Historic Attractions and Museums

Key to the City Attractions Pass

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The best way to unlock Alexandria’s rich culture and history is with our Key to the City attractions pass. From Alexandria’s co-founders to the nation’s first president and from the Civil War to civil rights, learn about our remarkable history and walk amongst original 18th-and 19th-century architecture preserved by a city dedicated to honoring its past. Plus, enjoy discounts on some of the top regional attractions.

For only $20 (a $60 value!) the Key to the City attractions pass includes:

  • Access to 9 historic sites
  • 40% off for the following:
    • George Washington’s Mount Vernon admission
    • City Cruises anchored by Hornblower roundtrip water taxi pass
  • 10% off coupon for museum store purchases valid at 11 sites
  • Suggestions of additional free historic sites

Due to the current coronavirus situation, some attractions and historic sites have adjusted their hours or remain closed. For more information, read our FAQs or see our list of attraction reopening information on our “What’s Open” page.

How to Purchase

Purchase your Key to the City at the Alexandria Visitor Center located at 221 King Street and tread paths once taken by some of the most prolific figures in American history. Passes may also be purchased online, and will be delivered to your home (U.S. or Canada) in 10 days or less.

Please note:

  • Coupons can only be redeemed in person at the attractions, not online.
  • Not every attraction on the pass is open at this time. See current status for each attraction on our “What’s Open” page.
  • To ensure a quality experience for all, groups of more than 10 people should contact participating sites directly prior to purchase to confirm a reservation.

Your Pass Gives You Access to:

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

[40% Off] Located just 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria, visit the first president’s estate to enjoy tours catered to kids, the pioneer farm and more.

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George Washington National Masonic Memorial

[Observation Deck Only] Take in breathtaking 360 views of Alexandria, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region from the observation deck atop the ninth floor the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, a National Historic Landmark.

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Carlyle House

A Georgian Palladian manor house built in 1753 by merchant and city founder John Carlyle. Here, five royal governors and General Braddock met to discuss funding of the French and Indian War…

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Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Consists of two buildings, the 1785 Georgian tavern and the 1792 City Hotel. The tavern has been authentically restored to its 18th-century appearance. Notable guests included George Washington & Thomas Jefferson…

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Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

From 1792 to 1933, the apothecary served patrons including George and Martha Washington. Today the intimate museum boasts a vast collection of original materials from herbal botanicals, hand-blown glass and medical equipment.

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Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum

The 1839 Greek Revival building serves as the City’s history museum. An ongoing exhibition tells the story of Alexandria, once one of the busiest ports in America. Archaeological finds, old photographs, and a wide variety of historic artifacts provide the visitor with a picture of the City’s past.

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Lee-Fendall House Museum

Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden: From 1785-1903, the house served as the home to 37 members of the Lee family. Guided by its 1852 inventory, the house is interpreted as a Lee home of the 1850-1870 period.

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Alexandria Black History Museum

The Alexandria Black History Museum is the perfect setting for patrons interested in an intimate, historic setting with ethnic flair. Originally the segregated library for Alexandria’s African-American residents, the museum documents the local and national history, culture and contributions of Alexandria’s African-Americans.

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Freedom House Museum

A National Historic Landmark, this small but powerful museum is located on the basement level of one of most infamous slave trading companies in the U.S., and bears a connection to the story depicted in the film 12 Years a Slave.

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Friendship Firehouse Museum

Established in 1774, the Friendship Fire Company was the first volunteer fire company in Alexandria. The current firehouse was built in 1855 and now houses historic firefighting equipment and exhibits …

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01 | 10

Free Museums

Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

National Inventors Hall of Fame

Alexandria Archaeology Museum

Plan Your Visit

Here for 24 hours or less? Have several days to spend exploring? Below are some suggested ways to utilize our Key to the City. Be sure to check the hours noted on the Key to the City for each historic site, as hours of operation vary by site and several are closed on Mondays. All museums are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day (except Mount Vernon, which is open 365 days a year).

Top 3—Museums on Market Square:

Walkable!

In George Washington’s Footsteps:

Insider tip! Take a stroll by George Washington’s townhouse (508 Cameron St.), then tour nearby Christ Church (118 N. Washington St.), where Washington attended. You can even sit in his pew!

Best View

Take in breathtaking 360 views of Alexandria, Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region from the observation deck atop the ninth floor of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, a national historic landmark.

Advance Your History

Walkable!

African-American History

Alexandria has a wealth of African-American historic sites. Start at the Alexandria Black History Museum to discover the history, culture and contributions of African-Americans locally and nationally. Then, head to the Freedom House Museum, once the location of one of the largest slave-trading companies in the country, the museum now preserves the story of thousands of men, women and children who passed through this place. Next, head outside Old Town and discover Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, which was a post-Civil War African-American community known as The Fort.

Great For Kids

In Old Town, kids will love getting hands-on at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. Then, take them to the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum where they can see real-life ingredients featured in Harry Potter, from dragon’s blood to mandrake root. Find room to roam at Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site. George Washington’s Mount Vernon also has plenty for kids to do, from scavenger hunts to a Hands-On-History Center. Older kids will love the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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