Top 10 Small Towns in the USA Capital Region

Big cities and monuments may get more attention, but these best small towns near Washington, DC are the heart and soul of the area

Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cycling, Virginia Creeper Trail, bikes, bicycle, cyclists, trails, Virginia, USA
Cycling on the Virginia Creeper Trail near Abingdon, Virginia
Berlin, Maryland
Berlin, Maryland
Kayaking, Belle Isle State Park, Virginia, recreation, water, kayak, parks, USA
Kayaking at Belle Isle State Park
Woodstock, Virginia, Cafe and Shoppes, cafe, restaurant, shopping, downtown, USA
Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes in Virginia
Cumberland, Maryland
Cycling, Virginia Creeper Trail, bikes, bicycle, cyclists, trails, Virginia, USA
Berlin, Maryland
Kayaking, Belle Isle State Park, Virginia, recreation, water, kayak, parks, USA
Woodstock, Virginia, Cafe and Shoppes, cafe, restaurant, shopping, downtown, USA

Travel beyond Washington, DC, into neighbouring Maryland and Virginia, where you'll find some of the best small towns in America brimming with down-home hospitality, heritage events, locally owned shops and distinctive attractions.

Virginia Small Towns

Kilmarnock
Sip hand­crafted, award-winning wines at Good Luck Cellars, and look for bald eagles and deer at nearby Belle Isle State Park, whilst you stay in this pedestrian-friendly town on Virginia’s Northern Neck peninsula.

Woodstock
Admire the Shenandoah County Court House — designed by President Thomas Jefferson — and slumber in cosy inns surrounded by the verdant scenery of the Shenandoah Valley in the fourth-oldest town in Virginia.

Smithfield
Grab a table with panoramas of the Pagan River at Smithfield Station, where dishes like sweet potato-encrusted rockfish hit the spot. Or bite into a mouthwatering ham roll at Smithfield Inn, one of the many places to sample the town’s world-famous Virginia ham.

Abingdon
Stroll the cobblestone pavement of the 20-block historic district, lined with art galleries and shops. Hop on the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34.3-mile rail-to-recreation trail from Abingdon to Whitetop, Virginia, that caters to hikers and cyclists.

Warrenton
Roam the trails at nearby Sky Mead­ows State Park, examine the works of local artists at five art galleries in Old Town War­renton and tour the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail, housed in an old prison complex dating back to 1808.

Maryland Small Towns

Monkton
Be amazed by one of the world’s top topiary gardens — featuring shrubs and trees intricately clipped into ornamental shapes — at Ladew Topiary Gardens. Stop into Maryland’s first winery, Boordy Vine­yards, for a tasting hosted in their historic 19th-century fieldstone barn.

Cumberland
Climb aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad for a ride through the Allegheny Mountains, and check out the historic log cabin where President George Washington manned a command post in the mid-1750s.

Boonsboro
Take advan­tage of close proximity to Greenbrier and South Mountain state parks, as well as the Appalachian Trail, for outdoor immersion. Famed author Nora Roberts may now own the charming Inn BoonsBoro, but the property’s history dates back to just after the American Revolution.

Chesapeake City
Learn the rich history of the waterway built in the early 19th century to connect the Delaware River and Chesa­peake Bay at the C&D Canal Museum, and don’t pass up a sunset cruise on the canal.

Berlin
Join the locals at welcoming eateries in the revitalised historic down­town like Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill and Fins Ale House & Raw Bar. Book a room at the quaint Holland House bed-and-breakfast, housed in a former doctor’s residence from the 1900s.

To explore more areas outside Washington, DC, visit our Maryland and Virginia pages.

Related: 
Scenic Drives
City Adventures