Washington DC & surrounding area

Old Jan 26th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Washington DC & surrounding area

My wife and I are planning a 6-7 day trip to Washington DC in the first week of March. We plan on spending the first 4 days in Washington doing all the tourist things, but then we would like to go somewhere on the outskirts. We are open to renting a car or taking a train within a 2 hours radius. We are wanting an area that is relaxing and peaceful where there may be some historical sites to visit.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 06:49 AM
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Are you interested in visiting Colonial Williamsburg and the Colonial Triangle? It's not within two hours, but not too much more and you can take Amtrak if you'd rather.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 07:08 AM
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we could. actually Virginia is at top of list to spend other 2-3 days.We have never been ,so.... We were told about Williamburg a little but have little to go on. FWIW we are in our early 50's and late 40's respectively. You can comment on area you suggested if you wish, many thks.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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I would suggest Charlottesville, with a visit to Jefferson's home, Monticello. There's some good hiking in the area, too, if weather permits.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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I've been to both areas, and for relaxing/peaceful/historical, I 'd agree with Charlottesville. It's a beautiful part of the country, in addition to which it has so many historical sites. We did a little road trip - starting at Dulles, we headed west to Charlottesville. we stayed in Charlottesville, but went to the Staunton/Lexington area, then Appomattox (sp?), and returned to DC via Front Royal, Winchester and Harpers Ferry, and a little slice of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The whole area is so worth seeing.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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I love Charlottesville. It's a beautiful, small city in the mountains. You can visit the University of Virginia, that was designed by Thomas Jefferson, and Monticello. The homes of James Monroe and James Madison are also nearby. The city is surrounded by beautiful natural areas.

http://www.visitcharlottesville.org/...D=0&startRow=1

http://www.montpelier.org/james-and-dolley-madison

But...if you are interested in history and have never been, I think the Williamsburg area shouldn't be missed.

You can visit the site of the first English settlement in America and see an entire town from the Colonial era. Within 15 min in either direction from Colonial Williamsburg are Jamestown and Yorktown. It is also surrounded by beautiful natural areas.

www.colonialwilliamsburg.com

Whatever area you decide on, we can help with the details.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Ok...update. What we have done is booked our airline tiks and reserved first part of our stay WASH D.C - 4 NIGHTS. . We still are undecided on next 3 nights of accommodations, considering Charlottsville area but one question we have is it a huge College town. We have a 21 yr old daughter @ Univ of Tx--Austin and dont want to be surrounded by that environment. We like the nature part as we both like hiking, walks etc. The museum part is indiffernt an that we would have just spent last 4 days in D.C doing such. So to wrap up , still looking for ideas on back half or little more what Charlottsville or another area would offer. Thks for all the inputs.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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If you are interested in history, you could go to Harpers Ferry, Antietam, and nearby Shepardstown, WV. They have excellent rangers at Antietam who give a little talk and then touring the cemetery/battlefield and the nearby civil war medicine museum is quite interesting, I thought. There is a small college in Shepardstown, but nothing like a major university. I was there one weekend and stayed in the Barvarian Inn which is quite nice (and has a good restaurant, I ate in the more casual one at the lower level, the Rathskellar).

http://www.bavarianinnwv.com/
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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We are also celebrating our anniversary so I am thinking this will be the romatic part of the trip. Here is my wife's idea of romantic: sleep in (which for her is around 7 am), leisure breakfast,stolling around town, finding places where the locals eat, maybe do a little shopping, visit a winery, have a nice dinner, maybe a little dancing - live music, have a night cap and then go back to a nice room. I can handle the rest of the night. We don't really need anything touristy, historical, or out of the ordinary. We just need a place to spend time together and be together.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Just a little more....the two of us can go to a restaurant and spend a couple of hours. We enjoy sitting outside (we are from Texas so patio seating is common), having a glass of wine, appetizer, our meal, dessert, and maybe another glass of wine. We can do this all in one place or hop around to different locations. We really just enjoy spending time together and talking. Hope this makes it more clear what I am trying to find. Thank you for all your suggestions.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Annapolis!
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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The last sentence in your OP mentioned the possibility of historical sites so I think answers have been steered by that comment.

Annapolis & Maryland's Eastern Shore is a great suggestion. Look at Alexandria as well. Lots of good restaurants, places to wander around. You could bike to Mt. Vernon.

March may or, more likely, may not be weather friendly for sitting outside.

If you have the budget and interest, look at spending a night & having dinner/breakfast at the Inn At Little Washington. http://www.theinnatlittlewashington.com
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Old Jan 30th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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The Downtown mall in Charlottesville offers what you describe for a romantic evening. Though patio seating is probably out in March. Too chilly. There is one restaurant with a tented bar area, though.

What is it about a college town you don't like? You may not get that vibe in C-ville if you stay away from "The Corner" which is where students go out.
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Old Jan 30th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Easton (or St. Michaels) might be even better than Annapolis. Wine stuff closer.
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Old Jan 30th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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I have to say that in March i kinda doubt you are going to be doing much "patio seating" unless the weather gets really really warm. Just be aware. And by all means plan on having a rental car for any of these proposed locations.
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Old Jan 30th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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The only time you know Charlottesville is a college town is when you are driving around the campus. There are so many historic sites to see, along with quite a few wineries, that you won't even be in the downtown area except for dinner! DH and I spent a long weekend there in June, and we did Monticello, Montpelier, Michie Tavern, and several wineries. It was great!
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Old Jan 31st, 2013, 04:18 AM
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I second the Harpers Ferry/Shepherdstown idea. VERY scenic, LOTS of history and nature. Excellent walking.


DO include a bike rental one day.
The bike trail along the C&O canal (flat!) between Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown is stunning (a little over an hour one-way without stops, but you'll WANT to stop/relax/picnic).

Both towns have dining, spas, boutique shops, etc. Pick one or the other to stay.

The drive from DC is less than 90 minutes.
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Old Jan 31st, 2013, 07:35 AM
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JCMCC: I noticed you have gotten a lot of great suggestions. I would add my 2 cents though, just about here . Williamsburg is worth staying for more than a couple of days. I have lived there for several years and I haven't managed to visit all places! Your 4 days in the DC area are not enough to explore DC, but you definitely need a car as others have suggested. There are many places you can visit around (close) to DC. Even in Alexandria by the pier you can find activities (even during the cold weather). There are wineries along I-66, near Warrenton, and you won't have to drive as far as Charlottesville, or even Williamsburg (where there are wineries too). Just about 35 miles west of DC in Warrenton, off of 66 there are a couple of spectacular wineries. One is called Molon Lave (I am not affiliated nor do I promote it) and I have visited several times. Spectacular views of rolling hills with horses galloping around while you can enjoy a class (or more) of great wine from the porch or inside....
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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Annapolis is awesome- great food, b and b's, great history. Plus it is a faily quick drive from dc.
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Old Feb 20th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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I agree with the comment that the odds of spending time outside dining on a patio in the first week of March is about zero. So forget that part of the plan in making a choice.
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