November 29, 2023

15 Scenic Day Trips from DC That Will Take Your Breath Away


Take a break from the busy city life and enjoy these amazing day trips near Washington, DC. There are many beautiful places near the capital that are easy to visit.  

The area is well known for its historic waterfronts, vineyards, and mountains. So relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy 15 Washington DC day trip ideas with us. Ready to explore the treasures beyond the city? Discover your options, starting now. 

Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive Scenic Drive

Let’s get things kicked off with a breathtaking adventure on Skyline Drive. The road is 105 miles long and winds through Shenandoah National Park. Views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are majestic. Keep your camera handy, as you never know when a curious deer might peek out from behind the trees! 

Old Rag Mountain Hike

For the more adventurous souls, a hike up Old Rag Mountain is an absolute must. This hike is tough but worth it, giving you an adrenaline rush and a feeling of success. When you reach the peak, the sweeping views will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. 

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland is often called the “Sailing Capital of the World.” Annapolis has charming cobblestone streets and beautiful views of the waterfront. 

Stepping into Annapolis’s historic downtown is like taking a stroll back in time. 18th-century buildings and quaint boutiques abound. It all creates a charming atmosphere and makes for a rich history. 

Chesapeake Bay Sailing Adventure

If you enjoy adventure, you must go on a sailing trip on the famous Chesapeake Bay. No matter if you have sailing experience or not. Keep an eye out for pods of dolphins dancing in the bay’s gentle waves. 

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry is a beautiful place where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet. It’s perfect for people who love adventure. 

Appalachian Hiking Trails

Embark on an exhilarating journey through nature on the iconic Appalachian Trail. With picturesque landscapes and invigorating fresh air, this hike promises a rejuvenating experience. Meander through verdant forests, past cascading waterfalls, and over awe-inspiring ridges. 

River Tubing

Get your swimsuit and prepare to float down the calm Shenandoah River. Drift lazily along the water, soaking up the sun and the breathtaking scenery. Feel the cares of the world slip away as you surrender to the tranquil rhythm of the river. It’s the perfect way to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you. 

Whitewater Rafting

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, whitewater rafting on the Potomac River is a must. Conquer the river by navigating rapids and waves with your team. Feel the surge of excitement as you paddle through the churning waters.  

Each twist and turn adds to the thrill of the adventure. It’s an experience that will leave you exhilarated and yearning for more. 

Luray Caverns

Underground Cave Exploration

Step into a world beneath the surface as you embark on an underground adventure in Luray Caverns. Marvel at the natural wonders that have been quietly forming over millions of years. You will be surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites, creating a fantastical landscape.  

Go on, channel your inner explorer! Did you remember that stalactites hang from the ceiling? Stalagmites grow up from the cave floor. 

Garden Maze

After leaving the deep caves, test yourself in the captivating Garden Maze. Get lost in the winding paths of this big hedge maze, where each wrong turn leads to exciting finds. Can you conquer the maze and win, or will you get lost and confused? The choice is yours, but the fun is guaranteed! 

Car & Carriage Museum

After exploring the underground caves and the garden, visit the Car & Carriage Museum. A paradise for car lovers. Admire classic cars, vintage transportation, and a collection of carriages. Glimpse into the elegant history of transportation and witness the evolution of travel. 

St. Michaels, Maryland

Maritime Museum & Chesapeake Bay Maritime Trail

Have you ever been drawn to the allure of seafaring tales and the romance of maritime history? St. Michaels, Maryland, is a place that warmly welcomes the nautical spirit. Explore the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum to learn about the region’s seafaring heritage. See history come to life with the Chesapeake Bay watermen and boat-building displays. 

Kayaking in the Miles River

If you love nature and excitement, you must go kayaking in the Miles River. As you paddle through the Miles River, you’ll be immersed in the natural beauty of the Eastern Shore. Enjoy the peaceful waterway and watch for elegant herons and impressive ospreys. 

View of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountain

7 Great Alternative Day Trip Ideas from DC

  1. Great Falls Park: This park has beautiful views of the powerful waterfalls of the Potomac River
  1. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: History buffs will love exploring the Gettysburg National Military Park, site of the historic Civil War battle. 
  1. Hagerstown, Maryland: Experience the city’s vibrant art scene. Visit historical sites like the Hager House and the Antietam National Battlefield
  1. Richmond, Virginia: A bit further away but worth it for history lovers. Richmond offers museums, historic homes, and the scenic James River. 
  1. Solomons Island, Maryland: A picturesque island town with maritime history, museums, and waterfront dining options. 
  1. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park: Discover the legacy of Harriet Tubman.  
  1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Known for its Amish heritage, Lancaster offers a glimpse into traditional Amish culture. 

Best Day Trips from DC with Charter Bus Rental

There’s no doubt that scenic day trips from Washington DC abound. Why not forget the hassle of driving and parking in DC – a charter bus rental is the way to go for a day trip! With a charter bus, you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and leave the navigating to someone else. 

Plus, no need to stress about finding parking or dealing with traffic. It’s a stress-free way to travel with friends or family. So, take the strain out of your day trip and get a free quote on a Washington DC charter bus rental today

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