We probably don’t need to tell you that Washington, D.C. is full of things to do, but we know it’s nice to get away sometimes. Fortunately, in just a few hours time you can find rural landscapes, small-town charm, urban shopping districts and pretty much anything you’re looking for. If you don’t have a car (and who needs a car in D.C.?), car pool with a friend who does or hit up one of D.C.’s many car rental agencies. Here are a few Washington, D.C. weekend getaways to consider if you need to get out of town:
A Historic Battlefield: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Distance from D.C.: 85 miles
The town that lent its name to one of the most famous speeches in American history is a gem of a town. A high density of bed and breakfast inns make Gettysburg a nice place to stay for a quiet night or weekend.
The town is stepped in history, offering everything from candlelit ghost tours to full-scale battle re-enactments. The battlefield is the most popular attraction, but Lincoln actually gave the famous Gettysburg Address at the adjacent cemetery, where the many losses of the battle are buried. Both are part of Gettysburg National Military Park.
Grab a pastry at: Gettysburg Baking Co., 17 Lincoln Square
A Revitalized Capital: Richmond, Virginia
Distance from D.C.: 98 miles
It wasn’t long ago that Richmond was a city with a high crime rate that had little to offer visitors. Thankfully, things have changed a great deal in the one-time capital of the Confederacy. Richmond has a reputation as a city of distinctive neighborhoods, so don’t confine yourself to just one.
The Fan is popular with college students from nearby Virginia Commonwealth University, and you’ll find no shortage of places to eat and drink along Main Street. Carytown is the place to go if you want to shop. The Museum District centers around the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which is worth a visit. Richmond is also home to a thriving craft brewing scene, and brewery tours are a popular activity.
Take a stroll through: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave.
A Colonial Main Street: Annapolis, Maryland
Distance from D.C.: 32 miles
The adorable downtown of Maryland’s capital revolves around the State House, which looms over Main Street and its shops and restaurants. Laid-brick streets and ornate architecture remind you that Annapolis was a city founded in the mid-1650s by Puritans. Annapolis is also home to the U.S. Naval Academy (which you can visit), and the influence of nearby Chesapeake Bay is obvious on the city.
Eat crab cakes at: Cantler’s Riverside Inn, 458 Forest Beach Road
A Rustic Getaway: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Distance from D.C.: 64 miles
Harpers Ferry is a picturesque small town at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, an area Thomas Jefferson once called “one of the most stupendous scenes in nature.” It’s best known in American history as the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid on an armory as part of a violent rebellion against slavery before the Civil War.
Just more than half a square mile, Harpers Ferry is often considered the rough midpoint of the Appalachian Trail, which runs right through town. Visit in the fall and you’ll catch some beautiful foliage. If you’re looking to spend the night, you’ll find a handful of bed and breakfasts along Washington Street.
It’s not a “happening” town, but if you’re looking to relax and bask in small-town charm before heading back to the grind, Harpers Ferry is the place for your weekend getaway.
Grab dinner at: The Anvil, 1290 W. Washington St.
All of these places are no more than a two-hour drive from Washington, D.C. Washington is a fantastic place to live and work, and we’re lucky it is surrounded by lots of places that make for a beautiful weekend getaway.
Here in D.C., our residents live in luxury homes in the apartment community at Tenley View. We pride ourselves on the amenities we offer. Our residents can hop on the Metro and get anywhere in DC, and they are also a car ride from all the countryside has to offer. We encourage you to learn more about Tenley View and schedule a tour to see what we’re all about.