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10 Great Family Vacations Near Washington DC

Getaway Ideas for Families


There are plenty of great family vacation destinations within a few hours drive of Washington DC. Here are some suggestions of family-friendly getaways in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

1. Ocean City, Maryland

© Town of Ocean City Tourism Office

With its 10 miles of white sand beaches along the Atlantic, Ocean City is one of the most popular family vacation spots in the region. The resort is a bustling beach town with amusement parks, arcades, miniature golf courses, shopping malls, an Outlet shopping center, movie theaters, go-kart tracks and the famous three-mile Ocean City Boardwalk. There are plenty of great beaches along the Eastern Shore. For more information, see a guide to the Best Beaches Near Washington DC.

2. Williamsburg, Virginia

© Colonial Williamsburg
Step back in time and visit Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum, encompassing 301-acres of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Major attractions in the area also include Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. Great Wolf Lodge is also a popular year-round family vacation destination with its indoor water park and a variety of accommodations.

3. Rocky Gap Casino Resort

© Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort

Cumberland, Maryland. The Western Maryland resort hotel, located on a 243-acre lake at the foothills of Rocky Gap State Park, offers a wide variety of outdoor activities including everything from hiking, fishing, kayaking and sporting clays. The resort was remodeled in 2013 to upgrade its facilities and add 550 slot machines, 10 table games, and a casino bar.

4. Richmond, Virginia

© Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau
With 400 years of history and modern-day culture, there’s plenty to see and do in the capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Kids especially enjoy visiting Kings Dominion, the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Richmond. Other major attractions include the Virginia State Capitol, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, James River, Maymont Park and Carytown.

5. Sesame Place - Bucks County, Pennsylvania

© Sesame Place

Langhorne, PA. Located just north of Philadelphia, the amusement and water park is a terrific weekend getaway destination for families with young children. Visitors enjoy amusement rides, water slides, colorful shows and their favorite Sesame Street characters. Other recommended attractions for kids in the area include the Philadelphia Zoo, the Franklin Institute and Independence Park.

6. Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort

© Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park

Hagerstown, Maryland. This unique family RV and cabin resort is a summer vacation destination featuring an interactive heated swimming pool, minigolf, a pedal cart speedway, lasertag and special themed entertainment. Luxury cabins and tent camping are available with facilities including a swimming pool with waterslides, mini-golf, playgrounds, horseshoe pits and a basketball court. Daily family activities provide lots of entertainment.

7. Hershey - Pennsylvania Dutch Country

Photo © www.discoverlancasterpa.com / Terry Ross

This part of Pennsylvania offers a wide range of family-friendly, cultural, historical, and entertainment attractions. Spend a day at Hersheypark, take a buggy ride through the countryside and learn about the Amish, visit attractions such as the Land of Little Horses, Roadside America Miniature Village and The Cherry Crest Adventure Farm.

8. Crayola Factory - Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

© Crayola Factory
Easton, Pennsylvania. Located in eastern PA along the New Jersey border, the Crayola Factory offers dozens of hands-on activities allowing kids to use their creativity on a variety of artistic projects. Nearby popular attractions include Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, C.F. Martin Guitar Co. and the Lehigh Valley Zoo.

9. Cheat River - West Virginia

© John Giustina
Whitewater rafting is a fun activity for families who enjoy outdoor adventures. The Cheat River offers some of the best white water rapids on the east coast. Other activities available include rock climbing, caving, paintball, hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, camping and more. A wide range of accommodations are nearby including hotels, inns, cabins, and luxury resorts.

10. Pennsylvania Farm Vacations

© PA Farm Vacations

Across the state of Pennsylvania, family farms invite families to leave the city behind and enjoy the peace and quiet of the country. Each farm is different and provides a unique experience.

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