by Lauren Sloat - 260 Reviews - 86 List
Washington, D.C., has some amazing attractions--and the tourists to prove it--but sometimes you need a real weekend getaway. Whether to escape the hubbub of D.C. life, try an adventurous sport, party all night or simply check out something new, there are many nearby places that provide an exciting weekend getaway from the District: the Shenandoah Valley, Bedford, Pa., Dewey Beach and Baltimore just to name a few. Of course sometimes, relaxation just means a change of scenery, so we've got some closer-to-home options for staycations and mini-retreats, too. (Pictured: An afternoon in Dewey Beach)
Updated: August 27, 2010
This Staunton, Va., inn is a historic place to stay while exploring the area's Victorian Age districts. Each of the five "chambers" is equipped with its own fireplace, and you'll enjoy a home-cooked gourmet breakfast each morning. Special packages include a cooking class or in-town activity, and Miller House is also not far from Zynodoa Restaurant ("One of the best meals I've ever had," says Citysearch Dictator Faith H.) and the American Shakespeare Center.
This all-encompassing family-style resort offers sports and outdoor activities for all seasons. An 18-hole championship golf course (and one for beginners) make it a big golf destination, though guests can also try more adventurous sports such as zip lining, bungee-bouncing, rock-wall climbing and grass skiing and boarding.
This Crocket, Va., bed and breakfast is an ideal retreat for couples in search of serious alone time. Rooms here are secluded, individual cabins, so it's possible to go an entire weekend without encountering another soul--and that includes Cripple Creek's owners. A hot breakfast will appear on your doorstep at the time you've requested it, as will afternoon cookies or pie. Inquire about special winery and pregnancy packages.
This luxury inn and restaurant in Washington, Va., is a favorite spot for romantic getaways. The accommodations, designed by a London stage and set designer, range from bedrooms to two-story suites with balconies and garden views. The cuisine, overseen by chef Patrick O'Connell, is some of the best in the D.C. region and has won awards from top publications year after year.
In a quiet, distinctly Southern-feeling country setting on 573 acres in Charlottesville, Va., this inn offers a quiet getaway from busy city life. Nestled along a serene lake in the Piedmont countryside, guests can spend time golfing, bicycling, hiking, fishing and playing tennis. Visitors also get access to a luxury sports club, spa and four different restaurants, including the historic Old Mill Room.
Take the lead of at least 10 U.S. presidents who have made a stopover at this historic resort when in need of some time away from D.C. Water in the eight nearby mineral springs was once thought to have curative properties, and these days you can enjoy the natural spring water (and relax) at the Springs Eternal Spa after a day of hiking, biking, swimming and golf. Afternoon tea and unparalleled service will help you unwind, too.
A fixture on the Dewey Beach nightlife scene since 1936, this rock-and-roll bar has hosted some surprisingly huge acts including Dave Matthews Band, Everclear, Goo Goo Dolls and more. Cover band Burnt Sienna is a local favorite, as are the Jam Session Saturday afternoon performances during the summer.
The Starboard is a hot spot for recovering from Friday night's hangover ? and for gearing up for a new day of partying. The bar and restaurant serves Dewey's famous Orange Crush cocktail--appropriate at all hours of the day--but true Dewey fans know that brunch here is all about giant bottles of bubbly, which are equipped with a spout and passed among (and poured over) groups of friends.
Museum lovers have a plethora of historical sites to visit in D.C., but how about something a little more light-hearted? Just a few blocks from Baltimore's Inner Harbor, this museum at Camden Yards is dedicated to 250 years of American pop culture. Relive childhood (or take your own kids) through the museum's collection of nearly 6,000 pieces of memorabilia including toys, games, comics and cartoon characters.
This sprawling, luxury hotel is a relaxing home base from which to experience Baltimore's other offerings, including the National Aquarium, Orioles Park and the Tattoo Museum. Amenities include an outdoor pool, in-room kitchenettes with a microwave and refrigerator and three different places to dine on-site. The website offers specials such as the Aquarium Adventure package, stay two nights and get the third free or a second night half off.
Citysearch Dictator Faith H. recommends this kitschy motel just outside of downtown Baltimore to people "with a sense of humor"--they'll need it to enjoy the heart-shaped beds and hot tubs, racy wallpaper, black lights and mirrored ceilings. Perfect for a cheap but memorable getaway, or weekend-long booty call.
Though this Glover Park hotel has long been popular for families visiting for graduations at nearby Georgetown and American universities, recent renovations have made it worth a weekend stopover for District residents, too. "The quiet, almost suburban neighborhood feels like a true getaway for downtown dwellers seeking to stir up some romance," says Citysearch Dictator Connie H. Book the Skybox Suite, which includes a hot tub for two just steps from the bed.
Enjoy a glamorous, Hollywood-inspired weekend retreat without leaving D.C. You'll find nods to Tinseltown in the luxury rooms at this boutique Kimpton hotel, which features platform beds surrounded by drapes as well as plush bathrobes. You won't have to worry about Fido, either: Pets are welcome and even get their own miniature, animal-print robe.
Visiting celebs adore this luxury Logan Circle hotel, so make like a movie star and book a stay just for the weekend. Chef Susur Lee oversees the global Asian menu at the hotel's Zentan restaurant, and you won't want to miss ADC (translation: above D.C.), the hotel's exclusive rooftop pool bar. The biggest draw? Only hotel guests get use of the pool--a prized commodity during steamy D.C. summers.
Live in northwest D.C.? Consider a weekend getaway to Capitol Hill. Rest easy on one of six different pillows you get to choose from the Dream Pillow Menu, and order up anything you want (guitar, cupcakes?) through the hotel's My Affinia program. You'll dine in style at celebrity chef (and "Top Chef Masters" contestant) Art Smith's Art & Soul restaurant, and here, too, will have exclusive access to the hotel's famed rooftop pool.