From traffic to the Metro and overtime at work to spending too much free time online, these everyday stressors can eventually pile up. Sometimes you just need to get away from the bustle of the city and reconnect with nature. Unobstructed skies, fresh air, the smells of flowers and trees, and the sound of wildlife, wind, and branches—all natural mood boosters! D.C. may be a city, but there are plenty of places within driving distance you can run to when you just need to get away. Whether you’re only looking to drive 30 minutes or 4 hours, these fantastic camping spots have what you’re looking for:
As Maryland’s only oceanfront park, Assateague’s two miles of beaches make it extra special as an oceanfront campsite. Enjoy the water, witness the wild horses that live and wander between here and Chincoteague Island, and camp in nature and near the sand. All you need to do? Register a campsite and spend a night under the stars (in a good, old fashioned tent or a motorhome). (Plus, if you’re missing the proper camping equipment, there are plenty of places to rent!)
📍Distance from D.C.: 3 hours
Chances are you’ve seen this on social media before: Getaway House. Purposefully located just outside large cities as the perfect quick getaway, that’s exactly what they are. D.C.’s Getaway House is an outpost in Shenandoah, Virginia, with 25 two-person cabins and 9 four-person cabins (with bunk beds) spread out over 20 acres. With easy access to Shenandoah National Park, it’s the perfect place to go out for a hike or rejuvenate and relax from your (adorable) cabin! Learn more here.
📍Distance from D.C.: 2 hours
One of the furthest from D.C. but also the most unique! The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower in Seneca State Forest is an icon. This 65-foot decommissioned watch tower now offers visitors to take in stunning 360-degree views of the forest and night sky. Available for overnight stays only from May through October, the tower includes two cots and can sleep up to four guests. Learn more here.
📍Distance from D.C.: 4 hours