A Day in Old Town Alexandria

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Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- INC International, Shorts- Urban Outfitters, Shoes- Sam Edelman, Bag- Unknown (was a gift)

This Labor Day, Greg and I ventured to charming Old Town Alexandria, just across the Potomac River in Virginia. We had a wonderful day: took a boat ride from the Georgetown harbor into Old Town, ate huge oysters and a deliciously prepared crab cake, and did some much needed shopping.

Let’s start from the beginning. Though Potomac Boat Tours/Ferry’s are mostly for tourists (I would say we were the only locals on board), they can be totally worth it if you want to do a short cruise along the river, the wind blowing gently in your hair, and get a pretty awesome view of some of DC’s many monuments. It was a really mellow ride, and Greg and I got some excellent pictures of the view. There was a recorded guide, which was interesting, though very generic. The entire trip lasted about 45 minutes, so I would recommend to do it once and say you’ve been. 

Once we got to shore, we were absolutely craving some seafood, since we were right by the water. After walking down the tree-lined, and vintage shop filled King Street, the main street of Old Town, we settled on a place called The Wharf. There are seafood restaurants on the water, but they are chains and we felt we wanted a more local experience (though The Wharf does have a couple locations in DC). The Wharf has a small patio out front, but since it was upwards of 85 degrees outside and quite humid, we decided to sit inside. The walls of the restaurant were lined with large stones and they had an array of tables and comfortable booths in the main room. Off to the side was the bar, and we were seated at a table by the large window overlooking the patio. Almost outside, but without the sweatiness! I loved the inside décor; the stone walls were really an interesting concept that gave the place loads of character.        

A little about the food; We had come seeking seafood, and we were definitely able to satisfy the craving here. We ordered a half dozen oysters to start, and when they came out we were surprised at how large they were. Oysters are some of my favorite delicacies, and I was very pleased at what we received for the price. They were of course amazing; I always add a lot of lemon and the horseradish and red sauce mix for spice. For the entrée, I ordered the lump crab cake, which was labeled as the specialty. I have to tell you, I was incredibly impressed. The portion wasn’t huge, but come on it’s crab, and it was definitely enough to fill me up. And it was delicious. I raved about this crab cake for several hours after. So soft and tender, and very flavorful. In the drinks department, I had two glasses of wine, one rose and one white. The rose was recommended to me by the server, and I enjoyed it. The other wine I ordered was an albarino, a dryer Spanish white. This one was more to my taste and was the perfect after lunch drink before heading out to do some shopping. Overall, I would recommend The Wharf as a cute lunch or dinner spot, with interesting décor and a great seafood selection.

Greg and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around, browsing the wide selection of vintage shops and small fashion boutiques. I think my outfit was perfect for a day outside strolling. I kept it casual, but added interest through pattern and color. I’ve been meaning to find an occasion to wear this white top with gold embellishments and what better day than a day off of work! It worked really nicely with my new pink printed shorts from Urban Outfitters. I’ve always loved a pink and gold color combination. These shorts are great for casual summer (and beginning of fall!) weekend, and incredibly comfortable to run around in. The Sam Edelman sandals with gold studs and buckle detailing, pulled the whole look together.

It was such a carefree day, in such a charming little spot. Old Town is one of my favorite places to head to when I want to get out of DC, but not too far, and still be able to get home in no time. How very convenient that it’s right outside the city! I think it’s worth spending the day in. There’s so many shops to explore and happy hours to try. My favorite happy hour that Greg and I went to was at a bar called Hen Quarter. It was a recently remodeled restaurant with white subway tiled walls and a chandelier made of empty Bullet bottles. It had a intentionally southern feel to it, featuring chicken specials on the menu and cocktails named Front Porch. I had the Front Porch cocktail, which came in a mason jar (already a fan!), and was essentially iced tea with a peach flavored vodka. Delicious!

Though I am very excited for fall weather to kick in, it was nice to soak in the last few days of summer this weekend and find time to enjoy great food, drinks, surroundings, and company in Old Town, Alexandria!

-Masha