In 1783, Congress decided to move America’s capital from Philadelphia to an independent district following a militia mutiny that resulted in the flight of Congress to New Jersey. As a result, the Residence Act was passed in 1790, and President George Washington soon selected the stretch of land along the Potomac River that was to become Washington, DC. The American government officially moved to DC in 1800, and the city was officially organized in 1801. The British attacked the capital during the War of 1812 and succeeded in damaging the White House, the Capitol, and the Treasury severely. The city has since survived everything from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Era to become a bustling city of nearly 700,000 people.
One of the must-see locations in Washington, DC is the National Mall, which contains famous landmarks like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. Some of the Smithsonian Institution’s incredible museums are part of the National Mall, while others are nearby. Some awesome Smithsonian Institute museums to visit are the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of American History. If you visit DC at just the right time, then you’ll get to see the gorgeous sight of numerous cherry blossoms greeting the arrival of spring at the Tidal Basin.
One nice RV campground near Washington, DC is Cherry Hill Park, which is close to Interstates 95 and 495. This full-service RV resort half an hour northwest of DC is capable of accommodating big rigs and offers full hookups. Other amenities include a game room, a miniature golf course, and a snack bar. If you’d prefer to camp southwest of DC, you can do so at Prince William Forest RV Campground, which is 40 minutes from the nation's capital off Interstate 95. This lovely campground in Prince William Forest is home to some delightful hiking and biking trails. Laundry facilities, showers, a hot tub, and a playground are all present here. Another quality camping possibility is Lake Fairfax Park, which is 35 minutes west of DC in Reston. When you’re not spending time on Lake Fairfax, you can visit the campground’s water park, skate park, and sports fields.
One of the numerous national sites you can visit in the DC area is the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, which is just five minutes from the White House. At this site, you can learn more about the extraordinary life of Mary McLeod Bethune, who founded the National Council of Negro Women and became the first female African American college president. Guided tours of the council house are available, as is a bookstore that contains books about Mary McLeod Bethune and the Civil Rights Movement.
If you want to visit the White House as well as a variety of other historically significant places, then the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site should be on your list. Over 160 buildings along famous Pennsylvania Avenue are part of this historic district that hosts patriotic parades annually. The White House and the United States Capitol are part of this site, as are Freedom Plaza, Ford’s Theatre, the Treasury Building, and many other historic buildings. When you see places like the Federal Plaza, the Old Patent Office Building, and Judiciary Square, you’ll understand why this portion of DC is often referred to as "America’s Main Street."
Another fascinating national site to visit in DC is the Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial, which is located in a bend of the Potomac River. In order to reach this island, you'll need to walk across a pedestrian footbridge since no vehicles are allowed on the island. Once you’re on the island, you’ll be able to visit the ruins of the Mason mansion, which once housed presidents and kings. Several short and easy hiking trails will take you around the grounds of the Mason mansion, to the memorial plaza dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt, and on an elevated boardwalk over the swampy part of the island.
The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are about three and a half hours southwest of DC and two hours east of New River Gorge National Park. These combined national forests include more than 1.8 million acres of Appalachian terrain in West Virginia, Virginia, and Kentucky. Hiking is popular thanks to these forests' 2,200 miles of trails and 325 miles of the Appalachian trail; an additional 1,700 miles of roads provide additional avenues of exploration. Fishing is another favorite pastime due to the forest's more than 2,300 miles of streams, numerous ponds, and multiple lakes.
The entrance to Monongahela National Forest is just 40 minutes north of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Within the more than 900,000 acres of this West Virginia national forest, you’ll find a wide variety of environments due to the different elevation ranges in the park. The highest point in the park is Spruce Nob, which features a viewing tower, a trail, and a conveniently located campground. Roads, trails, and railroad grades provide ample locations for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Other enjoyable activities you can do here include fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching.
After you’ve explored Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you can drive two hours and 15 minutes east to the Allegheny National Forest. More than 500,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s Appalachian foothills feature a variety of environments suitable for recreation on land and water. The Allegheny Reservoir is a popular place to boat and fish; other great places to spend time on the water include the Allegheny Wild & Scenic River and the Clarion Wild & Scenic River. If you come during the fall, then you’ll get to enjoy the park’s spectacular autumn leaves. If you visit in the winter, you’ll have the chance to go snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
All you have to do to reach Shenandoah National Park from Washington, DC is to get on Interstate 66 and travel an hour and a half west to Front Royal, Virginia. If you want to see some of this beautiful Blue Ridge park’s 300 square miles without leaving your vehicle, then you should cruise down Skyline Drive, which is more than 100 miles long. There are plenty of places to stretch your legs in this national park; you can even hike on a lengthy portion of the well-known Appalachian Trail here. Other favored activities here include horseback riding, mountain climbing, fishing, and mountain biking.
Three hours west of Shenandoah is New River Gorge National Park, which is located in the southeastern part of West Virginia. Adventurers visit this national park for its excellent river rafting and mountain climbing venues, but they also enjoy exploring some of the park’s 70,000 acres of West Virginia countryside via nearly 100 miles of trails. Hunting is permitted in much of the park, as is fishing on the New River. Auto touring is possible thanks to the park’s 83-mile scenic drive that takes roughly three hours to complete. Backpacking, camping, and biking are other fun activities to do here.
Thanks to George Washington Parkway and several Interstates, you can reach Cuyahoga Valley National Park from Washington, DC after a little under six hours of travel. This stunning Ohio national park contains a bevy of waterfalls, scenic vistas, and forests that are ripe for exploration via the park’s 125 miles of hiking trails and scenic railroad. Visitors also enjoy getting out on the Cuyahoga River with kayaks and canoes. The park even has a golf course, so you can hit the links for a round or two before doing some quality stargazing at night.
Smallwood State Park is located about 50 minutes south of DC close to where Mattawoman Creek empties into the Potomac River. The restored plantation house is open to visitors, as are multiple other historic sites throughout the park. Several nature trails provide plenty of avenues for exploring some of this park’s 628 acres; a water trail renders the same service for Mattawoman Creek. Should you choose to camp at Smallwood State Park, your site will feature an electric hookup, a picnic table, a fire ring, and more; you’ll also have access to a dump station, restrooms, and showers.
A little less than an hour northeast of DC is Patapsco Valley State Park, which is just half an hour west of downtown Baltimore. Once you arrive at this gorgeous Maryland park, you’ll understand why it was designated as the state’s first state park. You’ll be able to explore more than 30 miles of the Patapsco River via canoe and kayak; you can also drop a line from your boat or from the shore. If you’re into history, be sure to check out the remains of the first submerged hydroelectric plant in the world as well as some old mills, factories, and rail lines. Don’t forget to take your bike, your horse, or your own two feet out on some of the park’s more than 200 miles of trails.
If you drive 45 minutes west of Patapsco Valley on Interstate 70, you’ll reach Gambrill State Park. This 1,200-acre state park is known for its peaceful, serene environment and its vibrant autumn colors. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders appreciate the beauty found along the park’s more than 16 miles of trails. Anglers can fish at the park’s stocked pond, while hunters have the run of the Frederick City Watershed. Gambrill State Park is a lovely place to camp; the spacious campsites here feature fire rings, lantern posts, and a picnic area.
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 Washington, DC, 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 Washington?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Washington 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 Washington?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.