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Historic Alexandria
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Page updated Jul 15, 2014 9:06 PM

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Self-Guided Tours of Historic Alexandria


An Alexandria Heritage Trail SignAlexandria Heritage Trail

The Alexandria Heritage Trail is a unique 23-mile urban trail, exploring Alexandria’s archaeology and history. Check the Heritage Trail Locations and look for Trail signs at some of these locations. The Guidebook, 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 following these easy steps.

  • Print the Ask Alex Cell Tours brochure before your visit to Alexandria
  • Dial 703.229.8632 into your cellular phone and follow the prompts as necessary.
  • Key in the number of the location that you want to learn more about. The location numbers are listed on the brochure.
  • After pressing the number of the location you are interested in, press #.
  • For a new location, key in the new location number and press #.

There is no additional charge to use this service, but regular minute usage may be charged by your cell phone provider. 

Ask Alex Cell Tours currently includes the following historic sites:

  1. Alexandria Visitor Center at Ramsay House, 221 King Street
  2. The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street
  3. Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street
  4. George Washington Masonic National Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive
  5. US Patent and Trademark Office Museum, 600 Dulany Street
  6. Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 N. Fairfax Street
  7. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street
  8. Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 S. Fairfax Street
  9. Lee-Fendall House and Garden, 614 Oronoco Street
  10. Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street
  11. Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 S. Alfred Street
  12. Fort Ward Museum Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Road
  13. Contrabands’ and Freedmen’s Cemetery, S. Washington and Church Streets
  14. Northern Virginia Urban League Freedom House Museum, 1315 Duke Street
  15. Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 N. Union Street, suite 327
  16. Christ Church, 118 N. Washington Street
  17. Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 321 S. Fairfax Street
  18. The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
  19. Alexandria City Hall, 301 King Street
  20. Market Square, 301 King Street in front of Alexandria City Hall
  21. Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington Street
  22. African American Heritage Park, Duke Street and Holland Lane

Bike Tours

Check the calendar for occasional guided historic bike 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!


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! Or find out more 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 Tour Buddy and is available through the iTunes store 



Podcast 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

Welcome to the scavenger hunt of Old Town Alexandria! This two-to-three hour, twenty-block walk, 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 and please be careful not to disturb the residents.

African American Historic Sites: Self-Guided Tour

This brochure will lead you to significant locations in Alexandria's African American history, including churches, schools and the site of the first Sit-down Strike.


Walking 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 Museum.