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6 Best Weekend Getaways From Washington DC

Updated 12/13/2022

Once summer ends, D.C.’s swampy humidity lifts, people love to spend more time enjoying fall together outdoors. But after strolling the Ellipse, Washington Mall and Monument, and the Smithsonian Museums, you might be looking for a weekend getaway from Washington, DC. These east coast destinations make for a great ‘get-out-of-dodge’ romantic weekend getaway from DC adventure! 

Here are six of our favorite romantic getaways from Washington, DC.

1. Get Spooky in Salem

File:SalemMassCustomHouse4ty13534.jpg

If Halloween is your favorite holiday, you must visit Salem, Massachusetts. Embrace the city’s dark history and find yourself bewitched by the charming witch-craft boutiques, historic tours like the Hocus Pocus tour, creepy old mansions, and of course, learning about the infamous Salem Witch Trials.  Avoid massive crowds by going slightly before or after Halloween. 

Salem is a short 1 1/2 hour flight from DC.  If you want to drive, plan for a 4-day weekend as each way will take 8 hours. You can see most of Salem’s major attractions in one or two days. 

2. Enjoy the Fresh Seafood in Portland, Maine

Illuminated Buildings at Night

Lobsters, local art, and lush landscapes make Portland, Maine, the perfect place for a northeast escape. Trendy restaurants, breweries, bars, and artisanal shops–you name it, it exists in Maine’s biggest city. All of that, combined with charming cobblestone streets and old Victorian mansions, this salty seaside town may tempt you never to leave. Luckily, it’s just a short drive from significant college towns like Boston and Providence, so getting here (and visiting again) won’t be an issue.

Portland is a fairly quick 2-hour flight from Washington DC.  Driving is close to 9 hours, so plan on taking two full days for travel. Portland is a small capital city, and two days is plenty to get a flavor of the city. For the best weather and smallest crowds, go in April & May or August to November.  Skip the winter unless you are ultra-hardy!

3. Get Outside in the Adirondacks

Drone view of picturesque valley with village located near mountain range against blue sky with fluffy clouds on sunny summer day

After being stuck home, getting out into nature is much needed during fall break–and the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York will provide just that. Covering over 9,000 square miles of beautiful forests just north of Albany and below the Canadian border, one can spend a weekend enjoying the fall foliage, scenic waterfalls, and breathtaking landscapes. Trek up one of the 46 peaks or drive down the 19.2-mile-long Blue Ridge Road for must-see views.

Fly to New York City and rent a car for a stunning drive upstate. If you love to ski, make your trip just after Christmas for the best prices and fewer crowds. 

4. Hit the Beach in Myrtle Beach

Man in Black Wet Suit Holding Blue Surfboard on Sea

A bit further south lies Myrtle Beach, another great beach town for you and all your sweetie to unwind after a stressful work week. . This resort city is famous for its boardwalk, also known as “the strip,” home to tons of beach stores and an amusement park full of rides and events. Stay out all night hopping from one nightlife hotspot to the next, or catch a ride on the SkyWheel. There are also fun activities like mini-golf, water parks, waterway cruises, and the beach.  It’s a nice warm getaway from Washington, DC.  Plan on a 7-hour drive straight down 1-95.

If you’re looking for a closer beach getaway, look no further than Virginia Beach!  The weather stays beautiful through November–and the crowds are gone after August. 

5. Eat a Cheesesteak in Philly

A River in the City

Nestled halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., is the historic city of Philadelphia (a.k.a. A history buff’s dream destination). Yes, this beloved city has cheesesteaks and The Liberty Bell, but during the fall season, it also has plenty of festivals such as Pumpkin Fest and Harry Potter weekend. Other favorite options include “The Rocky Steps,” also known as the steps leading up to the east entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sipping on a cup of joe at a hip coffee shop, and hanging out in one of the city’s beautiful parks.

Philly is a short 3-hour drive from Washington, DC.  

6. Hit up the Honkytonk in Nashville

Music lovers, especially country music fans, can’t miss the opportunity to spend a weekend in Nashville. It isn’t called the music capital of the country for nothing. With a live music venue on every block, you can spend every night singing and dancing along. And you can’t hit this city without visiting the iconic Country Music Hall of Fame. Some of the most excellent musicians from, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson have performed and recorded here. This city is equally famous for its southern cooking, so your weekend will be full.

This is a short 1 1/2-hour flight, but it’s such a different culture you’ll feel like you’ve traveled for hours to a place like Las Vegas! 

If you’re new to Washington, DC, and looking for a home to escape from, let one of our realtors at Eng Garcia help you today!

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