12 Best Weekend Trips from DC for Families & Couples

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“Would you like to take a break from the daily hassles?” There’s nothing quite like Best Weekend Trips from DC! From traditional towns to the most beautiful natural wonders, there are limitless chances for adventures just beyond your nose. 

these sites will rekindle your soul and be unforgettable. Consequently, so take a break from your work, hit the road, and move towards a DC-free weekend that will linger in your mind forever.”

List of 12 Best Weekend Trips from DC for Families & Couples

Welcome to 12 excitement-filled Best Weekend Trips from DC Each trip is filled with adventure and leisure for everyone’s enjoyment.

#1 Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Explore the Best Places to Harpers Ferry is near Washington, a popular destination for people who like history and nature. It takes about 1.5 hours to get there by car or Amtrak from the city. This small town is located at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers; so much history is narrated about it. One can feel the history of restored old shops and buildings from the 1700s and before the Civil War.

If you are seeking an entertaining and relaxing Best Weekend Trips from DC, Harpers Ferry is just the thing for you, as you will find everything here. There, you can take lovely walks on the appealing trails throughout the National Historical Park, sit down for a meal at one of the rather romantic riverside restaurants, or look at the rather cute shops on Main Street.

  • Special Features: Historic town, outdoor recreation, confluence of Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
  • Address: Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
  • Distance from DC: About 65 miles (1.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: NPS Harpers Ferry
  • Google Map Directions: Harpers Ferry Directions

#2 Annapolis, Maryland

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Ditch the madness of D.C. for the weekend and take a little trip to the capital city of Maryland, Annapolis. This city is known as the Athens of America and is a perfect mix of history and sea views. Visit Annapolis with a guide to find cafes and museums, such as William Paca House and the U.S. Naval Academy. 

Chesapeake Bay has it in areas such as Sandy Point State Park and Quiet Waters Park, and there is also an opportunity to experience a boat at sunset to get a feel for Chesapeake Bay. One of the historic hotels near Graduate Annapolis provides complete comfort to anyone who plans to stay for a few days in this city. It is one of the Best Weekend Trips from DC.

  • Special Features: Historic architecture, waterfront dining, Naval Academy.
  • Address: Annapolis, MD 21401
  • Distance from DC: About 33 miles (1 hour by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Annapolis
  • Google Map Directions: Annapolis Directions

#3 Charlottesville, Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

If you live in D.C. and are looking forward to a weekend trip, we have something exciting for you. However, let me consider Charlottesville in Virginia, looking at the Different Types of opportunities this city has for the people and the rest of the world. So, let’s start our adventure at the University of Virginia with Thomas Jefferson to establish the American spirit.

Williamsburg has been so discussed in movies and lectures, but do not just limit yourself to visiting Williamsburg; there is Monticello, the plantation of Jefferson, and Highland, the home of James Monroe, the fifth president of America. Then, go and learn in one of the beautiful natural wonders in Virginia, known as Shenandoah National Park, where one can walk in the Blue Ridge.

For lovers of good food, especially if you are always looking for a place to grab a bite, the downtown mall with various shops and cafés is suggested. Finally, do not forget to taste wine from one of the nearby wine farms on the territory.

  • Special Features: Monticello, wineries, beautiful countryside.
  • Address: Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Distance from DC: About 120 miles (2.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Charlottesville
  • Google Map Directions: Charlottesville Directions
Popular : Top 12 Best Weekend Getaways from Philadelphia (2024)

#4 Ocean City, Maryland

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Ocean City, Maryland, is a top we­ekend destination ne­ar Washington D.C. This quaint beach town sits betwee­n the Atlantic Ocean and the Isle­ of Wight Bay. It caters to eve­ryone’s taste. You’ll find wide sandy be­aches flanked by a lively boardwalk. 

The­ boardwalk is full of restaurants, shops, hotels, and More Attractions Best Weekend Trips from DC. that stay ope­n through the night. Experience­ a blast from the past at Trimper’s Rides. Re­nt a paddleboard and explore the­ quieter waters. Or, take­ a cruise around Assateague Island National Se­ashore – home to wild ponies! 

  • Special Features: Beaches, boardwalk, water sports.
  • Address: Ocean City, MD 21842
  • Distance from DC: About 150 miles (3 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Ocean City
  • Google Map Directions: Ocean City Directions

#5 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Searching for the ideal weekend break? Philadelphia is just a short drive away, should you need further suggestions. Being a city with such a long history filled with beauty and extraordinary things, Philadelphia is an exciting place suitable for everyone. 

Visit historical sites such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, dine at new-generation restaurants, and enjoy the arts at excellent art galleries. Little do people know that there is a whole lot more to Philadelphia. That is why it is one of the Best Weekend Trips from DC for either history nuts, foodies, or art enthusiasts.

  • Special Features: Historic sites, cultural attractions, vibrant dining scene.
  • Address: Philadelphia, PA 19106
  • Distance from DC: About 140 miles (2.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Philadelphia
  • Google Map Directions: Philadelphia Directions

#6 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Are you searching for the Best Weekend Trips from DC? Consider visiting Gettysburg, Pennsylvania! Due to its historical heritage and peculiar sights, it can be considered one of the best vacation spots for those interested in history and do not shy away from thrilling discoveries. Pay a visit to the Gettysburg National Battlefield to watch several critical stages of the Civil War and get acquainted with the functions of the Gettysburg Museum and Visitors Center. 

Gettysburg National Cemetery is a place that you should visit and honor. This is the place where Abraham Lincoln gave us the Gettysburg Address. Whether you are a history or culture buff or just looking for an engaging weekend getaway, Gettysburg will not disappoint.

  • Special Features: Civil War battlefield, museums, historic town.
  • Address: Gettysburg, PA 17325
  • Distance from DC: About 85 miles (1.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Gettysburg
  • Google Map Directions: Gettysburg Directions

#7 Williamsburg, Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Best Discover for a great weekend away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Washington, D.C.? Would you like to spend your vacation in Virginia, Williamsburg, to be precise? Overall, the history that pervades the atmosphere and the accurate present-day view of Williamsburg is no different from the representation of the Renaissance era. Feel the atmosphere of real America and explore the occupied colonial town of Colonial Williamsburg, where actors dressed in colonial costumes recreate historical events. 

This is even more evident when you are walking around the beautiful historic areas, which feature cobblestone streets, small shops, and real active artist studios. Just as Jamestown and Yorktown form the ‘Historic Triangle’, Williamsburg is sure to be a great historical time, if not a fun weekend, provided you have even the slightest interest in history.

  • Special Features: Colonial Williamsburg, theme parks, historic sites.
  • Address: Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • Distance from DC: About 150 miles (2.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Colonial Williamsburg
  • Google Map Directions: Williamsburg Directions

#8 Richmond, Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Richmond, Virginia, offers many things to do, and if you are interested in visiting, it is worth it. As for tourist attractions, you can visit the old Virginia State Capitol and learn about history. There’s also a museum on the Civil War, the Museum of the Confederacy. 

Go for a walk along the riverside or visit cool art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. And, of course, that is always a time to enjoy some delicious dishes! One can also go boating, go to a large park like Maymont, or participate in a great festival. There is always something cool to do in Richmond, that is for sure. Many other things make Richmond one of the Best Weekend Trips from DC.

  • Special Features: Rich history, vibrant arts scene, James River.
  • Address: Richmond, VA 23219
  • Distance from DC: About 100 miles (2 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Richmond
  • Google Map Directions: Richmond Directions

#9 Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Best Places to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, is a Best Weekend Getaway from DC. It nestles on an island in Virginia, precisely in the Eastern Shore area. The coastlines here are stunning, boasting sandy shores and wild horses wander openly across Assateague National Wildlife Refuge beaches.

If you desire a more informative experience, consider the Museum of Chincoteague Island, which displays its sea-related past. Alternatively, relax at Veterans’ Memorial Park beside the water. Located just a short drive from Washington, DC, Chincoteague provides visitors with natural beauty and a sand-pip beach.

  • Special Features: Wild ponies, beaches, nature reserves.
  • Address: Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
  • Distance from DC: About 160 miles (3.5 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Chincoteague
  • Google Map Directions: Chincoteague Directions

#10 Assateague Island, Maryland/Virginia

Best Weekend Trips from DC

The beautiful island at the border between Maryland and Virginia is another option for exciting and entertaining vacations. Famous for its wild horses, gorgeous sandy beaches, and splendid nature tramps, it will give you a lovely break away from civilization. 

Discover the wonders of Assateague Island National Seashore in MD 21811, located 140 miles from D.C., in a 3-hour drive. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery, meet the famous wild horses, and have a great experience on the dunes. Take advantage of the opportunity to go on a nature hike through this paradise and marvel at the wildlife that inhabits this land.

  • Special Features: Wild horses, beaches, nature trails.
  • Address: Assateague Island National Seashore, MD 21811
  • Distance from DC: About 140 miles (3 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Assateague Island
  • Google Map Directions: Assateague Directions

#11 Baltimore, Maryland

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Walk into Baltimore, also known as Charm City, and stay for a while to explore its gems, even if you only have a day. You’ll discover the art world at the Baltimore Museum and Coulters Art Museum. At the same time, the Fort McHenry National Monument enables you to travel back in time. 

You can’t without visiting the USS Constellation or the National Aquarium. Consider watching a live baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, too. And don’t forget to have some Maryland’s Bay blue crab before departing it is an absolute must!

  • Special Features: Inner Harbor, museums, historic sites.
  • Address: Baltimore, MD 21202
  • Distance from DC: About 40 miles (1 hour by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Baltimore
  • Google Map Directions: Baltimore Directions

#12 Eastern Shore of Maryland

Best Weekend Trips from DC

Get out of the city and steal some time to relax on the Eastern Shore in Maryland. This is the best place to have a holiday, characterized by beautiful scenes, small towns, and many outdoor activities. Engage in active and passive tourism activities such as bike rides along rivulets, catching exotic seafood, and renting kayaks for bird watching Etc,

Whether you love to relax or crave adventures, explore towns and cities like St. Michaels and Easton. These places are both ancient and perfectly maintained, providing a comforting atmosphere. This is to inform you that the Eastern Shore offers a distinct encounter for you. From my study, it emerged as a top choice for Best Weekend Trips from DC.

  • Special Features: Coastal towns, seafood, outdoor activities.
  • Address: Eastern Shore, MD
  • Distance from DC: Varies by city (approximately 70-150 miles, 1.5-3 hours by car)
  • Official Website: Visit Maryland
  • Google Map Directions: Eastern Shore Direction

The best time to visit the Best Weekend Trips from DC.

Best Time to visit Best Weekend Trips from DC
January – March (Winter)Quiet hikes, cozy B&Bs, snowy scenery, (fewer tourists)
Winery visits, historic sites, wine tasting, tour Monticello
Museums, historic sites, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall
April – June (Spring)Battlefield tours, blooming landscapes, reenactments, guided tours
Gardens, outdoor festivals, Maymont Park, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Wild ponies, birdwatching, Chincoteague Seafood Festival (May)
July – September (Summer)Beaches, boardwalk, water sports, family activities, summer events
Camping, beach fun, wild horses, Assateague Island National Seashore programs
Coastal town exploration, seafood, boating, St. Michaels, local summer festivals
October – December (Fall)Fall foliage, historic tours, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens fall events
Hiking, scenic drives along Skyline Drive, Apple Butter Celebration
Autumn vineyard visits, scenic drives, harvest festivals, wine tours
Holiday markets, historic tours, ice skating at Blue Cross River Rink, holiday lights


As you wrap up your weekend adventures, take a moment to reflect on the memories you’ve made and the places you’ve explored. Each place had unique charm and excitement, from delightful cities to impressive mountains.

When returning home to DC, bring that discovery happiness and excitement for more discoveries ahead of you. Finally, what is so wonderful about weekend trips is that they can refresh and inspire us, making us ready again with new energy for further Best Weekend Trips from DC.

Some FAQs

How far is D.C. from these destinations?

However, distance varies from one destination to another, ranging from a few hours to long driving.

Which are the recommended means of transport for weekend trips?

The best means of transportation usually include driving, traveling by train, or flying, depending on how far away it is and your preferences.

Are these family-friendly places?

Some of these vacation areas are family-oriented, offering activities for all ages.

What are some must-see places in each area?

Attractions worth visiting vary depending on which district you go to, but they could include historical sites, museums, or natural features.

What are the dining options in these destinations?

Eating facilities vary but may consist of restaurants within the local area and coffee shops selling different cuisines, from simple meals to gourmet.

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