10 Best Weekend Getaways From Washington DC

Just seeing the US Capitol, Supreme Court and White House is alone worth the visit to Washington DC. There's also the magnificent Lincoln Memorial, solemn Vietnam memorial, impressive Korean memorial and the best of all them - WW2 memorial. There's also the many Smithsonian museums (one has the Hope Diamond). All these buildings/monuments are all in the National Mall (a big park).

You need to spend several days just to see the highlights (there's a free tour of the Supreme Court and US Capitol). The Arlington Memorial is close by, where is the tomb of the unknown soldiers buried, and JFK and other historical figures in US history. If you fly, fly into JFK airport, you're right in the city. And stay right next to National mall, so you don't have to take a cab to get to all the sites.

From a historical aspect, DC definitely is the museum center of the US as well as the seat of government. Such attractions include: The Smithsonian, Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetary, Washington/Lincoln/Jefferson memorial, the White House, etc. Are you longing for a short break from your hectic D.C. life? Washington DC or D.C. has plenty of nearby weekend escapes suited to all travel personalities.

Washington DC is a huge, bustling city, located near a ton of great places for a casual weekend getawayWashington DC is a huge, bustling city, located near a ton of great places for a casual weekend getaway

Here are the best weekend getaways from Washington DC:

1. New York City

A must-visit on the list of D.C. weekend getaways, New York City is reachable by train in only about three hours. You can look forward to having a great time here, enjoying Broadway shows and world-class cuisines. You'll also love the city's art museums - BRIC House, the Rose Museum, and the Frick, to name a few. If you're looking for luxury, the Plaza Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel are some of the best places to stay in New York City.

2. Gettysburg

If you mean to see the battlefield, Gettysburg National Military Park has maps with distances. The Billy Yank trail is about 10 mikes long, and gets you to the main points of fighting south of town, e.g. the Peach Orchard, Little Round Top, Pickett's Charge. A 14 mile itinerary will include the sites north and west of town, where they fought on the first day, as well as a walk through Gettysburg itself.

Several of these hikes start and end at the Visitors Center, where you can find parking, too. Bring binoculars, especially if you mean to go up any of the three towers for panoramic viewing. In the Park, not much in the way of food or water, so be prepared. Early to mid fall is your best bet for good weather. If you want what the soldiers experienced, sun and upper 80s temps, then Summer time is for you.

A significant battlefield site, Gettysburg, is reachable by road in less than two hours. Tour the Gettysburg Memorial Battlefield and its one-of-a-kind history museum. Complement the battlefield visit with a wonderful stay at the historic Gettysburg Hotel. You can also camp at one of the town's several campgrounds and RV sites. Stroll downtown, shop to your heart's content, and take exciting food and brewery tours.

How about taking an adventure road trip in the surrounding countryside of Adams County? Ensure that your vehicle has a roof rack to carry your luggage so that you can travel stress-free through the scenic landscape.

3. Old Town Alexandria

A short road trip from D.C., Old Town is a charming, walkable escape. It features beautiful, centuries-old architecture. Explore this vibrant district's cobbled, historic King Street. Visit the continually operating 18th-century Saturday Farmers' Market. Stay over at any of the elegant hotels on King Street, e.g., The Hilton.

4. Baltimore

Baltimore is the city of dreams. That's why it developed the nickname, Charm City! A colonial city, Baltimore got this gritty, rust-belt vibe, but it also feels like a city on the rise. It's dense and pretty walkable and chock-full of American history. The city surrounds the bay beautifully. Definitely one of America's most underrated cities.

Merely an hour's drive from D.C., Baltimore is the best escape for culture vultures. This charming city offers museums showcasing eclectic artworks - for instance, impressive 19th-century impressionist paintings. Visit the elegant Brewer's Art brewpub, famous for homemade beers. Stay over at one of the waterfront hotels here. Savor local seafood delicacies like crab cakes while taking in amazing water views from the hotel.

Maryland Blue Crabs are very popular, and are delicious steamed or boiled. Buy them by the bushel, serve them with beer, Maryland sweet corn and creamy coleslaw.

5. Middleburg Wine Country

Spend the weekend in this rolling countryside in USA, only an hour from D.C. Middleburg Wine Country offers excellent wineries and world-class wines from the local Norton grape. Visit the sprawling Chrysalis Vineyards and enjoy wine-tastings while admiring the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Check into the quaint Red Fox Inn, a relaxing retreat conveniently located in the middle of wine country. You can shop, dine, and tour local wineries within walking distance from the Inn.

6. Rehoboth Beach

Reachable in about two hours from D.C., Rehoboth Beach offers watersports, gourmet dining, and tax-free shopping. Stroll the beach's boardwalk, kayak its peaceful inlets, or indulge in deep-sea fishing. If you're traveling with kids, treat them to thrill rides and carnival games on the boardwalk. Stay at one of the hotels closest to the boardwalk.

The Victorian-style Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, situated right on it, is a charming mix of old and new, offering antique furnishings and a heated indoor pool.

7. St. Michaels

A perfect getaway for a relaxed weekend, St. Michaels is a small coastal town, less than two hours by road from D.C. The town's miles of picturesque coastline makes sailing a truly pleasurable experience. If you're a newbie at sailing, you can take an informal, 2-day course at the Sailing Academy here. Enjoy tasty seafood at the several waterfront restaurants and visit the town's history museums and an ancient lighthouse.

Stay at excellent B&B inns such as Parsonage Inn or the George Brook's House. Experience gracious hospitality during your stay in comfortable rooms.

8. Mercersburg

A perfect winter weekend escape, Whitetail Resort has more than twenty ski trails, all compatible with night skiing. From D.C., you can be on Whitetail's slopes in less than two hours. Don't worry if you're a newbie at skiing. The resort offers runs suitable for all skill grades. What's more, you can even take skiing lessons here.

Whitetail also offers three rapid lifts for snowboarding and snow tubing. You can enjoy a luxurious B&B experience at the nearby Mercersburg Inn, a baroque turn-of-the-century mansion.

9. Lancaster

How about driving through the rural country and stopping to buy fresh farm produce at roadside stands? Enjoy this rural experience in Lancaster, a mere two-hour drive from D.C. Visit the Lancaster Central Market, USA's most ancient farmers' market. Indulge in a full steam adventure by riding on a steam train through Lancaster's scenic farmland. Stay right in the middle of farmland at one of the several cozy farm-stays.

10. Middleburg

A sprawling 25-acre estate, Goodstone Inn & Restaurant has several luxurious rooms exuding country charm. Full of horse farms, this luxury country inn is just an hour from D.C. Goodstone offers delicious, French-inspired cuisine and grows most of the food on its farm. You can also enjoy trekking, biking, and bird watching at the property.


Now you know some of the best weekend getaways from Washington DC. So, where are you heading to this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kalyan Panja