We’ve picked five in three states just to give you a sampling of the variety of fun activities that wait for you just down the road. Climb in your Acura and head for something new.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 140 miles
If you want to see what life was like before the skyscrapers, you can head to Amish country. The attractions here are quieter and slower than the ones that light up nights in suburban Virginia. You’ll find covered bridges along the byways. Amish crafts will draw you into the small stores. Lancaster Central Market provides you with fresh foods and Amish treats. To get a closer look at the area’s history, you can visit the Landis Valley Museum or stop by Julius Sturgis, the oldest pretzel factory in the country.
Luray, VA, 73 miles
Luray Caverns are a U.S. Natural Landmark with scenery that is 400 million years old. Underground, you’ll find a dreamscape of stalagmite towers. Overhead you look up ten stories at stalactites that have inched downward over the millennia. Amid enormous stone outcroppings, you’ll stand in the Giant’s Hall. Back where the grass grows, you’ll be in Shenandoah Valley, an area known for its beautiful scenery. If you head up into the mountains, you can take the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the country’s most scenic roads.
St. Michaels, Maryland, 107 miles
At about the same longitude and latitude as Chantilly, St. Michaels couldn’t be more different. This Chesapeake Bay community is a retreat for those who love the water. This getaway is the place for boating and floating. There are cruises, sailing excursions and crabbing boats that will take you into the Bay’s beautiful waters. You can enjoy local history by taking lighthouse tours or making a stop at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Walking, biking and canoeing are great ways to see the shore. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find festivals dedicated to wine, craft beer, the arts, or oysters.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, 50 Miles
Harper’s Ferry is home to a U.S. National Park Service site that encompasses more than 3,000 acres. The scenery is beautiful where the the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet. A museum and historical buildings draw you back to 1859. This is the place where John Brown, a New York abolitionist, tried to take a stand against slavery. Since this is a natural area, you’ll find many spots to go hiking or picnicking. The area is definitely a good place to find exciting outdoor adventures, such as tubing and ziplining.
Matapeake Park, Maryland, 75 miles
Much closer than Virginia Beach, Ocean City or Rehobeth, you will find a Chesapeake Bay beach at Matapeake Park. You can spend your time relaxing by the shore. Be sure to bring all of the food and drinks you’ll need for the day. On the way back, you can stop in Annapolis for dinner.