What makes this tour special
Let us bring to life the unique literary history of Alexandria through this crafted walking tour experience for the Morrison House, including a free signature Morrison House rye whiskey cocktail at The Study and an ice cream sundae for kids.
Out of Alexandria came Washington DC. Uncover the city through the letters of notable American figures.
- Begin your tour at Morrison House where your guide will set the scene for the way words shaped the founding of the nation and its ties to Alexandria.
- Walk through Christ Church and its graveyard where notable literary figures attended church and were consequently buried.
- Learn the stories of George Washington's early life - from the place where his first townhouse was to the home of his first love, Sally Fairfax, to whom he penned evocative letters.
- Hear how Gadsby Tavern was at the center of several revolutionaries and founding fathers who went on to be American presidents.
- Finish your tour with a rye whiskey at The Study in Morrison House and with your guide, unpack any of the questions still lingering in your mind.
Hemingway famously said of his craft, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” If he was right, then writers of the world’s most famous words left much of themselves in Alexandria. As your tour begins in The Study, notice other allusions to Hemingway, which will segway perfectly into your historical tour of Alexandria, as told through its literary past. Your historian-guide will join you to begin uncovering the notable figures who called Alexandria home at the forming of the nation and who penned language which endures and governs the world’s largest democracy today.
At the bottom of your glass, step out into Alexandria for a walking tour, which begins with tales of America’s famous founding fathers, and their ties to the town—from Washington and Jefferson to Frenchman Lafayette and founding trustee John Carlyle. Uncover the larger-than-life Washington by traversing the places which made Alexandria his home: visit the church where Washington was a member, walk by the home of his first love and the home of his physician.
On your walking tour, visit Gadsby’s Tavern, where you will hear of the letters written between other notable past presidents — Thomas Jefferson and John Adams — political opponents who went on to have an epic friendship, carried out largely through letters, and hear the providential tale of how both died on the same day: July 4th. Along your walk, learn how the city of Alexandria arose — from its landed gentry to its slave heritage who built much of the infrastructure that remains today.
As your tour winds down at The Morrison House, grab a warming whiskey, a few sheets of paper, tuck into your writing desk and let your thoughts from your tour unravel on a pen and paper, like those in centuries past. Whatever emotion your time in the city has stirred up in you, try your hand at penning an open letter to the nation, or at least a love letter to your loved ones.