Northern Virginia IS American history. Rich in colonial culture and natural beauty, NoVA is truly for Lovers. From its origins as one of the first-place pilgrims settled to the pre-Revolutionary war life, to its not so glamorous civil war participation, there’s a great deal of interesting places here in NoVA. Get out your #2 pencils and pads and prepare to take notes as The Nellis Group highlights the region’s most historic locations.
African American Heritage Park
309 Holland Ln
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
African American Heritage Park includes a one-acre 19th century African American cemetery, the park was designed to co-exist with the original landscape of the cemetery. Meanwhile, the focal point of the park is a sculpture group of bronze trees called "Truths That Rise From the Roots Remembered." This formation acknowledges the contributions of African Americans to the growth of Alexandria.
Alfred Street Baptist Church
301 South Alfred Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Alfred Street Baptist Church’s beginnings date back to 1803 in Alexandria, Virginia, United States and located in the city's oldest African-American neighborhood, the Bottoms Alexandria, Virginia. In 1806, the colored members of the church Alexandria Baptist Society established the Colored Baptist Society which would eventually become First African Baptist Church of Alexandria, Virginia. The church welcomed its first black pastor when Reverend Sampson White was called to lead the recently independent congregation.
Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site
4301 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22304
The Fort Ward Museum interprets the site's history and offers exhibits on Civil War topics, education and interpretive programs, tours, lecture and video series, bus tours, and living history activities throughout the year. The Museum and Historic Site also interpret Alexandria, Virginia as an occupied city, the city's role as a vital Union Army crossroads, life within the Defenses of Washington, and the everyday life of Civil War soldiers and civilians.
The historic fort provides visitors with an excellent understanding of Civil War-era military engineering. About 90% of the fort's earthwork walls are preserved and the Northwest Bastion has been restored and reconstructed to its original condition.
George Washington’s Grist Mill at Mount Vernon
5514 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Alexandria, VA 22309
Visit fully functioning reconstructions of George Washington's Distillery® and grist mill is located 2.7 miles from the estate’s main entrance. Watch the mighty gears turning and the stones grinding at our Gristmill, where Washington produced flour and cornmeal. Within our functioning distillery, you can see where they make George Washington's whiskey. In 1799, it was one of the largest whiskey distilleries in America.
Historic Huntley Plantation
6918 Harrison Lane
Alexandria, VA 22306
Historic Huntley was the country home of Thomson Francis Mason, a grandson of George Mason. It is now a property of the Fairfax County Park Authority and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Huntley property contains a remarkable collection of buildings that are valuable both architecturally and as a relatively intact picture of local 19th-century plantation life. Construction on Huntley was begun in 1825. Although not built as Mason's primary residence, Huntley boasts rare historic and architectural significance.
The house and its outbuildings (a domed icehouse, large necessary, and tenant house) are situated on 2.75 acres adjacent to a 2000-acre plantation which belonged to George Mason. The site, which was once the center of a country estate with terraced gardens sloping down to farm fields and pastures, has been called "one of Virginia’s undiscovered architectural treasures."
121 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
A Georgian manor house built in 1753 by merchant and city founder John Carlyle. Here, five royal governors and General Braddock met to discuss funding of the French and Indian War. Daily tours, youth programs, special events, exhibits and lectures offer visitors a chance to experience eighteenth century life through the eyes of one man and his family as he made the journey from English citizen to American patriot.
The story of Carlyle House parallels the early history of Alexandria, colonial Virginia, and America and is brought to life through costumed interpreters, guides and fun family programs.
Christ Church Alexandria
118 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Christ Church is an Episcopal church located at 118 North Washington Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Constructed as the main church in the Church of England's Fairfax Parish, the building was designed by Col. James Wren, a descendant of Sir Christopher Wren. To finance construction of the church, the Fairfax Vestry raised 31,186 pounds of Oronoco tobacco from parishioners. Construction began in 1765, under the direction of James Parsons. After four years, the church was still unfinished. The vestry relieved Mr. Parsons of his duties as overseer of the construction. John Carlyle accepted the position and handed the keys of the completed building over to the vestry in February 1773.
George Washington, Henry Lee, Robert E. Lee, Charles Simms, Philip Marsteller, and Henry Fowler are a few of the church's notable parishioners (members). Until the twenty-first century, it was tradition for sitting presidents to attend a service. Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Eleanor Roosevelt visited the church on January 1, 1942 to commemorate World Day of Prayer for Peace. The church was known as Fairfax Church until given the name Christ Church in 1816. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
138 N. Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Gadsby’s Tavern Gadsby's Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a ca. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel. The buildings are named for Englishman John Gadsby who operated them from 1796 to 1808. Mr. Gadsby's establishment was a center of political, business, and social life in early Alexandria. The tavern was the setting for dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances, and meetings of local organizations. George Washington enjoyed the hospitality provided by tavernkeepers and twice attended the annual Birthnight Ball held in his honor. Other prominent patrons included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and the Marquis de Lafayette.
George Washington Masonic Memorial
101 Callahan Drive
Alexandria, VA 22301
George Washington served as the Charter Master under the Grand Lodge of Virginia at this Alexandria landmark. It is now a repository of many his artifacts and that of his family. The George Washington Masonic Memorial was recently named to the National Historic Landmarks and National Register of Historic Places.
Jones Point Park Original DC Boundary Marker
End of South Royal Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Jones Point Park is located on the Potomac River, just south of Old Town Alexandria. It was a critical piece of the city of Alexandria's history as one of the largest centers for shipping, manufacturing, and transportation in the nation. Its lighthouse, built in 1855, is the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia.
Old Presbyterian Meeting House
323 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
The Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, Virginia, dates from the early eighteenth century. Scottish Presbyterians were among the early European settlers of Northern Virginia and were involved in establishing Alexandria as a port in 1749. The Society of Presbyterians worshiped publicly in the city from the 1760s, and the congregation’s first installed minister arrived in 1772. The history of the congregation is summarized in the Chronology and History sections of this Web site, and the Meeting House itself and other facilities belonging to the congregation are discussed in the Facilities section. Among other services that George Washington attended here was one conducted by the Rev. Dr. James Muir for the National Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer in 1798. Alexandria’s memorial services for George Washington in 1799 were held in this sanctuary, and the church bell tolled in mourning during the four days between his death and burial. The Tomb of an Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution is located in the burying ground adjoining the Meeting House.
Stabler-Leadbetter Apothecary Museum
105-107 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
This Apothecary museum boasts a vast collection of herbal botanicals, hand-blown glass, and medical equipment. It also has a spectacular collection of archival materials, including journals, letters and diaries, prescription and formula books, ledgers, orders and invoices. The names of famous customers appear in these documents, including Martha Washington, Nelly Custis and Robert E. Lee.
Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey-House
9000 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA, 22309
The Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope Leighey-House, is comprised of two remarkable, distinctively unique, iconic masterpiece houses set in acres of historic agrarian landscape in Alexandria, Virginia. One, the gift from George Washington to his nephew and step-granddaughter, designed by first Architect of the Capitol, William Thornton and completed in 1805. The other an example of a Usonian-style, stunning, yet modest, home designed by the extraordinary architect, Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1940.
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
111 National Park Dr, Appomattox, VA 24522
On April 9, 1865, the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia in the McLean House in the village of village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the nation's largest war. Two important questions about its future were answered. Could the nation survive a civil war intact, and would that nation exist without slavery? The answer to both was yes and a new nation was born.
1 Memorial Avenue
Arlington, VA 22211
Located inside Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House was the residence of Robert E. Lee and his family before the Civil War. It is now a memorial honoring the Civil War general.
Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Avenue
Arlington, VA 22211
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army. The secretary of the Army consolidated authorities and created the executive director position to effectively and efficiently develop, operate, manage and administer the program.
Arlington National Cemetery conducts between 27 and 30 funeral services each weekday and between six and eight services on Saturday. The grounds honor those who have served our nation and provide a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. Rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age, complementing the gardens found throughout the cemetery's 639 acres. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within these hallowed grounds.
Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery is one of the country’s oldest national cemeteries. The cemetery’s rolling hills mark the final resting place for more than 14,000 veterans, including those who fought in the Civil War. The cemetery also offers a final resting place for residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C.
Iwo Jima Memorial
Arlington, VA 22209
The Iwo Jima Memorial is "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775."
The United States Marine Corps War Memorial represents this nation's gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in defense of the United States since 1775.
Sully Historic Site
3650 Historic Sully Way
Chantilly, VA 20151
Sully was completed in 1799 by Richard Bland Lee, Northern Virginia's first Representative to Congress. It is on the National Register for Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
George Washington’s Ferry Farm
268 Kings HIghway
Fredericksburg, VA 22405
George Washington’s Ferry Farm is where young Washington spent his formative years and became an extraordinary man. The future general and first president was 6 years old when his family moved to King George County (now Stafford County), Virginia, in 1738.
Ferry Farm, its Visitor Center, and grounds are open to the public for guided and group tours, as well as educational programs. Depending on the season, visitors will encounter a bountiful vegetable garden, excited school groups, hands-on history camps, and living history reenactors.
BALL'S BLUFF BATTLEFIELD REGIONAL PARK
Balls Bluff Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park is the site of Loudoun County's largest Civil War battle and one of the Nation's smallest national cemeteries. Hiking trails and interpretive displays aid in the understanding of this important and tragic part of American history. Park is open 365 days a year and tours are available.
Manassas Battlefield Park
12521 Lee Highway
Manassas, VA 20109
Much of the landscape within Manassas National Battlefield Park still retains its wartime character. Henry Hill, focus of heavy fighting at First Manassas in July 1861, is still cleared, though now neat and lush after decades of farming. A new farmhouse marks the site of the old. The unfinished railroad, scene of much of the fighting at Second Manassas, still runs through the woods north of the Warrenton Turnpike. The peacefulness of the Chinn Farm, its house and outbuildings now gone, belies the violence that took place there.
Claude Moore Colonial Farm
6310 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm The Claude Moore farm area at Turkey Run Park is located in the historically rich area of Fairfax County. American Indians had inhabited the area for thousands of years before English settlers appeared in the early 17th century. Captain John Smith explored and mapped the area in 1608. By 1742, with hundreds of Anglo and African American people living in the area, Fairfax County was officially established by the colony of Virginia. The county played a significant role in the founding of the United States of America and was the home of important figures including George Washington and George Mason. During the American Civil War, Fairfax County was situated between the Union defenses of Washington, DC, and Confederate territory.
Fairfax County remained a mostly rural area outside of the nation’s capital until after World War II, when growth of the federal government made the county increasingly suburban. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chose an area near Turkey Run Park for their headquarters in the 1950s, which spurred an extension of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Spout Run to Turkey Run Park in the 1960s.
James Madison’s Montpelier
13384 Laundry Road
Montpelier Station, VA 22957
With 2,650 acres to explore, complete with tours, exhibitions, and 8+ miles of walking trails, Montpelier has something for everyone. From the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution, to their newest permanent exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, Montpelier connects the past to the present through the lens of the Constitution and engages the public in elevated conversations about rights, and the struggle for freedom.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA 22121
Mount Vernon was the plantation of George Washington, the first President of the United States, and his wife, Martha Washington. The estate is on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, near Alexandria, across from Prince George's County, Maryland. The Washington family owned land in the area since the time of Washington's great-grandfather in 1674. Around 1734 they embarked on an expansion of the estate that continued under George Washington, who began leasing the estate in 1754, but did not become its sole owner until 1761.
The mansion was built of wood in a loose Palladian style; the original house was built by George Washington's father Augustine, around 1734.
483 Great House Road
Stratford, VA 22558
A National Historic Landmark, Stratford Hall, preserves the legacy of the Lee family and its surrounding community, inspires an appreciation of America’s past, and encourages commitment to the ideals of leadership, honor, independent thought, and civic responsibility. Established by Thomas Lee in the 1730s, Stratford Hall is one of the great houses of American history. Four generations of the Lee family passed through its stately doors including Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War hero “Light Horse Harry” Lee, and his son, Civil War General Robert E. Lee, who was born at Stratford Hall in 1807.
National Marine Corps Museum
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway
Triangle, VA 22172
The National Marine Corps Museum is a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines--past, present, and future. Situated on a 135-acre site adjacent to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, and under the command of Marine Corps University, the Museum's soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima and beckons visitors to this 120,000-square-foot structure. World-class interactive exhibits using the most innovative technology surround visitors with irreplaceable artifacts and immerse them in the sights and sounds of Marines in action.