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250 mile radius from Washington DC - what to see?

 
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floyd
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: 250 mile radius from Washington DC - what to see? Reply with quote

Hi all!

Planning a 10 day trip to the States next October (a long while away, I know!). The idea is to fly to Washington DC, hire a car and spend a week or so of fairly gentle driving in Penn./Virginia/Kansas.

My question is: can people give me recommendations on must-sees within, say, a 200-250 mile radius of Washington DC?

At the moment, my rough idea is to drive from Washington DC due north up to Route 6, then along R.6 towards Eire, then turn south to Harrisonburg before heading back to Washington DC via the Shenandoah National Park.

However, that actually involves possibly more driving than I'd care to do, so looking for alternatives/slightly shorter routes. (One alternative is not to go as far north as R.6, maybe just go as far as Harrisburg and then take R.76 if people think this route is just as nice/interesting as going along R.6).

Or if you think I'd be better off trying a completely different route, please feel free to suggest alternatives!

Things that are of interest to me include:

Beautiful scenery (eg Shenandoah-Skyline)
Classic historic buildings/architecture (e.g. the hospital at Harrisonburg);
Culturally interesting places (e.g. Amish settlements; classic American farms);
Pretty small towns/villages

Prefer to keep away from the big cities (e.g. Philly, Pittsburg, Washington DC) and not at all interested in casinos, theme prks, etc, etc!! Also, definately prefer keeping off the higways/major roads.

Cheers!
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Red Tape
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Floyd - not sure what you meant by Kansas, but that is at least 1000 miles from Washington. If you want to stay out of the cities, you've got a pretty good itinerary there. I think briggl, if he sees your post will have some options. I think he's more familiar with that area than I am.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, you could do a 10 day trip without going that far from Washington, DC. There are plenty of things to see in that area.
To start with, Mount Vernon (George Washington's home,) Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's home -- a little farther away,) Arlington National Cemetery, all of the museums and monuments along the National Mall, the White House, the US Capital Building, the National Zoo and lots more. And the Smithsonian has an amazing new Air Museum over near Dulles Airport.
Then there is Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. These are two separate places, so if you are not interested in Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg is still a good place to visit with lots of historic buildings, etc.
If you go farther in that direction there is Virginia Beach and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.
The Shenandoah National Park is a good idea, as well as Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. If you go that way, a stop at Hershey, PA, might be a good idea even though many people on this forum do not thing highly of Hershey chocolate. But the Amish area of PA is interesting also.
If you go as far as Erie, be sure to check out the remains of the Erie canal -- much of it is very interesting.
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floyd
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments, guys - and, of course, I meant Kentucky, not Kansas!!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Floyd, according to your original post, you may have been here and back by now. Did you get to stop in Richmond at all? So much to see there as far as history and scenery. It's fun to do a big loop, coming down from DC to Richmond on I-95, then when you're leaving Richmond, take 64 out to Charlottesville and wind your way back into DC after seeing the sights in C-ville.
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Tara Travels
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Trip - Radius of DC Reply with quote

Hi Floyd-

briggl had some great suggestions, but just wanted to add one more. The Brandywine Valley area of southern PA is gorgeous - lots of traditional stone homes, farms, quaint inns, and many excellent museums including Winterthur (a former duPont estate). The building and the gardens alone are really worth seeing. Brandywine Battlefield park offers reenactments of battles from the Revolutionary War and Kalmar Nyckel is a fully-functional replica of a tall ship you can climb aboard and explore.

The Brandywine area will be absolutely gorgeous in October - that's usually when they have their peak leaf-peeping season.

With all of these options, make sure to keep a reasonable schedule for your road trip so you don't end up feeling exhausted at the end of it! For some tips on road trip route mapping, check out http://www.planning-fun-road-trips.com/road-trip-planning-map.html.

Have fun!
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