Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (2023)

As much as we love the country's capital, we also know that there are times when you really want to get out of the city for a bit. That's where DC day tours come in.

Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (1)


  • DC Day Trips

    You don't have to go far to get a whole different vibe. Some of DC's best day trips are just a few miles from the city proper. Most of them are within an hour or two by car from Washington DC, and some are also accessible by train.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (2)

    Day Trips from DC to Maryland

    C & O Canal Leinpfad in Maryland

    If you're on two wheels (or two feet), the C&O Canal Towpath is a great way to get out of the city on a wide, flat path that's ideal for day trips. Or take a few days to bike the full 184.5 miles to Cumberland, PA.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (3)

    Parque Great Falls

    Just a few miles from the DC border, in the middle of the Potomac, are the eponymous Great Falls. But they don't just stay there. they roar.

    From the car park, follow the C&O Canal towpath and take the shortcut to a mid-river lookout point. Or, if you want a more challenging approach, take the Billy Goat Trail with its famously spooky rock descents. Please wear appropriate footwear and bring water for the 4.7 mile trail.

    MoreNational Parks near D.C.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (4)


    Drive the 270 (or bike the C&O towpath) to find this one-of-a-kind mountain nearbyFriedrich, Maryland. It offers several different routes to the summit, depending on whether you want to climb steeply or meander down a gentler path.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (5)

    Harpers Ferry, Virginia

    There is history, yes. Here John Brown broke into the armory in hopes of rallying the slaves for the uprising. But Harper's Ferry has so much more to offer today. Opportunities for hiking, biking, rock climbing, tubing and rafting abound.

    Harper's Ferry National Historical Park includes part of the Appalachian Trail that you can hike today, but it was also a historic site of the Underground Railroad and the Lewis and Clark Trail.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (6)

    Friedrich, Maryland

    The small town of Frederick looks like a movie set - as if someone put the cutest little town in a mountain valley and populated it with bicycles.

    In August, attend the National Clustered Spired High Wheel Race - a day-long competition featuring vintage, big-wheeled bicycles and period costumes.

    (Video) 24 Hours in Washington DC: Visiting 17 Attractions in One Day

    MoreActivities in Frederick, MD

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (7)

    Baltimore, Maryland

    This one is natural. Only one hour eachcar or train or bus. You probably know people who live there. Meet them for a Natty Boh beer and crab cakes at Fells Point or marvel at the beautiful curiosities of the American Visionary Art Museum.

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a great place to spend a few hours with the fish.

    MoreActivities in Baltimore, MD

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (8)

    Annapolis, Maryland

    Annapolis is a coastal city with history, charm and naval academy cadets. Stroll the cobbled streets past historic houses and gardens.

    Take a look at the Maryland State House, the oldest continuously used state capital and the only one to serve as the United States capital at the end of the Revolutionary War.

    Settle in for a seafood dinner by the sea and watch the sailboats dock in the harbour.

    MoreActivities in Annapolis, MD

    Savage Mill in Maryland

    A historic textile mill reborn as a shopping and dining destination midway between DC and Baltimore. Art, antiques, and local retailers fill five buildings on the site.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (9)

    Ellicott City, Maryland

    A charming historic industrial town that has recovered from two 100 year floods in the space of two years.

    Browse the boutiques along Main Street, then hit the burgers and beers in the aptly named Phoenix, which has been rebuilt after each flood.

    MoreThings to do in Ellicott City, MD

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (10)

    St. Michaels, Maryland

    Located on Maryland's east coast about 90 minutes from DC, St. Michaels offers a great escape by land or sea.

    Visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and take a river cruise on the authentic 1920's Chesapeake Bay Purchase BoatWinnie Estelle

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (11)

    National Harbor, Maryland

    With the opening of the MGM Grand Casino in 2016, National Harbor has officially grown. A conference center on the Potomac River and the Gaylord Resort fueled the area's early development, with chain restaurants and a Ferris wheel that drew locals and tourists alike. But it was the casino that really established it as a tourist destination.

    Take a water taxi from The Wharf in DC or Old Town Alexandria, or drive and park in the huge lot.

    (Video) AC/DC - Through The Mists Of Time (Official Video)

    Buy tickets to a show at the intimate MGM National Harbor Theater where superstars like Cher and Britney Spears performed in front of 3,000 lucky fans.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (12)

    McKee Beshers Wildlife Preserve

    When the flowers are in bloom, there's no better place in Washington DC for a sunflower selfie than McKee Besher's Wildlife Preserve. As soon as word gets out, the place fills up, so go early in the day before straws snap from the hordes of cheerful photos.

    MoreSonnenblumenfelder in Maryland

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (13)

    DC day trips to Virginia

    Alexandria, Virginia

    Seven miles south of DC and an easy subway or bike ride away, Old Town Alexandria's newly completed waterfront is another reason to visit the historic colonial city.

    Changing public art exhibitions, waterfront concerts and a non-stop walk along the entire city waterfront with new bars and restaurants along the way make this a great day trip.

    MoreActivities in Alexandria, Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (14)

    Mount Vernon, Virginia

    Fourteen miles from DC is Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. A tour of the house offers many surprises, including the bright green hue of the dining room walls.

    The gardens are large and charming and perfect for spending a spring day. If you don't want to buy tickets, just have lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn and try the peanut soup.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (15)

    Fredericksburg, Virginia

    Catch the train an hour south of Union Station to find more George Washington - his childhood home, Ferry Farm. But this enchanting place has so much more to offer.

    For train and airplane enthusiasts, the Rappahannock Railroad Museum and the Shannon Air Museum are suitable.

    And everyone loves Carl's Frozen Custard, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    MoreFor them in Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (16)

    the north neck

    The area between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, east of Fredericksburg, is a rural area full of historic sites and charming small towns.

    History buffs will be able to catch a glimpse of some of the places where the Founding Fathers spent their formative years, such as the birthplace of George Washington in Westmoreland County.

    Antique shops and second-hand shops invite you to take a closer look.

    (Video) Harry Mack's Prom Night in DC | Guerrilla Bars 25

    Seafood options are plentiful, but some of the best restaurants are inland at Relish in Warsaw. Or grab some steamed blue crabs to crack when you get home.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (17)

    Winchester, Virginia

    Patsy Cline's house! You can visit the country music legend's childhood home.

    And dinosaurs! Dinosaurland is an immersive retro experience where you can walk among life-size reproductions of prehistoric creatures.

    In the fall there are many apple farms in the area and many offer options to choose from as well as fun farm activities. Any time of the year you can visit Winchester Ciderworks to see the magic they create with fermented apples.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (18)

    Workhouse art center

    The Workhouse Arts Center, an adaptive conversion of Northern Virginia's legendary Lorton Correctional Facility, now houses more than 100 artist studios and a 100-seat theater and several outdoor performance spaces.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (19)

    Richmond, Virginia

    Virginia's capital is an easy day trip from DC, although you might want to set aside a weekend just to experience more of the acclaimed restaurants there.

    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) are must-sees for art lovers.

    If outdoor activities are your thing, the James River intersects the city with Class III and IV rapids for the more adventurous.

    MoreActivities in Richmond, Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (20)

    Luray, Virginia

    Luray is a great outing for kids because their little heads will explode in so many places. Luray Caverns is the largest underground cave on the east coast. Stalactites, stalagmites, caves and a large ancient organ inside will amaze even adults.

    The temperature inside the caves is a constant 54 degrees, so dress appropriately.

    MoreThings to do in Luray, Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (21)

    The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum in the caves has a fine history of the automobile, while the Luray Depot and Railway Museum covers the same for trains.

    For a bit of living history, head to the Shenandoah Heritage Village at the Luray Valley Museum, where blacksmiths show off their skills and an 18th-century kitchen crafts delicious treats.

    (Video) Top 25 Places To Visit In The USA


    The charming town of Sperryville evokes old-fashioned hunting trips and horseback riding adventures. You can even hop on a horse and take a guided tour of Shenandoah National Park at Graves Mountain Farm.

    Visit Copper Fox Distilling for a shot of whiskey or a craft cocktail in the riverside cocktail garden overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    If your dining budget is in the 3 or 4 figures, make a reservation at the Inn at Little Washington, one of the finest restaurants in the world, for a meal to remember.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (22)

    Skyline Drive

    One of the best fall day trips from DC is a Skyline Drive cruise through the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park.

    Enter the north entrance near Front Royal and drive along the ridge, stopping at frequent lookout points to take in the grandeur of the valley below.

    Keep an eye out for black bears along the way, and if you spot one, stop at one of the visitor centers -- the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center at Mile 4.6 on Skyline Drive and the Byrd Visitor Center at Mile 51 -- where records of wildlife observation are kept will allow visitors to post where they have seen bears.

    Keep in mind that to access Skyline Drive, you must pay for the National Park entrance fee.

    take itSkyline Drive-Route

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (23)

    Massanutten, Virginia

    Located in the Shenandoah Valley, Massanutten Resort offers something for everyone on 6,000 acres.

    Skiing in winter, water park in summer, downhill mountain biking and spa anytime. They have recently added street curling to their extensive range of activities.

    find moreSkiing in Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (24)

    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Take a scenic drive along Route 66 until you see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance, then turn onto Route 29 and wind through fields, forests and small towns until you reach Charlottesville.

    Stroll the University of Virginia campus, have lunch on the downtown boardwalk and drive to Monticello.

    MoreActivities in Charlottesville, Virginia

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (25)


    American history comes to life at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, founded the University of Virginia, and was the third President of the United States, and his House exemplifies all the contradictions that slave owners hold for individual freedom and rights.

    (Video) AC/DC - Live at Caste Donington, England, August 17, 1991 (Full concert - HD 50fps)

    Today's Monticello tackles the problem of slavery head-on, but it probably raises more questions than it answers.

    Day trips to West Virginia

    Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

    Just 90 minutes from DC, Berkeley Springs is a whole different world. The hot springs have made it famous, and people have come here to bathe in the waters since the historic baths were built over 200 years ago. Swim in the same waters as George Washington at Berkeley Springs State Park. But now the city is full of art galleries, cute cafes, microbreweries and a tea house.

    Over 25 incredibly easy day trips from DC (26)

    DC Day Trips over 3 hours from the city

    • Virginia Beach, Virginia
    • Colonial Williamsburg
    • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
    • Jamestown, Virginia
    • Chincoteague-Insel
    • Ocean City, MD
    • Assateague National Seashore
    • Rehoboth, DE

    Look out forHotel Washington DC?

    Do you need a car?Get the best rental car prices HERE.

    Bookmark and start planning!


    1. AC/DC - Shoot To Thrill (Iron Man 2 Version)
    2. NTS Renters: Washington DC DIYers Eclectic Studio Apartment: 45sqm/490sqft
    3. AC/DC - Touch Too Much (Official Video)
    5. 10+ HOURS on this FIRST CLASS Bus from DC to Nashville 🇺🇸
    (Jeb Brooks)
    6. AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long (Official Video)
    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

    Last Updated: 07/19/2023

    Views: 6151

    Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

    Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

    Birthday: 1994-06-25

    Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

    Phone: +128413562823324

    Job: IT Strategist

    Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

    Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.