora of museums, many of which are free to visit. We visited the National Museum of American History, where I enjoyed seeing the kitchen of Julia Child, the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz, and one of the original Miss Piggy Muppets! (Which I was very excited about, as I recently read the new Jim Henson biography and am slightly obsessed with Muppets at the moment.)
We also went into the United States Botanical Gardens for the orchid exhibition – just beautiful!
Fortunately, there were as many beautiful flowers outside the botanical gardens as there were inside!
Due to a reservation error, we ended up staying one night at the Westin Alexandria and one night at the Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria. Both were lovely hotels – we are SPG members and usually have a very good experience with any Starwoods property. I will say that the Sheraton was more conveniently located, as we could easily walk to the downtown area in a few minutes.
Have you been to Old Town Alexandria? What should I try out next time?
What is your favorite thing to do in D.C.?