Best Last Minute Labor Day Vacation Spots Near Washington DC

August 17, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Labor Day plans fill up quickly, so here are some last-minute options that include places both near and far to enjoy beach time, the great outdoors or just getting out of the city.

James Gettys Hotel
27 Chambersburg St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 337-1334

Whether you enjoy the history of the battle between the north and the south or you want to experience the countryside, Gettysburg is an often overlooked vacation. It’s synonymous with the Civil War, so if you have a history buff in your midst, this is your place. Fun for historians and laymen alike, Gettysburg is great for a casual drive or walking around. Exploring life outside the battlefields means shopping for country crafts, picking your own apples at one of the many orchards, enjoying country cooking, getting spooked on one of the many walking ghost tours or even sipping the finest wine and cider while sitting on the porch. It’s a great way to spend a Labor Day weekend and is only a little more than an hour away from DC. Bunk down at the James Gettys Hotel, which is charming hotel located right in the center of town.

Shenandoah National Park
Skyland Resort
MP 42 Skyline Drive
Luray, VA 22835
(540) 999-2211

The gorgeous Shenandoah National Park is only a little more than an hour outside of DC. Off of I-66, you can pick up the park entrance and meander down Skyline Drive enjoying the quiet getaway. With miles upon miles of hikes ranging from easy to difficult and some including views of waterfalls, Shenandoah is the perfect place to recharge on your Labor Day weekend. If you’d like a room with a view, check out the Skyland Resort perched at milepost 42 where the view is at the highest point of Skyline Drive. The Skyland Resort is a great place to rest your head with cozy rooms starting at $120 per night. Some rooms are pet friendly, so you can bring your companions. Enjoying roughing it? Check out one of the four campgrounds in the park or get your pass for backcountry camping.

St. Michaels – Eastern Shore
The Inn at Perry Cabin
308 Watkins Lane
St. Michaels, MD 21663
(410) 745-2200

The Eastern Shore is an often overlooked portion of the Chesapeake Bay area during the summer as most families head to the beach. Saturated with arts, the Eastern Shore is a great way to enjoy seafood, beer, wine and lot of crafts in between sailing on the Chesapeake and stopping house by house for the best local art and dining. For a great place to unwind with a beer and bring Fido along as well, visit the Eastern Shore Brewing Company in St. Michaels where it brews its own beer in house. The sampler flight is the most popular way to get a taste of each of the craft beers. For a great place to stay and a fabulous meal, enjoy the Inn at Perry Cabin situated right on the water with stunning views of the bay.

Related: Best Bars For Foodies in Washington DC

Virginia Wine Country
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage B&B
950 W. Beverley St.
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 885-8885

Escape the district this Labor Day weekend to the rolling hillsides of Virginia’s wine country. With plenty of vineyards to sample, and fresh air to breathe, you’ll want to stay more than a day to take your time and sample as much as you can. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Bed and Breakfast is located in the heart of wine country in Staunton, Virginia. This charming B&B offers the most romantic accommodations with rooms named after Shakespearean characters. A full English breakfast is served in the great room and there’s coffee and tea there all day. The best part is that you can bring your pets with you as well. Or if you want to leave them at home, the B&B has two cats that will love you in the meantime. For a list of Virginia wineries, visit

West Virginia Spas and Springs
Cacapon Resort State Park
818 Cacapon Lodge Drive
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411
(304) 258-1022

There’s plenty of water, hiking and gorgeous outdoors in Berkley Springs, West Virginia. This sleepy West Virginia town is known as the first spa town in America. Cultivated by George Washington, you can still take a dip in the mineral baths, enjoy a Roman bath or get a massage. The spa treatments range from reiki and reflexology to raindrop therapy and the aromatic herbal steams. For a delicious, organic, farm-to-table dinner, go to Panorama at the Peak. Be sure to catch a movie Thursday through Sunday nights at the Star Theater where films are shown for only $4.50. Stay at the Cacapon Resort State Park and enjoy your relaxing weekend. Spend a day at the beach or treat yourself to the mineral springs and spas nearby at Berkley Springs. Whether you want the rustic, but comfortable cabins for $72 a night or a room in the lodge for $85, you’ll have options.

Related: Best Sleep Away Summer Camps for Kids In Washington DC

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

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