Capital Region

Washington, DC is often described as America’s ultimate hometown, with a unique personality and eclectic buzz of characterful districts. The city extends the warmest of welcomes to its international visitors who flock to enjoy world-class museums and monuments, unique neighbourhoods, top-rated restaurants, gorgeous parks and gardens, and endless performing arts options. Where else in the world can you visit with a 19-foot President Lincoln, read the real U.S. Constitution, see Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and admire internationally acclaimed art?

The city doubles as a gateway to the Capital Region USA, creating a multi-sensual holiday destination. Leaving the bright lights of the capital, follow a scenic byway across nearby Virginia and Maryland and discover the charms of the Chesapeake Bay or the quiet solitude of Shenandoah National Park, two of America’s greatest natural wonders. En route, the quaint small towns of Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Frederick and Annapolis will surprise and delight you. History buffs will marvel at the region’s collection of historic attractions and Civil War driving trails, while those with a foodie focus can enjoy farm to table cuisine perfectly paired with a fresh local wine.

Washington, DC

Known For: World-famous monuments, renowned museums, eclectic neighbourhoods, a booming food scene and diverse entertainment and nightlife.

Key neighbourhoods: Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Penn Quarter, Chinatown, U Street.

Most Relaxing Activities: Take a leisurely stroll along the National Mall and you’ll discover the major monuments and memorials. Soak in the sun with a paddleboat ride in the Tidal Basin, lounge in one of many parks and gardens, or explore the bustling Georgetown waterfront.

Active Pursuits: Run or bike the trails throughout the city. Rock Creek Park has an 11-mile route and the Capital Crescent Trail follows a former railroad track along the Potomac River. Kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and ice skating are also popular.

Fun Fact: The Library of Congress has 535 miles of bookshelves.

Maryland

Known For: The Chesapeake Bay, beaches, boating, outdoor recreation, maritime heritage, cosmopolitan culture, charming small towns and fresh seafood.

Key Cities: Annapolis (capital city), Baltimore, (largest city), Hagerstown, Frederick, Ocean City.

Most Relaxing Activities: Relaxing comes naturally in the state’s waterfront communities. Whether it’s a stroll along the Ocean City Boardwalk, a day exploring City Dock in downtown Annapolis, a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay or waterfront dining on the Eastern Shore or Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, enjoying the water is a favourite way to unwind.

All-American Fun: Enjoy the sound of the crowds cheering, the taste of hot dogs and the sight of the Orioles rounding the bases at Camden Yards, a baseball stadium designed to evoke the game’s heritage.

Active Pursuits: Bike at Patapsco Valley State Park and ski at Wisp Resort. Adrenaline junkies love the Adventure Sports Center International, the only mountaintop whitewater circulating course and home to the 2014 ICF World Canoe Championships.

Fun Fact: Maryland features more than 4,000 miles of shoreline.

Virginia

Known For: The grand estates of former presidents, Colonial Williamsburg, Civil War history, the Blue Ridge Mountains, outdoor recreation, beaches and wine country.

Key Cities: Richmond (capital city), Virginia Beach (largest city), Norfolk, Lynchburg, Alexandria.

Most Relaxing Activities: Virginia puts your senses on vacation with sweeping mountain vistas along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, sips of local Merlot after a winery tour, tastes of Rappahannock oysters and the sound of waves rolling onshore at Virginia Beach.

All-American Fun: Soak up American heritage in the historic triangle of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Experience 18th-century life in Williamsburg, and get a glimpse into America’s origins at the first English colony, Jamestown and Yorktown, where the decisive battle of the American Revolution was won.

Active Pursuits: Bike the Mount Vernon Trail, hike the Appalachian Trail, go whitewater rafting on the James River or rock climbing in Great Falls. In 2015, the city of Richmond hosts the UCI World Road Cycling Championships.

Fun Fact: Eight U.S. presidents were born in Virginia.

Road trips & trails

Take a road trip along one of these fun and fascinating trails connecting notable parks, waterways, wineries and historic landmarks.

Wine Trails: Sip & Savour: With about 250 wineries, it’s easy to sip your way around the region. Virginia was recently named one of the top 10 wine destinations by Wine Enthusiast magazine. More than 20 wine trails wind through the state’s picturesque small towns, scenic mountains and beautiful countryside. The Monticello Wine Trail also includes presidential sites. In Maryland, wine trails meander from hills and valleys to the Eastern Shore.

Scenic Byways: Explore & Sightsee: National Scenic Byways are roads recognised for their cultural, historic or recreational significance. Travel along the region’s 13 byways to explore historic towns, mountain vistas, lakes and historic landmarks.

Chesapeake Bay: Relax & Refresh: This collection of parks, wildlife refuges, museums and waterways is an ideal way to explore the famous bay and its rivers. Take the active route and go hiking, biking or paddling, or take a leisurely drive to explore the sights and attractions. Visit historic lighthouses, tour Fort McHenry to discover the inspiration for America’s national anthem (“The Star-Spangled Banner”) and, of course, feast on fresh seafood as you go.

States in Capital Region

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