Minutes from Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River, Alexandria delights travelers from all over the world and is a favorite destination for locals throughout the region. Old Town, the city’s nationally designated historic district founded in 1749, hums with more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques alongside intimate historic museums and new happenings at the waterfront.
At the heart of it all is bustling King Street, a walkable mile recognized as one of the “Great Streets” of America. Visitors can access the region via Potomac Riverboat Company’s many water taxis and cruises, including ones to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Georgetown, the National Mall, Nationals Stadium and National Harbor.
Tourism is a vital driver of Alexandria’s economy, with visitor spending bringing in over $770 million in 2015, resulting in $25.5 million of city tax revenue. 7% of the city’s workforce is also supported by visitor spending, employing people in hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and transportation services. Recognizing the importance of tourism and visitors to the local economy, the city is making investments to be an even more appealing destination by supporting developments such as those described below.
New in Tourism Development
Attracting 3.5 million visitors per year, Alexandria continues to evolve as it remains true to its historic roots. Alexandria’s waterfront is undergoing a major revitalization, with a new public plaza at the foot of King Street called Fitzgerald Square opening in 2018 and new water taxis to the Wharf in D.C.’s southwest waterfront launching this fall.
The city’s first riverfront hotel, Hotel Indigo, is already adding boutique chic with outdoor terrace views to the city’s nearly 5,000 hotel rooms from top brands including Kimpton, Marriott Autograph Collection, Westin and Hilton. Within Hotel Indigo, renowned chef Cathal Armstrong brings cherished seafood traditions to Hummingbird, the latest restaurant hotspot in Alexandria’s booming culinary scene, which features nearly 25 new restaurants.
A robust selection of history, ghost, and boat tours are joined by new specialty tours, such as photography walks and tours for runners, beer lovers and African American history enthusiasts.