Adventure and historically rich locations await on your Pittsburgh to Washington, DC road trip. Some of the unique and exciting destinations you can explore include Shenandoah National Park, Laurel Hill State Park and Mount Pleasant. Stops at historical sites, such as Gettysburg and Harpers Ferry, will take you on journeys into America's past. There are also plenty of museums, landmarks and tours to check out. That's why you should carefully plan your road trip itinerary from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC.
Visit some national parks on your RV road trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC if you want to connect with the natural beauty of some of the most protected and historically important lands in the U.S.
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
At Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, you'll be able to view the roaring rapids of Great Falls. This park extends from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, Washington, DC. You can walk along the Potomac River to the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center to explore exhibits about the local history of the area, then hike the Billy Goat Trail. Be sure to also check out the Brunswick Visitor's Center and walk or bike the 185-mile long Towpath. Outdoor activities you can enjoy here are fishing, boating, horseback riding and picnicking.
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Located in Middletown, VA, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is rich with the history of the Shenandoah Valley and the events that took place there during the Civil War. At this park, you can experience History at Sunset on the lawn of Belle Grove and learn about the Battle at Cedar Creek. Tours of the Belle Grove Plantation and various other sites are also available, and self-guided walks on the Morning Attack Trails are permitted.
Shenandoah National Park
A visit to Shenandoah National Park is a must on your road trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. At this park in northern Virginia, you'll explore beautiful hiking trails that take you through wetlands, up rocky peaks and to breathtaking waterfall destinations. Popular attractions to see and experience are Luray Caverns, Old Rag Mountain, Dark Hollow Falls and Stony Man. You can take the White Oak Canyon Trail for magnificent waterfall views with a few fun swimming holes to stop at along the way. This park is also perfect for viewing wildlife, and as a park with one of the largest populations of black bears in the country, be sure to pack your bear spray and use caution as you navigate the park. Fishing, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking and camping are available as well.
State parks are great escapes that allow you to explore the natural surroundings of cities on your route. Include a few on your Pittsburgh to Washington, DC road trip itinerary to experience some of the most peaceful destinations in the U.S.
Laurel Hill State Park
Set back in the hills of the Laurel Highlands in Somerset, PA, Laurel Hill State Park offers over 4,000 pristine acres of lush forests, rushing rivers and beautiful trails. Consider exploring the Pump House Trail Loop, Hemlock Trail and Laurel Hill Lake Trail. At this park, you can also enjoy swimming, mountain biking, picnicking and winter activities that include snowmobiling, ice fishing and sledding. If a day of summer fishing is on your agenda, Jones Mill Run and Laurel Hill Creek are great for catching trout, catfish and bluegill.
Fort Frederick State Park
At Fort Frederick State Park, you can explore the restored fortification structure that was active during the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. This park in Big Pool, MD, features a boat ramp, lovely picnic areas and a couple of relaxing trails to hike or bike. Popular trails you'll want to trek include Plantation Trail and Beaver Pond Trail. You can also fish from the nearby Potomac River, and spend a day or two camping as you check out the areas around the park.
Seneca Creek State Park
Located in Gaithersburg, MD, Seneca Creek State Park offers outdoor adventure and a self-guided path explaining the history of the area leading from a restored 19th-century cabin. Hiking and biking trails cover more than 50 miles within this 6,300-acre park. There are also miles of scenic shoreline to enjoy at Seneca Creek. Be sure to pop over to Clopper Lake for a day of fishing and boating, or check out the park on horseback.
Arlington National Cemetery
Located just outside of the District of Columbia in Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery pays tribute to those who fought and died in American wars. This 624-acre military cemetery was established during the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House; however, it includes plots for reinterred dead from earlier wars. One of the most attended sites is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is dedicated to service members whose remains have not been identified.
The National Mall
Monuments, memorials and museums await you along the National Mall in D.C. Boasting 15 free museums, including The National Gallery of Art, National Air & Space Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and National Museum of Natural History, there is plenty of culture to soak up without ever having to open your wallet.
Gettysburg National Military Park
If you are a history buff, Gettysburg is a must-see on your Pittsburgh to Washington, DC road trip. You can start your visit at the Gettysburg National Military Park for a guided tour explaining the events of the battle in this Pennsylvanian borough, then walk through the museum's exhibits and galleries. For a spookier experience, a variety of candle-lit ghost walk tours are available.
If you don't mind taking a short detour during your road trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, head to Hershey, PA. Here, you can spend a day at Hersheypark, a family-friend theme park that was originally a leisure spot for employees of the Hershey Chocolate Company. Today it boasts 14 roller coasters and two water rides within its 121 acres.
As you pass through Hagerstown, stop at the Johnathan Hager House Museum for insight about the founder and local history of the town. Around the city, you can feast on some fine country cooking at Bulls and Bears, Captain Benders Tavern and Bonnie's at the Red Byrd. Be sure to also sample an assortment of tasty beers at Antietam Brewery and wines at Knob Hall Winery and Big Cork Vineyards. Not far from town is Devil's Backbone County Park that's perfect for a picnic on the banks of Antietam Creek.
Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort is located just outside of Hagerstown on the southside. This park has a dump station for your convenience, in addition to fun amenities that include mini-golf, outdoor theaters and game rooms.
In Frederick, you can learn about local history at Rose Hill Manor Park and the Monocacy National Battlefield Visitor's Center. Further exploration of the city takes you to Fountain Rock Nature Center for wildlife viewing and hiking. The Utica Covered Bridge and Surreybrooke Gardens are must-sees and perfect spots for snapping photos. In the afternoon, Mazzaroth Vineyard is an excellent place to take in scenic views while sampling wine.
Brunswick Family Campground is 20 minutes from Frederick in between the C&O Canal National Historical Park and Potomac River. Park facilities feature two multi-use pavilions, hot showers, a camp store, picnic tables with fire pits and a dump station.
The city of Bethesda lies just outside of Washington, DC, so it has plenty of historical sites and outdoor places to explore. At McCrillis Gardens, you can take a walk, enjoy a picnic and check out a quaint stone house. For a bit of history, head to the Clara Barton National Historic Site and the Josiah Henson Museum and Park. You can ride a bike or enjoy a stroll through the Dalecarlia Tunnel, a historical landmark that was once a railroad tunnel.
For an amazing time that's filled with adventure, comfort and convenience, go RVing. If you don't own one, consider renting an RV from us for your road trip from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. RV rentals from RVshare make it easy to enjoy the road at your own pace, so you can turn a quick four-hour drive into an unforgettable weeklong vacation.