A three-day weekend gives you plenty of time to get out of the Washington DC metro area to explore the region, especially since many cities and towns have planned fun things to do for Labor Day weekend.
We’ve organized this list by distance — so read until the end if you’re up for a longer, scenic drive.
Baltimore, Maryland (40 miles from downtown DC): The Maryland Cycling Classic is bringing a professional bicycling course to Charm City. A whole weekend of community events leads up to the big race on Sunday from 1-6:30 pm Other Scene Team favorites include the American Visionary Art Museum (closed Mondays) and the National Aquarium. Transit riders can take Amtrak all weekend. MARC trains won’t run on Monday.
Virginia Scottish Games in The Plains, Virginia (48 miles from downtown DC): Don’t kilt your good, long weekend mood with a lengthy drive. Celebrate all things Scotland — fiddling, dancing, Celtic attire, whiskey and even dogs — at the 48th Virginia Scottish Games on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $5 for kids and $20 for adults. Here’s more information.
Sunflower Festival at Summers Farm in Middletown, Maryland (54 miles from downtown DC): Hop on a wagon ride, stroll 8 acres of sunflower fields and choose a sunflower to take home. Lawn games and kid-friendly activities, including meeting farm animals, are open after your trip through the blooms. Food truck eats plus local beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets are $17.50 if you buy them online and $20.50 at the gate. Kids 2 and under can visit for free. details.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia (67 miles from downtown DC): Get adventurous by tubing, whitewater rafting and a high-ropes course at the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, which houses a brewery on site. Or, take a walk guided by a National Park Service ranger and learn the history of Virginius Island.
Appaloosa Music Festival in Front Royal, Virginia (75 miles from downtown DC): Scythian, Molly Tuttle and Birdtalker are among the headliners for this two-day music festival spanning bluegrass, Celtic, Americana and indie folk. Adult day passes start at $95. Camping is available if you want to attend both days. details.
Shenandoah National Park (distance varies, many events are about 90 miles from DC): Have you ever wanted to hike along the Appalachian Trail? On Monday, expert rangers will lead two 1.5-hour, easy hikes that promise a great view. Or, check out expert talks on wildlife, history and more. These events are free and generally don’t require a reservation. Here’s the schedule.
Richmond, Virginia (110 miles from downtown DC): Window shopping, wellness and fresh juices are just a few things on tap in our itinerary for DC to Richmond in a day using Amtrak.
Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia (115 miles from downtown DC): Visit the former estate of the United States’ third president Thomas Jefferson. A variety of tours are available this weekend, including one exploring the perspectives of hundreds of enslaved men, women and children who maintained the property.
Bethany Beach (130 miles from downtown DC): Bethany Beach says goodbye to summer with a New Orleans-style sendoff every year. The Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral is set to begin Monday at 5:30 pm — look for a brass band and “mourners” in costume parading down the boardwalk.
Ocean City, Maryland (146 miles from downtown DC): Head to the beach for a free music festival on Sunday and Monday — or spend $65 to go VIP for four hours of unlimited beer samples and pizza slices.