8 Wallet-Friendly Getaways From D.C

No getting around it: This brutal, seemingly never-ending winter has been a serious buzzkill. So, if a vacay on a pristine beach isn't in the cards, the next best thing we can do is escape the confines of the DMV. Luckily, the options for just-outside-Washington adventures are pretty endless — and they're affordable, too.
To prove it, we've compiled the ultimate getaway guide: a roundup of budget-friendly rentals (think posh Airbnb pads and rental cabins) in eight unique destinations, all within a three-hours drive of D.C. This list is your new get-outta-town bible, with fun trips including everything from a 26-person mansion in the mountains to the perfect bachelorette-party pad in Philly. All you have to do is click, click, go!
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Antiquing & Eating in Frederick
1 Hour Away

Calling all Voltaggio fans! If you want to make a weekend out of dining on the fare of these famous local chefs, book your Volt reservations early. Then, snag the sweet little OneElevenMarket Studio in downtown Frederick for a two-night stay. Break up big meals with some of the best antique shopping in Maryland, or catch a show at the Weinberg Center for the Arts.

Who to Take: Your live-in partner.

What’s Nearby: Check out our Day Pass to Frederick for the full lowdown.
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Photo: Courtesy of VOLT.
If the weather cooperates, snag a table on Volt's gorgeous outdoor patio.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
New Romance in Annapolis
1 Hour Away

Who says the guy always has to sweep the girl away for a romantic weekend? Score major early relationship points by planning a guy-friendly overnight stay in Annapolis. Take him to a collegiate sporting event at the nearby Naval Academy (tickets available here), then head to this cozy upstairs suite. You’ll love it for the luxurious, newly renovated bathroom (helloooo, claw-foot tub) — and the fact that it’s less than a mile away from the town’s main drag.

Who to Take: Your new(ish) boyfriend.

What’s Nearby: Bourbon and bacon-flavored everything at Dry85; hearty Southern-style cooking at Factors Row; oyster-shooter happy-hour specials at McGarvey’s; a harbor full of sleek sailboats.
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Photo: Courtesy of U.S. Naval Academy.
A nighttime tour of the U.S Naval Academy grounds is the perfect way to digest (and sightsee) after a big dinner.
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Zen Weekend in Charlottesville
2.5 Hours Away

Situated in Charlottesville’s trendy Belmont neighborhood, this groovy house is far enough away from the University of Virginia that you won’t have to worry about running into rowdy college kids during your stay. The open, colorful space sleeps five, and the owner keeps the full kitchen stocked with locally roasted coffee, homemade yogurt, gluten-free granola, and some ingredients for cooking. He also runs Budala Pottery, so the home is filled with unique earthenware.

Who to Take: The laid-back girlfriends from yoga you’ve been wanting to get to know better.

What’s Nearby: Boutiques and restaurants on the Downtown Mall; Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate; several vineyards and breweries. The beloved open-air City Market returns in April.
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Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.
The former president's historic estate is a favorite day-trip destination, thanks to spectacular landscaping and beautifully preserved buildings.
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Photo: Courtesy of Homeaway.
Group Getaway in Shenandoah
2 Hours Away

With accommodations for 26 people, this six-bedroom rental in Luray, VA, is essentially a backwoods mansion. Beyond a huge kitchen, living room, and plenty of outdoor deck space, amenities include a six-person hot tub, a log swing, and a game room complete with pool and air-hockey tables. And, what’s not to love about all that rustic wood?

Who to Take: Your extended group of college friends.

What’s Nearby: Massanutten Ski Resort, Skyline Drive, and Luray Caverns are all close by, but with a space this tricked-out, we can’t help but encourage you to stay in. Cards Against Humanity, anyone?
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Photo: Courtesy of Luray Caverns.
Lose yourself in the majestic underground world of Luray Caverns.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Rest & Recharge by Harpers Ferry
1.5 Hours Away

Take some time to decompress (or maybe work on that novel) at this secluded geodesic dome house. The main draw of this two-bedroom, two-bath country home is the unique shape and the spiral staircase. Between that and the surrounding foliage, you should definitely be inspired to think outside of the proverbial box.

Who to Take: Creative-minded companions who want to work on their own projects.

What’s Nearby: If you catch a bit of cabin fever, head in to historic Harpers Ferry for the day, or sample fruit cordials and hear live music at the Bloomery SweetShine Distillery.
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Photo: Courtesy of Harpers Ferry Historic Town Association.
While Harpers Ferry is beyond beautiful in the fall, you can enjoy plenty of pretty vistas in the spring and summer, too.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Girls' Weekend in Philadelphia
2.5 Hours Away

Ready to blow off some steam, but don’t want to break the bank? Forgo NYC in favor of the City of Brotherly Love for your next girls' trip — and book this spacious two-story townhouse as your crash pad. Bathrooms adjacent to each bedroom will minimize drama when it's time to get ready, and the rooftop deck is the perfect spot for pre-gaming.

Who to Take: A fun-loving bachelorette party.

What’s Nearby: Kitschy sex shops on South Street for the required scandalous shot glasses; great eating and cool bars in the Old City and Northern Liberties neighborhoods; shopping along Walnut and Chestnut streets.
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Photo: Courtesy of B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia.
Haven't been to Philadelphia since your middle-school field trip days? Time to revisit it as a grown-up.
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Detox in West Augusta
3 Hours Away

With its modern furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows, this octagonal mountain house combines the best of in-the-woods serenity with modern city living. (Translation: The TV is hooked up to Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure.) Cook a healthy breakfast, go for a long hike, then get up to speed on House of Cards before an early night’s sleep.

Who to Take: Mom — or your best girlfriend.

What’s Nearby: A spinoff of Arizona’s iconic Canyon Ranch, the blissed-out spa at the Omni Homestead is one of the most luxurious spots in the mid-Atlantic region. Yes, it’s just an hour south of D.C., but with exercise classes, top-of-the line treatments, and a geothermal hot spring, it’s the stuff detox-weekend dreams are made of. If you’re not booking a service, day passes start at $40.
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Photo: Courtesy of Omni Homestead.
Ahhh, The Homestead: The resort's warm mineral waters have made it a favorite among past presidents and Washington luminaries for decades.
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Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb.
Ski Trip to Wintergreen
3 Hours Away

Don’t want to pay ski-resort rates to stay in a cramped hotel room? Spread out in a nearby cabin instead! Five Peaks at Wintergreen sleeps four (a downstairs studio can be rented for an additional fee), but we bet you’ll be spending most of your time in front of the fireplace, cooking in the gourmet kitchen, or reviving sore muscles in the hot tub. Added bonus: The place is dog-friendly!

Who to Take: Ski bunnies and snowboarders.

What’s Nearby: Skiing, snowboarding, and tubing at Wintergreen Resort; hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Downtown Charlottesville is a 40-minute drive away.
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Photo: Courtesy of Wintergreen Resort.
Get outta town already, will ya?

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