The nation’s capital is a very happening area. With a population of over nearly 700k and being centrally located to the Maryland and Virginia borders, the District of Columbia hosts lots of the federal facilities, such as the White House and Pentagon which serves the United States Federal Government. Locals to this busy area may find themselves looking for a nice weekend getaway for a relaxing and fun reset. With many exciting destinations within an easy driving distance, residents to this city are lucky to have so many exciting things to do.

If you are planning a weekend getaway from Washington, DC, there are tons of locations to visit in the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. Whether you’re a nature lover, a beach enthusiast or a city adventurer, there is definitely something new to explore in these areas. Here are some of the most exciting weekend getaways from DC.

Ocean City Beaches

Drive time from DC: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Ocean City is one of Maryland’s top destinations. Your vacation in this state is not complete without spending a day or two at the beaches in Maryland, which are the closest to the nation’s capital. With over 900 rentals listed on VacationRenter, finding a great property to stay for the weekend is easy and supports all budgets. If you’d like to travel with your pet, both Calvert Cliffs State Park and North Point State Park have dog-friendly beaches. Take your fur-kid for a walk on the shore and enjoy the beautiful scenery listening to the waves crash.

Top Things to Do Near Ocean City

Test your courage by trying the roller coaster ride at the Jolly Roger Amusement Pier. Get a taste of the thrilling views as you ride all of the attractions at this beach front theme park. Make sure to grab a surf lesson for a chance to experience the east coast swell, and close out an adventurous day with an awesome seafood dinner at Spadafora’s.

Shenandoah National Park

Drive time from DC: 1 hour and 15 minutes

The Shenandoah National Park near Charlottesville offers a lot of outdoor activities that will test your strength. Walk and hike while admiring the magnificent views of nature. Bring your own tent and go on a camping adventure with your family or friends. With many of the trails at this park being dog friendly, you are more than welcome to bring your best friend along! Just make sure to follow local leash guidelines, clean up after your furry friend, and of course, bring lots of treats!

National Harbor Maryland

Drive time from DC: 15 minutes

Located just 11 miles away, we love sending DC residents to National Harbor Maryland. The waterfront location features fantastic shopping, live events, a casino, and an awesome ferris wheel. Capital Wheel gives the best views of the United States Capitol building, White House and National Mall.

If you are itching to get on the water, take the ferry and enjoy wonderful marine views. Ride a gondola or rent a kayak in the Potomac River.

Being so close, if you are not local to DC, and still want to experience visiting the sites in National Harbor. We recommend grabbing a nice rental and spending a day at this waterfront destination. This way, you can experience the best of both exciting areas!

Visit Baltimore

Drive time from DC: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Take a spin to the nearest metropolitan city by heading to Baltimore! With a strong mix of professional activity, culture, great sports, and an exciting food scene, many DC locals may have already visited this large Maryland city for business. But spending a weekend here is a great way to have fun in a close place! Head to Ravens game if you are visiting during football season, or an Orioles game for a taste of some baseball in the summer. Make sure to check out the great nightlife scene near the Harbor, just north of Little Italy for a great night on the town.

For a great arts experience, head to the Walters Art Museum. This museum houses a collection of Greek and Egyptian statues. Gaze at the rare paintings of world-renowned artists like Raphael, Monet and El Greco. Masks are currently required and admission is free, making this awesome location a great option for those on a budget. Visitors can enjoy inspiring works during the afternoon before spending time checking out what the city has to offer.

Visit Norfolk

Drive time from DC: 3 hours

While Norfolk is a bit further than most of our recommendations, we love sending readers to Virginia for a taste of the soulful south. Admire the wonderful collection of photographs and paintings. Spend a few hours in one of the themed gardens like the Japanese garden and the Annette Kagan Healing Garden. Expand your knowledge of Virginia by understanding the history of the state. Learn about the American Revolution, Civil War and the many battlefields in the state. Norfolk is known for its southern hospitality and strong naval presence. In fact, the southern city is home of the largest naval base on planet earth! After checking out the gardens, head over to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum for a taste of the military involved history Norfolk takes part in. Enjoy phenomenal seafood, beautiful sites and friendly locals in this historic VA area.

Get the Weekend Started!

Maryland and Virginia offer the best weekend getaways and exciting activities near DC. Hopping away from the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital is going to be the well needed trip you are looking forward to. Reset those mental batteries and take your family or friends with you for a one-of-a-kind adventure. VacationRenter has tips and recommendations for your next trip.