Hey there, fellow adventurers! If you’re looking to escape the summer sizzle in the DMV & WV, we’ve got some fantastic weekend trip ideas that’ll keep you cool and entertained. Buckle up for some fun!

1. Annapolis, Maryland

Distance: About 45 minutes to 1 hour from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Historic Downtown: Wander through streets filled with 18th-century charm. Hop on a boat or trolley tour, or get spooked on a ghost tour. Feeling social? Try a pub crawl!
  • U.S. Naval Academy: Tour the prestigious academy and its fascinating museum.
  • Maryland State House: Take a self-guided tour of the oldest state capitol still in legislative use.
  • Water Activities: Sail, kayak, or paddleboard on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.
  • Dining: Feast on seafood at waterfront restaurants.
  • Shopping and Gallery Hopping: Shop ’til you drop and check out local art galleries.

2. Charlottesville, Virginia

Distance: About 2.5 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Historic Sites: Explore Monticello, the iconic home of Thomas Jefferson.
  • Wineries: Sip and savor at local wineries.
  • Downtown Mall: Stroll through the pedestrian mall filled with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
  • Hiking: Hit the trails in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains for some epic views and outdoor fun.

3. Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Distance: About 4 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Lake Activities: Dive into swimming, boating, or fishing in the vast lake.
  • Adventure Sports Center International: Get your adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or rock climbing.
  • Fish: Grab those fishing poles and get ready to catch some very large fish!

4. Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

Distance: About 1.5 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Historical Sites: Dive into history at the National Historical Park and learn about John Brown’s raid.
  • Outdoor Recreation: Hike, tube, or raft your way through the great outdoors.
  • Appalachian Trail: Trek a portion of the famous trail that winds through town.
  • Antiques and Shops: Hunt for treasures in local boutiques and antique stores.

5. Ocean City, Maryland

Distance: About 2.5 to 3 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Beach and Boardwalk: Soak up the sun on expansive beaches and stroll the lively boardwalk.
  • Assateague Island: Spot wild horses on the nearby Assateague Island.
  • Water Sports: Jet-ski, parasail, or take a boat tour for some aquatic excitement.
  • Amusement Parks: Get your thrills at Trimper’s Rides and Jolly Roger Amusement Park.

6. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Distance: About 2.5 to 3 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Boardwalk: Enjoy shops, restaurants, and amusements along the vibrant boardwalk.
  • Beaches: Relax on pristine, sandy beaches.
  • Biking: Rent bikes and explore nearby trails.
  • Shopping: Indulge in tax-free shopping at the Tanger Outlets.
  • Miniature Golf: Challenge your friends to a fun game of mini-golf.

7. Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Distance: About 1.5 to 2 hours from D.C.

Highlights and Activities:

  • Scenic Drives: Cruise along Skyline Drive and soak in breathtaking views.
  • Hiking: Discover trails in Shenandoah Valley National Park, including the popular Old Rag Mountain and Dark Hollow Falls.
  • Water Adventures: Cool off with tubing, kayaking, or rafting.
  • Camping: Spend a night under the stars at one of the park’s campgrounds.
  • Ranger Programs: Join guided hikes and educational programs.
  • Wildlife Watching: Spot deer, black bears, and a variety of birds.
  • Luray Caverns: Explore impressive underground caverns with guided tours.
  • Luray Valley Museum: Dive into the history and culture of the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Garden Maze: Get lost in the fun of the garden maze.
  • Car & Carriage Caravan Museum: Marvel at historic vehicles.

These spots offer a mix of adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences that are perfect for beating the summer heat. So pack your bags, grab your friends or family, and hit the road for some cool summer fun!

Related Articles