United States


Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a (circa) 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel. The mission of the Museum is to teach the public about the history of the site, and to preserve the two historic structures. Supported by on-going research and professional standards, the Museum's programs, collections, and exhibitions create a varied and meaningful learning environment that addresses the needs and interests of the community's residents and visitors. Like the 18th Century purpose of the site, the goal is to play a dynamic role in the social, economic, and educational life of Alexandria, thus contributing to the City's identity and vitality.

Permanent Collection

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum has an extensive photographic collection that contains more than 10,000 photographic images documenting the Tavern’s history. Topics include:

The Civil War - During this period the two buildings still maintained their basic 18th-century appearance even though small changes were made to the exterior of the Tavern and City Hotel.

20th-Century Renovation - Restoration projects in the early 20th-century by local organizations to create an authentic 18th-century tavern and City Hotel.

Furnishing Re-interpretation - Photographs document the various refurnishings of the Tavern and City Hotel exhibit spaces.

Special Events - Documentation of special events that occurred at Gadsby’s Tavern during the 20th- century include: George Washington’s Birthnight Ball, 18th-century military drills, and fairs.

Objects - The largest number of photographs document the museum’s collection of objects.

Education Programs - Photographs of the elementary education program illustrate children’s activities at Gadsby’s.

Other Events - Gadsby’s Tavern was used as a meeting place in the 18th-century and is still used today for lectures, demonstrations, and receptions.


History at a price the whole family can afford!
Adults: $4.00
Children (Ages: 11-17): $2.00
Children under Age 11 are free with a paying adult.
Discounts are available to AAA Members, visitors who have dined at Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant or have coupons issued by other museums.
Admission is free for members of the Gadsby's Tavern Museum Society, AAM members and Alexandria City Employees.

Opening hours

November to March:
Wednesday to Saturday: 11 am to 4 pm
Sunday: 1 pm to 4 pm
Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Last tour: At 3:45 pm
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas

April to October:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday and Monday: 1 pm to 5 pm
Last tour: At 4:45 pm.
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas

Getting there

Gadsby's Tavern Museum is located in Old Town Alexandria, near many shops, restaurants, and other museums and historic sites. Alexandria is half-way between Washington, D.C. and Mount Vernon.

From Washington, D.C., and National Airport
Take the George Washington Parkway south, past the airport, into Alexandria . The Parkway becomes Washington Street in the City. Go about a mile, past Queen Street, and turn left on Cameron Street, opposite Christ Church. Go three blocks and turn right on North Royal Street. Gadsby's Tavern Museum is located on the right, next to Gadsby's Tavern Restaurant.

From I-95/I-495 (Capital Beltway)
Take the US Route 1 North exit (first exit on the Virginia side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge). Follow Route 1 (Patrick Street) about one mile. Turn right on King Street, go six blocks, and turn left onto North Royal Street. Gadsby's Tavern Museum is located at the end of the block, on the left, at the corner of North Royal and Cameron Streets.

By Metro
Take the yellow or blue line half block to King Street. Turn right (east) on King Street and walk down hill about 1 1/2 miles to North Royal Street. Turn left, and Gadsby's Tavern Museum will be on your left near the end of the block. Or take the Dash Bus to King and North Royal Streets. Call (703) 370-DASH for bus schedules and information, or check the schedules posted at the station.

By Train
Take Amtrak or Virginia Railway Express to Alexandria's Union Station (across the tracks from King Street Metro station). Upon exiting the train station, walk to your right to King Street and follow directions from Metro.


Metered Parking is availab...+ [ Read all ]


The museum is not accessible to the handicapped beyond the first floor. A video tour of the Tavern and City Hotel is available for viewing in the Reception Room.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


Seasonal Programs

* Candlelight Tours
* Valentine Tour
* Lantern Tours

George Washington Events

* George Washington Birthnight Banquet and Ball
* Tea with Martha Washington

Living History

* History Hunters
* Swordsmen's Rendezvous
* 18th Century Balls
* Civil War Balls
* Tavern Day Open House
* George Washington Birthnight Banquet and Ball


* 18th Century Balls
* Civil War Balls
* George Washington Birthnight Banquet and Ball
* Dance Classes

Family Programs

* History Hunters
* Swordsmen's Rendezvous
* Tea with Martha Washington
* Hunt for History
* Children's Days

Scout Programs

* Scout Programs 2006-2007
* History Hunters
* Swordsmen's Rendezvous
* Tea with Martha Washington
* Children's Days
* Tavern Overnights

Candlelight Tours

The second weekend of December each year, enjoy evening tours of local historic sites decked with natural, seasonal decorations. Visitors are treated to period music, refreshments and a holiday interpretation at participating museums, including Gadsby's. This festive event sets the tone for a holiday season of merriment and good cheer.

Children's Days

Offered select days during the summer, this program is perfect for day cares, day camps and families. Learn about 18th century life in Alexandria through a variety of hands-on activities, games, dress-up, and story telling. Reservations required.

Civil War Balls

Experience 19th century Alexandria with this Civil War Ball. Period music, re-enactors and guests clad in appropriate attire (military or civilian)...+ [ Read all ]

Venue hire

Two Hundred Years of Entertaining

Built in the 18th century, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum has been beautifully restored and furnished to look as it did when John Gadsby hosted gala balls and formal occasions for George Washington and other notable Alexandrians. These historic rooms are now available to you and your guests for your own historic event. Hand-crafted woodwork, elegant chandeliers, and the unique musicians’ gallery in the Ballroom make Gadsby’s Tavern Museum an ideal setting for your banquet, reception or ceremony.
Wedding Events
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is an ideal site for all of your wedding events from engagement parties to wedding receptions.

Celebrate your engagement with a dinner or cocktail party
Host unique showers with a luncheon
Have your rehearsal dinner in an historic setting
Celebrate your wedding ceremony in the elegance of the 18th century
Enjoy the intimate, candlelight atmosphere for your reception

The Museum’s romantic setting lends itself to one-of-a-kind photograph opportunities, dining arrangements, and floral decorations. Picture dancing your “first dance