As begins in DC, one thing becomes abundantly clear — it’s time to get out of the city. The central location of Washington DC in the mid-Atlantic states makes it easy to take a day trip without having to book a hotel room. From historic battlefields to a relaxing day at the beach, you can experience the best the East Coast has to offer within a few hours drive.
Colonial Williamsburg 
101 Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(866) 987-6322

Colonial Williamsburg is a living museum in Virginia that brings 1775 to life. Revolutionary City is staffed by actors playing the part of political figures, townspeople, tradesman and soldiers trying to make their way in colonial America. The grounds feature historic buildings, museums, tours and trade demonstrations. You can even rent a costume and join in on the fun. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and start at $12.50 for children over six and $25 for adults. On the way home, stop at historic Jamestowne, the first English settlement in North America. 

Hershey Park
100 W. Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033
(844) 330-1813

In 1903, Milton Hershey built a factory to produce mass quantities of his famous chocolate. Over the years, the town of Hershey Pennsylvania evolved into a travel destination with factory tours, hotels, a zoo and the Hershey Park theme park. The 120-acre amusement park has more than 70 rides, a waterpark, boardwalk and tons of chocolate treats. Tickets start at $39.95 for children and $62.95 for adults. Nearby attractions include Dutch Wonderland and Lancaster Pennsylvania, home to the largest Amish settlement in the U.S.

Ocean City Maryland
4001 Coastal Highway 
Ocean City, MD 21842
(800) 626-2326

If a day at beach sounds like the perfect escape, then Ocean City, Maryland is your day trip destination. Just head east, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and get ready to dig your toes in the sand. Ocean City has 10 miles of white, sandy beaches, a three-mile boardwalk and more than 200 restaurants featuring a variety of yummy selections. Just 20 minutes north of Ocean City is Assateague Island National Seashore, home to the famous wild Assateague horses.

Related: Best Roadside Attractions Near Washington, D.C.

Gettysburg Foundation Visitors Center
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(877) 874-2478

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is the site of the deadliest battle in the history of the American Civil War. The Battle of Gettysburg took place on July 1-3, 1863 and is considered the turning point for the North in the war. Today, visitors can explore the nearly 11,000 acres of battlefields, monuments, museums, historic buildings and the Soldiers National Cemetery. Admission to many of the attractions is free. Tickets for guided tours and site museums are available at the visitors center. Gettysburg is also home to several wineries and a distillery.

Luray Caverns
101 Cave Hill Road
Luray, VA 22835
(540) 743-6551

The Luray Caverns is a geological cave system located Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Discovered in 1878, the caves feature natural rock formations of stalactites, stalagmites and other stone wonders. The underground caves are completely illuminated and take about 45 minutes to one hour to get through. Tickets are $26 for adults and $14 for children aged 6 to 12. Scenic Shenandoah Valley also features historic museums, Civil War battlefields, National Parks, wineries and golf.

Related: Best Observation Decks In Washington, D.C.

Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at