Winter Wonderland

Enjoy a festive winter getaway in Old Town Alexandria

Article by The Team at Visit Alexandria

Photography by Sam Kittner & Misha Enriquez

Originally published in Williamsburg Lifestyle

European Christmas markets may not be on your bucket list this year.  Fortunately, Virginia is full of beautiful, local markets with European roots and colonial significance. Our December travel destination, Old Town Alexandria, is steeped in history, splendor, and enough cobblestone avenues to make a local from Williamsburg feel at home.

 Holidays in Alexandria

Experience holiday magic on historic streets in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, located just minutes from Washington, D.C. Recognized by Oprah Magazine as one of the Most Magical Christmas Towns Across the World in 2019 and by Southern Living as the Perfect Southern Town for a Hallmark Christmas Movie in 2019, visitors feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder on Old Town Alexandria's centuries-old brick-lined streets, twinkling with holiday traditions. Step back in time and enjoy colonial Christmas programming at George Washington’s Mount Vernon or holiday candlelight tours of the Lee-Fendall House decked out in Victorian splendor. Dozens of independent boutiques are going above and beyond to keep visitors safe with the ALX Promise shield and are ready to welcome masked customers with greenery at their doorsteps, offering everything from chic fashions and home décor to classic toys and gifts for dogs. Stroll among al fresco dining spots along 18th and 19th-century streetscapes or pick up gourmet goodies to go. Under a canopy of sparkling lights, a stroll on historic King Street is like being in a real-life Dickens Village, complete with a European flair. Recognized as a Top 5 Best Small City in the U.S. 2020 for the third consecutive year by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience—the way it was meant to be. To learn more, visit

Sites to See

If you and your significant other are taking a stroll on King Street in the heart of Old Town, the City of Alexandria’s 40-foot tree rises tall on Market Square in front of City Hall.  This magnificent Tanenbaum features nearly 40,000 twinkling white lights. While shopping about you will find charming holiday décor and decorative wreaths on historic rowhomes in Old Town. Start on iconic cobblestoned Captain’s Row in the 200 block of Prince Street. Two blocks north, don’t miss the décor on Queen Street homes and make a stop to see Queen Street’s most famous home: the tiny blue Spite House which is the skinniest historic home in America, located at 523 Queen Street.  Also, make sure to have a hot chocolate in hand to stroll along the waterfront to see street performers and lights twinkling on waterfront businesses and boats docked at the marina.

Winter Village

Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run will return this year, featuring an ice rink, more than a dozen holiday light displays perfect for Instagramming, a retail area, food, music, and more. The Ice and Lights village is a short drive from Old Town. Dates: Nov 20-Jan 3, ice rink only continues through Feb. 28.

Holiday Instagram Guide and Holiday-edition “Great Walk”

Visit Alexandria will be producing a 2020 Holiday Instagram Guide so you can snap all the iconic sights, lights, and decorations. Visit Alexandria will also be producing a 2020 Holiday-themed self-guided walk to join the Great Walks series.

Flex Getaway Hotel Package

More than a dozen Alexandria hotels are offering the Flex Getaway Hotel Package through the end of the year, offering great rates starting at $69 and maximum flexibility with just 24-hours cancellation notice.

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