Ah, our nation’s capital – Washington DC. In all its splendor, glory, and history.
It makes it so easy to forget the little guys. You know, the towns that surround it.
In particular, there’s one picturesque town that doesn’t always get the buzz it deserves but is charming nonetheless.
Ten minutes south of Washington, D.C., the quaint Alexandria, Virginia neighborhood of Old Town, sits in all its colorful marvel waiting to be explored by locals and tourists alike.
I can attest to its glory as many of my high performing Instagram photos have been thanks to this scenic place.
This town, founded in 1749, is full of colorful hues, historic architecture, and vibrant life. I can give you plenty of reasons why you should stop by Old Town, Alexandria during your next trip to our nation’s capital, but instead, I’ll show you.
See for yourself, below.
Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N Union Street)
The Torpedo Factory is one of the many artsy things about Old Town, Alexandria. As home to the “nation’s largest collection of working-artists’ open studios under one roof,” there’s plenty to see inside. But what lies right outside its doors is a colorful backdrop that you don’t want to miss.
Tip: Get to the factory early, so you can take this photo without distractions from people biking or jogging by.
Wales Alley (100 Lee Street)
Turn almost any corner in Old Town, and you may unintentionally run into a beautiful alley. But, one in particular sticks out. This alley not only serves as an excellent backdrop for lighting, but it is attached to a piece of history, as it has been around for centuries.
Tip: Wales Alley starts in front of the restaurant, Virtue Feed and Grain. Following the address included in this post will get you to the right place. Also, be mindful of cars that drive up the alley. People live in the buildings next to the alley.
Alexandria’s Painted Ladies (500 S. Fairfax Street)
Old Town Alexandria’s flair for color-popping architecture never ceases to amaze me. By taking a leisurely stroll, you can happen upon a plethora of beautifully colored homes. One of my favorites is the Painted Ladies. The pastel hues make it one of the most photogenic places to take photos on this list while serving you with west coast vibes carried by an Old Town, Alexandria twist.
Tip: Make sure you have a photographer on hand who doesn’t mind getting in the street to capture shots like this.
Spite House (523 Queen Street)
Ringing in at 325 square feet, this tiny home squeezed between a white and red one gives you all the American feels and makes for a great Fourth of July, Memorial Day, heck, any patriotic holiday post. Insert adorable dog, and you got yourself a winning photo.
Tip: A wide-angle lens for your camera or playing with different angles will help you capture a great shot.
Mural @ South Block (106 N Lee Street)
This burst of sunshine was painted by a local artist named Meg Biram. It hangs out in the alley of a South Block restaurant, which makes it an unexpected place to find such a pot of gold.
When I took my photo, a woman walking by asked me if I painted this mural. I chuckled and told her no because me painting anything would be tragic. She mentioned she walks by this place all the time but had never seen it.
So, here’s tip number one: This isn’t hard to miss, but if you’re not looking for it, you won’t see it. So, pay attention!
Also, have fun. This is a lively mural, and you want to represent that. Dress bright and use the benches provided or don’t. Stand or sit. It’s really up to you to insert yourself in this artistic expression full of light.
Art Installation @ Waterfront Park (1 Prince Street)
Every few months, Old Town, Alexandria updates the art installation at its waterfront park. The town does this by inviting artists from all over to install creative exhibits at the waterfront.
The installation in my photo was an interactive, colorful art exhibit featuring all the hues of the rainbow.
This lovely exhibit made for some pretty awesome shots.
Tip: The exhibits are rotated about six months at a time. Check out the Alexandria website for the latest art installation to know before you go.
Cobblestoned Captain's Row (100 Prince Street)
As one of Old Town’s oldest streets, Captain’s Row makes for an enchanting place to strike a pose – or two.
It’s the oldest cobblestone block in the city and is the perfect photographic place – whether you’re shooting for engagement photos or getting some solo shots for the ‘gram.
Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and employ ones with grips, if possible. You don’t want to slip and slide all over the street and land on your behind!
Whether you’re a local to the area or a visitor looking to check out all the picturesque spots, you can never go wrong with visiting Old Town, Alexandria, and its charm.
Have you visited any of these Old Town areas to take some pics? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!