Great Day Trips from The DC Area

Fall on the east coast is a beautiful time of year, and after all the summer fun you may not want to go inside just yet. Here are a few locations to get out of town and see some hidden gems!  Stroll the waterfront of the Chesapeake Bay or walk through colonial history. Whatever you pick there is always more to see just a short drive from the DC area!

St. Michaels

About an hour and a half away from DC Center St. Michaels is known for it’s iconic lighthouse and colorful views of the water. An afternoon in this bayside town is best spent on a boat tour, of which there are many options; charters, tours and taxi’s. As long as you get out on the water you will surely see a few osprey and maybe a blue herring. Thats enough to content any bird watcher or curious kid.  Stroll along North Talbot Street to visit boutiques and restaurants, and if you have the time to stay in the town consider a bed and breakfast. The Old Brick Inn has a great location and cozy colonial style. For  more active travelers try a visit to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge or bike the St. Michaels Walking Trail to look at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. At any point this is a great day trip from the city and can fill up your weekend if you stop by Kent Island and dive into activities!


DC’ers often discount the touristy Inner Harbor of Baltimore but a day on the bay may be just want you need.  As everyone knows, the Inner Harbour has great features like the Baltimore Aquarium, Camden Yards and Port Discovery Children’s Museum.  Great shopping and restaurants are steps away from the docs.  Once you have peddled your way around the water in a dragon paddle boat, we suggest walking over the the Hard Rock Cafe or enjoying the view at Rusty Scrupper Restaurant.  Out late for a night cap? How about going out to the many bars and clubs at Power Plant Live! Our favorite is the laidback Luckies Tavern which often has bands and singers strumming all the time.  A great hotel at the Inner Harbor well, for the water view we suggest the Ritz Carlton, but if you are more of a sports person the Hilton Baltimore  has a great spot overlooking the Orioles Camden Yards Stadium. 


Quaint and colonial Annapolis, is a great way to spend the day. Whether you are a history buff, a boutique shopper or a party person. Annapolis has great ways to spend your time overlooking white sails and brick townhouses. Some classic Annapolis activities are a tour through the capitol or walking down Main Street for shopping and ice cream.  Two city staples are  Ram’s Head Tavern which has great musical acts come through it’s doors and Pusser’s. Pussers Bar and Grille is situated on Ego Alley, named for the literal showboating that occurs. Sailors parade down this alley showing off their newest toy for onlookers, blasting music and waving at onlookers. Pusser’s is a great time, because of the Annapolis atmosphere and great location but it is a essentially a dive bar with fruity cocktails. Other than The Marriott Waterfront which hosts the local hot spot, we suggest you spend your night on The Historic Inn’s of Annapolis. 

National Harbor

A twenty to forty minute drive from the DC area National Harbour is sitting in Anacostia on the Potomac River coastline.  This new development outside of the city has a slower pace and well-kept grounds. On Saturdays and Sundays the harbour’s streets transform into a farmers market and hosts bands and entertainment. Food festivals, kneeboarding competitions and car shows bring in people in the summer complete with fireworks every weekend!   The area has great albeit overpriced restaurants and shopping options as well. A beach area and nice river walk over the to must-see interiors of the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor.

Other Great Day Trip ideas:

  • Luray, Virginia- Must See: Luray Caverns 
  • Alexandria, Virginia- Must See: Torpedo Factory
  • Mount Vernon, Virginia- Must See: Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
  • Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Kent Island, Maryland
  • Dover, Delaware
  • Harpers Ferry Maryland- Must Do: White Water Rafting
  • Charlottesville- Must See: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
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