Best Road Trips & Trails Near Washington, DC

Find the top road trips and trails on a fun, fascinating trip through America's Capital Region.

Bluebells along C&O Canal Trail
Hike or bicycle along the C&O Canal Towpath.
Oyster harvester in Virginia
Taste your way down The Virginia Oyster Trail, highlighting eight regions in the bay — each area home to distinct flavour profiles.
Sail boat on the Chesapeake Bay
Explore Maryland's maritime heritage along the Roots & Tides byway.
The Brewer's Art, Baltimore
Enjoy craft beers and savoury seasonal fare at the Brewer's Art in Baltimore, Maryland.
Bluegrass musicians at Carter Family Fold
Dance your way down the Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.
Agecroft Hall & Gardens, Richmond, VA
Tour unique gardens, like the one at Agecroft Hall, along Richmond's Garden Trail.
Bluebells along C&O Canal Trail
Oyster harvester in Virginia
Sail boat on the Chesapeake Bay
The Brewer's Art, Baltimore
Bluegrass musicians at Carter Family Fold
Agecroft Hall & Gardens, Richmond, VA

Local Beers & Breweries

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 Brewing Co., the city's oldest craft brewery. City Brew Tours offers two tours of area breweries: Sip of Baltimore Brew Tour and their Original Brew Tour. The beer scene in Washington, DC 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!

Enjoy 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 home to distinct flavour profiles. Try the Tidewater area’s Lynnhaven oysters, traditionally reserved for presidents and royalty because of their impressive size and subtle 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 Music

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 eight 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.

Explore 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.

Tour Gardens & Waterfronts

Some of the country’s best gardens make up Richmond’s Garden Trail. These 10 green spaces are less than 10 miles apart from one another and are continually changing — offering spectacular views any time of year. Maryland's Roots & Tides byway travels 47 miles from the capital city of Annapolis to Western Shore towns along the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy recreational opportunities along the water, relaxing on the beach, touring heritage sites, and savouring fresh seafood as you explore the region's bayside towns and fishing communities.

While you're here, see the sites where America began along the Journey Through Hallowed Ground trail and explore the best small towns in Virginia and Maryland.

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

Outdoors & Nature
Tours & Trails

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