What’s New in Alexandria, VA in 2024

Alexandria, Virginia, recognized in 2023 by Travel + Leisure among the Best Cities in the U.S. and voted a Condé Nast Traveler Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S., welcomes a new hotel in Old Town, an influx of dining, art and history experiences at the waterfront and special programming to celebrate Alexandria’s 275th anniversary in 2024. An exciting expansion of Del Ray’s dining scene complements the arrival of new spots to sip around town, while retail openings continue to expand Alexandria’s shop small scene from children’s toys to high-end fashion. Keep reading to learn about new Black history and archaeology exhibits, waterfront public art and more.

New Hotels Feature Distinctive Cocktail Bars and More

Pictured: Hotel Heron rendering; Image Credit: Aparium Hotel Group

In spring 2024, Aparium Hotel Group’s flagship adaptive-reuse development, Hotel Heron, is slated to open in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Originally opened in 1926 as the George Mason Hotel, the 134-room property combines the iconic inn with an adjacent new building featuring elevated amenities including a hearth-inspired restaurant offering Mid-Atlantic cuisine, a cozy cocktail bar and the city’s first seasonal rooftop bar. Other amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center and meeting spaces designed for socializing, co-working and more.


Pictured: Hotel AKA

Hotel AKA Alexandria brought a new wave of elegance to the Old Town North neighborhood in spring 2023. The property is world-renowned architect Piero Lissoni’s first U.S. hotel project and was awarded the 2023 “Best Domestic Hotel Transformation” by Interior Design, a global, industry-leading design magazine. In spring 2024, the hotel will expand its offerings with the opening of the kitchen and an expanded menu and enhanced dining experience, plus the opportunity to enjoy artisanal cocktails on the hotel terrace. Meeting and event space offerings will expand with a 3,000 square foot ballroom and two 600 square foot breakout rooms, collectively offering over 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space.

In early 2024, various hotels in Old Town are expected to complete renovations including an upgraded ballroom at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old Town and a lobby, meeting space and guestroom renovation at the Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town National Harbor. Plus, the Westin Alexandria Old Town is expected to launch a re-brand of the restaurant in summer 2024.

New at Alexandria’s Waterfront

Riverside Dining, History and Art Experiences

In 2024, Alexandria’s waterfront continues to evolve with new experiences across dining, history, arts and more, from Robinson Landing to Old Town North and beyond.

Pictured: Cooper Mill (Image Credit: Sanchez/Palmer Architects); Jula’s on the Potomac

This year, one of the city’s last remaining historic waterfront warehouses will be transformed into a new upscale market and relaxed tavern space in Robinson Landing called Cooper Mill, a nod to the former mill on the site which fabricated barrels for the Alexandria Flour Company. Cooper Mill joins Jula’s on the Potomac’s summer 2023 expansion as the latest additions to the Alexandria waterfront dining scene.

Pictured: New Interpretive Signage Along African American Waterfront Heritage Trail

New interpretive signage along the two interconnecting routes of the self-guided African American Waterfront Heritage Trail was installed at the end of 2023 and will be celebrated at a ribbon cutting ceremony open to the public on February 10, 2024. The 10 new historic interpretation signs and 2 new orientation signs permanently mark the contributions of African American people to Alexandria’s historic waterfront. The self-guided trail was developed as a volunteer community initiative with support from the Office of Historic Alexandria.

This spring, Alexandria Archaeology will debut a new temporary exhibit entitled “The Buried Ships of Robinson Landing” at the Robinson Landing gallery space. The exhibit will feature scale models of the three ships excavated there in 2018 and continue to expand the Alexandria Archaeology Museum’s “without walls” approach to educating visitors on archaeology in Alexandria.

Pictured: Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center

Head to the floating visitor experience on Alexandria’s waterfront to explore the tall ship Providence, a full-scale reproduction of the first ship commissioned to the Continental Navy. Take on the role of a sailor under the command of the legendary Captain John Paul Jones during an immersive one-hour dockside tour at the new Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center, opened in June 2023. Plus, enjoy a seasonal sunset sail on the weekends.

Pictured: Interstellar Influencer (Make an Impact) rendering; Image Credit: STUDIOKCA

Coming this spring, Interstellar Influencer (Make an Impact) will be unveiled as the sixth annual temporary public art installation at Waterfront Park, on display until November 2024 as part of the City of Alexandria’s Site See: New Views in Old Town series. Created by Brooklyn-based, award-winning artist/architect duo Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang of STUDIOKCA, the installation explores the impact of an asteroid that hit the earth 35 million years ago near what is now Alexandria. Interstellar Influencer uses metal, water and light to create a 1:1000 scale representation of the asteroid and the 85-kilometer wide, 1.5-kilometer-deep crater it left behind, that shaped the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed and the flow of water through its rivers and tributaries. STUDIOKCA hopes the “representation of the asteroid and its impact helps raise awareness of the fragility of our shared existence on this planet and the extraordinary (and sometime extraterrestrial) foundation of our modern cities and waterways.”

Alexandria’s 275th Anniversary

In 2024, the city will mark its 275th birthday with special events and programs celebrating the past and the diverse culture of Alexandria today. The majority of ALX275 activities will take place from April through mid-September, featuring signature events, special exhibits and more. The opening of waterfront public art installation Interstellar Influencer (Make an Impact) kicks off the 275th anniversary programming in the spring. Alexandria’s award-winning Port City Brewing Company will produce an original hoppy India Pale Ale called ALX275, brewed with 275 lbs. of hops, that will be served on draft at the Portside in Old Town Summer Festival in June, which features the ALX Jazz Fest, at Port City’s Tasting Room and Old Town Pub Crawl and at more special events from April through September. Also in September, the 275th anniversary festivities include events for the 10th anniversary of the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial and the 50th anniversary of the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

New exhibits include Alexandria Archaeology’s “The Buried Ships of Robinson Landing” with scale models of the three excavated ships at a temporary new waterfront gallery space. The Alexandria Black History Museum’s Moss Kendrix exhibit will honor the nationally significant visionary who revolutionized how African Americans were depicted in the media in the mid-20th century. The special collection of artifacts will demonstrate how the D.C.-based advertising and public relations pioneer transformed the advertising industry, paving the way for the diversity of actors and models who today are featured throughout marketing creative. Meanwhile, Historic Alexandria’s oral history exhibition, “Mapping Alexandria: Stories of a Changing City,” is coming to The Lyceum in June. Interactive features of the exhibition include a story kiosk where the public can record and upload their own oral histories, an interactive map and more.

New Art and History Exhibits

Pictured: Angeline Oei; Photo Credit: Laura Hatcher Photography

Visitors can immerse themselves in new artistic and historical experiences in 2024. There is a new crop of artists at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, with 25 new creatives awarded studios since 2022. Among them, see sustainable couture clothing designs from Singaporean-born Angeline Oei, Anthony Nsofor’s paintings and photography speaking to Nigerian nationality and the Black experience, and Sierra Barnes’s comics and illustrations infused with Eastern and Central European mythology. Plus, the Art Center’s “Innovation & Creativity” collaboration with Virginia Tech continues through fall 2024 with free exhibitions at the Target Gallery exploring everything from Shakespearean poetry to invasive species and beyond.

Torpedo Factory’s offerings join 2024 waterfront installations including Interstellar Influencer (Make an Impact) and “The Buried Ships of Robinson Landing.” Meanwhile, Gonzaga High School’s groundbreaking research on slavery, “Searching for Truth in the Garden,” finds a new temporary home at the Freedom House Museum. On view through April 15, 2024, this traveling exhibition explores the life of Gabriel, a teenager enslaved at Washington Seminary (now Gonzaga) in 1829. Gabriel’s story offers a poignant lens through which to examine the complexities of slavery and its lasting impact.

Restaurant Trends

Del Ray Dining Expansion

Pictured: Zuki Moon; Image Credit: Costa Dino Photography

Del Ray is home to new dining destinations galore. Beginning in spring 2024, Le Petit Ananas will serve up shaved ice treats from a trailer beside Bagel Uprising, the perfect way to end a meal at one of the neighborhood’s newest eateries. In June 2023, Hi/Fi Tex-Mex BBQ debuted in beloved Del Ray eatery Evening Star Café’s backyard, featuring menu items such as brisket-stuffed corn tortilla tacos and meaty platters decked out with pickled peppers and smoked crema. Then, Zuki Moon opened in fall 2023 with an Asian fusion menu intertwining Japanese and Filipino flavors to savor during live DJ performances on the weekends. Also in fall 2023, Jet’s Pizza brought its sizzling Detroit-style slices to E. Glebe Road, at the edge of Del Ray and Arlandria. Just around the corner, Orkney Springs Distillery opened in December with a tasting room proffering vodka and gin.

New Wine, Beer and Spirits Spots

Pictured: Negus Winery and Meadery (Image Credit: Redeat Hable); Casa Luna

No matter your drink of choice, Alexandria’s new openings have you covered. Wine-wise, recently opened Negus Winery and Meadery, located off Van Dorn Street, specializes in renditions of Ethiopian tej, honey wine, based on a recipe from owner Gize Negussie’s mother. It’s thought to be the first tej tasting room in the U.S. Beer buffs can look forward to the 2024 opening of D.C.-based Atlas Brew Works in Carlyle Crossing, with a brewery, taproom running on sustainable energy, plus food from award-winning Andy’s Pizza. Nearby, Mieza Blendery opened to beer aficionados (and their furry friends) in summer 2023 with a tasting room featuring draft pours and bottles to go while Orkney Springs Distillery’s new Del Ray outpost offers vodka and gin tastings by reservation.

In 2024, the team behind MacMillan Whisky Room in the Mosaic District is opening a new concept with expanded offerings and live music in Old Town North, MacMillan Spirit House. In the meantime, the cocktail-inclined should head below Kisso Asian Bistro to Casa Luna, exuding subterranean speakeasy vibes with creative handcrafted cocktails paired with sophisticated bar bites. Or visit wonderland with a trip to Alice Cocktail Bar above Thai Signature.

Sweet Ways to Start the Day



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Getting out of bed just got a bit more appealing with these new coffee shops and sweet spots. Boston-based Tatte Bakery & Café, with popular locations throughout the D.C. region brings its breakfast sandwiches, gluten-free goods and airy vibe to King Street in January 2024. Plus, coming late summer 2024, brunch lovers can head to a new Founding Farmers location at the Potomac Yard Oakville Triangle development.

Pictured: Connect & Sip Café

PIES Fitness Yoga Studio owner Marsha D. Banks-Harold and her family will soon open Connect & Sip Café adjacent to the studio to further cultivate community. Post-workout diners and passersby alike can enjoy coffee, tea, small plates, pastries and CBD products. Meanwhile, fans of sugar-dusted fried dough will delight in the upcoming opening of Ben’Yays on upper King Street, while boba tea aficionados can look forward to Bloom Tea, also serving Vietnamese coffee, coming to South Old Town. On Queen Street, The Greenery is a sustainable coffeehouse offering chef-crafted, plant-based specialty drinks, fresh coffee, teas and refreshments. Craving a sweet coda to the day? Share an over-the-top milkshake at The Crazy Mason on King Street.

Retail Updates

Pictured: Pippin Toy Co.; Image Credit: Pippin Toy Co.

Alexandria’s shopping scene expands in spring 2024 with the opening of Crème de la Crème, a King Street boutique offering high-end tableware and home goods inspired by French and Italian living. Plus, look out for a new concept from American In Paris this spring, centered around globally curated apparel from independent designers, a private label collection and more.

Recent openings in 2023 have broadened Old Town’s shopping offerings from children’s toys to upscale fashion. Local boutique owner Amy Rutherford opened her third Old Town shop, Pippin Toy Co., a magical oasis for kids, just in time for the 2023 holiday season. In July 2023, the Genius Genus became a new houseplant haven on Prince Street. Nearby, upscale New York City-based boutique Frances Valentine opened in May 2023 featuring fashionable finds inspired by co-founders and best friends Elyce Arons and Kate Spade.

Pictured: Frances Valentine; Image Credit: Laura Hatcher Photography

New Sustainable Experiences

In late summer, a new Founding Farmers restaurant location is coming to the Oakville Triangle development in Potomac Yard, named one of the ten most sustainable restaurants in America, while sustainable energy will power Atlas Brew Works’ brewery in Carlyle Crossing. Plus, The Greenery sustainable coffee shop is now offering plant-based specialty drinks on Queen Street. The third iteration of the ALX Dog Walk, the DMV’s largest dog-walking event, returns to the waterfront on April 20, 2024, this year featuring a new sustainability festival.

Follow Visit Alexandria on Instagram, Facebook and X, and follow our “Best Of” blog series, to stay updated on the latest happenings.

Header image credits, left to right: Torch Pictures for Visit Alexandria; Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria; Anthony Nsofor

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