Gadsby’s Tavern Museum once served as a popular gathering place for some of the most famous (and first) United States political figures—including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Originally a tavern and a hotel, the pair of buildings that comprise the museum date back to 1785 and 1792, respectively. They still pay homage to their famous patrons and the birth of the nation (and Alexandria) in their exhibits, available to explore in person and virtually.
The permanent collection includes artifacts from the earliest days of the country and the city, including namesake John Gadsby’s own assortment of fine silver pieces. You can also view photos depicting the nation over the years, starting with the Civil War. They showcase renovations that took place at the hotel and tavern over the years, as well as historic objects. If you’re looking for an interactive experience, don’t miss the annual Birthnight Ball. It commemorates the birthday of George Washington and his lengthy list of contributions to the nation. The tradition is centuries old—Washington himself used to attend the festivities!