Alexandria, Virginia is a city of 155,000 people on the Potomac River's western bank, about 8 miles north of Washington, D.C. On October 21, 1669, Robert Howson received a patent granting him 6,000 acres to found the Colony of Virginia, which was Alexandria's starting point. Only about 13% of people who work in Alexandria live in the city with others commuting from throughout Fairfax County.
Alexandria is President George Washington's hometown. As you roam around the city, you can find several businesses frequented by the Founding Fathers. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Marquis de Lafayette participated in lively debates at Gadsby's Tavern. You will want to learn more about colonial life at the Gadsby's Tavern Museum before dining on steak or seafood at the special occasion restaurant. You can also tour the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, where George and Martha Washington shopped for medicine. President Washington sent produce from Mount Vernon to the Alexandria Farmers' Market. You will want to shop at this market, the oldest continually operating market in the United States. Over 96 million people have visited Mount Vernon since it opened to the public in 1860.
This city also has a great park system with 41 playgrounds, 20 miles of foot trails, a nature center and 18 dog parks. Huntley Meadows Park is a wetland wildlife sanctuary covering almost 1,400 acres. Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetlands in the metropolitan area. The formal gardens at Green Springs Gardens are gorgeous throughout the year.
Pohick Bay Regional Park, near Lorton, Virginia, a half-hour southwest of Alexandria, has 150 sites under large shade trees. About 75% of the sites have electric hookups. Most sites are back-in and come with a fire ring and picnic table. You can obtain basic supplies from the camp store.
There are over 100 sites at Burke Lake Park, which is 35 minutes southwest of Alexandria. These sites with no hookups come with a fire ring and picnic table. Most sites are pull-throughs surrounded by large shade trees. They can accommodate trailers up to 25 feet long. A dump station and potable water are available.
Forty-five minutes west of Alexandria, Bull Run Regional Park offers a variety of camping options, including some sites with full hookups. There is a camp store that carries basic supplies. Additionally, there are two bathhouses with hot showers. If you arrive in the evening, you must check in with the office early the following day.
Shenandoah National Park is a breathtaking destination only an hour and a half southwest of Alexandria. The only road leading through this park is Skyline Drive. You will see mileposts on the west side of the road, and all activities occur near a particular milepost. RVs must be under 12 feet 8 inches tall to drive along this road. Anglers often love fishing the Big Run. You can easily get there by following the Doyles River Trail, which begins near Milepost 81. Another favorite activity is horseback riding. This park has stables located near Milepost 42.5. While visiting this park, leave time for a picnic in the Big Meadow, near Milepost 51.2. Shenandoah National Park is home to five campgrounds that are suitable for RVs. With 221 campsites, Big Meadow Campground, near the picnic area and stables, is the park's largest.
In West Virginia, five hours southwest of Alexandria, New River Gorge National Park is a terrific place to start an adventure with an 83-mile scenic drive to get an overview of this park. If you are new to whitewater rafting, the upper part of the New River running through this park is an ideal option for you, but more experienced rafters will love the lower part. Rafting season begins mid-spring and lasts until early summer with a few rafting trips occurring in the fall. Stop at the Canyon Rim, Grandview, Sandstone and Thurmond Visitor Centers to get hiking recommendations for each part of the park. Hikes usually are shorter than 7 miles, but many involve crossing challenging terrain.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, five hours and 50 minutes northwest of Alexandria, is an excellent place for hiking because there are more than 125 miles of hiking trails. An easy one to complete is the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which runs along the path of the former canal that operated at this location throughout the late 19th century. Riding on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a fun way to experience this park. You can paddle the river or bike along the towpath and use the train to get you back to your starting point.
Smallwood State Park, which is in Maryland 40 minutes southwest of Alexandria, is named for the highest-ranking military officer from Maryland who served in the American Revolutionary War. During the warmer months, you can tour his home, where craft and military demonstrations are often held. Ospreys often nest at this park during the spring. Children will love playing on the recycled tire playground. Sweden Point Marina provides supplies for a day of water play. There are 50 boat slips and several boat launches.
An hour northeast of Alexandria, Patapsco Valley State Park sits on the Patapsco River's shores. This park, the oldest state park in Maryland, covers more than 16,000 acres. It is divided into eight recreational areas. There are over 70 miles of hiking trails to explore. Many of the courses are open for horseback riding and mountain biking. You can swim and canoe on the river. There is one campground with electrical hookups.
Gambrill State Park is on the ridge of the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County, Maryland, an hour and 20 minutes northwest of Alexandria. State officials have divided this park into two sections. You will adore the small campground in the Rock Run area, which is near a fishing pond. This area of the park also offers outstanding mountain biking. The High Knob region is a fantastic place for a hike as it has three overlooks where you can see most of the Frederick and Middletown Valleys with the Shenandoah Mountains in the background. Both areas have fantastic picnic areas, so pack a picnic to enjoy in this green oasis.
George Washington Memorial Parkway is a recreational road linking different sites important to the country's history. The 25-mile-long highway, which you can drive in either direction, starts at Mount Vernon, Virginia and proceeds along the Potomac River to McLean, Virginia. The first section of this road opened in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth. The Arlington House, Claude Moore Colonial Farm, Great Falls Park, Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial and Theodore Roosevelt Island are along the parkway, so give yourself plenty of time to stop at the various venues.
Twenty-five minutes northeast of Alexandria, Oxon Run Parkway is a federally controlled strip of parkway land running through the Washington D.C. neighborhoods of Congress Heights, Shipley Terrace and Washington Highlands. It extends northward until it reaches the Maryland state border. Most of the land surrounds Oxon Run Creek, which empties into the Anacostia River. There are numerous ball fields, bike courses, and hiking and running trails.
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove in Washington, D.C., 15 minutes north of Alexandria, was where the president would retreat when he needed alone time as he oversaw the construction of his Great Society. The grove is on Columbia Island, also home to the Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial and the Columbia Island Marina. After President Johnson's death, his wife raised funds to protect the area as a tribute to his life. Officials have divided the grove into two areas with the first containing a Texas granite monolith with serpentine walks and trails surrounding it. The second area includes a grassy meadow surrounded by white pine and dogwood trees.
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests cover more than 1.8 million acres in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. About 325 miles of the Appalachian Trail runs through these forests, and you can also hike along the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail. The Mount Rogers National Recreation Area contains two wilderness areas and is a beautiful place to go hunting, trout fishing, bird-watching, swimming and cross-country skiing. You may encounter wild ponies in this area. Sherando Lake and Lake Moomaw Recreation Areas are ideal for a water play day.
Monongahela National Forest covers more than 919,000 acres in West Virginia, three hours and 50 minutes southwest of Alexandria. Learn more about this forest's plants by following the interpretative trail at the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center. Some of the tallest rocks in West Virginia are in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, and many are ideal for a climbing adventure. Enjoy the views of the Allegheny Highlands and Plateau by driving along the Highland Scenic Highway. As you travel, take the short turnoff to the Falls of Hills Creek Area to see the waterfalls. Experience the largest bog in West Virginia by hiking at the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area.
Allegheny National Forest covers over 513,000 acres in Pennsylvania, six hours northwest of Alexandria. If you love ATV riding, head to the 76 interconnecting miles of the Penoke, Marienville and Timberline ATV/OHM Trails. Jakes Rocks Overlook and Mountain Bike Trail is an excellent place for a mountain bike ride. You will particularly love seeing the colorful fungi growing along the path. The 12-mile-long trail through the Hickory Creek Wilderness is a breathtaking place for a day hike. As you hike under lack cherry, oak, beech, birch and hemlock, you may see bears, deer and wild turkeys. The 36-mile-long Longhouse Scenic Byway is a beautiful place for a drive. Anglers will love fishing in the Allegheny Reservoir. The Alleghany and the Clarion Wild and Scenic Rivers are ideal places for paddling.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Alexandria, VA, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Alexandria?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Alexandria from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Alexandria?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.