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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Are you heading to Washington DC soon? There is more to do there than just see the White House and the museums. DC is having a chic, trendy and hip revival but what’s waiting just outside the city shouldn’t be missed either. Hot springs, estuaries and rugged mountains.

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There is a real wild side of the region waiting for you just outside of DC. If you’re ready to get out of the city and really stretch your legs, we have some rugged, wild and very family-friendly day trip ideas. The only thing, you’ll definitely need a car hire from Washington to reach them. Buckle up!

Chesapeake Bay

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Just one hour’s drive away, Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. The area was colonised by the British in the late 1600s and you’ll notice a lot of British influence here in terms of the small town architecture. The area is also famous for its blue crab and oysters. For day hikes, head out to Catoctin Mountain Park, just don’t accidentally wander into Camp David then you may just find yourself dealing with state agents instead of tour groups.

Shenandoah National Park

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Head out of DC on a two hour drive and you’ll find yourself among rolling hills and mountains. Shenandoah National Park offers visitors almost 200,000 acres of untouched wilderness. There are over 500 miles of paths and trails including the famous 101 mile-long Appalachian Trail (although this will probably take you more than just a day trip to hike). The first settlers here lived in log cabins and the trend has stuck.

Allegheny Mountains

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So, you want something really wild, don’t you? How does a day with black bears, racoons and white-tailed deer sound? Head three hours out from DC to the Allegheny Mountains and you won’t be disappointed. The area is covered in mineral-fed hot springs which are particularly popular after you’ve hit the ski hills in winter. Fly-fishing and hiking in summer make for the perfect trip.

 Ready for the all-American road trip?

Imgs: amberdegrace, westher, nicholas_T / Flickr cc.

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