Weekend destinations

25 Oct

Yesterday, I wrote about good day trips to take from DC. But sometimes, a day just isn’t enough. Luckily, the East Coast is small. And you can make it to a lot of great destinations in a handful of states if you hop in the car for two or three hours. I’m always looking for new trip ideas, so add your suggestions to the comment section and I’ll add it to my list!

Weekend Trips:

Gettysburg – One of my favorite things about the East Coast is that you are surrounded by American history. Gettysburg is perhaps one of the best examples as you weave your way through Civil War battlegrounds and listen to stories of various battles and heroes. It’s worth it to buy the $25 CD at the visitor center, since the audio helps bring the sites to life. We wound up staying at a Holiday Inn or something of the sort to save some money, but Gettysburg is full of cute bed and breakfasts if you’re looking for something a bit more romantic and quaint. Approx. driving time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Shenandoah Valley – I mentioned Skyline Drive as a day trip, but there is so much to see and do in the park and valley that can’t be accomplished in a day. Camping in the park is great–and will only run you about $20 for the site (plus $15 for park entry). Just be sure to reserve a spot in advance on three-day weekends! There is also a lot in Shenandoah Valley (New Market, Woodstock, Luray…), including wine tasting, an awesome flea market, juicy fried chicken, and great sightseeing. Approx driving time: 2 hours

Ashby Inn (Paris, VA) – Dinner at the Ashby Inn in Paris may be one of the best meals I’ve ever had. With perfect food, perfect ambience and a room right upstairs, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. Chef Tarver King uses seasonal ingredients to create masterful dishes. The inn itself is very quaint, with adirondack chairs lining the property to take in the sunset. Paris has a few antique shops, but the real treats are up the road in Upperville, where you’ll find Hunter’s Head Tavern–a traditional English tavern–and plenty of vineyards.

Chincoteague/Assateague – Take a beach vacation to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, and you’ll get a litle bit of everything. In Chincoteague, you’ll find your typical beach town with rental beach cruisers, two mini golf courses, souvenir shops and homemade ice cream. Hop on your bike and head over to Assateague, and you’re in for deserted beaches, marshland, and wild ponies. One word of advice: wear plenty of mosquito spray! Approx. driving time: 3 and a half hours.

Cumberland – Cumberland, MD is your quintessential small town, full of bed and breakfasts and cute brick buildings. Located in mountainous Alleghany County, Cumberland gives you some nice views that are perfect for a quiet weekend. Make sure to rent some bikes and take a spin down the C&O canal. While you’re here, take a stroll through downtown, where you’ll find a few cute boutiques and antique shops. Approx. driving time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Other nearby weekend destinations include West Virginia, Charlottesville (be sure to visit Monticello), Colonial Williamsburg, Philadelphia, the Delaware coast, and much, much more. Remember that the East Coast has a lot of states in a small area, so if you’re willing to drive for three or four hours, you’re bound to find something interesting!

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