Fiending for rollercoasters? Located 75 miles south of DC, Kings Dominion Theme Park is the closest place to get your adrenaline fix. Shoot out of a volcano as real fire chases you on Volcano: The Blast Coaster. Afterwards, get abducted by aliens via an indoor rollercoaster where you flip and corkscrew in the pitch black on Flight of Fear. King’s Dominion offers something for the whole family – plenty of intense rollercoasters, but also a sizable kids; park, a wealth of beer stands, and a waterpark. A gaudy 315-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower sits in the center of the park, making it easily identifiable from the highway.
Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA, USA, +1 804 876 5000
Take a step into the past by visiting woods filled with life-size dinosaur models. Not the prehistoric past, as the park advertises, but the 1960s that these dinosaurs emerged from. CGI and endless special effects marked the 21st century, but the outdated Dinosaur Land allows visitors to see what once was. With over 50 dinosaur replicas and an eclectic gift shop that sells postcards from the exhibit’s opening in 1969, you wouldn’t realize that the sixties are over. The park remains frozen in time, except for the layers of dust that coat the models, and the cobwebs that have overtaken the Plateosaurus’s mouth; Dinosaur Land is a fossil within itself. The entry fee is pretty archaic, too – a mere $6.
The state of Virginia is the fifth largest wine-producer in the country; its rural foothills house a multitude of expansive wineries, all within a two hours’ drive of DC. But Bluemont Vineyard is the absolute best – the gorgeous winery allows you to sip wine on the deck with panoramic views of the vineyard and the Virginian countryside. Enjoy scrumptious artisan cheese plates and endless exquisite tastings.
Bluemont Vineyard, 18755 Foggy Bottom Rd, Bluemont, VA, USA, +1 540 554 8439
Annapolis is a quaint waterfront town with scenic views and colonial architecture. Despite being Maryland’s capital, Annapolis doesn’t have a big-city feel. Check out the Maritime Museum and join a pirate expedition for the kids. Eat the famous Maryland Blue Crabs freshly caught, which were likely harvested mere hours before your arrival.