One of the most wonderful things about DC is its close proximity to both the water and the countryside. When looking for a local staycation to escape the fast pace of the city, you don’t need to travel far to experience pretty countryside scenery. Here is our guide to exploring Virginia on a DC area Staycation.

Enjoy old town charm with waterside panoramas in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

Alexandria_Visit AlexandriaPhoto Credit: Visit Alexandria, VA

Distance from DC: About 25 minutes, depending on traffic.

Where to Stay: Morrison House, a Kimpton Hotel that offers historic and colonial charm.

Morrison House HotelPhoto Credit: Morrison House     

Where to Eat and Drink:

1. History buffs should go to Gadsby’s Tavern, where it’s said that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison & James Monroe all dined and drank in their day!

2. Jackson 20 in the Hotel Monaco is a top pick for brunch. 

3. For seafood fare and waterside views, have dinner at The Charthouse

4. If craving Italian food, Carluccio’s is new to the Old Town scene and is already very popular. 

5. Try the Chef’s Tasting Menu at Restaurant Eve for something different.

6. For modern American food, Virtue Feed & Grain offers a unique menu and eco-friendly furnishings. 

7. To grab a coffee (or something a little stronger like wine and beer), check out Grape & Bean.

8. For nightlife, have a few pints at Daniel O’Connell’s Pub.

9. Enjoy a craft cocktail at PX, Old Town’s speakeasy!

The PXPhoto Credit: The PX Speakeasy Bar

What to Do:

1. Wander the cobblestone streets of Old Town and visit the boutiques and galleries. Check out local favorites such as the Shoe-Hive, Decorium Gift and Home, and The Christmas Attic for unique items.

2. Go on an Alexandria Colonial Ghost & Graveyard tour

3. Visit the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which hosts the largest collection of publicly accessible working artist studios in the U.S.  Take a tour to see the public art studios, galleries, workshops, and more.

4. Take the water taxi from Old Town to the National Harbor, MD to explore restaurants and shops. Ride the ferris wheel or rent paddle boats in the shape of swans!

National Harbor_Peterson Property CapsulePhoto Credit: Peterson Property Capsule


Experience the historic Virginia countryside in Washington, VA

Distance from DC: About 1-1.5 hour, depending on traffic.

washington-va-inn at little washingtonPhoto Credit: The Inn at Little Washington

Where to Stay: The Inn at Little Washington

Inn at Little Washington_TripadvisorPhoto Credit: TripAdvisor

Where to Eat and Drink:

1. You cannot visit Washington without eating at the famous, top-rated restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington.

2. Tula’s Off Main for brunch, lunch, or drinks.

3. Have a semi-private dinner at Foster Harris House in their 10 seat dining room.

What to Do:

1. Visit local wineries such as Little Washington Winery and Gadino Winery.

2. Take a scenic drive or hike through Shendoah’s Skyline Drive.

3. Stroll Main Street and browse the galleries, antiques, and wine shops (for a tasting). 

Skyline Drive_Mens JournalPhoto Credit: Men’s Journal

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