The Ultimate George Washington Getaway

Updated January 4, 2023.

It’s Presidents’ Day! This year, I decided to celebrate by writing a little something about our country’s most famous president: George Washington! I lived in his hometown, Old Town Alexandria, for four years and loved every minute of it. Walking the same streets and sidewalks George walked made me giddy every day! Here are my favorite Washington-themed things to do in D.C. and Old Town, so you can plan your own George Washington getaway!

Stay at the GW Townhouse

This was a dream come true for me! I used to give history tours outside this house, and for my birthday this year, I actually got to stay there for the weekend! This is a replica of the home he had built and stayed in when he came to Alexandria from Mount Vernon. The original burned down, but this one was re-built in the same location, using the same foundation stones. If you have any interest in George Washington, you definitely need to stay here! It’s available on VRBO, but book early!

The George Washingotn Townhouse
Keep reading: Staying at the George Washington Townhouse

Take a Selfie with Young George

You might miss this unassuming statue on a bench at 309 Cameron Street, but now you know where to look!

Me and my pal George!
More here: 10 Reasons to Visit Old Town Alexandria

Take a Tour with Alexandria Colonial Tours

This is the best thing to do in Old Town! Whether you want a private history tour or a fun ghost tour with a group, you will have the best tour of your life. The North Route of the ghost tour goes past the GW Townhouse and ends up at Christ Church, where George was a vestryman, and the South Route ends up at the Old Presbyterian Meetinghouse. The George connection is below…

Lucky you, you’ll be left in a graveyard! So spooky!
Book your tour, and tell them Whitney sent you! Alexandria Colonial Tours
And check out their feature on Redfin! 11 Unique Things to Do in Alexandria

Visit the Old Presbyterian Meeting House

If George Washington was a vestryman at Christ Church, why is there a link with the Old Presbyterian Meeting House? Well, it snowed a lot the day of George Washington’s funeral. So much, in fact, they the funeral carriage couldn’t make it all the way to Christ Church, so everyone ended up attending his funeral at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House!

He’s not buried there, however, since his final resting place is at Mount Vernon. There are several interesting people buried here, though. One is Dr. James Craik: Alexandria resident, Physician General to the U.S. Army, and one of the three attending physicians at George Washington’s deathbed.

The tomb of the unknown soldier of the Revolutionary War
More here: Your Guide to Visiting Arlington National Cemetery

Visit Christ Church

Want to sit in George and Martha’s pew? You can! Tours of this church are free, and the volunteer docents can tell you practically anything about the history of the church and George Washington’s role there. Right now it’s practically in the middle of town, but back in the 18th century, it was known as “the little church in the woods!”

Christ Church Alexandria
More here: Your Guide to Religious Sites in D.C.

Shop at the Farmers’ Market

What does the farmers’ market have to do with our first president? Just the fact that he sold crops at this market, shopped at this market, and trained soldiers for the Revolutionary War at this site! Today, the longest-running, continuous farmers’ market in the country takes place here on Saturdays from 7:00am-noon! My favorite vendors are Truly-Life for soaps, Bigg Riggs for produce and canned goods, Guata Java for coffee, and Pat Palermino for beautiful local art!

Alexandria Farmers’ Market
Come hungry, and get some coffee, too! Where to Get the Best Coffee in Alexandria

Tour (and Eat!) at Gadsby’s Tavern

Gadsby’s Tavern was one of the most successful taverns and hostelries in Alexandria, and it’s an excellent example of an 18th century tavern! George Washington did eat here in his day, and you can, too! Tour the museum, have lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, and don’t forget to check out their gift shop, too!

Gadsby’s Tavern
Enjoy Colonial fare like Surrey Peanut Soup!
Keep eating: Where to Eat in Alexandria

Take a Boat Ride to Mount Vernon

Why a boat ride? Because that was the quickest way George Washington would travel between Alexandria and Mount Vernon. It’s a fun way to get there, and you’ll get a very unique view of the estate! But however you get there, Mount Vernon is a must-do for George Washington aficionados and history lovers! I suggest going early to avoid crowds and afternoon heat in the summers. And don’t forget to dine Colonial style at the Mount Vernon Inn as well!

Lovers at Mount Vernon!
More here: Your Guide to Visiting Mount Vernon

Tour the Washington Monument

Take a quick hop across the river to Washington, D.C., and head over to the most iconic symbol in the nation’s capital: the Washington Monument! You can go up inside for free, but if you want a specific date and time, be sure to reserve tickets online in advance. You’ll be rewarded with the best views in town!

Ready to go up to the top!
Read next: How to Tour the Washington Monument

Want more? Check out my United States Page for more on Alexandria, Virginia, and my Washington, D.C. Page for everything else!

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Published by quickwhittravel

Welcome to the blog! We do things a little differently around here: no ads, no negativity, and no checked luggage, y'all. My name is Whitney, and Quick Whit Travel Blog is your one-stop shop for all the best travel tips, packing advice, and destination information. Click around or message me on social media @quickwhittravel for more!

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