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DC Family Vacation Itinerary

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Located just minutes from Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River waterfront, Old Town Alexandria is the perfect home base for families who want convenient access to the nation’s capital and a relaxing respite at the end of each day. Founded in 1749, walkable Old Town Alexandria is a nationally designated historic district humming with more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic site museums and new happenings at the waterfront. See why Alexandria was voted one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Cities in the U.S. 2022 alongside Austin and Charleston and ranked by Money as one of the Best Places to Travel in 2023 for luxury on a budget. Family-friendly hotels ranging from boutique-style to the best-known brands await you.

Alexandria is easily accessible by D.C.’s three major airports, Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express and car. Once here, access major sites in Washington, D.C. via Metrorail, a scenic water taxi, a bike ride or take advantage of a short cab ride. Visiting Washington, D.C. with kids is fun and stress-free when you stay in Old Town Alexandria.

Thursday: Monuments and Memorials

Water Taxi to D.C.

Take the scenic route from Old Town Alexandria to The Wharf or Georgetown in D.C. on City Cruises Alexandria’s high-speed water taxi. From there, find access to the National Mall, monuments and museums.

Set Sail

Monuments and Memorials

Spend the day exploring D.C.’s breathtaking monuments and memorials. See the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Walk around the Tidal Basin and see the Jefferson Memorial. Be amazed at the Lincoln Memorial and see the Washington Monument.

Be Inspired

Dine in Historic Old Town

After a busy day sightseeing, settle in for dinner at Virtue Feed & Grain, a historic 1800s feed warehouse featuring American fare and rustic-modern decor. Families can enjoy one of Old Town’s most mouthwatering menus including offerings for young diners.

Bon Appétit!

Friday: Smithsonian Museums

King Street Metro 2

Metro to the National Mall

Hop on Metrorail at the King St-Old Town station for an 18-minute ride to the National Mall. Take the Yellow line to L’Enfant Plaza station, which is an easy walk to the National Museum of the American Indian.

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Museum of Natural History

Explore the family-favorite National Museum of Natural History, filled with endless hands-on discovery for all ages. Be wowed at the 31,000-square-foot dinosaur and fossil exhibit, explore the Butterfly Pavilion or examine a crocodile head.

Start Exploring

Treat the Family to Sweets

Treat the family at the end of the day by visiting one of Alexandria’s top sweet spots for anything from a red velvet cupcake at Alexandria Cupcake to an Apple Cider Donutwich at Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats.

Saturday: Relax in Alexandria

Visit the Oldest Farmer’s Market

Head to the nation’s longest continually operating farmers’ markets in one site at the Old Town Farmers’ Market in the shadow of City Hall every Saturday morning. During peak season, you’ll find over 70 vendors offering fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, meats and more.

Start Shopping

Stroll King Street

Stroll through the heart of Old Town along King Street, one of the “Great Streets” of America. This walkable mile has a free King Street Trolley plus 200+ independent restaurants and shops like 529 Kids Consign and Hooray For Books!

Start Exploring

Explore Three Floors of Art

Have some free family fun at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a former munitions plant that is home to 82 artist studios, 7 galleries, and hands-on kid’s activities at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum on the third floor.

Get Inspired

Sunday: National Zoo and More Museums

Begin with Brunch

Begin your day with brunch at Chadwicks near the Alexandria waterfront, featuring Champagne specials for the adults and a kid’s menu with games and puzzles. This local favorite has a brunch menu with endless options for even the pickiest eater.

Bon Appétit!

See the Pandas

See 400+ species up close at the free-admission National Zoo, organized in convenient loops like the Asia Trail. The pandas are a must-see, as well as the Kids’ Farm Exhibit and daily programs like animal training and feeding demonstrations.

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Become a Spy

Bring out your inner spy at the International Spy Museum in downtown D.C., where kids can become spies-in-training, play games and learn the language of espionage at KidSpy Zone and other interactive exhibits.

Become 007

Explore African American History

Visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture for an unforgettable family experience. Start with history exhibits on the lower level and then explore culture exhibits covering topics including music, art and sports.

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Monday: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Drone Aerial Photography, 2018

Tour the Mansion

Step inside one of the most iconic homes in the country at The Mansion. Room by room, see history right before your eyes as you hear stories about George Washington associated with the rooms, artwork, furniture and other artifacts.

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Interact with History

Head to the Museum and Education Center where you can explore 23 galleries and theaters. Learn more about Washington through interactive displays, an action-adventure movie, a 4D theater and immersive experiences like “Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead.”

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Meet the Animals

Explore the 4-acre Pioneer Farm, representing the more than 3,000 acres Washington cultivated during the second half of the 18th century. Meet some of the animals of Mount Vernon and see the 16-sided barn, the reconstructed slave cabin and live farming demonstrations.

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Extend Your Stay: Explore the Region

Take in Mountain Views

Outdoor adventurers can explore one of America’s best National Parks, Shenandoah, with vast hiking trails through mountains and waterfalls, or take a scenic drive along the 105-mile Skyline Drive for sweeping, breathtaking views of the valley and endless photo ops.

Get Outdoors

Unwind in D.C.’s Wine Country

Sip your way through a tour of Loudoun County, D.C.’s wine country. Loudon is home to more than 40 unique wineries and tasting rooms. Sample the offerings of Bluemont Vineyards, which sits high on an eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Discover Wineries

Explore the National Aquarium

Get lost in wonder at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, consistently ranked among the top aquariums in the country. The award-winning “Living Seashore” exhibit features two touchpools and hands-on experiences, plus Shark Alley, Dolphin Discovery and a Coral Reef exhibit.

Explore Underwater

Ride a Rollercoaster

Get your thrills at Kings Dominion amusement park, featuring more than 60 different rides and attractions including family-friendly areas like Planet Snoopy and one of the fastest coasters on the east coast, the Intimidator 305.

Discover Thrills

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Old Town Alexandria

“Love, Alexandria” Hotel Package

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