QuanticoBy Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse

There is a little something for everyone within a day’s drive of Quantico! Head to the Virginia beaches, the North Carolina mountains or the Big Apple in New York and within a few hours, you have arrived!

Here are our suggestions for some fabulous, fun day trips from Quantico.

Fun Day Trips from Quantico

For a bit of History

The Virginia State Capital, Richmond is about an hour and a half drive from the gates of Quantico. The State Capitol Building, partially designed by Thomas Jefferson, is a must-see. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is home to five gorgeous Fabergé eggs and works by Degas, Cézanne, and Renoir, and a large collection of African, Indian and Tibetan art. Along with some great history, Richmond has a thriving restaurant scene and craft beer breweries.

Head north from Quantico and in about an hour, you can be in downtown Washington D.C.. You can spend one day each week during the entire time you are stationed here and probably not see everything DC has to offer. From the Cherry Blossom festival each spring to an unrivaled Fourth of July celebration, the Nation’s Capitol will quickly become your go-to when out-of-town guests arrive.

History comes alive on Independence Mall and at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. You can make like Rocky and take a run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philly is about a 4-hour drive. Don’t miss the delicious local Philly cuisine available at the historic Reading Terminal Market.


The Beauty of Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland is a gorgeous town featuring quaint restaurants and the Naval Academy! The Naval Academy Visitor Center is located inside USNA Gate 1 at the Annapolis Harbor. You can take a guided walking or riding tour. You can be in Annapolis in about 2 hours from Quantico.

The town of St. Michael’s, Maryland has scenic water views like no other! Maryland’s Eastern Shore features delicious seafood to include a local favorite: Maryland crabs!

More for the History Buff

Williamsburg, a little over two hours from Stafford County, forms the “Historic Triangle” together with Jamestown and Yorktown. Colonial Williamsburg features an historic district and living-history museum where actors in period costume depict daily Colonial life in the streets, stores and workshops.

Civil war buffs can relive the Civil War in Gettysburg (112 miles to the north). The Gettysburg Park includes the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, displaying Civil War artifacts. Don’t miss the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where a memorial marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address.

Explore the Outdoors

An hour and a half from Stafford County, the Shenandoah National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive is the only public road running through the park. Nearby Luray Caverns is the largest series of caverns in the east. This eerie underground world of stalactites and stalagmites is worth a day trip.

Closer to home is Great Falls National Park, 800 acres along the banks of the Potomac River. Enjoy whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing. For explorers, there are fifteen miles of scenic hiking trails, (five of which are multi-use for horseback riding, hiking, and biking.) You can also experience rock climbing on the cliffs in Mather Gorge above the Potomac where the falls total 76 feet over a series of major cascades.

Extending 12 miles from the Potomac River to the border of Maryland, Rock Creek Park has a lot to offer those who love being outdoors. The National Zoo is located within Rock Creek Park. You can picnic, hike, bike, roller-blade, fish, and horseback ride.


Hit the Beach!

If sun and sand are more your style, a day trip to Colonial Beach might be what you are looking for. About an hour and a half south and east of Quantico, Colonial Beach is a small town that sits on the shore of the Potomac River. There is not much else but the sand and water and a couple of restaurants.

If you are looking for a beach on the ocean, head to Virginia Beach. It’s more of a drive, about 3 hours, but the waves will be bigger and there is more choice in terms of water sports and restaurants.

One nice thing about being stationed at here is it’s proximity to so many things to do and see! It’s super easy to plan fun day trips from Quantico!

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Carla OlivoPCSgrades Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel and their two children.