Forget the typical overcrowded (and overpriced) spring break destinations. There are plenty of places near Washington, D.C. that are perfect for a getaway. Grab the kids, find a map and make your way to one of these best spring break destinations and enjoy some family time together without breaking the bank.
Ocean City, MD
From the beach to the Boardwalk, there’s no shortage of things to do in Ocean City, Maryland. Book a room at one of more than 150 hotels or make arrangements for a spacious vacation rental. Start a new family tradition with a mini golf competition, set sail over the Chesapeake Bay or see the wild ponies at Assateague Island. At night, head over to the Boardwalk where you’ll find plenty of shops and a vibrant amusement park including an arcade. Dining options include everything from hot dog stands to all-you-can-eat buffets.
For a less hectic spring break vacation, make your way to Morgantown, West Virginia where you will find plenty of fun activities for the whole family. Try whitewater rafting down the Cheat River, climb up the steps at Cannon Hill, a strategic site during the Civil War, or go camping at Big Bear Lake. Other nearby attractions include the Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo, Crimson Shamrock Ranch and the University Town Centre. Accommodations include luxurious hotel rooms to cozy log cabins. Grab a pizza pie at Anthony’s Pizza or enjoy international fare at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café.
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Let’s face it, kids spend a lot of time on electronics. Leave the iPod behind and take the kids to the Shenandoah Valley where you will admire spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hike through rivers, valleys and streams and maybe even spot an animal in the wild. Shenandoah National Park offers a variety of outdoor adventures including canoeing, fresh water fishing and mountain biking. Or explore nearby attractions like the Luray Caverns. Mom and dad will love the abundant local wineries and historic downtown communities. Stay in a cozy cottage or affordable hotel room.
Explore, learn and play as a family in Wilmington, Delaware. Check out the Delaware Children’s Museum where you will find more than 37,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, including a 30-foot climbing structure. Or climb aboard the Kalmar Nyckel tall ship and learn about Delaware’s colonial and maritime history. Other attractions include the Go Ape! Lums Pond State Park where you and the kids can zip line, climb through trees and swing in a highly interactive outdoor adventure park. Accommodations include hotels, extended stays and campgrounds.
Make this year’s spring break an educational one with a visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Take the kids to see the Liberty Bell, climb the steps like Rocky Balboa at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or enjoy Philly’s finest dining at the Reading Terminal Market. Other attractions include the Philadelphia Zoo, the Betsy Ross House, Adventure Aquarium and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Feel like you’re still at home with a stay at the AKA Rittenhouse. And don’t forget to chow down on the best cheesesteaks in town at either Pat’s or Geno’s, two extremely popular cheesesteak restaurants.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.