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With all of its world-class museums, nice parks and playgrounds, historic websites, and different kid-friendly vacationer points of interest, Washington, DC is a journey vacation spot in its personal proper. Nonetheless, there are occasions – particularly through the sweltering summer time – when households wish to get out and discover one thing apart from the nation’s capital. Thankfully, there are such a lot of nice summer time day journeys from DC that may assist households escape the warmth and make recollections collectively.
We have rounded up 12 nice summer time day journeys from DC which might be lower than three hours away. Pack your baggage, get these automotive video games and podcasts prepared, and prepare for a enjoyable household highway journey.
Summer time Day Journeys from DC for Children and Households
Clifton is small, however filled with enjoyable. Picture courtesy of Katie Sivinski
1. Clifton, Virginia
The DC suburb of Clifton, Virginia in Fairfax County is small however brimming with allure and has some improbable eating places. One in every of our favourite family-friendly wineries, Paradise Springs Vineyard, is close by. There are additionally great locations to stroll and discover nature. And in the summertime, Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot is a must-visit for scrumptious do-it-yourself ice cream. Bonus: it is positioned subsequent to a enjoyable playground the place the little ones can burn off all that sugar!
2. Annapolis, MD
Summer time is the proper time to go to Maryland’s capital (positioned about an hour from DC) for all of the alternatives to have enjoyable on the water. Households can kayak, canoe, sail and boat on the Chesapeake Bay. They will swim and construct sandcastles at Sandy Level State Park, certainly one of our favourite family-friendly seashores close to DC. They will study concerning the space and the bay on the Chesapeake Youngsters’s Museum. They usually can discover the US Naval Academy, which has a museum open to the general public.
3. Baltimore, MD
Solely about an hour away, Baltimore is among the finest choices for fast summer time day journeys from DC. From town’s walkable Interior Harbor (residence to the well-known Nationwide Aquarium, great eating places and museums, together with the superb Port Discovery Youngsters’s Museum) to an insect zoo, Baltimore has so many enjoyable issues to do with youngsters. You may even catch a Baltimore Orioles baseball recreation within the historic Camden Yards.
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Colonial Seashore is the second largest seaside in Virginia. Picture by CW Clarke, courtesy of the CBVA Fb web page
4. Colonial Seashore, Virginia
Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, lower than a two-hour drive from DC, the sandy Colonial Seashore is Virginia’s second largest seaside. Households can frolic within the sand and surf, then discover the historic metropolis (the birthplace of President James Monroe), stroll the boardwalk, dine alfresco, and extra. For historical past buffs, the George Washington Birthplace Nationwide Monument is simply minutes away.
5. Lancaster, PA
Lancaster is finest often known as the center of the Dutch nation of Pennsylvania and has extra to supply than Amish tradition. Dutch Wonderland is a superb family-friendly amusement park for toddlers and youthful youngsters. Plan a keep on the Cartoon Community Lodge in case you can match it inside your funds and schedule. For prepare fanatics within the household, the Strasburg Railroad, the Railroad Museum, and the Nationwide Toy Practice Museum are all a brief distance from one another. Foodies will love the Turkey Hill Expertise and may prepare dinner at residence at Miller’s Smorgasbord. Lancaster is a few two hour drive from DC.
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Take pleasure in a ranger-led tour of Shenandoah Nationwide Park. Picture by Kaitlyn Kunce/NPS
6. Shenandoah Nationwide Park
About 2.5 hours from DC, Shenandoah Nationwide Park is an interesting and delightful method to discover the pure world. Hike the paths, together with the simple Stoney Man Path. Go to one or two family-friendly museums or go underground to discover stalactites and stalagmites at Luray or Shenandoah Caverns. There’s additionally Dinosaur Land, the place you possibly can see almost 50 larger-than-life dinosaur re-creations, in addition to a drive-in to a household film. Whilst you can actually spend a day within the Shenandoah Valley, it’s possible you’ll want you can prolong your keep by a day or two.
7. Wilmington, DE
Wilmington, a straight shot from 1-95, is a straightforward two-hour drive from DC and provides lots to do for households. Absorb the tradition town has to supply at a number of museums, together with the superb Delaware Youngsters’s Museum. Nature lovers can take a ship journey down the river, take a hike in Brandywine Creek State Park, or go low-level mountain climbing. No matter your loved ones is in search of on a fast day journey, Wilmington is bound to please.
8. Philadelphia, PA
The Metropolis of Brotherly Love provides a lot for households that spending a day right here will be overwhelming. But when a day is all you’ve got obtained, Philly will not disappoint – simply depend on about 2.5 hours every means for driving time. Households can discover the Franklin Institute (with Harry Potter: The Exhibition by means of September 18, 2022), go to Independence Corridor, go to the Liberty Bell, and take a victory lap like Rocky on the prime of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork. Children may also love the Please Contact Museum, which made our checklist of the most effective youngsters’s museum in each state. And if in case you have time, head to Longwood Gardens, about an hour outdoors of Philadelphia.
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Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is a should go to in Charlottesville. Picture courtesy of the Nationwide Park Service
9. Charlottesville, Virginia
In case you’re in search of academic summer time day journeys from DC, you possibly can’t get a lot better than historic Charlottesville. There, households can go to three close by presidential properties: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, James Monroe’s Highland. The Downtown Mall has many outlets and family-friendly eating places, and the Virginia Discovery Museum provides hands-on reveals that younger youngsters will take pleasure in. For folks, there are numerous kid-friendly wineries and breweries simply outdoors of Charlottesville.
10. Amusement Parks
Starting from a brief half-hour drive to Six Flags in Bowie, Maryland to a virtually three-hour drive to Busch Gardens close to Williamsburg, there are a number of amusement parks that make straightforward summer time day journeys from DC. Two different nice choices are King’s Dominion simply north of Richmond, Virginia and Hersheypark in Pennsylvania. For the youthful group, Hersheypark and close by Chocolate World would be the most fascinating, and several other amusement parks have seasonal open-air water parks.
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Fenwick Island is ideal for households. Picture Courtesy of Bethany Fenwick Space Chamber of Commerce
11. The Seashores of Delaware
With broad sandy seashores, enjoyable boardwalks with rides and video games, duty-free outlet shops, miniature golf galore, and loads of ice cream parlors, Delaware’s seaside cities are filled with household enjoyable. Every of the cities has its personal distinct persona, however our favorites for households are Rehoboth Seashore, Bethany Seashore, and Fenwick Island. About 2.5 hours from DC, you may make a day of it in case you do not thoughts coming residence late, or you possibly can keep for a complete weekend or longer. In case you’re staying longer and wish to do one thing completely different, attempt the Bethany Seashore Nature Middle or the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum on Fenwick Island.
12. Parks with Seashores
In case your youngsters are craving sand, solar, and water, however you do not wish to do any of the longer summer time day journeys from DC, go to one of many nice parks with seashores close to DC. These Northern Virginia and Maryland parks additionally provide different enjoyable actions, equivalent to climbing trails, playgrounds, kayaking, canoeing, and extra. Go early, as many of those parks begin turning households away when their parking tons refill.
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