Best Day Trips For Families Around Washington, D.C.

May 26, 2011 6:12 PM

Some of the best day trips for families around Washington, D.C., are within an hour of downtown. President George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Va., offers more than an opportunity to tour the famous mansion. North of Washington, Baltimore, Md., boasts a science museum, a world-class aquarium, a children’s museum and the fort where Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem. In Annapolis, Md., families can tour the United States Naval Academy and sail on the Chesapeake Bay. – Kathryn McKay

Mount Vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.
(South end of George Washington Memorial Parkway)
Mount Vernon, Va. 22309
(703) 780-2000

The biography of George Washington that sometimes bores kids in the classroom comes to life here in a museum that features movies and animated exhibits with kid-pleasing effects like falling snow indoors, rumble seats, dress-up clothes and cartoons. Seeing Washington’s false teeth should make teeth brushing seem important. In Washington’s home, kids are particularly curious about Washington’s bed that looks small due to an optical illusion. Outside, there’s plenty of room to roam, and perhaps more importantly – run. One of best day trips for families around Washington, D.C., a visit to Mt. Vernon can wear your kids out!

Baltimore, Maryland

Visitor Center
100 Light St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(877) BALTIMORE or (410) 659-7300

From a museum devoted to comic book heroes to the National Museum, Baltimore’s attractions can keep kids amused for days on end. In the Inner Harbor alone, you’ll find such kid-pleasing places as the Maryland Science Center, the U.S.S. Constellation, Port Discovery Museum for Children and the most popular tourist attraction in Maryland – the National Aquarium. Outside of the Inner Harbor, the B&O Railroad Museum, Fort McHenry and a zoo round out the fun. But beware, although Baltimore is one of the best day trips around Washington, D.C., it’s different from D.C. in that most attractions require paid admission.

Annapolis, Maryland

Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau
26 West St.
Annapolis, Md. 21401
(410) 280-0445

Kids can act like little cadets at the United States Naval Academy. Top attractions of any tour of the Naval Academy include Bancroft Hall, the massive dormitory that holds thousands of midshipmen, the impressive crypt of John Paul Jones and Preble Hall to see model ships galore. The folks at the Annapolis Visitor Center can steer families to tours of the Chesapeake Bay in almost any type of boat imaginable. One of the best day trips for families around Washington, D.C., Annapolis is also one of the most historical. Annapolis actually once served as the capital of the United States from 1793 to 1784.

Listen Live