Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum

134 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 - United States





Gadsby's Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a ca. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Tavern and Hotel. In those seven short years, the young Republic began to take shape through the conversations and choices being made in these tavern spaces. The impact of these choices and how far to extend power—political, economic, and social—is still being felt today. Named for Englishman John Gadsby who operated them from 1796 to 1808, the tavern businesses were central to Alexandria’s port-based economy, offering spaces to dine, entertain, and spend the night. A large enslaved labor force made Gadsby’s renowned hospitality possible. Notable patrons that enjoyed this hospitality included George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the marquis de Lafayette.


Guests can walk through the museum at their own pace, enjoying period games, reading newspapers from 1787, and even trying out the bed in the dormer sleeping space! As space permits, guests can also redeem their pass for a guided tour, offered at 1:15, 2:15, and 3:15 p.m.

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