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Business on Benches: The Next Norm?

Tired of ZOOM and SKYPE? Want to meet with someone face to face? All around you there are parks and benches and places to sit if you need a quick chat.


Waterfront-side of Torpedo Factory inviting visitors and
locals to relax and enjoy the harbor view
(Photo by Kevin Peck)

Alexandria, VA – Tired of ZOOM and SKYPE? Want to meet with someone face to face? All around you there are parks and benches and places to sit if you need a quick chat with a client, a babysitter, your volunteer committee or your even your best friend you have not seen in ages.

Maybe you don’t want to chance a coffee shop or restaurant and outside seating is at a premium right now, but you still want that face to face get together, so where to go? You will be happily surprised by your options. There are dozens of large green venues and pocket parks (those less than half an acre) all around you loaded with picnic tables and long benches to satisfy social-distancing needs.

For example, you may have walked by a local city park every day like King Street Gardens, as you jumped on the King St. Metro in Old Town to commute to DC. How much do you know about those beautiful ornamental gardens located at the foot of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial? The small green triangular park is designed around a large metal sculpture with hanging plants. The design is intended to evoke a ship’s prow, a plow, and a tri-cornered hat. The hanging garden suggests the Victorian-era trellised gardens that once existed in Old Town and represents the street grid originally laid out by George Washington. As you look further you see the patch of green and the unpaved surface featuring drinking fountains, seating, picnic tables and a sign that says “Pets Allowed On-Leash”

15 minute drive from Old Town, well worth the -Hidden gem, 10
short distance, with meadows and protected wetlands
Favorite Bench just outside of Old Town at Huntley Meadows
Park (Photos by Jolene D Sugarbaker)
Fibre Space Pocket Park out front of community yarn store with grazing sheep sculptures may cause you to do a double-take. Table and chairs welcome guests and locals. (Photo by Jenny Markley)
Pat Miller Neighborhood Square, 2311 Mount Vernon Ave. (Photo by Renee Hartley)
Cameron Run Regional Park/Lake Cook, next to and behind Great Waves Waterpark, four-acre lake stocked with trout in the winter months, offers a perfect fishing spot for young anglers. (Photos by Melinda Sigal)

Alexandria Treasures

There are a significant number of parks loaded with benches and picnic tables that are conveniently scattered throughout the City of Alexandria and neighboring communities. There are SO MANY in fact, that we can only show you a partial list here in print (check online for more comprehensive list).

This is an evolving project as readers send us additional locations, but we will continue to populate this information and database real time, and then share it with you online, in print and permanently house it on our Zebra website ( under the GREEN ZEBRA heading) with photos, updated venue information and facilities, closures & re-openings, hours open, along with your testimonials about your experience/s.

If you have a great spot not found on our online database, please send us a note with more information to [email protected] along with a photo if possible.

Two mothers social distancing with their young children (Tarleton Park/Holmes Run Trail)
Playground with park bench seating for Mom or Dad (Holmes Run) (Photos by Melinda Sigal)
Waterfront Park (Photos by Renee Hartley)

Oronoco Bay Park (photo by Lucelle O’Flaherty)
Eisenhower at Townes at Cameron Parke Townhomes two park benches under the Red Bud Tree (Photo by Melinda Sigal)
Cameron Run Office Park, 3601 Eisenhower Ave. Pocket Park with three moody figures sculptural public art installation known as “Angels of the Americas” Front Entrance by artist Be Gardiner and two benches for workers who want to take a break in the sun.(Photo by Melinda Sigal)

Alexandria Park Facts* Did you know the City of Alexandria has…

· More than 900 acres of protected open space, including public right of ways, privately owned public space and conservation easements, institutionally owned open space, and 566 acres of City owned park land

· 20,000 Street Trees

· 2 Community Garden Sites totaling 200 individual plots

· 62 Boat Slips at the City Marina

· 49 Multi-use Athletic Fields (5 – synthetic)

· 41 Playground Areas

· 45 hard surface courts including basketball, futsal and tennis

· 20 Miles of Trails

· 18 Dog Parks (6 fenced and 12 unfenced)

· 5 Picnic Shelters

· 1 Indoor Pool

· 3 Outdoor Pools

· 7 Community Recreation Centers

· 1 Nature Center

· 1 Arts Center

*Information from City’s Recreation, Parks Website

ICYMI: Warner Speaks in Belle Haven to Mark Senate Passage of VA Parks Bill

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