***This Reader Reward is no longer accepting entries – See the winner below.***

We're very happy to announce the winner of the complimentary tickets to the Twig's 73rd annual Homes Tour. Congratulations to "mp," who will be traveling up from Richmond with her daughter (and hitting up IKEA too). We can't wait for a new visitor to the Old Town Homes Tour to fall in love with the area.

I want to take a moment today to share a little love story with you that relates directly to a giveaway we're kicking off with today's post.

As you know, Wendy and I are completely and absolutely head over heels in love with Old Town Alexandria. I really never knew it was possible to love a city in this way, and it may be totally cheesy, but we really, truly love our town.

However, every love story has a beginning. Whether it's a first knowing glance, an unexpected encounter, or that wonderful first date that sets you on a path for bliss, the catalyst that kicks it all off is a memory that lasts forever.

In our case, these moments of our blossoming feelings about Old Town, and more specifically with the homes of Old Town, can be traced back to the annual Twig Alexandria Homes Tour in 2002.

This year's event marks the 73rd annual tour and takes place on Saturday, September 27th, and though the list of homes isn't announced until the day of the tour, the highlights of this year's list are enough to entice anyone.

  • A home on the National Register of Historic Places, lovingly restored;
  • Homes first owned by freed slaves;
  • A home first built in the 1700s and one in which today's owners still maintain original features of the home;
  • A home that was once a grocery and another that was first a tannery;
  • A very small home, built in the 1800s that has been remodeled with impressive creative use of space;
  • Two homes whose owners are artists in their own right, displaying their artwork throughout their homes. 

In honor of the event, we're giving away two tickets to the tour courtesy of the Twig (an $80 value). To enter, simply leave a comment on this post with the phase "Touring Old Town" along with something you'd like to see on the tour. One lucky commenter will be selected at random and will be able to pick up their tickets on the day of the tour.

Wendy and I will be attending for sure this year, and it will actually be the 12th anniversary of that first fateful homes tour in 2002 when Wendy surprised me with tickets. It was my first time getting to actually go inside of some of the homes in Old Town, and I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

We had been walking the neighborhood blocks for two years, but until that day, had only been able to admire the historic residences from the outside. We were getting married in October 2002, and we'd hoped to maybe find a home in Old Town after the wedding, but we really had no idea what to expect from the homes. Rather than going into it blind, Wendy learned of the tour and got a couple of tickets. Granted, we'd be touring many grand homes well outside of our budget, but it was an experience to say the least.

As we walked from beautiful home to beautiful home we couldn't help but to be simply enamored with everything we saw. From the home where George Washington spent his final 4th of July to the stunning restoration of a Captain's Row three story brick Federal that is more than 200 years old.

Little did we know, but one of the homes we visited was in the same block where we ended up buying our Old Town home. We weren't actively looking for houses at that point, but I distinctly remember walking right past our eventual house with a For Sale sign on the front and thinking, "Wow, maybe some day we could live in Old Town too."

There's really no better way to experience the wonderful things the homes in Old Town have to offer than by taking a tour that includes a wide variety of the styles and ages of homes in our area. This is precisely what you get with the homes tour, and the event benefits an organization dedicated to providing financial aid, volunteer service, and support to Inova Alexandria Hospital. It's a win-win in our book.

We hope we'll see you on the tour!

  • PRIZE: Two tickets to the 73rd annual Twig Alexandria Homes Tour.
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Friday, September 19th at 11:59pm EST.
  • AND THE WINNER IS: One lucky winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Saturday, September 20th, so be sure to come back then to see if you're the winner.
  • PRIZE REDEEMABLE: The tickets can be used for entry to the 2014 Twig Alexandria Homes Tour in Alexandria, VA on September 27, 2014, between 10:00am and 3:00pm.
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words “TOURING OLD TOWN”, and tell us a little bit about what you'd like to see on the tour. (One comment entry per person please.) 
  • WHO'S ELIGIBLE: This Reader Reward is open to anyone who plans to be in Alexandria, VA on September 27, 2014 and can attend the tour in person.

Please see our complete terms & conditions page for more details. If you're interested in learning more about the event and purchasing tickets, you can learn more from the Twig's event website.

Comments 31


9/15/2014 at 12:17 PM

This makes me wish that I lived closer. I would love to go!

Kristin Frykman
9/15/2014 at 12:20 PM

"Touring Old Town" -- would love to see the 1700s home with original features intact! Thanks, you two, for all that you do!!

Franki Parde
9/15/2014 at 1:22 PM

COUNT ME "IN" for (2) RE: “TOURING OLD TOWN” franki [email protected]

Caitlin G
9/15/2014 at 1:41 PM

While "touring Old Town" I'd love to see some of the area's oldest homes. I went to college in Williamsburg, and have a great love for American history!

9/15/2014 at 1:47 PM

I too love living in Old Town, although I'm close to a mile from 'downtown' King Street still enjoy my walk 'downtown' to look at the gorgeous home.I even walked past your house on one of walks and thought, hmmm, that house looks familiar!

9/15/2014 at 2:32 PM

Touring Old Town - I'd love to see a restoration that combines a historic facade with modern finishes inside.

Tiffany Miller
9/15/2014 at 2:41 PM

Touring Old Town: Given the port of Old Town's dark past with bringing slaves to America, I'd love to see the home owned by the freed slaves. For 4 years now I have brought my son trick or treating in Old Town and LOVE seeing what the inside of the houses look like, every one is an exciting surprise...it would be nice to actually go inside!

9/15/2014 at 4:20 PM

TOURING OLD TOWN....I would love to see the inside of the 1700's home with original features, but mostly I would just love to go inside the homes that I have admired since I first visited old town as a young child.

9/15/2014 at 4:38 PM

Touring Old Town - I can't help but peek into windows whenever we're in Old Town, I would love to be invited inside some of those homes to take a closer look!

Bonnie Michaels
9/15/2014 at 5:17 PM

Touring Old Town...I'd love to peak inside the homes I walk the streets of...wondering what life is like behind those beautiful doors and dream!!!

9/15/2014 at 7:42 PM

Touring old town.. although our home was built in 1930 I like to collect ideas how to improve storage in our tight living space filled with 3 plus 2 70lb four paws.

9/15/2014 at 8:11 PM

Touring Old Town - my husband and I love strolling through Old Town looking at all the beautiful historic homes. It would be fun to catch a glimpse of the life inside some of these homes.

Kristin Suma
9/15/2014 at 8:23 PM

Touring Old Town is something I would love to do this Fall. I recently visited some boutiques in the area to get design inspiration. I would love to take this tour!

9/15/2014 at 8:51 PM

I love to see how people effectively use small space.

sheila jocelyn
9/15/2014 at 8:51 PM

Touring Old Town--have seen only photos of OT homes so would love to see real interiors.

9/15/2014 at 11:01 PM

Touring Old Town - haven't been in years so it would be a pleasure touring these grand, old homes.

Merilee Swain
9/15/2014 at 11:02 PM

I'd love to go but I live way out West! A request though--can you take pictures and do a couple of posts? I love your Open Housing posts (can you start those again?) and would love to see the homes on the tour.

Theresa Allen
9/16/2014 at 8:11 AM

Falling in love with Old Town. Would love to take this tour!

9/16/2014 at 10:18 AM

Touring Old Town...We are currently living just outside of Old Town and frequently enjoy dining and shopping in OT. But, mostly we love walking the neighborhoods and dreaming of one day living in one of these beauties! I am interested in seeing unique interior design and the creative use of small spaces in the historic homes on the tour. Thanks for sharing this opportunity!

9/16/2014 at 12:10 PM


I'd like a chance to see inside some of the old, beautiful homes in a neighborhood I live close enough for a day trip but have yet to actually visit.

9/16/2014 at 3:13 PM

"Touring Old Town" I'd love to see the unique old homes! I was married in old town and love its history.

9/16/2014 at 3:20 PM

Touring Old Town- I'd love to see behind their great front doors!

9/16/2014 at 7:09 PM

TOURING OLD TOWN ... my daughter and I have already planned to come up from Richmond for the day to hit IKEA -- she just bought her first home and we're filling in the kitchen gaps -- and both of us would LOVE to see any of these homes. Although I've lived in the Commonwealth all my life, I've never visited Old Town Alexandria (despite the fact that my aunt and uncle used to live in a newer section of Alexandria, off Duke Street).

9/17/2014 at 3:39 AM

Some beautiful old homes, might need to make the trip over for the tour. Great article!

Liz Stockdale
9/17/2014 at 2:10 PM

Touring old town: I'd love to see the architecture of the old homes and how they're decorated

9/17/2014 at 2:53 PM

TOURING OLD TOWN...I've worked on King for 7 years and never been inside a home. This would be amazing!

9/17/2014 at 2:54 PM

Touring Old Town - I love Old Town and would love to move there!

amy gavin
9/17/2014 at 3:11 PM

Touring Old Town

I love seeing all the different styles in the old houses.

9/18/2014 at 9:18 PM

Touring old town is my favorite hobby! I do it every weekend but I never get to see the inside of these fabulous homes. Would love to go on the tour!


9/19/2014 at 11:36 PM

When I think of "TOURING OLD TOWN"...I don't think there is a home in Old Town I WOULDN'T love to see, but the ones listed in the highlights section sound especially exciting. I love the story of the beginnings of your love affair with Old Town. I feel the same way and hope to own a home there someday too. Thanks for sharing!!

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