Sponsored Advertising Content: Southern Living has partnered with to form a guest blogger network. Today’s post is provided by guest blogger Kelly Millspaugh Thompson of Stylish Patina. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new ways to explore the state of Virginia.


One of my favorite places to explore in Virginia is Old Town Alexandria.  This great city sits just moments away from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. and has so much to offer from history and boutique shopping to art and award winning restaurants.


On a recent trip to Alexandria, I enjoyed lunch at Blackwall Hitch Restaurant which is located right on the water.  The interior design of the restaurant was amazing! Filled with a rustic chic vibe, I was in love the second I walked in the door. The food was to die for and I can’t wait to go back again or add to my list of the many other restaurants to choose from in Old Town.


After lunch I visited the Torpedo Factory which houses the largest number of art studios in the area.  It is truly an inspiration to explore the halls of the old munitions plant and take in all of the art around you.  While strolling the cobblestone streets of Old Town you will likely encounter several art galleries along your way. Be sure to poke your head in and soak up the local art.


Alexandria is a very historical city, best known for its colonial roots as George Washington’s hometown.  The Mount Vernon Estate & Garden is just a waterfront bike ride away from Old Town and is a perfect location to visit with your family.


The boutique shopping in Old Town is fantastic.  I could spend days just walking along King Street with a cup of coffee visiting all of the local shop owners.  The quaint and beautiful streets of this lovely city are filled with charm and history.  A few of my favorite boutiques that you must check out are The Shoe Hive, Red Barn Mercantile, and The Urban Attic.


If you are looking for more ideas on what to see and do during a day trip to Old Town Alexandria, visit