The nation’s capital is home to a lot of star power, and it’s no surprise that so many famous people call Washington, D.C., their home. From political figures like former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton to musicians like John Legend and Jennifer Hudson, there are plenty of celebrities in the District. If you grew up listening to your favorite musician or watching your favorite movie, then chances are good that person lives in the city as well.
There’s plenty more to explore if you can tear yourself away from the city’s thriving nightlife scene and cultural attractions like the National Mall or Smithsonian Museums. From wineries to historic town centers and even zoos, these weekend getaways from Washington DC will help you escape for a few days at any time of year. Check them off your bucket list now!
Georgetown Day Trip
Georgetown Day Trip If there’s one thing you need to do before studying abroad, it’s to explore Washington, D.C. Since you’re in the city anyway, spend a day in Georgetown visiting the grounds of the famous Georgetown University. During your visit, stop by the Georgetown Visitor Center for information on the city and nearby destinations. Afterward, take an afternoon cruise down the Potomac River to visit sights like Fort Washington National Park, the Church of the Presidents, and Georgetown’s Christ Church.
This trip is short, but it’s packed with sightseeing options. Georgetown is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, and the Potomac River cruise is a great way to see some of that beauty. You could even extend the trip by renting a bike and cruising or exploring the neighborhoods outside the city before or after seeing the sights listed above.
Williamsburg, Virginia, Escape
Williamsburg Escape If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Virginia’s Williamsburg. With its rich history as a colonial capital and influence on American culture, Williamsburg is a great place to explore the past while enjoying modern amenities like revamped restaurants, boutiques, and bars.
Williamsburg is also close enough to Washington, D.C., to get you back and forth easily. Make the most of your weekend and explore the city’s Colonial Williamsburg, Colonial National Historical Park, or nearby Jamestown and Yorktown battlefields. Next, spend your days biking or hiking the scenic trails at the nearby James City State Historic Site or Yorktown Battlefield National Historic Park. If you have time, visit nearby Jamestown or Yorktown as well.
About two hours or less: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Shenandoah National Park is the perfect weekend getaway from Washington, D.C. The park is located in the Appalachian mountains, making it a nice and unexpected change of scenery compared to the city’s urban landscape. Shenandoah is also a very accessible national park. The park has several entrances that are less than two hours’ drive from the nation’s capital.
The park has several different trails with varying lengths and difficulty levels. The trails range from short walks to long treks through evergreen trees. The trails are clearly marked and easy to navigate.
If you have time, you can also visit the town of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, which is only about 1.5 hours away from the park. Venture to Harpers Ferry for a trip back in time, or for a weekend getaway from the city. Harpers Ferry has an outdoor market, shops, and restaurants that are worth exploring.
Richmond, Virginia Richmond is a charming city that’s easy to navigate. It’s also a short drive from the nation’s capital and is a great place to explore Virginia’s history. If you have time, visit nearby Mount Vernon or Yorktown battlefields, both of which are only a few hours away. You could also head to Virginia Beach, Virginia, a beach town that’s within a short drive of Richmond.
Richmond’s historic district is a great place to explore architecture and shop for antiques and local goods. You could spend your weekend exploring the city or taking a day trip to nearby Williamsburg.
Annapolis: The Best of the Capital Region
Annapolis: The Best of the Capital Region If you have time to visit one city outside of Washington, D.C., make it Annapolis, Maryland. Home to the prestigious Naval Academy, this city is surrounded by the stunning Chesapeake Bay and is filled with historical sites and natural beauty.
If you have a few days, you can cross the bay and visit Baltimore and the National Harbor, which is a new convention and tourism destination that’s just a short drive from Annapolis. If you have a few days or a weekend, you could also take a trip to historic Jamestown, Virginia, in nearby Williamsburg, Virginia. You could also visit colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown, both of which are nearby.
Baltimore: A Weekend Getaway for History Buffs
Baltimore: A Weekend Getaway for History Buffs Baltimore is a fun, bustling city that’s well-known for its history. It’s also located near the nation’s capital, making it an easy weekend getaway from Washington, D.C.
Baltimore is a great city to explore over the weekend. Begin your exploration by visiting the Maryland Historical Society, which houses a variety of exhibits and architectural tours. Next, take a trip to the Baltimore harbor and explore Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for a fun night out. Baltimore offers a variety of shopping options and restaurants, making it a great place to explore over the weekend.
Were these weekend getaways from Washington, D.C. helpful? Do you have any other ideas on where to visit while you’re in town? Share your thoughts in the comments below! You might also enjoy our article on the 10 Best Day Trips From Washington, D.C.