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DC/MD/VA | DESTINATIONS | FAMILY FRIENDLY | TRIP PLANNING

8 Great Places To Explore in DC, MD & VA

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If I don’t go anywhere for several weekends, I get very antsy.  I feel a need to get out and explore.  If a vacation isn’t on the horizon, a day trip usually quiets my wanderlust for awhile.

Whether you live in the DC metro area or are planning a visit, there is no shortage of things to do and see around the DMV (DC/MD/VA).

To help you find something to do, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite day trips and recommended activities for each place.  Since I’m using DC as the starting point for travel times, it only makes sense for it to be the first place on the list.  Enjoy!


8 Great Places to Explore In & Around Washington, DC

 WASHINGTON, DC

Washington, DC
The Capitol Building
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)
  • Spend time exploring one (or more) of DC’s museums (all offering free admission). Download a list below.
  • Take a self-guided walking tour of the various monuments
  • Stroll along the Tidal Basin (especially nice when the cherry blossoms are out)
  • People watch while enjoying a picnic on The Mall
  • Enjoy the beauty of the many plants and flowers in the United States Botanic Garden
  • Take a guided tour of the city:
    • Via Tour Bus – Choose the Hop On, Hop Off option, allowing you to get on and off along the bus route
    • Via Trolley –  Drivers take passengers around this great city, highlighting the best of DC with 21 stops and more than 100 points of interest


INNER HARBOR – BALTIMORE, MD
 (Approximate Travel Time from DC: 1 Hour 20 minutes)

Inner Harbor, MD
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)
  • Eat and shop at Harborplace on Pratt Street
  • Visit the National Aquarium (*Buying tickets online in advance is highly recommended, especially during Spring breaks and summer when school is out)
  • Check out the great exhibits at the Maryland Science Center
  • Tour one of the historic ships
  • Rent a paddleboat and propel yourself around the harbor
  • Get a 360-degree view of Baltimore, the Inner Harbor and beyond from the Top of the World Observatory
  • Watch an Oriole’s baseball game at nearby Camden Yards
  • Take a short walk to Federal Hill, which offers some of the best views of the Inner Harbor and Baltimore Skyline

 DEALE, MD
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 1 Hour 15 minutes)

Deale, MD
Taken at Skipper’s Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad)
  • Go fishing or crabbing from the Deale’s public dock (a license is needed for either as Game Wardens frequently come by; licenses are available from the bait and tackle shop down the street)
  • Charter a boat and try your luck at fishing in the Chesapeake Bay
  • Delight in a bowl of rich and delicious Cream of Crab soup at Petie Greens (some of the best I’ve had anywhere!)
  • Enjoy fresh seafood and a breathtaking sunset along the water at Skipper’s Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar (they also have live music in the Spring, Summer & Fall)

SOLOMON’S ISLAND, MD
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 2 Hours)

Drum Point Lighthouse, Solomon's Island, MD
Drum Point Lighthouse 
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad)

 PURCELLVILLE, VA
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 1 Hour 15 minutes)

Purcellville, MD
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)

 ALEXANDRIA, VA
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 30 minutes)

George Washington's Mount Vernon
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)

 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 2 Hours)

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)

 HARPERS FERRY, WV
(Approximate Travel Time from DC: 1 Hour 45 minutes)

Harpers Ferry, WV
Harper’s Ferry, WV
(© Photo by A Traveling Broad. All Rights Reserved.)

I hope this post gave you some ideas.  Please let me know which places you visit as a result of this post – or places you like that are NOT on the list.  Share in the Comments below.

 

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