So sorry to rain on your parade but you could easily spend a week in Virginia alone. We have DC, Alexandria, Mt. Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, Monticello -- and more -- a veritable smorgasbord of historical options. However, If you stay in northern Virginia and go to a couple of DC locations and Mt Vernon, then you could move on to Lancaster area of Pennsylvania the next day. I don't know of any historical areas in West Virginia but the mountains are certainly pretty -- especially if you travel in the fall - so you could do that area the 3rd day. You will have a tiny nibble of each state.
Yes, you'll need to edit your plans to fit 3 days, unless you just want to drive past things and eat in the car.
I once did a great little 3 day vacation based in Frederick MD, and from that base I visited Gettysburg, Antietam, and Harpers Ferry WV, and visited Cunningham Falls St Park for some hiking. Frederick is a charming town with a pleasant walkable downtown with several nice restaurants for your evenings.
If you prefer to experience the VA battlefields, Richmond makes a nice base to visit Fredericksburg and Petersburg, and has a couple of Civil War-oriented museums and the White House of the Confederacy, which is easily enough to fill 3 days.
You might check out this link for trip ideas in some of the areas you mention. It has some suggested itineraries and info on battlefields and three presidential homes (but not Mount Vernon).
If you do decide to go to Mount Vernon, swing down to Fredericksburg VA to visit the battlefield there. It is unique because it is actually in the city.
Where are you starting this trip and where are you ending it? What time of year are you coming? What are your "must sees"? With a little more info, I or someone else, can probably come up with some do-able itineraries that incorporates a lot of what you want to see.Edited: 29 July 2012, 18:05
Thanks for all the info, very helpful and much appreciated.
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