Walking Tours of Historic Alexandria

Brochures, apps and podcasts to guide your journey.

Page updated on Sep 9, 2021 at 2:10 PM

Walking Tours of Historic Alexandria

Print brochures or download apps or podcasts before beginning exploring Alexandria’s historic streets. Look for specialized tours on African American history, the occupation of Alexandria during the Civil War, women’s history, George Washington and more.

General History in Old Town

Audio Walking Tour of Historic Old Town Alexandria
Download an MP3 audio walking tour of the historic city. Many interesting and enjoyable sites that are easy to access on foot. Get the most out of your stroll! This tour is 1 hour, including 30 minutes of leisurely-paced walking. Begin at Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street. (Tour created 1/15/2006).

Alexandria Historical Scavenger Hunt
The  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 please check museum hours and try to begin your scavenger hunt after 10 a.m. when the museums open. 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. The scavenger hunt is an Eagle Scout project created for the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.

Old Town North Historical Self-Guided Tour
This tour brochure of the Old Town North neighborhood covers the area from Slaters Lane to Oronoco Street, and from Washington Street to the Potomac River. The tour is provided courtesy of the Department of Planning & Zoning.

Upper Old Town Self-Guided Walking Tour
This tour brochure of Upper Old Town covers an area around the King Street Metro, around King and Duke streets. The tour is an Eagle Scout project created for the Office of Historic Alexandria.   

African American Historic Sites Walking Tours

Brochures and online resources 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.

Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Photographic Tour

The video below features a photographic tour of the Contrabands & Freedmen Cemetery Memorial, looking at the deeper meaning of the features in the memorial built in 2014. 

Civil War Walking Tours  

The occupation of Alexandria by Union troops forever changed the social, cultural and economic fabric of the old seaport town. For four years Alexandria was an occupied city; enduring the longest military occupation by Union troops of any town during the conflict. Guide your exploration of Alexandria’s Civil War sites with a free Civil War iPhone App. Learn about the many buildings used as hospitals during the War with an interactive Story Map and a printable brochure. Also check out the Civil War Bike Trail.

The Civil War Alexandria iPhone app 
Learn about Alexandria history through this comprehensive and convenient iPhone appthat 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. 

A Story Map of Alexandria Civil War Hospitals
Tour 23 hospital sites located in Old Town Alexandria with an interactive Story Map. Visit this link on your Smart Phone and explore these sites as you walk or bike around Alexandria.

Civil War Hospitals Walking Tour Brochure
Print a Civil War Hospitals Walking Tour Brochure and bring it with you.

Del Ray Art Deco Walking Tour

A self-guided architectural walking tour, produced by the Del Ray Citizens Association, features 16 structures built between the 1920s and 1950s. They include commercial buildings, warehouses, a public utility building, garden apartments, and a school. The tour takes place largely on or just off Mount Vernon Avenue.

Learn more about these Art Deco buildings. The City researched the Art Deco & Streamline Moderne buildings in Del Ray in 2018. These buildings contribute to the architectural character of the neighborhood and are part of the commercial identity of the community.

War of 1812 Walking Tours

Learn more about Alexandria's five-day occupation by the British during the War of 1812 on these walking tours, or on the  War of 1812 Bike Trail.

War of 1812 Walking Tour
Print the brochure  to guide you as you explore 10 blocks of 1812-related sites in Old Town. Special Eagle Scout project. 

Star-Spangled Banner Geo Trail
Find the Alexandria Geocache! Intended to complement and promote the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, the  Geotrail commemorates the dramatic chain of events, people and places that led to the birth of our National Anthem during the War of 1812. This first-of-its-kind, multi-state initiative is supported by Friends of Chesapeake Gateways, the Maryland Geocaching Society, and the National Park Service.

War of 1812 Burials in the Presbyterian Cemetery

Brochure on the Presbyterian Cemetery & Columbarium
, 600 Hamilton Lane, Alexandria, adjacent to the Alexandria National Cemetery. Published by the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.

Women's History Tours

Alexandria Women's History Walking Tour (2021)

Print this tour or follow it on your mobile device. We suggest allowing at least two hours for the complete three-mile walk, but you can follow smaller portions of the tour. This tour is provided courtesy of Alexandria Celebrates Women.

Women’s History Walk
Download the audio tour of your choice, for walks ranging from six blocks to four miles. This tour is provided courtesy of the Alexandria Commission for Women.

More Specialized Tours

George Washington's Alexandria
Walking with Washington
 is a self-guided walking tour of 21 Alexandria sites associated with George Washington. This brochure was 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 .

Jewish Alexandria
A Walking Tour of Jewish Alexandria explores the main traces of Alexandria’s Jewish past that can be found in Old Town. German Jewish immigrants first settled in Alexandria in the 1850s. This tour was produced by the  Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington , with a grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.  

Presbyterian Walking Tour:

A Presbyterian Walking Tour of Early Alexandria is produced by Donald C. Dahmann for the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.