There’s nothing like springtime in our nation’s capital. Once the ground thaws and the trees finally start to blossom, Washington D.C. becomes abuzz with cheery positivity… just about everyone seems to have an extra spring in their step.
But, the secret’s out and people come from all over the nation to experience spring in D.C. To residents, the influx of tourists may inspire the need for an escape route. If you’re looking to get out of town and still enjoy the season, here are my top 5 Spring Getaways from D.C.
1.) Fallingwater – Pennsylvania
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater, is worth the 3 1/2 drive from D.C., no matter the time of year. But the route, which leads you through 3 states and past road-trip worthy stops like Berkeley Springs in West Virginia, Rocky Gap Lodge in Maryland and Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania really is at its best as spring is sprouting. Plan for 2 days so you can enjoy the many stops along the way, and time your visit a little later into the spring season since you’ll be traveling north.
Read about my own springtime road-trip to Fallingwater, here.
2.) The Brandywine Valley – Delaware and Pennsylvania
The Brandywine River is actually a creek, but don’t let the seemingly diminutive status fool you. On the banks surrounding this very creek lie one of the most road-trip worthy areas in the mid-Atlantic: the Brandywine Valley. Nestled in the rolling hills between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, this flower-lover’s paradise is home to European-inspired DuPont estates and more than 3,000 acres of landscaped gardens like the popular Longwood Gardens and the lesser known (but my favorite) Chanticleer Gardens in nearby Wayne, Pennsylvania.
See my complete Brandywine Valley Weekend Guide on TravelChannel.com, here.
3.) Sperryville, Virginia
A day trip to the small town of Sperryville, Virginia in the heart of Virginia’s picturesque Rappahannock County makes for an ideal spring getaway. Farm-fresh produce stands, artisans, wineries, taverns and hidden-gem natural wonders are along every mile as you drive out of the city and towards the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re in the mood to be active (there’s Old Rag and White Oak Canyon for that) or just want to drive and escape to the country, there’s something for everyone on this D.C. day trip.
Check out my detailed step-by-step itinerary of my recent springtime day trip to Sperryville, here.
4.) Richmond, Virginia
If you’re looking to get out enjoy the warmer weather but still stay in an urban setting, Richmond has you covered! Voted one of the best river towns in America by Outside Magazine, Richmond’s unique in that opportunities to actively enjoy the outdoors all are within minutes of downtown. At the top of the list is Belle Isle, a 54-acre island that’s a mecca for hikers, bikers, river rafters and sunbathers eager to sit out on the flat river rocks that overlook downtown Richmond.
I just returned from a spring weekend in Richmond and my itinerary should be posted soon. In the meantime, check out some of the favorite eats from my trip, here.
5.) The Omni Homestead – Hot Springs, Virginia
If a bit of springtime pampering is what you seek, then consider the Omni Homestead resort. The 3 1/2 hour journey from D.C. takes you down route 81 through pretty-as-a-picture Blue Ridge mountain scenery and it’s got it all: southern charm, luxury accommodations, a roster of outdoorsy activities, indoor and outdoor pools, bubbling and rejuvenating natural hot springs and a seriously epic world-class spa. Who’s in?
Are there other favorite spring destinations that I’ve left off this list? Sound off in the comments below!