With its charming old streets, river views, and meals fit for presidents, it’s no wonder Alexandria, Virginia, has been listed as one of the most romantic cities in the United States. From Prince Street, where sea captains docked in the 1700s; to King Street, lined with red brick boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and one-of-a-kind art galleries; to a dinner cruise on the Potomac River, there’s romance at every turn.
Old Town Stroll
Cobblestone streets and historic Federal-style row houses are the perfect backdrops for a quiet stroll. Begin your afternoon with a stop at the Athenaeum Museum, found in the historic Old Town section of Alexandria. The building, originally surveyed by George Washington, was once a bank where Robert E. Lee held an account. Later the building became a church and, finally, a museum. The building is also currently home to the Washington School of Ballet.
Next, stop for a drink at the Grape and Bean, a boutique wine and gourmet shop. Finish your day with dinner at Restaurant Eve, run by Chef Cathal Armstrong, who cooked an anniversary dinner for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The Romantic Potomac
Walk the waterfront along the Potomac River, where street performers entertain as you stroll through one of Alexandria’s many waterside parks. Afterward, take a tour of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, where over 80 artists gather to work and show their art. Stop by Blackwall Hitch for a cocktail and see beautiful river views in this delightful tavern. Top off the evening dining at La Bergerie, which has been named one of the top romantic restaurants in the U.S. by Open Table.
George Washington Memorial
If a bird’s-eye view of Alexandria’s historic Old Town sounds fun, then visit the observation deck at the top of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Enjoy watching the sunset in the birthplace of the nation’s first president. Dine on Belgian cuisine at BRABO, and afterward take in some jazz at the popular Art Deco style Carlyle Club. After your day’s journeys, check in at one of the many charming hotels in Old Town.
Light Your Path
A relaxing bike ride along the Potomac leads to Jones Point Park and a historic lighthouse built in 1855. The last of the remaining river lighthouses in Virginia, the charming beacon includes a porch, picket fence, and wooden pier. Plus, view the original boundary stone for Washington, D.C., on site. Try Faccia Luna for great wood-oven pizza or pasta. Then check out the Southside 815 bar that locals call their little Cheers.
Cruise the River
Try a romantic evening river cruise along the Potomac. The ship boards at sunset, and guests dine and dance the night away as the boat glides past the D.C. monuments. Before your cruise, go to Carluccio’s Italian market for lunch and then browse the designer fare at The Luck Knot women’s boutique. Maybe you’ll find something special to wear for the dinner cruise.
No matter where you venture in Alexandria, romance is just around the corner. So, grab your sweetheart and find out why people claim Virginia is for lovers.