Where to Stay & What to Do in DC
Where to Stay Locally
This is the nation's capital so there's no shortage of places to stay! Keep in mind that we're close to DC (about 20 mins south) but our little town is no longer served by the regional transit due to budget cuts, so a rental car or an Uber/Lyft is required. Where you decide to stay is going to be primarily based on what you plan to do while visiting our region. There are so many things to do and just as many places to stay! Here are some places close to our home:
National Harbor, MD
(14 m from us) Located along the Potomac River and within sight of DC. This new, vibrant waterfront district hosts 8 hotels and offers more than 75 boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options. Highly recognized for its iconic Capital Wheel: a 180-foot ferris wheel offering panoramic views of DC. MGM National Harbor, with a total of 3,400 rooms is an integrated luxury casino resort with high-end retail, two of the region’s signature spas, and a 3,000 seat theater. It has the largest gaming floor outside of Las Vegas. Located just 10 minutes from Washington, DC, there is easy access Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon via high-speed water taxi. Tanger Outlets includes 85 brand name stores for a premium shopping experience to this lifestyle destination.
Old Town Alexandria, VA
(18 m from us) On the Potomac River, within eyesight of DC, it boasts over 2000 hotels. Alexandria has rich history and beautifully preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture. When you set foot onto Old Town Alexandria’s red brick sidewalks, you could be fooled into thinking you've traveled back in time. The small city was founded in 1749 as a colonial tobacco port, and still boasts cobblestone streets and 18th-century townhouses. Indie boutiques and foodie spots line King Street, and there are open-air eateries by the river. The Saturday farmers' market has been operating for 260 years. But amid all that ye olde charm, there’s also a bustling, modern town known for its walkable streets, independent shopfronts, and a vibrant dining scene. Restaurants and bars cluster along King Street and near the waterfront, where you'll find fine dining, speakeasies, and international fare from Thai to Mexican. Many are located in historic storefronts or old shipping buildings, just adding to the throwback appeal.
At last count there were 20+ individual locations within a 15 mile radius of us with a variety of price points and guest counts.
Smallwood State Park
(12 m from us) The park includes RV or tent camping as well as cabins. The site of Smallwood's Retreat, estate of General William Smallwood, Revolutionary War officer and fourth governor of Maryland. Located in Marbury, MD it's smaller than many other state parks, as it preserves the historic plantation home of Gen. Smallwood which is nestled along Mattawoman Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, and offers a unique mix of historical significance and modern-day boating and fishing convenience. The 628-acre park offers a marina for fishing, boat-launching ramps, a picnic/camping, and nature hiking trails.
If camping interests you we can certainly make room on our farm for you to camp in the woods, as we've set up a campsite for our family to stay. If you're looking to branch out from Accokeek, then check out Hipcamp (above).
Maryland is one of the smaller yet most densely populated states in the union. From sandy beaches along the Atlantic, through the Chesapeake Bay, and out to the rural stretches of southern and western Maryland it is truly America in miniature. Here are a few glimpses into the landscape of The Free State, and just a sampling of the animals and people calling it home:
What to Do in DC
Traditional DC attractions: the Smithsonian museums, the U.S. Capitol, the monuments. Also fresh food, arts. and nightlife. Spend the morning perusing the city's exhibits and your afternoon taking in outdoor venues from the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin, over to the Lincoln Memorial, to the Washington Monument. Don't miss Arlington National Cemetery which offers formal & self-guided tours. We recommend starting here for DC Sites.
Very Maryland Awesomeness:
Horse Racing and Equestrian (1hr from us)
Secretariat, Seabiscuit, War Admiral. Their names are the stuff of legend, forged on Maryland sod. From post time at Pimlico to October's Preakness to the rolling hills of Maryland's beautiful horse country, the Free State is the place to be for horse lovers.
So. Maryland Amish Country (40 min from us)
Amish first settled in Maryland in the 1830s. Today, only three communities are found in the state. St. Mary’s County is also home to a community of Old Order Mennonites (Old Order Mennonites bear similarities to Amish, including use of the horse-and-buggy).
Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail
Enjoy Maryland's fresh oysters, famed steamed crabs, and soft shell crabs. This is what Maryland is known for!
Maryland Ice Cream Trail
Maryland Breweries.... and Maryland Wineries
Assateague Island National Seashore (3hrs from us)
More than 300 wild ponies wander the beaches, inland pine forest, and salt marshes. 37 miles of beach with camping.
Halloween & Spooky Stuff Outdoors:
Kid (and adult!) Friendly Things to Do Outdoors:
Piscataway National Park
Right in our community! Home to the National Colonial Farm (a mini Williamsburg), and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail. While strolling the nature trails, meadows, and woodland areas, you'll see bald eagles, beavers, deer, foxes, ospreys, and many other species. To complement the surroundings, the park has a public fishing pier and two boardwalks over fresh water tidal wetlands where you'll see wild ducks, geese, and herons.
(3 m from us) Owned by the Marshall Family since 1650, it was once a quiet, privately owned estate across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. Thomas Marshall built a plantation home in 1725 and it was the largest dwelling in southern Maryland at the time. The estate was owned by the Marshall family until 1866. By the turn of the present century, the former plantation had been converted into an amusement park, and little did anyone imagine that Marshall Hall Park would become such a popular attraction and a very popular excursion spot for Washingtonians traveling by ferry. Sometimes the boat count would be as high as 2,300 people on board, all anxious to spend a fun-filled day at the amusement park. Hundreds of other amusement seekers would arrive by car, traveling the two-lane road down to the park beside the river. The park was a family place, with picnics, crab feasts, and miniature golf, and a wooden roller coaster: it provided entertainment for all ages. In 1974, to preserve the view from Mount Vernon, the property was acquired by the Dept of the Interior as part of the Piscataway National Park. In 1981, the mansion was mostly destroyed by arson; the brick walls all that remain.
The Yards Park & Capitol Waterfront
(20 m from us) Adjacent to the National's Ballpark and the Navy Yard Metro Station, this waterfront expanse along the Anacostia River in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is a brand new urban oasis. The Boardwalk runs a quarter-mile along the river and connects to Navy Yard Riverwalk Trail. The Canal Basin and Waterfall are fantastic for kids. Enjoy an eclectic variety of shopping and dining at one-of-a-kind neighborhood restaurants and bars.
Great Falls Park
(35 m from us) This national park is 800+ acres along the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland and boasts some of the most majestic nature and stunning vistas in the DC area as well as the gorgeous cascades of the Mather Gorge. There's hiking, biking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding (BYO ride). You can also learn about the C&O Canal, see remnants of nearly 200-year-old locks and structures, and even take a mule-drawn boat ride for a little time trip to the 1800’s.
You've made it this far east! Take an extra day or two so that you can see some amazing sites deeply steeped in American history:
Shenandoah National Park/Blue Ridge Parkway
Natural Bridge State Park & Caverns, VA (3.5hrs from us)
Catoctin Mtn/Thurmont/Camp David, MD (1.5hrs from us)
Horse & Hound Scenic Byway, MD (1.5hr from us)
Deep Creek Lake, MD (3hrs from us)
Harpers Ferry, WV /John Brown's Fort (1.5 hrs from us)
Gettysburg, PA (2hrs from us)