Visit George Washington’s Virginian hometown to see the house where he lived for many years, the church where he worshipped and many other historically significant landmarks.
Washington, D.C. may bear George Washington’s name, but he actually lived for most of his life in Alexandria, a historic city that lies just across the Potomac River. Today Alexandria offers visitors picturesque cobblestone streets and many historic buildings.
Many visitors to Alexandria start their exploration of the city at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s mansion. This residence began as a one-story farmhouse in 1735, but Washington built it up to its present-day grandeur. See accurate restorations of the rooms from the time he lived there and then step out onto the square for a view of the neighboring Potomac River. Hike across the vast lawn, which slopes down away from the mansion. It is best to visit Mount Vernon as early in the day as possible as it can get crowded later.
Many historic sites throughout Alexandria offer an insight into Washington’s daily life. Sit in the pews at Christ Church where he worshipped or browse the remedies and potions he used to purchase at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. Visit the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum which was frequented by Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The museum also includes the City Hotel, which was built in 1792.
Washington isn’t the only American hero honored in Alexandria. Visit the Alexandria National Cemetery to see the graves of many of the soldiers who died during the Civil War. Before serving as a cemetery, this site was where soldiers camped to defend the capitol against invasion from the Confederate Army.
Climb to the top of the tower of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial for the best view of Alexandria. Gaze along the broad King Street over the city center and out to the Potomac River to the west.
Alexandria is served by the subway system of Washington, D.C. so it is very easy to get around. Washington, D.C. has an airport and a shuttle bus can drop you off in the capital from where you can take the metro to Alexandria.