Road Trips & Trails Near Washington, DC

Immerse yourself in America's Capital Region with a road trip along one of these fun and fascinating trails.

Bluebells along C&O Canal
Hike or bicycle along the C&O Canal Towpath
Oyster harvester in Virginia
The Virginia Oyster Trail highlights eight regions in the bay — each area with distinct flavour profiles
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
A wilder side of nature steeped in equine history can be experienced along the 11 sites of the Maryland Historic Horse Trail. Shown here: the wild ponies of Assateague Island National Seashore.
The Brewer's Art, Baltimore
The Brewer's Art in Baltimore, Maryland
Bluegrass musicians at Carter Family Fold
Along the Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail
Agecroft Hall & Gardens, Richmond, VA
Agecroft Hall, one of the sites along Richmond's Garden Trail
Bluebells along C&O Canal
Oyster harvester in Virginia
Wild horses on Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland
The Brewer's Art, Baltimore
Bluegrass musicians at Carter Family Fold
Agecroft Hall & Gardens, Richmond, VA

Local Beers

Virginia alone has more than 200 breweries and numerous trails to help you find your favourite brew. The Blue Ridge Cheers Trail includes 30 breweries around the Roanoke Valley, including Big Lick Brewing Co. and Parkway Brewing Company. Or hop on Loudoun County’s LoCo Ale Trail to visit hop farms and brews by bike. In Maryland, Baltimore is home to several breweries, including The Brewer’s Art and Union Craft Brewing. Don’t miss the Pratt Street Ale House, a full-service restaurant that is home to Oliver Breweries, Baltimore’s oldest craft brewery. The beer scene in Washington is all about small batches, such as Atlas Brew Works, 3 Stars Brewing Company, Bluejacket and DC Brau Brewing. Taste them all with DC Brew Tours!

An Ode to Oysters

Virginia’s oysters have been a staple in the area since the Jamestown settlers harvested them from the Chesapeake Bay in 1607. The Virginia Oyster Trail highlights eight regions in the bay — each area with distinct flavour profiles. Try the Tidewater area’s Lynnhaven oysters, traditionally reserved for presidents and royalty because of their impressive size and gentle flavour. Or indulge in Seaside oysters, known for their buttery finish. Celebrate Oyster Month in November with festivals, wine-and-oyster pairings and more.

Dance to the Beat

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is a more-than-300-mile route that echoes generations of bluegrass, old-time and country beats as it winds through the heart of the Appalachian Mountains to the Blue Ridge Highlands. Live music is abundant: festivals, Friday-night jamborees, local venues and jam sessions carry on the traditions of American and Appalachian music. Plus, enjoy bits of Americana, from old-fashioned sweet counters to jukeboxes.

Scream for Ice Cream

Visiting Maryland would not be complete without sampling ice cream from the nine dairy farms on Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail. Broom’s Bloom Dairy scoops up a dozen different flavours and serves tasty homemade lunches (we suggest eating dessert first). At South Mountain Creamery, the 2,000-acre farm churns out gourmet ice cream while running a fully operational farm with chickens, goats and Holstein milk cows.

Artistic Ventures

The more than 30 Artisan Trails of Virginia offer a chance to explore back roads and visit artisan studios, galleries, eclectic shops and historic points of interest. From the handcrafted works of Bedford County to the pristine shorelines and beach houses of the Eastern Shore, these eclectic artisan communities will leave you inspired and eager to shop.

Bike, Ride & Walk Into History

Canal Place, in the western terminus of the C&O Canal in Cumberland, was the first designated heritage area in Maryland. The state’s transportation heritage is waiting to be explored with a ride on a steam train, a hike or bike ride along the C&O Canal Towpath, or a tour of a canal boat replica. Other notable sites include George Washington’s Headquarters, the Iron Furnace, Mt. Savage Historical Structures and Old Bedford Village.

Horse & Garden

Some of the country’s best gardens make up Richmond’s Garden Trail. These ten green spaces are less than 10 miles apart from each other and are continually changing — offering spectacular views any time of year. A wilder side of nature steeped in equine history can be experienced along the 11 sites of the Maryland Historic Horse Trail. Drive the Horses at the Beach self-guided trail to see the famed wild horses at the Assateague National Seashore. 
 

For more inspiration for your Capital Region USA holiday, browse the itineraries we've put together, or visit our Tours & Trails or Scenic Drives pages.

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Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails