We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. St. Michaels, Maryland
Less than two hours away from DC, St. Michaels is a charming harbor town where you can relax, shop, dine and enjoy water activities. The harbor and many of the homes date back to the 1600s and you can enjoy learning about the history of the quiet town at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Learn to sail, kayak, bike around town, shop and be sure to enjoy a meal of delicious crab cakes while you are there!
Baltimore is so close to DC but many Washingtonians have not explored the city just to the north of them. The inner harbor is perfect for strolling, renting paddle boats, shopping and enjoying one of the many fantastic restaurants in the area. While you’re there, be sure to stop by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Aquarium. Finish off your weekend trip with a trip to the beautiful Camden Yards!
A few hours south of DC, Charlottesville is an ideal destination for history buffs, wine lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The gorgeous downtown has a thriving arts scene and great restaurants where you can hear live music. Learn about American and Virginia history at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or at James Madison's home, Montpelier. Located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and near the rural Albemarle County, you can hike, bike and explore gorgeous nature. Don’t miss the tours and tastings at 20 vineyards along the Monticello Wine Trail.
4. Cape May
There are many beaches around DC but for something a little unique, head to Cape May, New Jersey. A little under four hours north of DC, Cape May is a seaside resort featuring gorgeous Victorian mansions, a historic lighthouse and plenty of shops and restaurants along Washington Street Mall. Stay in a cozy B&B, take a trolley tour of the historic district and a day at the beach before dining on delicious seafood.
5. Shenandoah Valley
The Shenandoah Valley stretches 200 miles across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains in western Virginia. This picture perfect destination will give you a taste of Virginia beauty. Hike the trails or horseback ride in the Blue Ridge. Take a leisurely drive on stunning Skyline Drive, a back country road that winds you through the mountains past tiny farms and inns. And when you’ve seen enough beauty on top of the ground, head below into the many caverns in the area, including Luray cavern.
We know you get enough history in DC but you can get so much more of it in Philadelphia, along with Philly’s trademark style. See the Liberty Bell, visit Independence Hall and important sites from the American Revolution. Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (where Rocky ran up the steps) and sample some of Philly’s delicious foods, including their famous cheesesteaks!
For a quiet, relaxing visit, try a trip to Winchester in Virginia. The historic downtown has been a thriving marketplace for 250 years and has a pedestrian walking mall lined with outdoor cafes and boutique shops. There is a wide variety of Civil War historic sites and museums in the area. Shop the local farmers market on Saturday or stop into see a play at the Winchester Little Theatre.
8. Hershey, Pennsylvania
Thrill seekers and chocolate lovers will cheer for a visit to Hershey, PA. Known as the sweetest place on Earth, Hershey is home to Hershey Park amusement park, ZooAmerica, Hershey’s Chocolate World and Hershey Gardens. There is also a world class chocolate spa and golf course in the area. If you have a sweet tooth or even if you crave savory food, you’ll find something to enjoy at one of the many culinary destinations in town.
9. Brandywine Valley
Tucked on the edge of Delaware and Pennsylvania, Brandywine offers visitors lush countryside and gorgeous rivers. Brandywine is home to many gardens and arboretums, including the beautiful Longwood Gardens that are perfect for visiting. You can also get a view from up top in a hot air balloon, visit numerous museums, theaters and wineries during your stay!
Richmond is becoming a popular tourist destination.This trendy town is full of unique restaurants, fantastic art (in museums and on the street), and outdoor fun. You can raft the roaring James River or explore the park system, which is perfect for hiking and mountain biking. The arts scene is also strong in Richmond and you can enjoy fun festivals, improv comedy and live music all year long. There is also 400 years of history, amusement parks, museums and so much more to explore in this fun city.