The Mid-Atlantic region of the United States is a treasure trove of great weekend summer getaways. Whether you live in the region, or are just visiting, these are fun, budget friendly travel adventures that every member of the family will love.
Eastern Shore, Maryland
One of the true jewels of the Mid-Atlantic, the Eastern Shore combines picturesque views of the Chesapeake Bay with small, quaint towns replete with boutiques and incredible restaurants.
St. Michaels – Like most of the villages on the Eastern Shore, St. Michaels’ history dates to before the American Revolution, combining a tradition of seagoing trades and, more recently, hospitality. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum pays tribute to the region’s ocean-centric history, and makes a great afternoon activity for individuals, couples and families. One of the most famous hotels in the region is located in St. Michaels, the Inn at Perry Cabin. This posh retreat sits on the Chesapeake Bay and provides fantastic hospitality, food and spa services in addition to the gorgeous scenery.
Cambridge – Similar to St. Michaels, Cambridge also celebrates the area’s nautical history with the Skipjack Nathan, a traditional Chesapeake Bay ship that offers visitors the chance to learn firsthand how the mighty Bay vessels helped build the country. After your cruise on the historic vessel, head over to Snappers Waterfront Café for fresh seafood and of course, spectacular Bay views.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
While it may be an all-seasons destination, Harpers Ferry is best enjoyed in the summer months. Some of the region’s best white water rafting can be enjoyed here from one of many adventure companies. In addition to white water, there are a host of other outdoor activities including canoeing, kayaking, zip-lining and horseback riding.
If outdoor pursuits aren’t for you, then check out some of the historical sights including Harpers Ferry National Park and the living history museums on Shenandoah Street which make the past accessible to visitors. For dinner, drive the short distance to neighboring Charles Town for an exciting meal at the eccentric Dish American Bistro, which puts a modern twist on regional specialties.
Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the great tourist towns of America. Millions visit each year to experience the recreated colonial town and relive an important era in American history. However, there is much more to Williamsburg than tri-cornered hats, outlet stores and pancake houses.
Gambols – By day, Josiah Chowning’s Tavern is a typical Williamsburg colonial eatery, offering a great atmosphere and period food. At night though, Chowning’s hosts the always fun, sometimes bawdy Gambols. Gambols are games and songs from the 1700s that were popular in taverns at the time. Patrons are encouraged to participate and before long, you will find yourself singing along with the rest of the house in raucous songs and limericks. Essentially a colonial bar, Gambol’s is a lot of fun and offers a unique activity in the sometimes stale Colonial Williamsburg experience. There is some light fare, but the main draw are the beers and the fun. The Liebotschäner Cream Ale alone is worth the visit. Gambols usually start around 9:00 pm, but check with the tavern first.
The Williamsburg Winery – Even though the winery is a very short 10 minute drive from the center of town, it feels like a million miles away. Located on the historic Wessex Hundred property, the winery brings back a tradition of wine making to the area not seen since Jefferson’s day. The winery started very humbly in the late 1980s and was modeled after a colonial farm. Today the winery is one of the top in the state, producing more than 100,000 cases of wine a year. Visitors may take a tour of the winery and enjoy a tasting of some of their best offerings. For a nice lunch, stop by the Gabriel Archer Tavern and find yourself wondering if this gorgeous vineyard landscape can really be Virginia.
Regardless of where you choose to travel in the Mid-Atlantic, the combination of beautiful landscapes and incredible history makes this region one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.