Alexandria is minutes from Washington, D.C., yet it is a world away. Nationally recognized for its rich history and beautifully preserved architecture, Alexandria is an unforgettable getaway. Here are some historic sites to drive to in Alexandria.

1. Mount Vernon

Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway
Image via Flickr by benclark

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, VA 22121

Discover colonial America firsthand at George and Martha Washington’s home and adopted hometown, Mount Vernon. Situated on the banks of the Potomac River eight miles south of Alexandria, this four-acre Pioneer Farm is the most visited historic estate in America. Today, Mount Vernon is a museum filled with documents and items from George Washington and other key people in American history. Mount Vernon is only a short distance from Old Town hotels, shops, and restaurants.

2. Alexandria Black History Museum

902 Wythe St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The Alexandria Black History Museum enriches the lives of residents and visitors, fostering tolerance and understanding across all cultures and promoting appreciation of the African-American experience. The museum provides local and regional history and consists of two exhibition galleries and an environment for learning about African-American cultural traditions. African-American Heritage Park is a nine-acre green space that offers a place for celebration, commemoration, and quiet reflection.

3. National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum

600 Dulany St, Alexandria, VA 22314

In 2009, the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum moved from Akron, Ohio to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s well worth a visit to marvel at mankind’s ingenuity. Experience the interactive kiosks at the Gallery of Icons, illustrating great technological achievements that advanced America and the world.

4. Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N Union St, Alexandria, VA 22314

The Torpedo Factory Art Center is a former World War II torpedo factory which now houses 82 artist studios and six galleries. The U.S. Naval Torpedo Station opened in 1919. After five years, it became munitions storage. In 1974, a group of visionary artists renovated the neglected riverfront factory into usable studio space. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is now home to the largest collection of public working artist studios where you can meet the resident artists and watch them work.

5. Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax Street Alexandria, VA 22314

Tour the halls of American history at the Carlyle House Historic Park in Old Town Alexandria across from City Hall. John Carlyle completed this historic house in 1753 for his bride, Sarah Fairfax of Belvoir, one of the most prestigious families in colonial Virginia. The house became a center of social and political life in Alexandria. In 1755, British General Braddock turned the mansion his headquarters to plan the early campaigns of the French and Indian War.

Over 40 Alexandria districts, sites, buildings, and structures are on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of historic properties worthy of restoration and preservation. These places contribute to the understanding of America’s historical and cultural journey. When visiting Alexandria, make sure to put a few of these historical places on your list of things to see.

5 Historic Sites to Drive to in Alexandria, VA

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