Get out of town and explore

Having no car at GW doesn’t mean you are permanently stuck in the District. GW is at the perfect crossroads for any getaway in either Virginia or Maryland – whether it is for a whole weekend or just one day. Hop on the metro, take a boat or rent a Zipcar to reach these getaway destinations.

Historic Alexandria, Virginia (7.8 mi)

Explore historic Alexandria in Virginia right across the river from D.C,, easily accessible by Metro at the King Street stop on the Blue and Yellow lines. The quaint town offers loads of shops, restaurants and history for visitors. George Washington called this colonial town home, Thomas Jefferson entertained many guests at Gadsby’s Tavern, and Robert E. Lee worshipped at Christ Church. The Old Town district offers more than 4,000 historic buildings, all with a view into Alexandria’s past as one of the world’s busiest ports. There are many self-guided walking tours available, although you can get a guide for cheap, too. A riverboat takes passengers out on the water for $14 per person on a 40-minute tour that explains the area’s history in detail.

Mount Vernon, Virginia (15.3 mi)

Located near Alexandria, Mount Vernon is the historic home of the country’s first president, who once resided on the plantation’s 8,000 acres. When George Washington lived there, the land was divided into five farms, each its own complete unit with its own overseers, workforce of slaves, livestock, equipment and buildings.

The farm where the president lived was named Mansion House Farm and is the area that visitors see. One of the easiest ways to visit the site is by steamboat. Departing from Alexandria Marina Harbor, you can take a round trip, narrated tour to Mount Vernon where an explanation of the estate can be heard from water. Once at the house, you can hop off the boat to explore the area by foot and return to town via the boat. The boat ride costs $38.

Annapolis, Maryland (32.5 mi)

Take a drive to Maryland’s capital, Annapolis, which has more 18th century structures still standing than any other U.S. city. Home to the U.S. Naval Academy, you can tour the grounds or visit many of the cultural venues the town has to offer, like the Maritime Museum or the Marine Art Gallery.

Baltimore, Maryland (39 mi)

Located just an hour drive from D.C., Baltimore is a place to experience the sea life. At the Inner Harbor, visit the National Marine Aquarium. Though it’s not free, the sights of the new jellyfish exhibit and the dolphin show will make it worth the drive. Other areas in Baltimore worth visiting are Fort McHenry, a national monument and historic shrine. Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” after witnessing the bombardment of the fort during the War of 1812. Remember to grab some authentic Italian cuisine in the city’s Little Italy, or some authentic Maryland crab cakes near the water before driving back to campus.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.