There's a zillion historical things to do in the DC area. The Smithsonian, the museums, the Air & Space museum, theaters, monuments, the US Capitol, Mt. Vernon, etc. The Inner Harbor at Baltimore is nice, too (there's a small shopping arcade, Orioles Park at Camden Yards, a very nice aquarium that puts on daily dolphin shows, Ft. McHenry, and a Hooters restaurant among others). Lots of fishing and other "nature" things along the beaches, bay, rivers, and eastern shores of MD, DE, and VA.
theres one thing i want 2 say. i dont want 2 discourage you from visiting the area, cuz i have lived here all my life. the problem is there is a small crime wave of car thefts, by kids. kidie car theifs. jus lock your doors lol.
I agree that DC is a great town. My favorites were the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of American Hisrtory and the Museum of Natural History, in that order. I also enjoyed the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, Union Station, and the list just goes on and on.
If you go to the Virginia Beach area, of course there's the beach, but you can also see Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown and Busch Gardens if you like those things. I enjoyed the Mariner's Museum in Newport News and Fort Monroe near the I-64 bay tunnel has a great museum.
If you have time, North Carolina's Outer Banks is only about 2 hours south of Virginia Beach.
You'll easily spend at least 5 days in DC. I agree, the air & space museum is the best, Lincoln memorial, Arlington, The Vietman veterans memorial, the new WW II memorial, Ford's theater, Treasury, Jefferson memorial, White house, Capitol building. It's all good. But it's an election year, plenty of BS around.
If you're going to DC, I've always stayed in Alexandria. It's close enough to the capitol, but not too close. Keep in mind that DC (the city) is a big ghetto. As a visitor, you'd probably be better off staying outside the city and work your way in.
Not far South of DC is Kings Dominion. This is a major attraction for the kids. It's a theme park based upon old Europe. Large Water slide park, day passes, etc. If the kids are looking for summer fun, this is a good choice.
Thanks to all of you for the information. I "think" what we would prefer would be to stay near a nice beach and go into DC for a day. In other words, DC isn't going to be the major part of the trip. Anybody have any other ideas or information on where to stay on or near a beach that is also within a reasonable distance from DC? What is the Chesapeake Bay area like? Is it more recreational or industrial? Thanks again!
Outer Banks... this is my leasure area. I'm there usually every weekend. It's a 20 minute boat ride from the launch to Cape Lookout. If you happen to venture this far South, give me a call and I'll use a sick day day and take you out for the day. Wild horses roam the seashore and this time of year I always have to slow the boat down when traveling through schools of Porpoises. The kids love getting pulled around on the tube and the water is about 80 degrees all summer long. Cape Lookout (the lighthouse is currently closed) is still functional and manned by the national park service. Hatteras Lighthouse is open to the public as it's renovations/movement inland are now complete.
It's an open genuine offer. Just try and give me as much notice as possible so I can plan for it. We're not that close to DC (about 5 hours drive), but if you want to go to a real beach, then this is where you want to go. If you're looking for MTV beach party you'll not find it here. I took the kids out last Sat and Sun. Sunday the kids "tubed" for a while. Did some swimming off the boat. We stay just inside the outer banks. We then anchored by the lighthouse and walked over to the Ocean side of the outer banks. You can see for miles in either direction. It was about 1PM and we saw 4 people on the beach (besides us). This is what makes the outer banks enjoyable. Peace and quiet. No boom boxes, no distractions, just surf and sand for miles and miles. Cell#2523494758
The Norfolk/Va Beach area is about 3.5-4 or so hours from DC. Its a large metro area. A partial list of things to do would be ...
> Williamsburg area- Busch Gardens,Colonial Williamsburg,Jamestown Island,Yorktown battlefields and historical areas. See colonialwilliamsburg.org,visitwilliamsburg.com or historyisfun.org for info. about 3 or so hours from DC
> Norfolk - Nauticus/Battleship Wisconsin, Waterside, Boat cruises, Chrysler Museum. See nauticus.org or chrysler.org for more info.
>Virginia Beach - Marine Science Museum(vmsm.com), Oceana Naval Air Station (nasoceana.navy.mil), Virginia Beach Oceanfront/boardwalk(kinda crazy during the summer months), Ocean Breeze Water Park, Cape Henry Lighthouse, Kayak tours. For a beachy outer banks kind of place to stay, check out SIEBERT-REALTY.COM or SANDBRIDGE.COM for info on rental houses on or within short walking distance of the beach.