Plan Your Museum Visit

Plan your visit to Alexandria with the resources below.

Page updated on Mar 8, 2021 at 4:56 PM

Alexandria Postcard imagePlan Your Visit

Explore centuries of human history. Visit the museums to see a 13,000-year-old Clovis point, an 18th-century apothecary, a restored Civil War fort, a 1940s segregated library, and more.

As you walk along Alexandria’s historic streets, look for Wayfinding and Heritage Trail signs to learn about Alexandria’s past, or use our self-guided tours.

Alexandria was named a Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2019 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018 by Money magazine, and one of the South’s Prettiest Cities 2018 by Southern Living. The National Trust for Historic Preservation selected Alexandria as one of the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Alexandria was chosen for its urban charm that blends an extraordinary early American past with modern flair and its citizens’ strong commitment to protecting and celebrating their history.

The Alexandria Convention and Visitor Association provides information on historic sites, hotels, restaurants, shops, parking and more. When in Alexandria, stop by the Alexandria Visitors Center at Ramsay House at 221 King Street, or call 703.746.3313 for information. Purchase a Key to the City Pass ($20 for a $60 value, including access to all of the museums).

Museums Now Open

The following museums are open as of March 25, 2021. Check the museum links for current hours and safety protocols.

Museum Closures

The following properties are currently closed. Note that several of our museums are undergoing maintenance and renovation during this period..

  • Alexandria Black History Museum (closed for renovation)
  • Archives and Records Center
  • Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site (closed for renovation)
  • Freedom House Museum (closed for renovation)
  • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

Luckily, history doesn’t stop just because our doors are closed! Visit us here on our website and follow us on social media to discover new things about your hometown. Check the online  Calendar and Educational Resources for new online programs and resources that are being added weekly. 

Covid-19 Operation Guidelines  

The Office of Historic Alexandria established the following guidelines to ensure consistent operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will regularly re-evaluate them based on safety and available staffing levels and as the region moves through Phase 3 of the Forward Virginia plan. Includes guidelines for guided tours, volunteers, rentals, public programs and events, and on-site research and collections use by the public.

Covid-19 Operation Guidelines

City Museums and Historic Sites

When we reopen: Here is all the information you need to plan a visit to the Historic Alexandria museums - address and phone numbers, hours, admission fees, special programs, directions and more. The Historic Alexandria museums are free for City of Alexandria residents.

City of Alexandria Museums 

Alexandria Archaeology Museum

Alexandria Black History Museum  

Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum

Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site  

Freedom House Museum

Friendship Firehouse Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum 

More City of Alexandria Historic Sites

African American Heritage Park

Alexandria Union Station

Archives and Records Center

Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial

Lloyd House

Murray-Dick-Fawcett House (garden)

More Historic Attractions in Alexandria

Alexandria has many fine museums and historic sites that are not City-owned. Information on these historic attractions, including address, hours and admission fees can be found at the Alexandria Visitors Center at Ramsay House, and online at 

Alexandria National Cemetery 

Alexandria Seaport Center 

The Athenaeum 

Carlyle House Historic Park 

Christ Church

George Washington Masonic National Memorial 

Lee-Fendall House 

National Inventors Hall of Fame

The Old Presbyterian Meeting House 

Torpedo Factory Art Center 

Walk Alexandria’s Historic Streets

Wayfinding Signs 

Look for Wayfinding signs on and around King Street, for pedestrian-oriented maps and interpretive panels conveying the city’s rich history. Signs start near the King Street Metro and continue down to the Alexandria waterfront. 

Alexandria Heritage Trail

Historic markers, located in many locations around town, inform residents and visitors alike about many facets of Alexandria’s history. More than 50 Heritage Trail signs have been placed in different parts of the city, on the 23-mile Alexandria Heritage Trail and beyond. 

Self-Guided Tours

Explore Historic Alexandria with self-guided tours. Walk or bike with the guidance of brochures, maps and cue-sheets, podcasts and apps.

Key to the City Logo image

Key to the City Pass

The best way to unlock Alexandria's rich culture and history is with the Alexandria Visitor Center's Key to the City museum pass. From Alexandria's co-founders to the nation's first president and from the Civil War to civil rights, learn about our remarkable history and walk amongst original 18th-and 19th-century architecture preserved by a city dedicated to honoring its past.

For only $20 — a $60 value — the Key to the City museum pass includes:

  • Access to 9 historic sites
  • 40% off for the following:
    • George Washington’s Mount Vernon admission
    • Potomac Riverboat Water Taxi by Hornblower roundtrip
    • Tall Ship Providence (opening in 2020) tour
    • 10% off coupon for museum store purchases valid at 11 sites
    • Suggestions of 3 additional free historic sites