The highways surrounding D.C. may be a pain during rush hour, but they serve residents well when it comes to going on exciting nearby day trips. There are plenty of incredible museums, buzzworthy restaurants, and renowned monuments right within the District, but the great thing about the area is that you’re not too far from other adventures, too. Here are a few of our favorites that are less than three hours away.

Shenandoah Valley

If you enjoy nature, majestic views, and a good glass of wine, the Shenandoah Valley could be the perfect day trip for you. Just 90 minutes from D.C., you can hike your way through the inimitable Shenandoah National Park, explore the Luray Caverns, or drive through Skyline Drive, where you can stop at stunning scenic turn-offs along the way. The Dark Hollow Falls Trail is a short waterfall hike that visitors love, and Stony Man Trail is perfect for its panoramic views. The best part is that there are about 22 wineries along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, all adequately spaced out, making for wonderful pit stops along your trek. Don’t forget to stop by the fun roadside attraction Dinosaur Land just a few miles from the park entrance to pose by more than 50 dinosaurs and King Kong!


Home to the beautiful and historic University of Virginia, Charlottesville has become a lively yet relaxing hot spot for day trips. In Charlottesville, you’ll be close to both award-winning vineyards along the scenic Monticello Wine Trail and the flourishing "Brew Ridge Trail," which is a self-guided brewery tour along the Blue Ridge Mountains that highlights the growing number of craft brewers in the area. If you’re an art fan or music lover, the Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall is home to a handful of art galleries, art festivals, and outdoor music concerts. Charlottesville is about three hours away from the city, but the trip is well worth it. Equal parts bucolic and urban-charm, there’s something for everyone in Charlottesville. 


A historic seaport and the capital city of Maryland, Annapolis is a lovely waterside destination that touts four centuries of maritime history. Old brick streets and 18th-century homes fill the streetscapes with charm, and there’s always a plaque or something cool to stop and read. You can visit the homes and gardens of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and learn more about the maritime town's African-American heritage at the Banneker-Douglass Museum. There is an inviting array of shops, restaurants, and museums all along the Severn River and in the Downtown Annapolis area. You can also experience recreational boating, kayaking, canoeing, cruises, and sailing on the harbor!

Looking for More D.C. Destinations?

There is always something or somewhere to explore in and around the Capital City. If you are looking to move to the area and are searching for a Washington, D.C. real estate agent, contact us today. Michael Calhoun and the Austin Hill Partners would love to help you find luxury homes for sale in Washington, D.C.!