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Old Town, Alexandria, VA: romance and history combined

Located along one of Old Town's cobblestone streets, these homes represent Old Town's classic architecture
Located along one of Old Town's cobblestone streets, these homes represent Old Town's classic architecture
Katherine Barrett

Located minutes from Washington, D.C., Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is a historical destination that’s getting hotter by the minute. Founded in 1732, Old Town has everything from cobblestone streets lined with colorful two-hundred-year-old row houses to some of the most innovative restaurants in the area. Walkable and charming, Old Town is a wonderful place to fall in love.

Visitors can stay at the modern Hotel Monaco, ideally situated in the heart of Old Town’s most active quadrant. With bold design and discreet service, this boutique hotel smoothly juxtaposes its current feel with Old Town’s history. Feel free to bring Fido along; like all Kimpton hotels, Hotel Monaco is pet-friendly and goes the extra mile to make sure your furry friend is well taken care of. After getting ready for dinner in the comfortable rooms, stop by the complimentary wine hour in the lobby every evening from 5 to 6 p.m.

Old Town is home to many lauded restaurants, some around for generations. One of its newest is also one of its brightest stars. Frequently written up in publications from The Washington Post to Epicurious, Restaurant Eve is a romantic choice for a special evening. For true gourmets, the nine-course tasting menu is not to be missed. A less formal option is Restaurant Eve’s sister pub, Virtue Feed & Grain. A painstakingly restored nineteenth-century feed house, Virtue is now the place to see and be seen.

There are a myriad of activities around Old Town. History buffs can tour Robert E. Lee’s childhood home and Gadsby’s Tavern, visited by numerous U.S. presidents. Explore the architecturally-stunning Carlyle House and its romantic garden, popular for proposals and weddings. Shoppers will take joy in the variety of shops, whether seeking designer boutiques, fine art, or silly tchotchkes. Silver Parrot is a unique jewelry shop featuring original pieces and interesting stones from around the world. Walk down to the water and visit the Torpedo Factory to watch dozens of artists churn out intricate works from a range of mediums. For a spooky evening spent clutching your sweetheart, take a walking ghost tour of Old Town at night to learn about some of the historic hauntings in the area.

Whether you’re a fan of quaint architecture, riverside walks, or just seeing people dressed as Martha Washington, Old Town is a delightful place to hold hands and explore with your significant other.


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