By Mikayla Baiocchi | August 18, 2016 | Lifestyle
DC is fun in the summertime, but the hot weather can be stifling. Beat the heat by packing a bag and escaping to one of these scenic locales for a refreshing weekend getaway.
Head northeast of DC and into Maryland’s maritime state capital, replete with a downtown too beautiful to miss. Wander through the quaint brick streets that curve throughout the city, and pass by the State House where George Washington once met with the Continental Congress. Or, walk along Maryland Avenue, which boasts numerous boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, and more. Here, you can take a yacht tour during the day and a bite of Maryland's famous crab at O’Leary’s Seafood at night. Don’t forget to stop by Kilwin’s for a sweet-tooth cure.
Perched along the Potomac River is Old Town Alexandria, an idyllic section of the town that President George Washington called home. Fast forward a couple centuries, and Old Town is known for its vibrant dining and entertainment scenes that have a little something for everyone. Stroll along tree-lined King Street, which takes you from the neighborhoods of Old Town to the water that passes by them. Along the way, stop into Alexandria Cupcake for a sweet treat, Bishop Boutique for a new handbag, and Virtue Feed & Grain for some Old Town Crab Dip. After dinner, hop onboard the Alexandria by Water Seaport Cruise for city views you won't soon forget.
Nestled in the heart of Northern Virginia sits Old Town Winchester, a serene cluster of old brick buildings and lush green trees that neighbors the majestic Shenandoah Valley. Within it, you’ll find pieces of American history like George Washington’s Office Museum and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum. Bring a blanket and picnic on the Walking Mall, which is the hub of this pleasant downtown. Get a refreshing spritz of water at the nearby Splash Pad.
Escape the DC heat by heading off the mainland to Chincoteague Island, known for the wild ponies that gallop around it. This Atlantic locale is great for those who love nature, as visitors can do an array of outdoor activities like biking, hiking, boating, and fishing. For those who want to take vacation activities to the next level, you can head to the nearby Accomack County Airport where you can get strapped into a hang glider and soar over the scenic land.
Torn between southeastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware stretches the Brandywine Valley, a historic sprawl of land where visitors are enraptured by its stunning, natural beauty. What’s better is that cafes, bookstores, and gardens dot the valley. Stop into Baldwin’s Book Barn to peruse rare and out of print books, or Longwood Gardens to take a stroll amongst fragrant blossoms. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can even go canoing or kayaking down the river.