Top Things to Do This Spring in Alexandria, VA


This spring in Alexandria, VA, located minutes from D.C., discover al fresco festivals, new waterfront artwork, cherry blossom experiences and more. Stroll through the city’s eye-catching architectural gems, celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and much more. Keep reading for top spring events and happenings in Alexandria.

Plus, check out our guide to the top spring Instagram spots around the city.

1. Explore Outdoor Festivals

Pictured: Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour; Image Credit: George Washington’s Mount Vernon


Throughout spring, al fresco festivals sprout up throughout Alexandria. Check out Del Ray’s new Dog Fest event on April 2, 2023, and on April 29, parade your pup along the Old Town waterfront during the second annual ALX Dog Walk. From May 19 to 21, 2023 George Washington’s Mount Vernon invites you to attend its most popular event of the year, the Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour. Taste unlimited samples from Virginia’s finest wineries, bring a blanket to relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River. That same weekend, on May 20 and 21, the 3rd Annual Alexandria Old Town Springtime Art Festival features one-of-a-kind pieces at John Carlyle Square. On May 21, the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style showcases dozens of rare and exotic cars up close, enhanced by a presentation of style, fashion and live music from more than 40 local merchants. Plus, head to Port City Brewing Company on May 20 to enjoy the Makers Market, in partnership with Made in ALX, when a diverse mix of more than 30 local makers will take over Port City’s parking lot.

2. See New Waterfront Public Art

Pictured: “Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson” rendering; Image Credit: Studio Cooke John


In late March, Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson will be unveiled as the fifth temporary public art installation on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront, on display until November 2023 as part of the City of Alexandria’s Site See: New Views in Old Town series. Created by Jamaican-born, New York-based award-winning artist Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John, the installation is inspired by the ships uncovered on Alexandria’s waterfront in 2015 and 2018 and the many layers of history that are not readily seen. The installation forms an abstracted ship’s hull with steel vertical elements that rise and bend, referencing the curve of the hull’s frame. Visitors can stand within the space and imagine a time in Alexandria’s history when the ships carried not only cargo like tobacco, molasses, rum and limes, but also enslaved people who were traded as part of the transatlantic and domestic slave trades. The outer blue of the installation is contrasted with an orange inner surface depicting text pulled from ships’ manifests listing items like herring, coconuts and gin, alongside names and descriptions of enslaved people, such as “Jane Tailor, female, 5’ 2”.” Also listed are “two boxes of oranges” and “Admonia Jackson.”

3. Cherish Cherry Blossom Season


This cherry blossom season, soak in the pink and white wonders as you wander Alexandria’s red-brick sidewalks, or see the blossoms up close with bike tours from Pedego Electric Bikes and Unlimited Biking. Beginning on March 18, 2023, take a Water Taxi to The Wharf for a short 10-minute jaunt to the Tidal Basin to enjoy the cherry blossoms, or take the Monuments Cruise past the Hains Point blossoms and into Georgetown, beginning March 17. On April 14, attend Torpedo Factory Art Center’s “Cherry Blossom Jubilee,” a free satellite event of The National Cherry Blossom Festival featuring cherry blossom-themed artwork, music and interactive activities.

Savor food and drink specials such as Turkish Coffee Lady’s seasonal cherry blossom package. Sample Lost Boy Cider’s cherry blossom cider and new sake, and book a reservation for King & Rye’s cherry blossom brunch on April 15. Find many more cherry blossom-themed experiences, such as hands-on workshops from Shop Made in VA, here.

4. Discover Alexandria’s Architectural Gems


April is National Architecture Month, and the mild weather makes it the perfect time to get outside and stroll the city’s centuries-old streetscapes. Discover Federal, Georgian-Palladian, Victorian and Art Deco styles during Carlyle House’s Discover Alexandria Architecture Walking Tour on March 18, April 22 and May 20, 2023. On April 15, take part in the 90th Annual Old Town Alexandria Historic Homes & Garden Tour, part of Historic Garden Week in Virginia. This walking tour includes private townhomes and secluded gardens located along the tree-lined historic streets, plus access to two Garden Club of Virginia restoration projects, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens and Green Springs Gardens, and other local places of interest. Find more of Alexandria’s standout architectural spots to explore here.

5. Check Out Alexandria’s Arts Events

Pictured: March150 Art Party; Image Credit: Jingwei Li for the City of Alexandria


In addition to the March arrival of the Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson public art installation at Waterfront Park, art happenings abound this spring in Alexandria. On March 11, 2023, start or add to your art collection at the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s ever-popular March150 Art Party to purchase artwork for just $150. And throughout March, celebrate the 60th Annual Needlework Show at Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House, the largest judged show of needle arts in the nation, displaying thousands of embroidery pieces by artists from all over the world.

May 18 kicks of monthly Old Town Art Nights, taking place the third Thursdays of every month through October, presented by Old Town Business. Take a self-guided tour of Old Town and explore the fine art and studio crafts found in art galleries and boutiques. On May 20 and 21, discover one-of-a-kind pieces at John Carlyle Square during the 3rd Annual Alexandria Old Town Springtime Art Festival.

6. Honor AAPI Heritage Month

Pictured: AR Workshop owner Katie Nguyen-Wells (Image Credit): Sarah Marcella Creative and Old Town Boutique District; KungFu Kitchen


Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May and show your support by getting to know some of Alexandria’s AAPI business owners and attending an art event. On May 12, the Torpedo Factory Art Center hosts The Late Shift Art Night: Heritage – Asian American and Pacific Islander, honoring local Asian American and Pacific Islander community and culture. Experience hands-on art making and demonstrations, with all three floors of studios and galleries open to the public.

Carry over the creative momentum and roll up your sleeves for a class from Katie Nguyen-Wells’ team at AR Workshop, and explore international artwork at Kyo Gallery, helmed by Jason Longfellow. Get motivated to reach your goals at Get Fit Studio, owned by husband-and-wife team Carlo Pascasio and Ann Pham.

Located in the West End’s Alexandria Commons shopping center, KungFu Kitchen serves Northern-style authentic Chinese food. Owner Amy Liang and her team specialize in dishes such as soup dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, handmade dumplings and wok recipes. On King Street, Thai Signature offers unique dishes inspired by various types of street food across Thailand, plus a new late-night concept called Alice’s Cocktail Bar. Find many more businesses to support year-round and find new favorites here.

7. Participate in the PNC Parkway Classic


Lace up your running shoes for the 2023 PNC Parkway Classic, returning on April 23, 2023, with a 5K, 10-miler and Kid’s Dash. The Parkway Classic 5K course starts and finishes at Oronoco Bay Park with a scenic and one-of-a-kind course through Old Town. Meanwhile, the 10-miler starts at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and finishes at Oronoco Bay Park with a picturesque point-to-point course down the George Washington Memorial Parkway and through Old Town. The exciting 600-meter Kid’s Dash is designed for kids 12 and under. Virtual options are available for both the 5K and 10-miler.

Find more ways to savor springtime in Alexandria here.

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