Plan a Summer Staycation with these 25 Ideas

While it’s a relatively new term, the staycation has significantly grown in popularity. Don’t worry if you don’t have ample vacation time or a huge vacation budget. The staycation will give you all the excitement and adventure – without requiring you to go through airport security! 

Treat yourself to a day of fun while enjoying all that DC and the surrounding areas have to offer. Here are 25 ideas to get you out and active during your staycation:


1. Ocean City, Maryland
Just a short 3-hour drive from DC is an expansive beach, bustling boardwalk and warm sand calling your name in Ocean City, MD. Pack the car with all of your beach essentials and park in one of their convenient public parking lotsfor a small fee. Enjoy the day relaxing on the beach or keep active by checking out all Ocean City has to offer on their official website >> 

2. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Looking for a calmer beach experience? Check out Rehoboth Beach, DE for the day. Still only three hours from the DC area, you’ll find relaxation and recreation! Plan your trip >>


3. Annapolis, Maryland
Take a stroll through Quiet Waters Park to check out the sights and sounds of Annapolis. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, feast on seafood while you overlook the waterfront at Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Finish your day by checking out the boats from the City Dock or explore Main Street for unique shops and activities. Visit Annapolis >> 

4. Baltimore, Maryland
Take a day to discover Charm City! Get inspired just like Francis Scott Key did when he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” almost 200 years ago at Fort McHenry.  Observe and interpret some contemporary art at the American Visionary Art Museum or shop around the world’s longest continuously running market at Lexington Market. Whatever you decide to do, the Baltimore Inner Harbor is sure to charm you. Explore Baltimore >>

5. Charlottesville, Virginia
Just 2.5 hours away from DC, Charlottesville is home to three of America’s founding fathers. From visiting Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, to picking peaches at Carter Mountain Orchard, to trying exquisite cuisine, Charlottesville has a plethora of activities to keep everyone entertained for the day. Plan a visit >>

6. Old Town Winchester, Virginia
Just 1.5 hours outside of DC, this small town is rich in Virginia charm and hospitality. Take a day to enjoy outside dining, eclectic shopping and a walking tour through this vibrant city. See what Winchester has to offer >>

Water Sports

7. Boating in DC
Kayak, paddle board and canoe your way through DC! Boating in DC offers three boathouse locations: in Georgetown, National Harbor and next to National’s stadium. They offer lessons to help the novice get acquainted with the water, as well as rental boats for those who want to go it alone. Feeling adventurous? Try taking a yoga or fitness class on a stand-up paddle board – hello abs! Learn more >> 

8. Whitewater Rafting in Harper’s Ferry, WV
Experience nature like never before with River Riders in Harper’s Ferry, WV.River Riders offers a variety of activities like canoeing, biking and hiking – but the real adrenaline rush comes from a guided whitewater rafting tour of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. View all adventures >> 

9. Tubing down the Shenandoah River
Leisurely tube your way down the Shenandoah river to various destinations. Shenandoah River Outfitters will provide the tube, life jacket and shuttle to and from the river – all you have to do is show up (and bring your sunscreen!) Learn more >> 

10. Swimming at Point Lookout State Park in Scotland, MD
Point Lookout State Park provides a place for fishing, boating and camping – but best of all, you can enjoy sandy beaches while you swim in the Chesapeake Bay. See what the park has to offer >>

Theme Parks + Water Parks

11. Kings Dominion + Waterworks Water Park in Doswell, VA
Outside of the DC hustle and bustle, you’ll find 17 thrill rides calling your name at Kings Dominion! Keep young children entertained with a trip through Planet Snoopy, filled with 18 rides designed for families to experience together. Included in your park admission is access to their Waterworks Water Park so you can beat the heat with 20 acres of water activities suitable for all ages. Plan your trip >>

12. Six Flags America + Hurricane Harbor in Upper Marlboro, MD
Get in a day of thrills at Six Flags America with all of the roller coasters, games and attractions to keep your family happy all day long. Make a splash at Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags America’s water park, which offers water rides for guests of all ages. Discover Six Flags >>

13. Great Waves Water Park in Alexandria, VA
Embark on a water adventure when you explore 20 acres of water rides and attractions. Located just inside the beltway in Alexandria, Virginia, everyone can enjoy a day of splashing around without breaking the bank! Make a splash >>

14. Splash Down Water Park in Manassas, VA

Get your heart racing with 5 large water rides, challenge yourself to walk on lily pads and a log walk, or just relax in the lazy river. Splash Down Water Park provides fun in the sun for the whole family! Learn more >>

15. Water Park at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, MD
Escape for the day with the kids to discover a water park filled with palm trees, animals and water attractions for everyone! Learn more >>


16. Western Ridge Trail in Rock Creek Park – Washington, DC
Adventure through the wilderness without leaving the District! This 4.6 mile trail is perfect for a short trail run or relaxing hike. View Trail Map >>

17. Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry, WV
Take a hike that combines history with beauty as you discover Civil War ruins and gorgeous views of Harper’s Ferry. A moderately difficult hike, you’ll cover 5.3 miles round trip and gain 1,300 feet in elevation. Read More >>

18. Buck Hollow in Shenandoah National Park – Sperryville, VA
For the advanced hiker, try out this 9 mile hike through Shenandoah National Park to catch amazing views from Mary’s Rock. Get in a great workout with the 2,600 foot gain in elevation and the trail’s steep grades. Learn more >> 

19. Black Locust Trail in Gambrill State Park – Frederick, MD
Take in the beauty of Gambrill State Park and catch great views of Frederick and Middletown Valley, as you make this 3.3 mile hike. A moderately easy hike, you’ll encounter both steep slopes and level areas. Map it >>


20. Lake Fairfax Park and Campgrounds in Reston, VA
Camp out, hang out, cook out and more fat Lake Fairfax Park! With so much to do, you won’t even think about being bored. Plan your adventure >>

21. Little Bennett Campground in Clarksburg, MD
Explore 20+ miles of trails fit for hiking, biking and riding horses at the expansive Little Bennett Campground. During the summer, there are plenty of weekend activities like wagon tours and movies under the stars for families to check out. See it all >>

22. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp + Resort in Luray, VA
Take the kids on a camping trip they’ll never forget! Join Yogi Bear and try out classic camping activities, such as swimming, fishing and boating, as well as some unconventional activities like outdoor laser tag, mini golf and a jumping pillow. Make a trip >>


23. Frederick Keys Minor League Baseball in Frederick, MD
Catch a Frederick Keys baseball game at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, MD. Not only will you catch a great game, but your family is sure to have a blast with special fireworks displays, themed nights and live entertainment throughout the summer. See what the Keys have to offer >>

24. Dinosaur Land in White Post, VA
Take a step back in time and walk alongside the dinosaurs. Your kids will be fascinated with what they see – be sure to bring your camera for some great photo ops! Learn more >>

25. Luray Caverns in Luray, VA
Keep cool as you explore the dark depths of Luray Caverns in a guided tour of the most popular caverns in Eastern America. More than just caverns, Luray offers a walk down memory lane with their Car & Carriage Caravan and Toy Town Junction museums featuring iconic pieces from the ages. Plan your visit >>