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Historic Alexandria
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Page updated Sep 1, 2015 9:42 PM

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Self-Guided Tours of Historic Alexandria

An Alexandria Heritage Trail Sign

Book cover; Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage TrailAlexandria Heritage Trail

The Alexandria Heritage Trail is a unique 23-mile urban trail, exploring Alexandria’s archaeology and history. Explore the sites, and look for Trail Signs at some locations. The guidebook (now out of print), Walk and Bike the Alexandria Heritage Trail, will enhance your experience.

Ask Alex Cell Tours imageAsk Alex Cell Tours

Experience History from the comforts of your cell phone!  

Alexandria is known for its centuries of history. Information about many of its historic sites can be found by dialing 703.229.8632 and keying ithe number of the historic location. See instructions and a list of 22 sites to visit

Bike Rider on Prince StreetBike Tours

  • Alexandria Civil War Defenses of Washington Bike Trail : A map, cue sheet and information on Civil War sites are provided for self-guided bike rides. The Civil War Defenses of Washington Bike Trail is one way in which Alexandria, surrounding jourisdictions and the National Park Service are marking the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
  • Discover the War of 1812 on the Star-Spangled Bike Tour: Visit places where the events of the five-day British occupation of Alexandria occurred in late August 1814, on this 6.6 mile tour. Tour information includes Cue Sheet and printable or interactive maps. Three  Star-Spangled Banner signs are located in Alexandria. "Raise the White Flag" is installed in Waterfront Park. "Plundered" is being installed in the Torpedo Factory arcade, near the Timeline. "Fighting Back" is being placed at the base of Shuter's Hill, across from the Callahan Drive crosswalk.
  • The Alexandria Bikeways map of trails and on-road bike routes is now available online. To obtain a printed copy, stop by your local bike shop, the Old Town Transit Shop, City Hall, or any of our recreation centers. The map is free!
  • Check the  calendar for occasional guided historic bike tours.

Civil War App Web BoxCivil War iPhone App

Want to explore historic Alexandria's Civil War heritage?  Download this free iPhone app and take it along as you tour Alexandria. Learn about Alexandria history through this comprehensive and convenient app that takes you to Civil War forts, hospitals, cemeteries, museums and other interesting places. The Civil War Alexandria iPhone app was developed by the Office of Historic Alexandria and Tour Buddy, and is available through the iTunes Store. 

PodcastPodcast Walking Tours

The City of Alexandria has many interesting and enjoyable sites that are easy to access on foot. Get the most out of your stroll! Visit Tours of Alexandria on the City's podcasts page to download the following audio tours:

  • Walking Tour of Historic Old Town Alexandria
  • Women’s History Walk  

Scavenger Hunt imageAlexandria Historical Scavenger Hunt

Alexandria Historical Scavenger Hunt is a 2-3 hour, 20-block walk that meanders through Old Town with stops at some of the city’s oldest and most historic addresses. Some stops require entrance to museums, so try to begin your scavenger hunt after 10:00, when they open. None of the clues require entering a museum that charges an admission fee. A numbers of stops are private residences; clues to these sites are found on exterior plaques, so please be careful not to disturb the residents.

Courageous JourneyAfrican American Historic Sites: Self-Guided Tour

Two brochures will lead you to significant locations in Alexandria's African American history, including churches, schools and the site of the first Sit-down Strike. Many of these sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Walking with WashingtonWalking with Washington

Walking with Washington is a self-guided walking tour of 21 Alexandria sites associated with George Washington. Print the brochure for a map and information on the sites. This short walking tour, produced by Robert Madison for the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, is extracted from his larger work, Walking with Washington: Walking Tours of Alexandria, Virginia, Featuring Over 100 Sites Associated with George Washington, for sale at the The Alexandria Shop.