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8 Best Day Trips From Washington DC To Seek Out The Evergreen City

Let’s have a break from hustle and bustle of city life and get some breath of fresh air so, come and join with us to explore the best day trips from DC. This beautiful city offers you to visit lots of natural attractions, wineries, beaches, historical destinations, and outdoor activities. So all you need to just pack your bag, have some snacks, and a tank full of gas.

Primarily, wants you to make acquainted with this evergreen state. As we all know very well Washington DC is a very popular city and also the capital of the United States. It is the only city who is named on the president, George Washington(first president of the United States). DC is also known for its cultural centers because of its abundance of museums and monuments and was rewarded with the nickname as “Evergreen state” for its lush evergreen forests.

That’s all about the brief introduction of DC. Now let’s go ahead and look up the best day trips from Washington DC within 5 hours by road.

Great Day Trips From Washington DC

  1. Catoctin Mountain Park
  2. Manassas Battlefield
  3. Great Falls Park
  4. Baltimore Aquarium
  5. Fort Mchenry
  6. Kent Island
  7. Purcellville, Virginia
  8. Richmond, Virginia

1. Catoctin Mountain Park

Catoctin Mountain Park;Best day trip from DC.
Catoctin Mountain Park

This national park is one of the most popular hiking areas in Maryland with splendid natural attractions. The park offers enjoyable outdoor activities with 25 miles of hiking, camping, lodging, picnicking, and horseback riding. If you are want to see the natural beauty and enjoy outdoor activities and planning a day trip with family then this is the best place for your daycation.

As we know national parks are long been known for its scenic vistas as same as Catoctin Park also offers you some adorable views, i.e. Chimney Rock, Hog Rock, Thurmont Vista, and Blue Ridge Summit Overlook. There is a visitor center in the park that exhibits the park’s natural and federal history. Campfire and cooking grills are also available in the sites

Important Note: 

  1. Pets are allowed in Park unless they are physically restricted or otherwise physically limited on leases longer than 6 feet long at all times.
  2. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited inside the park.
  • Address: 14707 Park Central Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788.
  • Opening Time: 9 am – 5 pm(Monday to Sunday).
  • Note: Hours may differ on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Drive Time: It takes 1 hr 18 mins(via I-270N) from DC to Catoctin Mountain Park.
  • Ticket Price: Entrance is free but you have a purchase access pass to visit visitors centers.

2. Manassas Battlefield

Manassas Battlefield
Manassas Battlefield

This is the unit of national park service in the United States that monumentalizes the site of  American’s two civil wars i.e, the first and second war of the Manassas. It is really a great place to know about the history of civil war, enhancing your knowledge, and get live experience with explanative signs that teach about the first and second war of the Manassas.

This place offers you to many things to do like, Explore the visitor center museum, view the fiber optics battle map, Watch the 45 minutes park orientation movie i.e, End Of Innocence, and hike the Henry Hil Loop Trail. This is one of the best educational day trips from Dc with your children. 

  • Address: 6511 Sudley Rd, City of Manassas, VA 20109.
  • Opening Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm(Monday to Sunday).
  • Note: Hours may differ on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Drive Time: It takes 35 mins(via I-66W) from DC to Manassa Battlefield.
  • Ticket price: Free entrance for all visitors.

3. Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park

It is a National Park Service site located on 800 acres along the Potomac River in northern Fairfax County. It is one of the most popular natural destinations in Washington DC and offers you a lot of fun activities including hiking, waterfall view, picnic, outdoor fun many more.

Here, you can hike along the scenic Mather Gorge, and once ground play by George Falls to Great Falls Park, part of the US National Park System. Enjoy the most spectacular waterfall views near Washington DC, two of which are wheelchair accessible. Or hike up the river trail to more incredible scenery along the reefs of Mather Gorge.

  • Address: 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102.
  • Opening Hours: 7 am – Sunset(Everyday)
  • Ticket Price: The entrance fee for a person is $7, and for vehicle $15.
  • Drive Time: It takes 32 mins(via George Washington memorial Pkwy) from DC to Great Falls Park.

4. Baltimore Aquarium

Baltimore Aquarium;Best day trip from DC.
Baltimore Aquarium

Did you bored to visit the historical building, museums, and Statues, wanna try something different and interesting? If yes, then the Baltimore aquarium is one of the best options to best days trip from Washington DC.

Baltimore Aquarium is known as the national aquarium in Baltimore and one of the largest tourist attractions in Maryland with a rate of 1.5 million visitors annually. The aquarium contains more than 2,200,000 US gallons (8,300,000 liters) of water and has more than 17,000 samples representing 750 species.

The national aquarium is a multi-level aquarium that is home to more than 20,000 animals including birds, frogs, dolphins, turtles, monkeys, etc. Along with living animals, there’s also a movie theatre.

  • Address: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202.
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Wed(10am – 5 pm), Thursday(closed), Friday(9am-8pm), Saturday(9am-5pm).
  • Drive Time:  It takes 55 mins(via Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and MD-295 N) from DC to Baltimore Aquarium.
  • Ticket Prices: Children(3yr-11yr): $29.95, Seniors(65+yr):$34.95 and adults:$39.95.

5. Fort Mchenry

Fort Mchenry;Best day trip from DC.
Fort Mchenry

Just a short walk from the National Aquarium is Fort McHenry. You may not have heard of the fort, but you must have heard the song inspired by the events happening there. It is known for its role in the war of 1812 and now became the best day trips from DC to explore historical attractions.

The visitors and educational center is a great place to start your visit here because a ten minutes introduction movie always shows every half an hour starting at 9 am. After that, you can explore the museums and exhibits areas here. The park gift shops, restrooms and vending machines are also available in the visitors and educational center.

  • Address: 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
  • Opening Hours: 9 am – 5 pm(Everyday).
  • Note: Hours may differ on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Ticket Price: $15 for 16 yr and older, Free for kids younger than 16.
  • Drive Time:  It takes 54 mins(via Baltimore-Washington Pkwy and MD-295 N) from DC to Fort Mchenry.

6. Kent Island

Kent Island;Best day trip from DC.
Kent Island

It is located on the Chesapeake Bay and played a vital role in ion the history of Maryland. Kent Islands offer you a lot of fun activities including a public swimming pool, an outdoor palaestra, A family picnic area, hiking and trailing with gorgeous views of the bay bridge. This beach is short but wide and introduces you with the most attractive scenic view that you never ever experienced before. 

If you are looking to explore the natural smasher and love to spend some time with nature, an open and fresh environment then this place will become one of the best trips from Washington DC. Cray House, old Stevensville post office, and the Stevensville train depots are the must-visit points on Island.  

  • Address: Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
  • Opening Hours: 10 am – 5 pm(Everyday).
  • Ticket Price: It costs you $10 per vehicle for 24 hours.
  • Drive Time:  It takes 1 hr(via US-50E) from DC to Kent Islands.

Suggested Read: Best Islands Destinations In The World: Popular Island Vacations

7. Purcellville, Virginia

Purcellville, Virginia
Purcellville, Virginia

If you are a vino Lover, looking for the different flavors of wine, whiskey, and beer then pretty sure this town will be one of the best options for you. Purcellville is known for the home to the varieties of wineries and breweries. You can find dozens of wineries every five minutes on the main streets.

The Purcellville town is the hub of the western Loundon county. It not only offers you the varieties of wineries and breweries but also the town has more than 50 dining places, ranging from fast dining and casual to fine dining and specialty shops. So you don’t have to worry about finding the food on your day trip from DC.

  • Address: Loundon County, Virginia, United States.
  • Drive Time:  It takes 58 min(via Va-267 w) from DC to Purcellville.

8. Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia

It is the capital of Virginia is the hub of cultural activities, shopping, outdoor funs, art museums and historic attractions. This single city offers you lots of activities on a day trip along with super and delicious food. This city is one of the classy and glamorous cities of the united states.

The most popular museum in Richmond is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Other major museums include the Science museum, The children museum, the valentine museum, and the museum of the confederacy. The James and Appomattox rivers bring you great options for outdoor activities,i.e. swimming, boating, fishing, and canoeing.

  • Address: Richmond, Virginia.
  • Drive Time: It takes 1 hr 46 min(via I-95 S) from DC to Richmond.


After the long discussion on the best day trips from Washinton DC, believe you got the idea of your upcoming day trip. As we discussed above it is an evergreen city, every season you will get great experience but if you want to feel the great pleasure of cherry blossom then visit around April 4 as late as April 18 because at this time 70% of cherry flowers are blooming. Seriously you will get a touch like heaven.

Now here going to muffle up this article with 8 best day trips from Washington DC, please check out these suggested places and also don’t forget to share your valuable feedback with us.

Wishing You a wonderful Day trip in Washington DC!!.

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