16 Slow-Paced Small Towns Near Washington, D.C., Where Life Is Still Simple

It can sometimes feel like life is moving a mile a minute, creating a craving for rural living near Washington, D.C. With the constant hustle and bustle of crowds, tourists, and busy politicians rushing about the district, sometimes you need a break. While most residents of the area love the busy city life, now and then it’s beneficial to slow down. Luckily there are many places within a few hours of D.C. where you can do that. The next time you need a respite, visit the best 16, slow-paced, small towns near Washington, D.C., where life is still simple.

Have you been to some of these small towns offering rural living near Washington, D.C.? You might also add this charming town just outside of Washington, D.C., to your list. And while you’re at it, check out some of the best small-town festivals near Washington, D.C.

The OIYS Visitor Center

16 Slow-Paced Small Towns Near Washington DC Where Life Is Still Simple

September 21, 2022

Where is another one of the best slow-paced, small towns near Washington, D.C.?

In Crisfield, Maryland, you’ll find about 2,700 residents with a strong historic lineage dating back to 1666, who take pride in their town. It sits on the the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, making it famous for its seafood, especially the Maryland blue crab. Some of Crisfield’s enjoyable events include J. Millard Tawes Oyster and Bull Roast, the National Hard Crab Derby, and the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake. Enjoy the James Island State Park, island cruises, restaurants, shopping, and historic sites. 

Where is one of the best small foodie towns near Washington, D.C.?

Front Royal, Virginia, serves as the entrance to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, creating lots of traffic through the charming town. And with so many travelers come empty bellies, and Front Royal delivers with some amazing local restaurants. Khukuri Nepali Cuisine has a unique blend of flavors with various northern Chinese and Indian home-prepared herbs and spices. One interesting appetizer to try is Samosa Chat, which is a fried, savory pastry with potatoes, green peas, yogurt, chickpeas, and chutney. Another great option is the eclectic Blue Wing Frog, where everything is made with love and care. Try the shrimp special – earning you one pound of grilled shrimp with lots of the house-made chipotle remoulade.

Where is one of the most unique towns near Washington, D.C.?

Due to the influence of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1831, Sykesville, Maryland, has been home to a thriving downtown for nearly 200 years! This charming town is rich in history as a National Trust for Historic Preservation District, offering historic landmarks, a robust farmers market, and a kiddie railroad park. It is also a Maryland and National Main Street, meaning the town offers plenty of lively events, such as concerts at Cooper Park, a chili cook-off, and an arts and crafts festival. Also, the natural attractions including the Patapsco River give hours of outdoor fun.