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Things To Do

10 Awesome Day Trips From Washington DC

Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz Mª del Rosario Castro Díaz

Harpers Ferry Day Trips DC

For when you feel like venturing out of the city and exploring!

The District is full of awesome things to do, see and eat, but we all feel like venturing out into the world every now and then. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 awesome day trips from Washington DC. We’ve organized them from closest to furthest to make deciding where to go easier. Check them out!

1. Old Town Alexandria, VA (22 mins)

Ok so, Alexandria is so close to DC you could technically argue it’s like not leaving the city at all…But hear me out. This lovely town is full of fun things to see and do like visiting its brand new cat café, exploring its streets in search of historic sites or walking along the Potomac. If you’re up for it, you can also drive out to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s old estate. The historical site has recently changed its program to also share the stories of those enslaved at Mount Vernon plantation along with that of President Washington and his family.

2. Brookside Gardens, MD (45 mins)

Spread out over 50 acres of land, the beautiful Brookside Gardens are located inside Wheaton National Park. The gardens are divided into several different areas that visitors can see including a butterfly garden, a rose garden, an aquatic garden, and a Japanese style garden. They’re open from dawn until dusk every single day of the year so you can visit them pretty much any time you want!

3. Baltimore, MD (1 hr)

This bustling city has plenty to discover! If you’re an art fan you can visit the American Visionary Art Museum, or if you’re more fond of science and nature, the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center are great destinations for adults and children alike. For history buffs and literature lovers, Fort McHenry, the most historic site in town, is the one that inspired poet Francis Scott Key to pen  ‘Defence of Fort M’Henry’ in 1812–the basis for the national anthem of the US. Truth is, Baltimore has something for everyone!

Note: The American Visionary Art Museum is currently closed.

4. Kent Island, MD (1 hr)

Kent Island is the biggest in the Chesapeake Bay and one of the most historically significant places in the whole of Maryland. Must-see places include Cray House  the old Stevensville post office and the Stevensville Train Depot.

5. Middleburg, VA (1 hr)

This town set against miles of sprawling green hills and farms near the Blue Ridge Mountains is a great destination for horse and wine lovers alike. The upscale town is full of horse farms and more than 20 wineries! Plus its also home to the much-talked-about Middleburg Film Festival held every year in October.

6. Harpers Ferry, WV (1.5 hrs)

This gorgeous little town is located at the merging of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Harpers Ferry offers activities for both adventures and the less intrepid, including the beautiful Maryland Heights Trail which overlooks the city. If you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline you can also go whitewater rafting or tubing on the Potomac but if you’re just looking for a relaxed day out of the city, we suggest wandering around Harpers Ferry’s cobblestone streets-it’s a charming little town!

7. Shenandoah National Park, VA (1.5 hrs)

Like Harper’s Ferry, Shenandoah National Park is perfect for hikers and lovers of nature. If you’re looking to go for the day you can explore one of its many hiking trails or, since it’s still warm out, why not go swimming in one of its many stunning swimming holes?

8. Gettysburg, PA (1.5 hrs)

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Another great destination for history buffs. Explore the extensive fields of Gettysburg on foot, horse or even segway, and discover the ins and outs of the USA’s most costly battle!

9. Richmond, VA (2 hrs)

If you’re looking for a culinary adventure then we suggest going to Richmond, this city has plenty of great food options all the way from modern French cuisine to traditional Italian dishes. Plus, Carry Street is perfect for browsing through endless rows of vintage clothes!

10. St. Michael’s MD (2 hrs)

This small seaside town on the Chesapeake Bay is straight out of our best nautical dreams! Take in the beautiful harbor views, try your hand at water sports or explore the town’s booze scene for a totally awesome day. We also suggest visiting St. Michael’s Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; its 18-acre campus is home to a fleet of historic boats, a restored 1879 lighthouse and rotating exhibits on maritime art, photography and history.

See also: 7 Stunning Trails To Go Hiking Around DC 

[Featured image: REVOLT, Unsplash]