Get away from Washington, DC for a weekend filled with romantic views, relaxing spa treatments and outdoor activities. Unwind surrounded by nature in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, explore the sandy beaches of Virginia Beach, relax in a room overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, visit historic attractions in Arlington, or check into a stylish inn in Annapolis. Photo: steheap/Fotolia
» Salamander Resort & Spa - 1 hour
Salamander Resort & Spa, an hour from the city, features fabulous decor, a relaxing spa and many great activities. One of the top spa weekend getaways from DC, the 23,000-square-foot Salamander Spa provides a luxurious space where guests can unwind and rejuvenate. The spa has a dedicated infinity edge pool with poolside cabanas which is only open to spa guests, perfect for outdoor relaxation in the summer.
If you are planning a romantic weekend getaway from Washington D.C., call ahead and book the stunning couples spa suite. Guests are accommodated in classically inspired guest rooms and suites with scenic views of the Virginia countryside.
Address: 500 North Pendleton Street, Middleburg, VA 20117, Phone: 844-303-2723
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»Goodstone Inn & Restaurant - 1 hour from DC
Goodstone Inn & Restaurant is a charming, romantic Virginia country inn only about an hour from Washington, DC. Located at the foot of the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains on a 265-acre estate in Middleburg, Virginia, the inn has six historic guest houses with 18 luxurious rooms and suites, all beautifully decorated in French and English Country style.
The inn’s celebrated restaurant offers superb farm-to-table gourmet meals prepared with greatest care with fresh, seasonal ingredients grown on the Goodstone’s own farm and gardens. Wine aficionados would not be disappointed with the inn’s selection of 1,500 bottles from all over the world. The inn’s expansive gardens and surrounding estate offer numerous trails for a pleasant stroll or invigorating hike. A Goose Creek is a perfect spot for a fun canoe trip, followed by a nice picnic packed by the inn’s attentive staff. Room rates start at $295 per night.
Address: 36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg, VA 20117, Phone: 877-219-4663
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» Foster Harris House - 1 hour 20 minutes
Foster Harris House in Washington, Virginia, combines a passion for good food and a love of cycling to offer a unique retreat surrounded by some of Virginia's best vineyards. Explore this beautiful area on one of the fantastic Tour d’Epicure cycling tours led by Foster Harris House owners John and Diane MacPherson. Five guestrooms are elegantly furnished in a French Provençal-style with gleaming wooden floors, ornate beds dressed in fine linens, open fireplaces and spacious en-suite bathrooms with spa showers.
Rooms offer lovely views of the gardens, meadows and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. A lavish four-course breakfast is served in the morning, and dinner is a sublime affair where Chef John fuses fresh local organic ingredients with inspired flavors and colors from around the world to produce world-class cuisine. Virginia’s finest vintages accompany you on this culinary journey. Explore the countryside, relax in the tranquil gardens, and visit the surrounding wine estates. Rooms start at $239 per night.
Address: 189 Main Street, Washington, VA 22747, Phone: 540-675-3757
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» The Craddock Terry Hotel - 3 hours 20 minutes
A stylish, contemporary hotel in the heart of Lynchburg, Virginia, the Craddock Terry Hotel is steeped in history and charm. Once a well-known show company and factory, today the hotel pays homage to its origins with special touches like the quirky shoe-shaped signs to label each guestroom and a delicious continental breakfast tucked into an old-fashioned wooden shoeshine box and served in your room. A unique collection of shoe memorabilia further echoes the building’s unique heritage, as well as modern artwork and historical accents.
High ceilings and unique architectural elements in each of the 44 guestrooms merge with plush décor, spacious sitting rooms, en-suite bathrooms, and breathtaking views to create tranquil and cozy abodes. Modern amenities add creature comforts, such as Keurig coffee makers, cable television, wireless Internet and deluxe bathrobes. Head to the Bluffwalk Center to relax and enjoy superb dining and drinks the city’s only microbrewery and two award-winning restaurants. The Shoemakers American Grille serves excellent steak, seafood and ribs in a chic, uptown ambiance, while the Waterstone takes Italian cuisine to new heights with delicious wood-fired pizza and grilled Panini in a unique setting.
Address: 1312 Commerce Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504, Phone: 434-455-1500
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» Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria - 20 minutes
Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, is a Kimpton hotel offering guests luxury amenities, stylish guest rooms and old-world-style design. The property is close to the attractions of Washington DC and offers a free shuttle to and from Ronald Reagan National Airport. Guests receive complimentary morning coffee, tea and a hosted evening wine hour, giving them a chance to relax and meet other travelers. The Grille Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in town, serving an innovative menu which changes with the seasons. Head to the Piano Bar for cocktails, wine and traditional afternoon tea.
After a day of sightseeing and business meetings, enjoy in-room spa services featuring Kerstin Florian organic and eco-friendly products. Treatments include massages, facials or body therapies. In your room, you will find a yoga mat, giving you a chance to relax before and after the treatment. Explore the area by bike using one of the bikes provided by the hotel. The property can host wedding receptions of up to 125 guests in an elegant old-world-style setting. Rooms start at USD $159 per night.
Address: 116 South Alfred Stree, Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: 866-834-6628
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»Turf Valley - 50 minutes
Turf Valley in Ellicott City is a getaway for couples and families, set amongst Maryland’s picturesque rolling hills. Two 18-hole golf courses and an onsite pro shop make Turf Valley a golfer’s dream. The resort has three tennis courts, a fitness center, basketball and volleyball courts, nature trails and swimming pools. The Spa at Turf Valley offers a diverse choice of treatments, an indoor pool, saunas and a romantic spa suite for couples.
The 172 guest rooms and suites are luxuriously appointed, complete with scenic balconies, free Wi-Fi and Keurig coffee makers. Family-friendly guest villas have two or three bedrooms and full kitchens. Alexandra’s American Fusion restaurant serves gourmet seafood dishes, an incredible Sunday Brunch buffet and many innovative children’s menu items.
Outdoor activities abound, with easy access to a range of water sports. Rooms start at $115 per night.
Address: 2700 Turf Valley Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042, Phone: 410-465-1500
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» Primland - 5 hours and 30 minutes
Primland in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains is an awesome getaway with its own observatory, spectacular views and unique guest accommodations, including Tree Houses that let you experience what it's like to live above the trees. These tree houses are luxurious, complete with a flat panel TV, 400-thread count Frette sheets and a bathroom with a soaking tub. The Observatory at Primland is located far from city lights at the top of the mountain, letting you see some of the best night sky on the East Coast. The resort has a Celestron CGE Pro 1400 series telescope in its own Observatory Dome. Resident astronomers are available for presentations during your stay. You can plan you visit during a Star Master Weekend, scheduled around special celestial events.
In addition to the Tree Houses, the hotel offers romantic Fairway Cottages set along the golf course, Mountain Homes as well as rooms and suites at the Lodge. The hotel has been eco-conscious from the beginning, treasuring the beautiful surrounding forests and wildlife, including whitetail deer, wild turkeys, several species of trout, colorful birds and flowers. The hotel is a LEED registered property. On your weekend getaway from Washington D.C., enjoy relaxing treatments at the spa, play golf, go fly fishing, bird watching and walk around the beautiful property. Cottage rates start at USD $295 per night.
Address: 2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120, Phone: 866-960-7746
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» The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort
The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort encompasses 400 acres, perfectly situated on the banks of the Choptank River. The 400 spacious guest rooms and suites offer luxurious comfort, modern conveniences, and balconies with views of the marina, pool or river. Facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the River Marsh Golf Club, tennis courts, and the Sago Spa & Salon. Frisbee golf and beach volleyball are fun for parents, while kids enjoy time at Camp Hyatt. The full service Marina makes sailing and fishing a breeze.
Blue Point Provision boasts water views and local seafood specialties. The Water’s Edge Grill offers casual dining choices. Dock’s Poolside serves lunch, snacks, and cocktails poolside. Eagles Nest Bar & Grill and the River Marsh Gastropub offer golf course views and casual dining options.
Guests can head into Cambridge for entertainment, sporting events, museums and local attractions. Rooms start at $160 per night.
Address: 100 Heron Blvd. at Route 50, Cambridge, MD 21613, Phone: 410-901-1234
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» The Inn at Perry Cabin - 1 hour
Enjoy scenic views of the Chesapeake Bay from the elegant Inn at Perry Cabin, located 90 mintues from Washington D.C. The One-Bedroom Bi-Level Suites are the most romantic, offering river views and a spacious downstairs living area.
Linden Spa uses a line of organic products and has a beautiful infinity-edge pool surrounded by a flower garden, perfect for letting your stress melt away. Take a walk through the manicured gardens featuring old magnolia, holly and cypress trees. The inn has a Kitchen Garden which grows herbs and lettuce used in preparing delicious meals at Sherwood's Landing restaurant and at the old world-style Purser's Pub. Borrow one of the complimentary bicycles at the inn and explore the picturesque surroundings. Room rates at the Inn at Perry Cabin start at $195 per night.
Address: 308 Watkins Lane, St. Michaels, MD 21663, Phone: 410-745-2200
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» The Annapolis Inn – 40 minutes
Standing gracefully on the prestigious Prince George Street in the heart of the historic district of Annapolis, the Annapolis Inn exudes a timeless elegance and charm. Surrounded by stately historic mansions, this luxurious inn will appeal to discerning guests looking for a quiet escape. Three exquisitely appointed suites are individually decorated to reflect a bygone era of opulence and grandeur. Ornate king-sized beds are dressed in imported linens, elegant silk drapery covers large sash windows, and en-suite bathrooms feature lavish marble bathtubs.
Begin the day with a complimentary breakfast before heading out to explore the historic streets of Annapolis. Nearby attractions include the US Naval Academy, St. John’s College, the City Dock, and the State Capital. A few blocks away you will find sailing, walking and garden tours, civic and cultural events, restaurants and shops. Rooms start at $259 per night.
Address: 144 Prince George St., Annapolis, MD 21401, Phone: 410-295-5200
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» The Angler’s Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes
The Angler’s Inn is a unique bed and breakfast located on the main street of the historic town of Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. The wide porch and rocking chairs remind you of a bygone era and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Individually decorated guestrooms are spacious and light, with private sitting rooms, large comfortable beds, and lovely en-suite bathrooms. Amenities include air-conditioning, Wi-Fi and bathrobes. A delicious homemade breakfast and fresh coffee is served in the morning. In the evening, dine at one of the restaurants and bars in the area. The historic town of Harper’s Ferry offers many things to do, from hiking, biking, a variety of water sports on the river, and relaxing at one of the local vineyards. Rooms start at $140 per night.
Address: 867 W Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, Phone: 304-535-1239
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» The Bavarian Inn - 1 hour 30 minutes
Perched high on a bluff with magnificent views over the Potomac River, the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV is a romantic country getaway with classical European decor. Owned by the Asam family, the inn offers warm hospitality, gourmet dining and outstanding service. Beautifully appointed Alpine-style chalets house 72 luxurious suites, graced with large sitting areas, gas fireplaces, and indulgent whirlpool baths, while rich furnishings and modern amenities add a glamorous touch. Relax next to the azure infinity pool that rests on the edge of the bluff overlooking the river. The Greystone Mansion serves a fusion of German and American cuisine next to romantic stone fireplaces. Rooms start at $149 per night.
Address: 164 Shepherd Grade Road, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, Phone: 304-876-2551
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» INN at 2920 Bed and Breakfast - 50 minutes
Located in downtown Baltimore, the INN at 2920 combines vintage Baltimore architecture with modern urban chic to provide guests with a comfortable and convenient escape with easy access to many of the city’s top attractions. Five individually designed and decorated rooms offer a unique experience with plush décor, marble fireplaces and spacious bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs. The Gato Casa Suite offers a fully-equipped kitchen. Amenities include a delicious complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary hot and cold beverages throughout the day, free wireless Internet access, a selection of DVDs, board games, books, and a personalized concierge service. The hotel is within walking distance of many popular attractions, including Fell’s Point, Brewer's Hill, Butcher's Hill, Patterson Park, Harbor East, and Little Italy. Rooms start at $150.
Address: 2920 Elliott Street, Baltimore, MD 21224, Phone: 410-342-4450
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» Gibson’s Lodgings of Annapolis – 40 minutes
Resting in the heart of Annapolis just steps away from the City Dock and the US Naval Academy, the classic 18th Century Georgian-style of Gibson’s Lodgings offers an ideal setting for exploring the city. Spread over three different houses, the property offers 20 well-appointed and comfortably furnished guestrooms. Large en-suite bedrooms with ornate décor and modern amenities are warm and welcoming. Each house offers spacious sitting areas and kitchens for added convenience. A delicious continental breakfast is served each morning in the Patterson House dining room. Gibson’s Lodgings is within walking distance of many activities and attractions, including art galleries, museums, theaters, heritage homes, and festivals.
The closest beach to DC, Sandy Point State Park in Maryland, is an easy drive from Gibson’s Lodgings.
You can also participate in an array of sports including fishing, golfing and biking in the spring, summer and fall. Rooms start at $169.
Address: 110 Prince George Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, Phone: 877-330-0057
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» Harbourtowne Waterfront Golf Hotel - 1 hour 30 minutes
Harbourtowne Waterfront Golf Hotel in St. Michaels, Maryland is set on 153 acres with spectacular water views. The resort has an 18-hole golf course, spa, outdoor swimming pool, tennis, badminton, volleyball, horseshoes, and basketball. Bicycles are available for exploring the beautiful surrounding. The spa offers an array of relaxing treatments. The 111 guest rooms and suites are spacious and decorated with comfort in mind. Guest rooms have private patios or balconies, with dramatic views of the Miles River and Chesapeake Bay. Contemporary amenities include Wi-Fi, cable TV, in-room tea and coffee and lush linens.
The Eastern Shore Waterfront Breakfast Buffet serves breakfast favorites. The Bayview Restaurant offers casual dining, with great views. The Country Club Grille is the perfect spot for lunch. Guests can have a nightcap at the Duck Blind Lounge. Rooms start at $210 per night.
Address: Harbourtowne Resort, St Michaels, Phone: 877-957-8135
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» The Wisp Resort - 2 hours 50 minutes
The Wisp Resort in McHenry, MD is a picturesque ski-in/ski-out resort on 172 acres. The 67 guest rooms and 102 suites are equipped with the comforts of home. There is plenty of skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling in the winter. Warmer weather activities include golf, hiking, biking, swimming, and kayaking on the river or lake. Diverse activities for kids ensure that adults can have plenty of time on the slopes.
DC’s Bar & Restaurant offers a rustic atmosphere and casual dining. Wispers Mountainside Bar is a laid-back sports bar, offering standard fare. Pumphouse Café serves offerings that include soups, sweet treats and coffee. Mountain Park Café serves hot dogs, pizza, and other favorites, while the Food Court offers grilled favorites, salads and sandwiches. Ideal for a weekend getaway, family reunion, or wedding, the Wisp Resort is a great ski destination from DC.
Address: 296 Marsh Hill Road, Mchenry, MD 21541, Phone: 301-859-3159
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» The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond - 1 hour and 50 minutes
Located in the heart of Richmond, the historic Jefferson Hotel has been awarded both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. This grand hotel originally opened in 1895. If you are looking for ideas for quick city breaks in a historic setting, this hotel features soaring ceilings, a beautiful staircase, rich tapestries and faux-marble columns. Some of the luxuries one can look forward to while staying at the Jefferson Hotel are complimentary town cars which will take you to downtown Richmond attractions, 24-hour concierge service and 24-hour room service. The indoor swimming pool is beautifully designed with overhead skylights and a sundeck. The hotel has a 3,400-square-foot fitness center and a full service hair salon.
All of the 264 guest rooms and suites have high ceilings and custom designed mahogany armoires, heavy draperies and carpets. You will luxuriate in Frette linens and bathrobes, down duvets and Molton Brown bath amenities. Complimentary wireless high-speed internet access in the rooms is very convenient. There are two restaurants: Lemaire and T.J.'s. The 158-seat Lemaire is Richmond's only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Rates start at $215 per night.
Address: 101 West Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23220, Phone: 804-649-4750
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» O’Callaghan Hotel – 40 minutes
Blending the warmth of traditional Irish charm and contemporary amenities, O’Callaghan Hotel is a stylish getaway in Annapolis. The 120 spacious guest rooms and suites are decorated with furniture imported from Ireland, and warm tones with accents of gold and brown. Guest accommodations include lush linens, free Wi-Fi, in-room refrigerator, a work desk and a comfortable seating area.
There is a 24-hour fitness room and a fully-equipped business center. The John Barry Restaurant boasts a menu that combines traditional Irish fare, and local Maryland delights. Ideally situated in downtown Annapolis, guests have easy access to fine and casual restaurants, attractions, and entertainment. Rooms start at $125 per night.
Address: 174 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, Phone: 410-263-7700
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35 Best Weekend Getaways from DC
- Salamander Resort & Spa - 1 hour, Photo: Courtesy of Justin Kriel
- Goodstone Inn & Restaurant - 1 hour from DC, Photo: Goodstone Inn & Restaurant
- Foster Harris House - 1 hour 20 minutes, Photo: Foster Harris House
- The Craddock Terry Hotel - 3 hours 20 minutes, Photo: The Craddock Terry Hotel
- Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria - 20 minutes, Photo: Morrison House
- Turf Valley - 50 minutes, Photo: Turf Valley
- Primland - 5 hours and 30 minutes, Photo: Primland
- The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Photo: The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort
- The Inn at Perry Cabin - 1 hour, Photo: The Inn at Perry Cabin
- The Annapolis Inn – 40 minutes, Photo: The Annapolis Inn
- The Angler’s Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes, Photo: The Angler’s Inn
- The Bavarian Inn - 1 hour 30 minutes, Photo: The Bavarian Inn
- INN at 2920 Bed and Breakfast - 50 minutes, Photo: INN at 2920
- Gibson’s Lodgings of Annapolis – 40 minutes, Photo: Gibson’s Lodgings of Annapolis
- Harbourtowne Waterfront Golf Hotel - 1 hour 30 minutes, Photo: Harbourtowne Waterfront Golf Hotel
- The Wisp Resort - 2 hours 50 minutes, Photo: The Wisp Resort
- The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond - 1 hour and 50 minutes, Photo: The Jefferson Hotel
- O’Callaghan Hotel – 40 minutes, Photo: O’Callaghan Hotel
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of steheap - Fotolia.com
More Weekend Destinations: Arlington, VA
Most of us associate Arlington with the Arlington National Cemetery, which contains graves of American soldiers that died in the country’s wars ever since the Civil War. In the middle of the cemetery, among the thousands of white crosses, is the Arlington House, a beautiful Greek Revival Mansion which served as the former home of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
As you enter the Arlington Cemetery, you can see the Women in Military Service for America Memorial and at the back entrance there is an imposing United States Marine Corps War Memorial. You probably won’t be able to resist taking a tour of the Pentagon, the United States Department of Defense headquarters, but make sure you reserve a spot ahead of time. See Arlington’s softer side by visiting the Signature Theatre, to see classical and contemporary plays or musicals, and Synetic Theater, the city’s award-winning physical theater.
Annapolis, on the Chesapeake Bay, is known around the world as America's Sailing Capital and is a natural place to learn to sail on one of the many beautiful sailing boats. Another one of the city’s claim to fame is the US Naval Academy. Take a tour of this historic facility where the US Navy has been training its officers since 1845.
Stroll through the Annapolis streets and learn about the city’s 300 years of history while visiting the Maryland State House, the Banneker-Douglass Museum, the Museum of African American Heritage and the Annapolis Maritime Museum, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. From the Museum, take a boat trip to see the 1875 lighthouse. Stroll through the garden of the 18th century William Paca House, a beautiful, green oasis in the heart of the city.
Every visit to Alexandria naturally starts at its charming historic Old Town. To see most of it, hop on the free King Street Trolley, a colorful hybrid bus that allow you to hop on and off as you please. There are plenty of reasons to hop off such as the magnificent George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the elegant Carlyle House or stately Athenaeum, the former bank that now hosts the Museum of Fine Arts.
Stroll through the cobblestoned streets of the Old Alexandria to feel the spirit of George Washington, or go visit Mount Vernon, his plantation home and museum. Colorful and quirky Torpedo Factory Art Center with 82 artists’ studios will bring you back to the 21st century Alexandria, and so will the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum with more than 500 inductees. Get some fresh air and listen to the crickets and birds at the lush, green Huntley Meadows Park.
Visiting Charlottesville will allow you to compare the lifestyles of two former American presidents. Ash Lawn-Highland, the modest home of the fifth president James Monroe, is just next to the lavish Monticello mansion located on a 5000 acre plantation, home of the third president Thomas Jefferson. Strolling through the Historic Downtown Mall will bring you to the country’s nostalgic past, with its brick-paved streets and restored beautiful homes, quaint restaurants, shops and outdoor cafes.
Even among so much interesting architecture, the 1935 Thomas H. Bayly Memorial Building stands out. Today it hosts the Fralin Museum of Art with 13,000 art objects. For a very different architecture, and very different art, visit the stark, simple contemporary art gallery Les Yeux du Monde Art Gallery. Kids will love the interactive hands-on Virginia Discovery Museum where they can learn and discover through play.
Feel the history in every stone, building and monument in the beautiful historic Richmond. Stroll through the elegant Monument Avenue with the impressive, well-preserved architecture and imposing monuments. Get a sense of the Gilded Age on the tour of the spectacular Maymont Mansion and its mesmerizing gardens. The pristine white, stately Virginia State Capitol, completed in 1788, will take your breath away.
You will find more imposing architecture and beautiful green surroundings at the Science Museum of Virginia, where the content very much belongs to the 21st century and age of technology. Richmond’s National Battlefield Park, a site of 13 separate battles, is the site of some of Richmond’s darkest moments in history. A dinner at one of Richmond's romantic restaurants is not to be missed on your weekend trip from DC.
Besides its spectacular beaches and water activities, Virginia Beach is famous for being the place where the first English colonists landed in 1607. Today, the landing site is the popular First Landing State Park, where you can get your imagination soaring, have a splash in the clear waters or play some beach volleyball. The best way to see the heart of Virginia Beach is by strolling or biking along the three -miles long Virginia Beach Boardwalk, with its street performers, musicians, locals, tourists, kids and dogs all happily having fun together.
Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to see 12,000 animals that live in the clear blue waters that stretch to the horizon, or take a Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tour to see some of them in their natural habitat. Kids will love rides and slides at the Ocean Breeze Waterpark and you will enjoy a brief respite from the relentless sun at the shady, wild, unspoiled False Cape State Park.
A visit to Hershey is, after Disneyland, probably the best gift you can give to your kids. First, there is a visit to the Hershey's Chocolate World, where they can learn all about making chocolates and sample as much as their little stomachs can handle. More about chocolate can be found at the Hershey Story museum.
Take them for a stroll through the fragrant Hershey Gardens to walk off all those sweets, before unleashing them at the spectacular Hersheypark, with all sorts of rides, towers, theme parks and other attractions. If they, and you, still have some energy, take them to the Adventure Sports Family Entertainment, with video arcades, bumper boats, batting cages, go-karts, miniature golf and much more. After that, you will probably need some time at the Emerald Springs Spa. More weekend trips in Pennsylvania.
Taking a tour of the Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval station, where you will feel like you’re in an episode of NCIS. There are 14 piers, 11 aircraft hangars, 134 aircrafts and 75 ships to give you the sense of the country’s awesome naval power.
Complete your education at the Nauticus National Maritime Center with the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and its shark tank as well as the historic USS Wisconsin, a battleship that started serving the nation during World War II. Away from the navy world, visit the Virginia Zoo with more than 500 animals from all over the world, or stroll through the Norfolk Botanical Garden, with its Enchanted Garden and many other habitats and themed gardens. More things to do in Norfolk.
Best known for its enormous National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda is a modern, sophisticated city with a thriving art scene. Pay respect to the advances in military medicine at the National Museum of Health and Medicine before starting your pilgrimage to the city’s galleries, museums and theatres. Try to catch the latest performance at the Strathmore, a multi-disciplinary non-profit arts venue.
Imagination Stage provides arts education, classes and performances to young people. KID Museum encourages kids’ natural creativity through art classes, courses in computer programming and workshops in 3D printing. Kidville’s fabulous gym will let the kids spend some energy but it also offers art, music and dance courses. Visit Waverly Street Gallery to see what the local sculptors, painters, photographers, jewelers and potters are doing.
Wilmington manages to seamlessly blend its elegant past with its thriving modern present. The best example of this is the intricate Grand Opera House in downtown Wilmington, surrounded by sleek skyscrapers. Built in 1871 as the Masons’ Lodge, The Grand, as the locals call it, hosts a variety of performances, from operas to community theatre. For more imposing architecture, visit beautiful Delaware Art Museum, home to 12,000 pieces of artwork, much of it scattered throughout the meticulously landscaped surrounding gardens.
The elegant Nemours Mansion is a classic French Chateau that hosts furniture and art pieces that belonged to the prominent Wilmington du Pont family. Animal lovers can start their pilgrimage with the visit to the dinosaur skeletons at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, proceed to the Brandywine Zoo to see Red Pandas and then stroll through the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge, an urban green space and animal sanctuary.
Driving Distances from DC
|From Washington D.C. To ||Driving Time|
|Middleburg, VA||1 hour|
|Meadows of Dan, VA||5 hours and 30 minutes|
|Chesapeake Bay||1 hour|
|Richmond, VA||1 hour and 50 minutes|
|Old Town Alexandria||20 minutes|