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Alexandria, VA

Seven miles south of downtown Washington, D.C., George Washington’s hometown enchants with a winning combination of historic charm and vibrant cosmopolitan energy. Old Town, on the Potomac River waterfront, is home to brick-lined King Street, a mile-long hub of architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, quaint antique stores, gift shops, fashion boutiques, chef-owned restaurants, and romantic taverns — the most famous of which, Gadsbys, has operated since 1770. You can have lunch or dinner in one of Gadsbys “new” Colonial dining rooms or go next door for a self-guided tour at the Gadsbys Tavern Museum, the original establishment where George Washington and John Adams were frequent guests and Thomas Jefferson held his inaugural banquet. Alexandria is a notably walkable city, but you can also take the free King Street Trolley to get around Old Town. Stops include Christ Church, finished in 1773 for an Anglican congregation before becoming a center of Revolutionary War activity and ultimately the Episcopal church it is today. George Washington was a parishioner and established a tradition of many U.S. presidents attending services there. If you’re using Alexandria as a home base to explore our nation’s capital, some of the best views of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Arlington National Cemetery can be had via the Potomac Water Taxi that you can catch in Old Town and use to cruise to stops at Georgetown, District Wharf, and National Harbor in Maryland. It will drop you off just south of the National Mall for your visits to the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Hirshhorn Museum.

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