DC area short weekend trip help
April 29, 2014 5:38 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to celebrate my SOs upcoming grad school graduation by taking him on a cute surprise trip. We are in the greater DC metro area and I would really like to get out of DC, but can only do one or two nights over the weekend. My SO is not much of city person, or else I would probably do NYC. Ideally it would be no more than 3 hours by car; or alternatively I am open to a flight or train ride that is not too long. We previously did Asheville NC and really enjoyed it. Charlottesville is close to what I think I am looking for, but we go there frequently already. Any ideas? My SO really enjoys things related to Architecture and Landscape Architecture if that helps.
posted by seesom to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Annapolis? It's a pretty seaside town. Of course, it's been 15 years since I visited.
posted by Philemon at 5:49 PM on April 29, 2014

2nding Annapolis, it's got the old statehouse, the naval academy and it just brims with pre-revolutionary quaintness. I think Baltimore is great too, but perhaps you've already done that? And Richmond? One place you might not have thought of is Gettysburg. Less than 2 hours away, and there is easily enough to do to fill a weekend. It's a bit light on architecture, but soooo much history!
posted by ubiquity at 5:53 PM on April 29, 2014

Philly is a big city, but has some fabulous architecture. I live in Baltimore, which has some great architecture and landscape architecture too. (On phone, sorry no links). You could go to the Peabody Library wander around Mt Vernon, check out Sherwood Gardens, etc.
posted by JannaK at 5:58 PM on April 29, 2014

Cape May, New Jersey (it's near the Delaware/New Jersey border, a 3.5 hour drive from DC). It's a Victorian-era seaside town, gorgeous and very romantic. I'd recommend trying a architectural/historical tour and staying in a B&B.
posted by rue72 at 6:08 PM on April 29, 2014

Harper's Ferry is a nice historic town, and is a great option if you enjoy hiking/outdoorsy activities.
posted by susanvance at 6:14 PM on April 29, 2014

Have you already been to Williamsburg, VA?
posted by needled at 6:55 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Fredericksburg, VA maybe?
posted by gudrun at 8:18 PM on April 29, 2014

Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA has a great architecture and landscape architecture program, and it may be worth a phone call to get an inside scoop on what there is to see there. Maybe swing by this in Clifton Forge, VA on the way.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 8:58 PM on April 29, 2014

Longwood Gardens is about a 2 hour drive. Kennett Square is a lovely area. It's also not far from Chadd's Ford, where you can visit the Wyeth House and Studio/Brandywine River Museum.
posted by amarynth at 5:52 AM on April 30, 2014

The houses and gardens of the Brandywine Valley (VA/DE border), some of which were mentioned by amarynth, would likely interest him.

Staunton VA, a little past Charlottesville, is another option. Don't know if this is the type of architecture you had in mind, but the Frontier Culture Museum has a collection of historic farmhouses.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:38 AM on April 30, 2014

If you're willing to go one more hour, I'll recommend White Sulphur Springs, WV. I love the drive through VA and WV, so freaking pretty.

Then you're at The Greenbrier, it's in a pretty setting, and there are tons of things to do there. I'm mostly interested in seeing The Bunker!

If the rates at The Greenbrier are too steep, you can always get a motel in Lewisburg, and go there for a meal or activities.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:24 AM on April 30, 2014

Williamsburg is cool, but a word of warning: Depending on what day/time you go, it can easily be a long-ass drive because the traffic can be downright awful. The last time we took a drive to Norfolk, it took us about eight effing hours.

That said, I was going to suggest Gettysburg.
posted by General Malaise at 10:08 AM on April 30, 2014

I recommend checking the travel deals on Living Social or Groupon to see if they have any that strike your fancy. I bought one for a great B and B in Luray, Virginia about a year ago. Easy drive, we went to Luray Caverns one day and some Virginia wineries the next day.
posted by forkisbetter at 8:29 AM on May 1, 2014

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