We are fortunate to have so many day trip and weekend trip options surrounding Washington DC in Maryland and Virginia.
So why not pack in your car and take a few quick day trips from DC to take in nature and explore what the surrounding areas have to offer.
Here’s a list of the best day trips from Washington DC!
Strawberry Picking is the Perfect Family Day Trip from Washington DC.
Within a 30 minute drive from Washington DC there is a plethora of pick your own farms! One of the first crops in season for pick your own is strawberries!
Strawberries are amazing from the farms in Maryland, they are bursting with flavor and so worth the trip. Plus picking your own fruit makes for one of the best afternoon day trips from DC!
Gorman Farms offers organic strawberries, but they don’t have them every season. Butler’s Orchard requires reservations as part of their pandemic guidelines and their tickets sell out fast, so book early!
Fun Date Night or Staycation from DC at Live! Casino & Hotel in Maryland
Looking for some fun indoors to escape the heat of summer? Live! Casino & Hotel is the perfect place to get out of the city for a date night and some staycation fun.
Their lux hotel rooms will have you sleeping in after a night of games!
Or catch a show at The Hall at Live!, their new 75,000-square-foot, 3-story multi-use concert and event venue which is the LARGEST in Maryland.
Spot all the beautiful art around the hotel and even play some complimentary games like ski ball, shuffleboard, or foosball at the 212-seat Sports & Social, sports bar!
Better yet catch a game at this sports bar with a state-of-the-art AV system, more than 100 linear feet of LED screens, including a giant, 47-foot wide main screen! The perfect experience for sports fans!
For June Live! is celebrating the traditional Chinese Dragon Boat Festival! So head to their restaurant, Luk Fu because they are launching a new menu of delicious Asian delicacies.
Day Trip from DC for at Day Date: Check Out a Winery in Maryland
A perfect way to spend a day is exploring a winery in Maryland! This is a great day trip from DC for couples or just a few friends! Maryland wineries offer delicious wine available by the flight and bottle at most locations.
Plus all most of the vineyards in Maryland offer outdoor seating, have onsite food trucks (or you can pack your own picnic), and fire pits during winter! Some of our favorite wineries in Maryland include Windridge, Springfield Manor, and Catoctin Breeze.
Definitely add wineries in Maryland to your list of day trips from DC!
Day Trip from DC for Hiking: Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls in Maryland
Great Falls is a fun day trip from DC for the whole family! The Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls in Maryland is my favorite because you get to do a bit of rock climbing and not to mention the incredible views of the Falls.
This trail can get busy on weekends and the Park Service has blocked off parking in the past to prevent overcrowding. So I would come early if you want to hike.
If you don’t want to hike, Great Falls is still worth checking out. There are 2 viewing platforms for you to see the falls that are just a short walk from the entrance.
Additionally, you can just walk along the C&O Canal which is also a pleasant experience. Usually, if you come here later in the afternoon (around 3-4 pm) it’s not busy because the park closes at sunset. The visitor is closed from March to November because of the pandemic.
Location: 11710 MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854
Visit Brookside Gardens
Brookside Gardens is an award-winning garden in Wheaton, Maryland. This is one of my favorite gardens in the area and would make a great day trip from DC.
If you love flowers then Brookside is your best bet! There are flowers blooming here spring all the way through the end of summer. Cherry blossoms, tulips, and wisteria bloom in the spring. During summer there’s a gorgeous garden of roses!
It is one of my favorite gardens to see tulips near DC!
I’ve been here during the week and on weekends, it’s never super busy. Plus it’s completely free!
Location: 1800 Glenallan Ave, Wheaton, MD 20902
Hours: Sunrise to sunset, Visitor Center is currently closed
Assateague Island is the Best Summer Day Trip from DC
Assateague Island is my favorite beach in the DC metro area. It’s about a 3-hour drive, so it’s just close enough to make a great day trip from DC.
Assateague Island is divided into 3 parts, Assateague Maryland State Park, Assateague National Seashore, and Chincoteague (Virginia). I’ve been to all three and I prefer the National Seashore portion because it is the least crowded.
You can access Assateague National Seashore from Maryland.
Have fun splashing in the waves, check out the wild horses that roam the beach, enjoy the sunset over the bay, or even drive across the sand!
Feel the Zen on a Day Trip from DC to a Lavender Farm
You might be surprised to find out that we do indeed have lavender farms in the DMV! Springfield Manor and Purple Rain Lavender are both lavender farms in Maryland that bloom in mid-June to early July.
You can pick your own lavender here and does it smell amazing! If you are closer to the Virginia side of DC, there’s Seven Oaks Lavender Farm in Virginia as well.
Out of these three, Springfield Manor is my favorite lavender farm in Maryland.
Visit the Sunflower Fields in the Summer
There are tons of sunflower fields around the DC area.
The most popular and free sunflower field is Mckee Beshers in Maryland.
Mckee Beshers sunflowers bloom around mid-July, but if you happen to miss it there are several other sunflower fields in Maryland and Virginia that bloom later.
Delaware National Seashore
The beaches at Delaware Seashore State Park are stunning!
This beach is near Rehoboth beach, but it’s a lot less crowded since there’s no boardwalk!
At about 2.5 hours away it’s the perfect secluded beach trip from Washington DC.
Take a Hike to Annapolis Rock
The Annapolis Rock hike is one of my favorite hikes in Maryland.
This hike is great any time of year but fall is especially stunning. It’s a great place to see the fall foliage in Maryland.
The hike is not particularly hard and the only true uphill portion is at the beginning of the hike.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is only about a 1.5-hour drive from Washington DC and makes a great day trip!
Skyline Drive, the one road that goes through Shenandoah National Park is 105 miles long with 75 overlooks along the way that do not require any hiking!
However, if you are up for an adventure, there are tons of easy hikes and secret waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park to explore. Check out this post for the specific waterfall and swimming hole hike we did (as seen on my TikTok): Shenandoah National Park Waterfall.
Find a Swimming Hole
There are plenty of places to cool off in the wild around Washington DC besides the beach and pool.
One of my favorite swimming lakes is Greenbrier State Park. This man-made lake is just about 1 hour outside of DC and offers nature trails, a small beach, and swimming! The entrance fee is $4 per person on weekends and it’s well worth it!
There are bathrooms, changing rooms, and shower facilities.
Location: 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
Another swimming hole near DC is in Poolesville, MD at Seneca Creek.
We had a fun time splashing at this spot made for river tubers! Read more on the exact location and details in this article on swimming holes in dc.