Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Mt. Vernon

September 22, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

mtvernon Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Mt. Vernon

(credit: Thinkstock)

Home of the country’s first president, George Washington, and his wife Martha, Mount Vernon is so much more. While there is plenty to see at the estate, there’s to do around town. Spend a weekend learning more about the first president and have some fun while you’re at it with a weekend road trip to Mount Vernon.

Getting There

Make your way out of the city and to I-395 south. Take exit 8C toward U.S. 1 Pentagon City/Crystal City/Alexandria. Stay on U.S. 1 for about 10 miles, then turn left onto VA 235 south. Stay on US-235 south for about two miles. If you need a pit stop along the way, visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and look for wild birds such as the red-winged blackbird, green heron and mallard at the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, or get your shop on at Pentagon City Mall.

Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Mount Vernon, VA 22309
(703) 780-2000

Price: $15 adults ages 12 to 61/$14 seniors 62 and older/$7 youth ages 6 to 11/free children younger than 5

Located on the banks of the Potomac River, George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate features dozens of rooms, gardens, shops and more for visitors to explore. View 18th century artifacts, paintings and furniture in the mansion, or visit the Upper Garden where you will find flowering plants and trees. The Mount Vernon estate also features an interpretive center, paddock with animals, a slave memorial and Washington’s tomb. Grab a bite to eat at the food court, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift shop.

Related: Best Dates for the Adventurous Couple in the D.C. Area

The Carlyle Club
411 John Carlyle St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-8899

With its romantic lighting and swanky decor, the Carlyle Club is the place to be for dinner and entertainment. Feast on fantastic cuisine, such as pan-seared salmon, crab cakes or prime rib. The smoke-free supper club also features a full-service bar and a variety of entertainment including local singers, artists, orchestras, bands and celebrity impersonators (a tribute to Elvis anyone?). There is a minimum $25 food and beverage purchase required in the dining area.

Potomac Riverboat Company
205 The Strand
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 684-0580

Click here for pricing information

See the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials from the deck of an authentic split sternwheeler. The Potomac Riverboat Company offers sightseeing tours and cruises including the Mount Vernon cruise as well as the Alexandria seaport cruise, a swash-buckling pirate cruise and even a canine cruise. Hop on the water taxi and travel to the popular National Harbor in Maryland, or catch the baseball boat to the next Washington Nationals game. You can even sail into the sunset when you hop on the Skipjack Minnie V.

Related: Must See Places in the D.C. Area

Lorien Hotel and Spa

1600 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 894-3434

Price: from $250

Live in the lap of luxury, if only for the weekend. This boutique hotel features modern decor, luxurious bed and bath amenities, and indulgent spa services. Request a soothing aromatherapy bath from the hotel’s bath butler, slip on a lavender eye pillow and treat yourself to chocolate and champagne. The Lorien Hotel and Spa also features other luxurious amenities including a towel warmer, soothing snacks such as milk and cookies, body pillows and even a teddy bear upon request. Order the sunrise breakfast and enjoy in-room dining, or choose the dinner for two for a romantic meal with your sweetie. The Lorien Hotel and Spa is kid and pet-friendly too.

216 Bed and Breakfast
216 S. Fayette St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-8118

Price: $225 for one bedroom/$75 for each additional bedroom/$300 for couples traveling together

Forget staying in a cozy little bedroom. Book a stay at 216, and you will have the entire house to yourself. This unique bed and breakfast features three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, living, dining and reading rooms, plus a terrace and garden. Enjoy daily innkeeper service, free WiFi and a self-serve continental breakfast as well as snacks, drinks and other treats throughout your stay. 216 is located within walking distance of King Street, a popular destination full of shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. The bed and breakfast is also conveniently located near the Potomac riverfront.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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