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Great Date Ideas on a Budget in Alexandria, VA



Head to the waterfront and explore the free Torpedo Factory Art Center. You’ll catch artists at work in this historic building that once served as a munitions factory. Today it’s home to more than 150 artists, seven galleries, The Art League and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.

Rent bicycles by the hour for an afternoon adventure. Pedal south along the Mount Vernon Trail for stunning riverfront views. Head north to take in views of the Washington Monument and D.C. memorials. During springtime, enjoy blooming trees and catch the cherry blossoms in D.C. In the fall, marvel at the leaves as the seasons change and take a break to relax at the Alexandria marina.

Explore historic sites of surprising beauty. Purchase a Key to the City attractions pass for $20 (a $60 value) for access to 9 historic sites plus 40% off admission to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and other attractions. Use the pass to discover three museums within one block of Market Square—Carlyle House, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum.


Grab a quick cup or spend a lazy morning at Misha’s, named “Best Coffee Shop in the DC Metro Area” by Washington City Paper. Master roasters handpick and hand-roast small batches of beans each day, and local bakeries stock the shop with pastries and baked goods.

For authentic Mexican fare head to Urbano 116. Enjoy three tacos for $8 with fresh takes on fish, carnitas, lengua, vegetarian tacos and more. BBQ lovers won’t want to miss Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque for a taste of barbeque made with the World BBQ Champion’s competition rubs and sauces. For amazing happy hour specials, head to Vola’s Dockside Grill and the Hi-Tide Lounge. Bar bites range from coconut shrimp to mouthwatering conch fritters.

In Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, you’ll find dozens of casual eateries with award-winning menus that won’t break the bank. The Dairy Godmother serves up creamy, Wisconsin-style frozen custard in classic flavors while Cheesetique serves up a menu that includes creative grilled cheeses and dishes like the lobster mac.


From one-of-a-kind boutique properties to popular chain-brands, Alexandria’s hotels offers great low rates throughout the year. Plus, find the best prices currently being offered by checking out our hotel packages.

66 Free Things to Do in Alexandria

Here’s our go-to guide for totally free things to do in Alexandria, including local favorites.


Self-Guided Tours

Pace yourself on walking tours of Old Town, driving tours of Alexandria’s African-American historic sites and more.

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Top 18 Things to Do in Old Town

Plan your visit to explore Old Town Alexandria’s King Street Mile, historic sites, waterfront and more.

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