Mount Vernon Must-See Self-Guided Tour: Spring

Spring is the time when the cold and frost of winter gives way to the greenery and wildflowers
that define Mount Vernon in March, April and May.

Although the Easter season offers plenty of events for children and families, spring is dominated by Mount Vernon’s signature event, Chalk the Walk (CTW), the first Saturday and Sunday in May.

A major draw for both locals and tourists alike, CTW continues to bring out large crowds of art lovers and others still suffering from Cabin Fever to celebrate with family and friends.

Join us, Mount Vernon loves spring guests!

Bringing a bus load? Contact the CDG Director for a step-on guide or personal docent.

10 a.m.
Arrive in Uptown Mount Vernon at the middle of 1st Street at Hilltop Pocket Park, 110 1st St. SW. There is ample parking off Highway1 in parking lots on both the North and South sides of 1st Street just off Highway 1. From there, access 1st street from either the North or South parking lots through alleyways in the middle of the block.

Hilltop Pocket Park, 110 1st St. SW, offers benches, picnic tables, inviting greenery and a beautiful mural overlooking the entire park.

Take a few minutes to enjoy the interactive Chalk Art display. On festival day, chalk is provided for you and your family. If there is no chalk available, hike across 1st Street to Silver Spider, 117 ½ 1st St. NW, to purchase same. While there, learn why Silver Spider is such a popular shopping stop year-round – it really is a funky hotspot that offers fun jewelry, toys and gifts. Owner Ann Silva offers affordable prices and well-stocked shelves full of interesting things to purchase and share.

Once you have your chalk in hand, pick a chalkboard in Hilltop Pocket Park and create your own masterpiece. Please know that the historic buildings are not to be used as a canvas – in Mount Vernon that is not only graffiti, it is sacrilege. However chalk itself is NOT a four-letter word and therefore any street, sidewalk, alley or parking lot can be used as your own private canvas. However, we treasure our history, and our festivals so keep the chalk drawings family friendly and on the ground and you will be AOK. We are always, art, pet and people friendly!
11 a.m.
By 11 a.m. things should be bustling on Main Street. Remember Mount Vernon is home to 14 festivals. On Chalk the Walk day, feel free to take part in the large community art piece, a 40’ x 60’ re-creation of a famous work of art. Purchase a box of chalk from the info tent on Chalk the Walk day and get on your hands and knees and get to work.

Noon Lunchtime.
Chameleon’s Pub & Grub is a great family-friendly restaurant with daily specials and a full bar. Stop in on Friday and enjoy a cheeseburger with two sides for one low price. Strike up a conversation with one of the nice regulars at the bar and watch any one of five TV screens as you dine.

1:30 p.m.
After lunch, wander festival grounds if you are visiting during the first Saturday and Sunday in May, or stop at any one of 33 retail businesses within the 12-block Main Street District. Spring shopping should include a
stop at Scarlett Boutique, 110 1st St SW.This store offers women’s clothing and REVIVED furniture using Annie Sloan chalk paint. With a little planning and scheduling, you and your family can learn how to
update furniture in the workshop in back, or purchase the Annie Sloan paints to create your own REVIVED furniture at home. Just up the street are two newer retail shops that sometimes get overlooked. Hill of a Deal, 221 1st St., Mount Vernon’s largest privately owned discount store, offers a little bit of everything; and CRC Coincraft in the same building and business offers handcrafted jewelry and accessories.

3 p.m.
This might be a great time to stop into Fuel, 103 1st St. NE, and grab a hot or iced Mocha and a peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie. Make these purchases “to go” and take the time to peruse the Chalk Art on CTW weekend or any one of five public murals in the 12-block Uptown area on any other day. A nice stop any weekend would be to Mount Vernon Creates,121 1st St. NW, an art gallery, wine shop and event center with art exhibits by local artists.

5 p.m.
Chalk the Walk ends at approximately 5 or 6 p.m. each day during the first weekend of May. However spring events on Main Street vary and can include trivia nights, bingo, writers’ nights and more. The Bijou, 123 2nd St. SW is a great movie theater featuring first-run movies, and is a great way to end your spring adventure.

8 p.m.
Depart for home.