Washington, DC side trips in May

Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 09:59 AM
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Washington, DC side trips in May

My husband and I will spend 6 days in the city, then rent a car and spend 5 days touring the area. Any suggestions for places that should not be missed. I tentatively have DuPont homes in Delaware, Md East Shore, Aassateague, and ferry from southern Md to Virginia. We'll pick up and return the car to National airport.
Thanks for your help.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Annapolis is a fun city. Be sure to have a pint and lunch at the Rams Head Inn.

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Old Feb 26th, 2003, 02:39 PM
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It depends on what you like, and where you're from -- is the scenery going to be a novelty for you, or the same as home?

The places you list all are nice (though I don't know about the ferry). Delaware/PA is quite a drive, but if you go, Longwood Gardens is lovely and well worth your time. Winterthur is also right there, if you are into antiques and material culture. (I don't think you could do both of those in one day, though.) Other ideas:

Leesburg, VA -- Leesburg is a historic rural town in Virginia with a compact, pretty downtown and many antique shops. I wouldn't spend more than a couple of hours there, but you could make a very nice daytrip visiting Leesburg, Oatlands plantation (Greek revival house with gardens), the town of Middleburg, and horse country, if you like that sort of thing. This could be a shorter trip not involving an overnight stay, if you need a less strenuous day during your vacation.

Charlottesville, VA -- Monticello, historic and pretty University of Virginia, mountains, very good restaurants. Generally a nice drive down a minor highway (Rt. 29).

Richmond, VA -- Not a fun drive from DC (2-1/2 hours, often horrendous traffic), but once you're there there's the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, historic houses such as Maymont (with superb gardens) and Agecroft, and the architecture of Monument St. If you go to Charlottesville and spend the night, hopping over to Richmond the next day is an option.

Have fun planning!

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Old Feb 26th, 2003, 03:49 PM
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We spent several days in DC and then took about 5 days on the Eastern shore.
This was early September. We stayed in Chestertown at the Inn at Chestertown (in the historic district). The inn was nicely done. We chose Chestertown as it was described as being by passed by most folks on their way to Ocean City or St. Michaels. While in Chestertown eat at The Blue Heron(best crab cakes I ate while on the east coast). We explored the various spots around the eastern shore (Rock Hall,Easton,St. Michaels, Oxford, the Crumpton Antique Auction). It was very calm,beautiful and quiet with the exception of St Michaels which we found beginning to feel "overdone". We liked Rock Hall and specifically Waterman's Crab House alot(recommend you try it at least once). I would also recommend you check out the Inn at Easton.This inn was written up in Food & Wine last year . It looked quite nice. Pick up a book on Exploring Delmarva and you will learn about many of the sites. I have heard great things about Annapolis as well but have not been there.
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Old Feb 26th, 2003, 04:32 PM
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You can easily do both Longwood and Winterthur in one day. Winterthur is far more than material culture--it also has a magnificent garden that is much more to my taste than Longwoods, which is rather formal and manicured. Winterthur's is more on the natural side--they have eight full acres of azaleas (!) that come into bloom around Mother's Day and an exquisite peony garden that blooms in May, too . . .
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 05:14 AM
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There are tons of things to do in this area. One of the interesting DuPont properties is Elutherian Mills, where they used to make gunpowder. Very pretty property, although not as grand as Winterthur.

Some one mentioned Crumpton Auction, but keep in mind that it is only on Wednesdays and is HUGE. It is in some fields and in a barn.

I am not sure that there's a ferry between Southern Maryland and Virginia. There are ferries out to the islands (Smith & Tangier), but they are not car ferries and they leave from the Eastern Shore. There may be a ferry from Solomons Island to the other islands, but I think it is seasonal.

This is a great time to visit and you should find myriad things to do in the area.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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You're getting all good suggestions...I live here (Vienna, VA). I strongly recommend the drive out to Middleburg...beautiful scenery, charming shops & restaurants, wineries if you like that sort of thing. Also, Fredericksburg - charming town, lots of important Civil War sites, especially the Battle of Fredericksburg. Chancellorsville is not too far from there. When you're in DC the new Spy Museum is terrific,but get there EARLLY! The Roosevelt Memorial is great (try to go on a good weather day since it's all outside). The Holocaust Museum is very moving. Also, the National Cathedral is not to be missed if you haven't been there. And Mount Vernon!
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 05:32 AM
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Thanks to all of you for some great suggestions. These are the things I wanted to hear about. By the way, we live in South Texas, so just seeing "Spring" will be a treat for us.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 06:56 AM
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Some DC tips: I agree the Holocaust Museum is quite moving. I would not plan to do much after being there. It's a tremendous amount to absorb. We thought we'd make it to the FDR memorial afterwards but needed to walk for awhile instead.The Vietnam Memorial is also a must. The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle is lovely.
It is in a house, a small collection but with many impressionists paintings.
I always recommend the bar at the Tabard Hotel in Dupont Circle. You should definitely get there early (5ish) and sit and listen as the conversations drift by you. This bar has been described as a watering hole for DC progressives(my joke is that one can certainly find a seat now)..during the late afternoon you'll be hearing NPR in the background while after 5 there is great jazz being played. You can also eat at the bar.
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 01:14 PM
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Pam,
I think I read that the Phillips was being renovated and the collection is traveling. Does anyone know about this for sure?
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 01:39 PM
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The Phillips consists of two buildings, one of which is undergoing renovation. The original mansion remains open, with an exhibit of photographs by Margaret Bourke White for now, to be followed by a Marsden Hartley show, but many of the well known favorites are on tour until next January.
Details at http://phillipscollection.org/
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Old Feb 27th, 2003, 07:39 PM
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I defer to kayd on the status of the Phillips. Although, Margaret Bourke White's photographs might be worth the trip.
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Old Mar 31st, 2003, 06:09 AM
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Jane my wife and i live in houston, and will be in d.c. may 22 thru 27, staying at the marriott metro. Might bump into you.we are going to rent a car and go to chads ford , visit andrew wythe museum , dupont, and tool arround the area 2 days. nick
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Old Mar 31st, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Wow. PamSF has great suggestions. Just listen to her and you'll be fine.
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Old Mar 31st, 2003, 05:26 PM
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The Phillips Collection is renovating and the best paintings in the collection are traveling. They are currently in Phoenix--including the large Renoir "Afternoon of the Boating Party".

For 5 days in the exterior area around DC, you certainly cannot do it all. I have a few other suggestions to make:

Gettysburg Battlefield in PA

Antietim Battlefield in MD

Lurary Caverns in Luray, VA

Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA

You will have to pick and choose. I have some free vacation days this summer with nothing planned. I have lived here for 30 years and still have not done it all. I did get some ideas from this thread because I have not seen everything in the area there is to see. It takes a lifetime.

Wherever you go, have a blast.
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Old Apr 1st, 2003, 05:46 AM
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I don't know if you've already been on your trip since your initial post was over a month ago, but....here is my one suggestion: no trip to DC is complete with a quick one-hour drive to Baltimore (which is, admittedly, a totally different asthetic from seeing Winterthur,Williamsburg, and inns of the e. shore). I'd suggest trying to get to see the "O's" at Camden Yards, then have dinner in greektown or fells point. I won't write too much more,b/c it might be unnecessary, but let me know if you'd like more suggestions.
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Old Apr 1st, 2003, 07:06 AM
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Hi
On your way to eastern shore you might just want to stop in Annapolis Maryland. Our town is noted for its colonial history, cobble-stoned streets, Maryland's capitol, Naval Academy, and homes of four of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Plus, it's a really fun town - there are great restaurants of all ethnics. The William Paca house sits across from our state house and is a jewel of colonial history with lovely gardens.
You could spend a very enjoyable day in our town.
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