6 Easy Road Trips You Can STILL Plan For The Holidays

Around this time of year, our little part of the country turns into something of a winter wonderland — a chill in the air, scores of scenic views, and, if we're lucky, just the right dusting of snow to make everything look pristine and perfect. So, what better time to plan a quick weekend jaunt to somewhere that feels a little more festive than, say, your couch? In the spirit of seasonal adventure, we've rounded up our top picks for easy weekend trips where you can soak up a little history, partake in some holiday festivities, and feel like you're a world away from Washington. So, go ahead — bundle up, hit the road, and give your holiday plans a little out-of-the-ordinary kick in the pants.
Check out these six quick weekend trips for a cute holiday getaway.
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Mount Vernon

George Washington's estate is just a half-hour away from downtown Washington, and the museum, mansion, and gardens are decked out for the holidays from now through January 6. Visit soon and you can take in a dozen dazzling Christmas trees, a gingerbread creation by a former White House pastry chef, and chocolate-making demonstrations.

Photo: Courtesy of Mount Vernon
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Bedford Springs Resort

The three-hour drive to Bedford Springs Resort is worth every minute, especially if your getaway goals include relaxing — the top-notch spa features a pool fed by mineral springs, where visitors have come for decades to soak away their cares. Love a little secondhand shopping, too? The thrift stores and antique malls along the way are well worth a stop.

Photo: Courtesy of Bedford Springs Resort
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The Homestead

A favorite of presidents and power-players for centuries, The Homestead is nestled in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, approximately four hours away. During the holidays, the resort's front lawn becomes an ice skating rink with an actual candy-cane lane — think oversized gingerbread figures, 10-foot candy canes, and six-foot gum drops and lollipops. Did your inner child just freak out, or what? Add some Victorian-costumed carolers, a giant animated toy display, and a gingerbread village made from 110 pounds of candy, and we're pretty sure this is Grinch-free zone.

Photo: Courtesy of The Homestead
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Longwood Gardens

In the time it takes to re-watch an old rom-com, you can be at Longwood Gardens, a gorgeous 1,077-acre expanse of gardens, meadows, and woodlands in Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley. Expect holiday decorations galore, choreographed fountain shows, and live musical performances.

Photo: Courtesy of Longwood Gardens
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Colonial Williamsburg

History buffs will be stoked to stroll through Colonial Williamsburg, but holiday-lovers will get their kicks, too — the town goes all out with holiday decorations and holds live storytelling sessions, fancy dress balls, chocolate-making sessions, and workshops on designing wreaths.

Photo: Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg
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Historic Annapolis

Maryland's historic capital is about 40 minutes away and packed full of holiday cheer. Start your Annapolis retreat with a candlelight stroll or a boat tour of holiday lights, then catch a screening of It's A Wonderful Life or a performance of The Nutcracker or Handel's Messiah.

Photo: Courtesy of Annapolis Visitors Bureau