I decided to follow in the footsteps of George Washington and go shopping in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
On the east coast, many historic sites make the claim that “George Washington was here,” but in Alexandria, Virginia, it’s absolutely, positively true!
Founded in the 1700s as a Colonial seaport, Alexandria was
George Washington’s stomping ground.
While living at his Mount Vernon plantation outside of town, Washington spent a good deal of time in Alexandria.
He bought his medicines at the Stabler-Leadbeater apothecary, danced with Martha at Gadsby's Tavern; worshipped at Christ Church, and plotted the American Revolution in various local homes and taverns.
No FAKE gas lights here!Recognized for its outstanding examples of early American architecture, Alexandria’s Old Town district includes more than 4,000 historic buildings that span centuries -- and styles.
Some structures were private homes...
Others were shops...
The John Douglas Brown house was built in 1775. Unlike some neighboring homes, it retains the original wide pine siding painted oxide red.
History buffs delight in the fact that later additions have not been disguised and remain visible for study. The side yard had been the subject of several archeological digs.
Hungry for history?
Gadsby's Tavern (no photo) is the only remaining colonial tavern in Alexandria but there are lots of other places to sip and sup. The Union Street Public House is an example of
architectural recycling. Originally a shipping office for a munitions company, it now bangs out tasty meals and mugs of hearty beer.
This anchor, located at water's edge at the foot of Alexandria’s main commercial thoroughfare, King Street, commemorates the founding of the Old Dominion Boat Club in 1880. The club still maintains boat slips and a Members Only restaurant.
Note the basement windows in the photo below. Many of the streets in Alexandria have been raised (as is the case here) or lowered through the centuries to try to steer storm surges from flooding area buildings.
I hope you've enjoyed touring the streets where George Washington once strolled. Our last stop is the main dock area. In addition to shops, restaurants and a food court, here is where you can catch a water taxi to DC or a sightseeing cruise.