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Day Trips from Washington, D.C.

Day trips from Washington, D.C.


Image: Antietam Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland

Antietam National Battlefield lies North and East of Sharpsburg, along MD 34 and 65.  Both routes intersect either US 40 or Interstate 70.  The visitor center is North of Sharpsburg on MD 65.  (All visitor center facilities and most tour route exhibits are wheelchair accessible.)

On September 17, 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee made the first of two attempts to carry the war into the north. At Antietam some 40,000 Confederate soldiers collied into battle with 87,000 Union soldiers. After 12 hours in battle the number of casualties reached almost 23,000, memorializing this battle as the bloodiest day of the Civil War.  

When the fighting had finally ended the Union army had provided enough of a victory that President Abraham Lincoln felt it was time to present the Emancipation Proclamation.

Admission is charged.

http://www.nps.gov/anti


Image: Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland

26 West Street (Visitors Center)

(40 minutes East of Washington on Rt. 50E)

This charming seaport city is the capital of Maryland and also served as America’s capital city under the Articles of Confederation. The third oldest college in the United States, St. John's College, and The U.S. Naval Academy are located here; tours of the Academy's facilities are available.  

http://www.ci.annapolis.md.us/


Image: Harbor Place Baltimore
Harbor Place - Baltimore

(Less than an hour from Washington.  Take Baltimore-Washington Parkway North to Russell Street, follow signs to Harbor Place.)

The Inner Harbor in Baltimore features a sparkling waterfront with ethnic festivals, art shows, concerts, and many other forms of entertainment.  

www.baltimore.org/baltimore_inner_harbor.htm


Image: Maryland Science Center
Maryland Science Center, Baltimore

601 Light Street

Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center has been educating young and old on the wonders and beauty of science since 1976. The center houses a 5-story IMAX, which projects a variety of exciting, technologically superior films. The center also has a planetarium, three floors of hands-on exhibits, “The K.I.D.S Room” for children ages three to seven, and live demonstrations throughout the day.  

Admission is charged.

http://www.mdsci.org


Image: American Visionary Art Museum
American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore

800 Key Highway (Take I-95 North to I-395 following signs for Downtown Baltimore - Inner Harbor.  Turn right onto Conway Street, then right onto Light Street.  Follow to 2nd light and turn left onto Key Highway.  American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is on the corner of Key Highway and Covington Street.)

is America’s official national museum and education center for self-taught, intuitive artistry. Since its opening in 1995, the museum has sought to promote the recognition of intuitive, self-reliant, creative contribution as both an important historic and essential living piece of treasured human legacy. The one-of-a-kind American Visionary Art Museum is located on a 1.1 acre wonderland campus at 800 Key Highway, Baltimore Inner Harbor. Three renovated historic industrial buildings house wonders created by farmers, housewives, mechanics, retired folk, the disabled, the homeless, as well as the occasional neurosurgeon—all inspired by the fire within. From carved roots to embroidered rags, tattoos to toothpicks, the visionary transforms dreams, loss, hopes, and ideals into powerful works of art. Open Tuesday–Sunday, 10am–6pm.

Admission is charged.  

http://www.avam.org


Baltimore Zoo - Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

(Less than an hour from Washington - From I-95 Northbound - - take Exit 49B to Baltimore Beltway/ West (I-695).  Take Exit 18A to Liberty Road, which turns into Liberty Heights Avenue, to Druid Hill Park.  Follow signs to the Zoo.)

Chartered in 1876, the Baltimore Zoo is one of the oldest in the United States. The zoo has evolved over the years into a pedestrian friendly attraction with plenty to see year-round including the Chimpanzee Forest, a Polar Bear Watch, and more than 2,000 animals.

There are a variety of things to do year round.

www.marylandzoo.org


Image: Hampton House
Hampton National Historic Site

535 Hampton Lane - Towson, Maryland

Hampton, an elegantly furnished Georgian mansion settled amid gardens and shade trees, tells a 200 year story of a family business, early American industry and commerce, the cultural tastes of the times, the deprivations of war, and the economic changes that rendered such estate life obsolete. Its story includes all of its people: slaves, indentured servants, skilled craftsmen, hired workers, and the estate owners.

http://www.hamptonmd.org


Image: Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry - National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore

(From I-95 northbound or southbound, take Exit 55 Key Highway and follow Fort McHenry signs on Key Highway to Lawrence St.  Turn Left on Lawrence St. and then left on Fort Avenue.  Proceed one mile to the park.)

Fort McHenry, home of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” played a major role in American history. Built in the late 1790's, Fort McHenry is best known for its role during the War of 1812. As the linchpin of Baltimore’s defenses, Fort McHenry withstood a grueling 25 hour bombardment by the British fleet.  In spite of the rockets and bombs, Francis Scott Key saw the fort’s 30' x 42' flag waving after the battle. Full of emotion, he penned a poem that would later become the National Anthem for the United States of America. Fort McHenry later served as a political prison for Southern sympathizers during the Civil War, a large Army hospital during World War I and a Coast Guard training base during World War II.

http://www.nps.gov/fomc/


Image: Fort Washington
Fort Washington Park, Maryland

(Fort Washington lies on the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, south of Washington, D.C. From the Capitol Beltway, I-95, follow the signs to Indian Head Highway, Md. 210 at Exit 3. Go south on Indian Head Highway to Fort Washington Road and turn right, follow the road to the park.)

Fort Washington is the story of changing military strategy, of changing technology, and of a rapidly growing and maturing nation. It is an excellent accumulation of events and ideas and the physical remains of several forts rather than one climactic act or one structure.

On weekends park interpreters, dressed in authentic U.S. Army uniforms, recreate the life of a 19th-century military garrison.

http://www.nps.gov/fowa


Image: Monticello
Monticello, Virginia

931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

(2½ hours southwest of Washington - Take Rt. 66W to Warrenton, VA then Rt. 29S to Charlottesville, VA, then I-64E to Exit 24 A.)

The home of Thomas Jefferson, designed by America’s third president himself, is filled with Jeffersonian inventions far ahead of their time. In nearby Charlottesville is the University of Virginia founded and designed by the statesman-architect who authored the Declaration of Independence. The view of the Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive is worth seeing.

Admission is charged.

http://www.monticello.org


Image: Montpelier
Montpelier, Virginia

3384 Laundry Road, Montpelier Station, VA 22957

The home of James and Dolley Madison, the estate features the mansion, gardens, historic buildings and exhibits. The estate is open Tuesday-Sunday, visit www.montpelier.org for hours and tour times.

Admission is charged.

http://www.montpelier.org/visit


Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, Virginia

(Less than an hour from Washington - Take I-95 South, use Route 3 Exit.)

7601 Caroline Street (Visitor Center).

The childhood home of George Washington, where legend has it he took his axe to a local cherry tree, the historic town of Fredericksburg traces events from the Colonial days to the Civil War. Union and Confederate troops fought four major battles on the surrounding countryside. Today, many of the more than 350 18th and 19th-century buildings are open, including George Washington's mother, Mary Washington’s home, James Monroe’s law office, and the circa 1752 plantation house Kenmore.

http://www.fredericksburgva.gov


Image: Harpers Ferry
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

(1½ hours northwest of Washington - Take I-270 N to Rt. 340 then follow signs to Harper’s Ferry from Charlestown, WV.)

The site of John Brown’s futile attempt to seize the U.S. arsenal, this community was captured and recaptured by Union and Confederate forces eight times during the Civil War. The remains of the government arsenal, dating back to the George Washington Administration, are here. A breathtaking view of the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers can be seen from the higher elevations and the town.  

http://www.nps.gov/archive/hafe/home.htm


Image: Gettysburg
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

(1½ hours north of Washington I-270 to Frederick, MD then Rt. 15 to Gettysburg.)

Gettysburg National Memorial Park was the site of the greatest battle of the Civil War. On July 1, 2, and 3, 1863, more men fought and more men died than in any other battle before or since on North American soil. With 51,000 casualties, Gettysburg was recorded as the bloodiest battle of American history.

Adjoining the park is Gettysburg National Cemetery in which the veterans of the Civil War and subsequent wars are buried.  At the dedication of this cemetery on November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous “Gettysburg Address.”

http://www.gettysburg.com


Image: Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

(2½ hours north of Washington - Take I-95 N to Wilmington, Delaware then Rt. 52 N to Rt. 1 to Kennett Square, PA.)

The 1,050 acres of gardens and conservatories provide something to see year-round. Home to over 11,000 types of plants, and more fountains than any other garden in the U.S., Longwood Gardens is a spectacular horticultural haven.  

 Admission is charged.  

http://www.longwoodgardens.org


Winterthur Museum
Winterthur Museum and Gardens, Delaware

(2½ hours north of Washington - Take I-95 N to Wilmington, Delaware, then Rt. 52)

Built to reflect the style of an 18th and 19th- century European country house, the Winterthur Estate was designed by Henry Francis DuPont and is one of America's pre-eminent collections of antiques as well as fine and decorative art. Stroll through its spectacular gardens and farmland to witness the preservation of a great American country estate.

Call in advance for tours and special events.

http://www.winterthur.org/


 
  

Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Institution provides visitors to Washington with culture, history, and heritage with museums, events, and festivals.  Visit their Web site for more information.  (this will take you outside senate.gov)

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DC Heritage

The D.C. Heritage Tourism Coalition is dedicated to showcasing the cultural attractions and special events in Washington to visitors from across the globe.  Go to their site for more information (this will take you outside www.senate.gov).

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Washington.org

Washington.org is the perfect site for visitors new to Washington, D.C.  Check out their site! (this will take you outside senate.gov)

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Firstgov.gov

Click here for more information on the federal government from Firstgov.gov, "your first click to the US Government."

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