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Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

Pueblo, Colorado
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Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

We will be traveling to Washington D.C. this upcoming June and we're wanting to take a long weekend (Fri-Monday) to an area outside of D.C. We have two kids ages 12 &14. There is so much to see and do that we are having trouble deciding what would be most interesting. We already have a couple days set up in the Charlottesville area before heading to D.C., so we can mark that off the list.

My questions are: Given our three night time frame, what are some recommendations on where to go? After looking up information on Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, I'm kinda wondering if it's worth the extra time, or if it's just a big tourist trap? Also, would it be more interesting to hang out and explore in Chincoteague? What are some opinions?

D.C. Ducks
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1. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown are anything but a "big tourist trap". It is where much of the USA's history started. There is enough to do for an entire week. And after all the history, you can hit Busch Gardens and Water Country.

Pueblo, Colorado
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2. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

Thanks for your response. I probably should have stated it differently than saying a "tourist trap" :/ Of Course it is an area of great historical value, that's why I'm considering it. I'm just worried about it being very crowded and wondering if it's worth going there if we are looking for a little more relaxtion and a little less crowds. If given a choice, and only wanted to go one place, would you advise the Williamsburg area, or Chincoteague Island? I know they are two different areas and both have wonderful aspects of them, that's my problem. I have a short time and only want to go one place after D.C. and really be able to explore the area we pick. Thanks!

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

Williamsburg is unlikely to be relaxing unless you just laze around the swimming pool or hike the Colonial Parkway. There is just too much to do. A trip up to the Shenandoah and the Skyline Drive would probably fit that better, though you may have some of that covered in your Charlottesville stay.

Pueblo, Colorado
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4. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

My plan was to spend three days in Charlottesville leisurely seeing some sites like Monticello, Bourborsville, and others, then head to D.C. and go, go , go!!

Spend the week seeing as many places as we wanted. Already have tours lined up and I'm really excited about the National Cathedral Organ demonstration and tour, as well as, touring the White House, Smithsonian museums, Archives........and many more.

Head out of D.C. and head to Mathews, Va. I had planned to stay in this area as it was close to lots of options depending on how everyone felt. If we were exhausted, we could just hang out and get some beach time in, maybe a kayak trip to the New Point Lighthouse. If we felt good and wanted to get in more history museums and such, we could head to the Colonial Williamsburg area, or maybe even get in a boat ride in Yorktown. Lots of options and thought it would be a great homebase.

Well, our vacation rental fell through and having searched around for a replacement, I've found that most of the homes require a weeks stay and we just don't have that extra time. I'm trying to decide on an area and then find a hotel. I did come across Chincoteague and confused myself even more becuase it would take more time to get there and probably would need to choose between going there or Williamsburg. Didn't feel we could fit both in and enjoy them.

I guess I should just make a choice and go with it already! I was hoping maybe someone else's opinions would strike an interest or give me other information that would help me decide. Thanks!

Springfield, VA
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5. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

May I recommend Gettysburg, PA? It's a reasonable drive from the DC area, and it makes a great weekend getaway.

Pueblo, Colorado
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6. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

I'll check it out, thanks!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

You could also go to Luray Caverns or Skyline Caverns if you like caves, or Harper's Ferry, West Va if you like historic little towns.

Teaneck, NJ
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8. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

I've been to Chincoteague -- for several year it was a favorite vacation spot of my in-laws and they would rent a house for a week. The last time I was tere was about 8 years ago but I doubt much has changed. I was always bored there. The beach is lovely but as it is a national seashore there's nowhere to eat nearby. The commercial strip of Chincoteague is small and I couldn't find one really good restaraunt. The residential areas are uninteresting from an architectural or any other perspective. My in-laws liked it because my mother-in-law just liked to go sit on the beach.

How about a day trip to Great Falls http://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm and to Harpers Ferry which I loved. l It's were John Brown staged is raid and the entire town has been turned into a living history site, even though many regular people actually do live there. I havent been there for a long time but I really liked it and found it quite charming.

Another option is to do Philadelphia which is easily accessible by car or train or even bus. Philly is EXTREMELY historic with many 18th century buildings still standing and open to the public. If you like US history it's really unique.

Pueblo, Colorado
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9. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

Thanks for the input! I did see the Luray Caverns on the map and we will be traveling Skyline drive for part of our trip, so we might check that out!

Pueblo, Colorado
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10. Re: Weekend Trips from Washington D.C.

We will be leaving D.C. and traveling to Skyline drive for part of our trip, so Great Falls might be a place to stop along the way, thanks! I checked out the website link and it looks like a nice stop.

We decided against Chincoteague. Decided that since we have spent the last two vacations on beaches, that maybe we should expand our experiences and try out some "Off the Beaten Path" sites. Thanks for the input!

Edited: 20 February 2011, 16:11