Old Town has an array of waterfront parks that vary in proximity to amenities. What they all have in common is they are all along the Mount Vernon bike trail (great if you’re out for a bike ride or stroller stroll) and they are great for picnics, watching boats, kicking a ball around, or taking a snooze (in our dreams!). Some are more car park friendly than others.
From north to south:
Oronoco Bay Park
This is one of my favorite for quiet time or a little picnic as it’s on the waterfront like the others but it’s far enough away from King Street that it’s much quieter. But you need to bring everything you need with you, there are a few cafes up on Fairfax Street, but nothing close enough to really leave all your things and ‘pop away’. Parking 4/5. it is a residential neighbourhood but you can usually find parking within a few blocks.
This is the one closest to King Street, which has it’s pros and cons. It’s close to King street, so good for access to toilets, food, shops, (not necessarily in that order!). It also means that depending on when you go, it can be hard to park and very busy (I mean VERY busy). There is also a dog run there which is not enclosed, so a nice place to run a dog. You also have a nice view of the boats that are docked there. Car friendly 1/5 – but there are paid parking lots around King street. I’ll give it a 3/5 if you’re up for that.
Windmill Hill Park
This is my all time favorite if you have young kids that need to let off some steam. There is a nice open park area overlooking the water. Some picnic benches if you want to eat and are lucky enough to grab one (otherwise bring a blanket!) and there is a basketball court and a super playground with stuff for energetic kids of most ages. It’s also mostly in the shade, which is a huge bonus in the summer! The playground does have the wood chips on the ground, which I personally had to stay away from when my little one was crawling and eating everything, but once we were past that, this has been our go-to. In the winter the little hill at the top of the park turns into the best sledge run in Old Town. There is also a dog run area across the street. So win/win/win/win!
Jones Point Park
This park was renovated when they rebuilt the Wilson Bridge. It’s a more secluded park than the others as far as amenities (none), but then it’s also right next to the Wilson Bridge. That of course is good or bad based on your love of bridges and cars. Parking 5/5
Hours for parks are usually dawn till dusk, check Alexandria Park website for more details.