Washington D.C. has a ton of things to see and do, but visitors staying long-term or those who live in the area can also take advantage of the city’s central location in the Mid-Atlantic states to head out on some fun day trip excursions. Just a short drive out of the city are a number of cool destinations, like Annapolis, Maryland's quaint capital city, and the historic town of Gettysburg. So pack your bags, and hit the road!
Just a 1.5-hour drive from Washington D.C. visitors will find the historic town of Gettysburg, PA. Everyone knows what happened at Gettysburg, but nevertheless exploring the battlefield and learning more about the personal histories of the battle is very rewarding. When not in the Gettysburg National Military Park visitors can explore the town itself, with its many boutique shops and fine-dining establishments.
Great skiing can be found just two hours from Washington D.C. on the peaks of Roundtop Mountain Ski Resort in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. Skiing on Roundtop Mountain, as its gentle name suggests, is a largely laid-back experience. Its 14 or so trails are predominantly beginner and intermediate runs, which means it’s more of a family ski resort, or a place to learn and practice the basics, than a destination for dedicated and experienced skiers. But this gives Roundtop a relaxed, inclusive and welcoming vibe that has drawn visitors for the past 50 years.
Is it touristy? Yes, it is. Is it a lot of fun? It’s that too. Colonial Williamsburg is more of a theme park than an actual historic town – evidenced by the neighboring Busch Gardens theme park – but that doesn’t keep this recreation of a Colonial-era town from being a whole lot of fun. Its staff don period costumes and recreate historical moments from America’s independence and there are informative exhibits on life at the time. Not to mention roller coasters.
Ellicott City is a wealthy suburban oasis just outside of Baltimore and 45 minutes north of Washington D.C. that has a charming downtown core and is surrounded by a number of parks and scenic landscapes. For example, the Patapsco Valley State Park, perched along the Patapsco River, is a 16,043-acre state park that offers eight recreational areas. Otherwise, families in particular will find a few things to do in Ellicott City. They could discover its haunted past with the Olde Haunted Ghost Tour, or check out the B&O Railroad Museum – kids love trains, everyone knows that.
Just 45 minutes east of Washington visitors will find Annapolis, Maryland’s charming capital city, on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Home to the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis just exudes coastal charm. Its waterfront is lined with seafood restaurants serving up fresh Chesapeake catches, and its quaint downtown is filled with historic buildings and cobblestone streets. All in all, the city is a great way to spend a day and a great place to discover the Maryland lifestyle.