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Off-site DC outings?

Denver, Colorado
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Off-site DC outings?

I am taking my teens for 2 weeks, probably staying at the Marriot Metro (due to all the advice on here.) I would like to rent a car for about 3 days and visit Gettysburg for a day and Chesapeake Beach for a day. Is there any other off site must-sees or must-dos, given we have plenty of time? I have a great package deal with air and hotel for 2 weeks for the same price it was going to cost me for airfare alone, so I won't be hotel hopping around the area. Is Chesapeake beach the best place for a beach day? I have also read on here that if the site suggests it is a 2-3 hour drive, it will actually be 3-4 hour drive, I assume that is correct?

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Off-site DC outings?

Chesapeake Beach is on the bay and not really that wonderful. But it is only an hour or so away from DC. If you want a real beach you need to cross the Bay Bridge and go over to the Atlantic Ocean. There you will find Rehoboth Beach, Bethaney Beach and Ocean City, Maryland. This will take you 3-4 hours.

Annapolis is about an hour away, and not too far from Chesapeake Beach. It is very historic and quite pretty. Not to mention the home of the Naval Academy.

washington dc
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2. Re: Off-site DC outings?

Look at Great Falls (Va. side & Md. Side - I think Md. is better) Harper's Ferry, Luray Caverns. Bay beaches are not great if you're thinking real beaches - (which are all basically 3 hour drive) but they can have their charm. Calvert Cliffs state park has fossil shark teeth.

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3. Re: Off-site DC outings?

Take a trip to Charlottesville and see Monticello. Great hiking around there.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Off-site DC outings?

With teens, a day of river tubing or rafting or lots of other adventure activities at Harper's Ferry would be fun. (It is for me, and I'm not even a teenager!)

Here's the place we went last summer: http://www.riverriders.com/listing

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5. Re: Off-site DC outings?

Chesapeake Beach would be a disappointment to anyone traveling from across country and thinking this was going to be a charm. It isn't. Its a few miles up the road from my house and I never go there. Calvert Cliffs State Park is pretty interesting and no more than 1 hr drive. Stay out of rush hour traffic; its the worst in the country, and rude. Ditto on crossing the Bay Bridge in Annapolis (US 50) to get to real beaches. Do it for the teenagers if not for yourself. Annapolis is only nice in the historic downtown. Otherwise it looks like everywhere shopping mall land. Alexandria is interesting. Gettysburg is worth the trip. Great Falls is good. Baltimore aquarium is very nice, as is Inner Harbor. So much to do in DC itself.

Edited: 9:08 pm, May 21, 2013
Bethesda, Maryland
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6. Re: Off-site DC outings?

For a beach suggestion - Rehoboth! We live north of DC inside the beltway, and my two teenagers have made day trips to Rehoboth Beach many times with friends. It will take 3 hours (start early), but the Bay Bridge and then Delaware countryside is decent scenery. Rehoboth is a genuine beach with boardwalk and activities, not as overwhelming and gritty as Ocean City. Look for other forum questions specifically on Rehoboth for where to park, eat, etc. With a two week window for your trip you can watch the weather and pick the best day - just NOT a Friday-Saturday-Sunday or traffic will kill your day.

Other good day trips - Monticello and Charlottesville are great, history with scenery and good food. Annapolis is also a perfect day trip.

Huntington Beach, CA
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7. Re: Off-site DC outings?

Definitely go to Gettysburg. It took me 2 hours to get there, and it was raining hard when I left Alexandria. I took the bus tour and then went back afterwards to re-visit places I was especially interested in.

I wasn't overly excited about Old Town Alexandria, but I found Mt. Vernon to be a wonderful place to visit.

8. Re: Off-site DC outings?

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