Planning Your Time
You'll want to devote most of your time to the areas closest to Washington, D.C., such as Arlington and Alexandria. These are easily connected to one another via Metrorail and Metrobus. It wouldn't be unusual to spend the day visiting Arlington's monuments to the military, yet end the day with a seafood dinner in Old Town Alexandria. Allow about an hour for travel through the District of Columbia via Metrorail, however, especially on weekends or during non-rush hours. Another quick trip from Virginia is to ride the ferry across the Potomac River from either Mount Vernon or Alexandria to stroll the National Harbor in Maryland or the streets of Georgetown. For all other vehicular crossings, the Capital Beltway traverses the Potomac as well, via the American Legion and Woodrow Wilson bridges.
If you have more time, drive away from the capital toward Manassas, Middleburg, and Occoquan. Plan to spend at least half a day or more in each outlying town. Enjoy the slower pace of life and go wine tasting, antiques shopping, or picnicking in the many parks.