When most people think of National Parks, places like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Yosemite might come to mind. But with over 417 park units making up the National Park system, you can find parks in all shapes and sizes, from National Memorials to National Seashores. In DC alone, there are currently 25 official National Park units, with another 22 in Virginia. While the National Mall and all the historic memorials should be at the top of your DC to-do list, the 4 places highlighted below are among my favorites, each offering something special. Here’s why you should consider adding one or two of them to your list next time you visit the DC area.
Who doesn’t love a good day trip? Life often gets busy, and sometimes you need a change of scenery to recharge. Recently on a beautiful fall day, my husband and I ventured to Harpers Ferry with two dogs for a hike and lunch, and were reminded how refreshing a day trip can be. Luckily in the DC area it’s easy to escape, with many options that are just a short drive away. Here are 5 of my favorite places for a quick escape, each with something unique to offer.
Virginia may not rank as one of the largest in square miles, but the geographic diversity across the state always surprises me. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself spending more time in Southwestern Virginia, a part of the state which I had explored sporadically over the years. What had I been waiting for? The mountain views are spectacular, and the opportunities for outdoor adventures plentiful. Last spring, I was lucky to discover a small slice of the New River Trail, not far off Interstate 81 in Hiwassee. It’s part of New River Trail State Park, which is a unique linear park running parallel to the New River for almost 40 miles. Fall is the perfect time to head to southwestern Virginia and checkout New River Trail State Park for yourself, and here are 3 fun things to do when you get there.
We all get excited when we are packing up our suitcases and heading out the door for vacation. But if you are like me, you hate the look your dog gives you every time you leave the house. So why not take them with you on your next weekend adventure? Luckily in the DC area and surrounding suburbs, there are many dog friendly spots, including several that are part of the national park system. So take a hike, a cruise on the Potomac River, have a picnic or just spend some time outdoors enjoying nature with your furry friend. Here are 4 adventures that have been dog tested for fun! And don't forget to bring lots of water and extra treats!