Washingtonians love to grind, but city life can be exhausting at times. When you seek respite in a small, quaint, charming town outside of the city, these pretty villages near D.C. (organized from closest to furthest) will make you forget just how close you are to the hustle and bustle of the city.
Old Town Alexandria, Virginia (20 min drive)
As the name suggests, Old Town is just the right balance of old school charm and modern amenities. The quaint town is nearly 300 years old and still maintains plenty of its charm! Proceed daintily over the charming but slightly dangerous cobblestones, enjoy a sandwich by the water and check out the fantastic restaurant scene! Plus, it’s home to an adorable cat cafe– MEOW!
Vienna, Virginia (1-hour drive)
Another lovely walkable place in Virginia is Vienna! Located in NOVA, it’s under 20 miles from the city. Vienna is home to 3 amazing parks, and Wolf Trap-the only national park for the performing arts! Catch a show and later grab a bite and the many outstanding hole-in-the-wall restaurants around Maple Ave such as Maple Ave Restaurant!
Winchester, Virginia (1-hour 45-minute drive)
There is no better place than the Shenandoah Valley for small town charm! Winchester is also technically a city, but Old Town Winchester, at the heart of the city, feels more like the warm hug of a small homey town. It’s filled with cultural events, pop-ups, plays, musicals, and live entertainment from locals year-round! Make sure to pay a trip during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, a tradition dating back nearly one century!
St. Michael’s, Maryland (1-hour 45-minute drive)
The quintessential summertime small town destination, St. Michael’s is that charming storybook small beach village portrayed in the movies! Kids ride their bikes barefoot, oysters are shucked on the beach at sunset, and everybody knows everybody. At 79 miles from D.C. it’s a great place for an excursion rather than a day trip.
Ocean City, Maryland (3-hour drive)
Hear us out, we know Ocean City is no “tiny, quaint village.” But it is wholly charming! The boardwalk creates this small-town retro energy, which makes sense as to why it was just voted one of “America’s best beaches in the northeast”! Learn how you can make your Ocean City escape for free this summer!