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Top 10 Weekend Getaways Near Washington, DC


The Washington, DC capital region offers a wonderful variety of weekend getaway destinations. Within a few hours drive you can visit big cities, small towns, beaches and mountains. You can enjoy a wide range of activities from shopping to golf to exploring historical sites to relaxing on the beach. Whatever your idea of fun is, you can find lots of opportunities to relax at these getaway locations near Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

1. Baltimore, Maryland

© Laureen Brunelli
Baltimore is one of the major seaports in the United States and there are many things to do in this nearby city. Top attractions in Baltimore include the Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Fort McHenry, and Fells Point.

2. Annapolis, Maryland

© Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau
Stroll along the city dock and enjoy shopping, dining and the beautiful scenery of the state capital of Maryland and the sailing capital of America. Take a sightseeing cruise or walking tour and learn about the history of this beautiful seaport. Annapolis is the home of the United States Naval Academy and St. John's College, the third oldest institution of higher education in the United States. See my Visitor's Guide to Annapolis

3. Eastern Shore - Maryland and Virginia

© Maryland Office of Tourism
The "Eastern Shore" is the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay. The region is characterized by historic towns, beaches and beautiful natural areas. Visit Chestertown, St Michaels, Cambridge, Ocean City or Assateague Island in Maryland or Chincoteague Island, Tangier Island, Onancock and Cape Charles in Virginia. See also my top picks of the Best Beaches Near Washington, DC.

4. Colonial Williamsburg

© 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. Learn about the history of colonial America in an interactive setting. See my Visitor's Guide to Williamsburg

5. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

© Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

This important historic site attracts visitors from all over the country to participate in a wide variety of activities including walking and driving tours, campfire programs, living history demonstrations, Junior Ranger programs and specialized group tours. A new Museum and Visitor Center and Cyclorama Gallery opened in 2008. The historic town is a year-round destination with a wide range of attractions and events. See a Visitors Guide to Gettysburg

6. Deep Creek Lake - Garrett County, Maryland

© Lance C. Bell, PPA

Mountains, rivers and lakes offer a wide selection of activities from active outdoor adventures to just plain relaxing. Enjoy hiking, bicycling, picnicking, boating, fishing, camping, swimming, and horseback riding in warmer weather and skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during the winter months. See my Visitors Guide to Deep Creek Lake

7. New York City

© Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
New York City is an exciting place to visit. Go to a Broadway show, see the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enjoy dining and shopping in the unique neighborhoods of the largest city in the U. S. See information on bus service from DC to NYC

8. West Virginia

© West Virginia Division of Tourism
Within an hours drive, you can get away from city life and enjoy a variety of cultural, historical and recreational attraction in the mountains of West Virginia. Learn about Civil War history at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and enjoy outdoor recreation in the state parks such as hiking, bicycling, boating, golfing, skiing and snow sports, Whitewater rafting, fishing, and hunting.

9. Shenandoah National Park

© Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Explore the forests, streams, waterfalls while enjoying a wide range of recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing, camping, bicycling, wildlife viewing and more. See my Visitor's Guide to Shenandoah National Park

10. Brandywine Valley

© Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau

Discover unique museums and gardens just north of Wilmington, Delaware. Longwood Gardens is a year-round treasure with 1,050 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. Key attractions focus on the history of the Dupont estates including the Hagley Museum, Nemours Mansion and Gardens, and Winterthur Museum. See my Visitors Guide to the Brandywine Valley

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