Rolling green hills, sipping on beer, cider and wine in the sunshine, the smell of wildflowers and sound of birds chirping, and the windows rolled down on the ride home. It’s the start of day trip season, escaping the heat of the city on weekends for shadier set ups further afield. Recently I was able to go on one such trip to Middleburg, VA, where we visited The National Sporting Library and Museum, browsed the shops of the town and capped off the day with the Brewer’s Experience including a tour and flight tasting at Lost Barrel Brewing. Highlights of the day included getting to visit the Library’s rare book vault and holding a book from 1532 on Italian dueling and then finding some new favorite beers- the LBB NE Hazy IPA and Toasted Lager. It was a great adventure, blasting music on our drive and breaking my new cottage core sundress out. It reminded me that as much as I love exploring my city, walking from museums to farmers markets to outdoor concerts and restaurants, it’s also fun to pack up the car and head on the road. With that in mind I’m sharing 6 great day trips or overnights to take from Washington DC.
For the coast, I recommend heading to nearby Annapolis or St Michaels a little further on Maryland’s eastern shore. In the height of summer there will be all the Maryland crab that anyone can eat and beautiful waterfront and marina walks. I particularly like Annapolis because they have one of the most charming bookstore/coffee shops I’ve ever seen called Old Fox Books. If you’re feeling particularly boujee, look to have a meal at The Inn at Perry Cabin in St Michaels, or better yet book one of their luxury spa appointments.
For those looking for a good glass (or bottle) of wine, I would recommend either heading west to Shepherdstown or down to Charlottesville. Last summer I did a tour of Breaux, Notavida and Two Twisted Posts in West Virginia and you can easily visit all three over the course of the day without feeling rushed. If you want a little more variety, Charlottesville offers history through the campus of the University of Virginia and Monticello. Then I recommend the boutique winery Pippin Hill Farms for vino and Carter Mountain Orchard for donuts, farm goods and hard cider at the tap room.
Finally, if you want to escape the district by popping over to another city (I get it- the countryside is not your thing) then I would suggest either heading straight south to Richmond or east to Baltimore. In Richmond I highly recommend brunch at The Fancy Biscuit before heading to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for a visit of its eclectic exhibits. What can I say, I love paintings and I love sparkly things. For Baltimore, there is always the iconic Baltimore aquarium but you should also consider checking out The Walters Art Museum or the grave of Edgar Allen Poe before taste testing the fare at iconic Fell’s Point brasserie Duck Duck Goose.
I’m hoping to make each of these weekend trips between now and the end of 2021, re-visiting old haunts and finding new gems. Whether you’re on the move or staycationing, I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!