Travel Ideas to Fill Your Fall Vacation Weekend – The GW Hatchet


If you couldn’t tell from the crisp air and the smell of pumpkin and spice lattes, fall is upon us, and so is a much needed three-day fall break.

The break, October 22-24, is still a few weeks away, but we’ve compiled a list of overnight and day trip ideas so you can start planning how you’ll spend along weekend. From bustling towns on the east coast to short getaways and even a national park, here are some curated itineraries to get you started.

Williamsburg, Virginia
This hidden gem of a city is packed with so many activities that you will probably be hard pressed to organize it all in three days. Filled with beautiful gardens, museums, and historic buildings, like the former Virginia Capitol and the Governor’s Palace, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-see for history buffs. After exploring, you can dine at King’s Arm Tavern, a colonial-style chophouse built in 1772.

If you already get enough history from your classes, then taking it back to your childhood with a trip to Busch Gardens might just be what awaits you on your fall vacation.

Of course, it’s also important to take the time to relax. After a busy day, you might want to shop in Merchant’s Square and eat at the Blue Talon Bistro. Finally, you can spend a night to celebrate the spooky season by going on a ghost tour of this historic town.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fall vacation is a great time to hop on a bus to Philly, where there are at least 100 ways to plan your trip. Maybe you want to explore the “National Treasure” style of Philly and check out the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Or take a stroll down the scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where you can visit museums like the Rodin Museum, the Franklin Institute, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

For dinner, you can try Moshulu, a seafood and grill restaurant inside an anchored ship. Then you can take a lovely evening stroll along the waterfront and admire the view of the Delaware River. You can also check out some must-see photos of the city, including the Rocky Steps and the LOVE sculpture. Of course, top it all off with a Philly Cheese Steak at John’s Roast Pork or the original Tony Luke’s, and you’ll have a great Philly vacation.

Alexandria, Virginia
You don’t have to go far from DC for a fun fall getaway. A short water taxi ride from the Potomac is Alexandria, where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and discover a city full of charm.

Whether you’re just taking a day trip or spending a full weekend in Alexandria, you’ll definitely want to visit the Old Town. This shopping and gastronomic district is full of shops, restaurants and cobbled streets. Don’t worry about getting tired while walking, as the cart is a convenient and scenic form of transportation. You can even pay homage to the GW namesake by visiting Mount Vernon, where you can explore George Washington’s estate, including the mansion and gardens.

New York, New York
This list would hardly be complete without mentioning New York, which is only a four hour train ride from the District. The Big Apple doesn’t need to be introduced, but if this is your first time traveling to town, you might want to start with the basics. Explore the plethora of stores in Times Square, including fan-favorite stores like M&M World and Midtown Comics, or stroll through nearby Bryant Park.

If you can purchase tickets in advance, a Broadway show would be a great way to spend an evening. Among the many shows planned this weekend are Hamilton, Wicked and SIX. The Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Buildings are simply must-see, even if you don’t go.

Finally, if you’re able to fit any space into your busy itinerary, you can picnic in Central Park and check out iconic gossip scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Being a stereotypical tourist might not be your idea of ​​an exciting fall break, so if it is, check out New York’s page on Atlas Obscura for some cool and unexpected things to do.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park is a perfect fall trip for a nature getaway, and you might even be able to admire the changing leaves in all their glory.

While you’re there, you hike up Old Rag Mountain, where you’ll have spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountain range. Or you can explore Shenandoah on horseback rather than on foot. Skyland Stables offers horseback riding tours through the park and an apple orchard.

At night, gaze at the stars from Big Meadows, a lush field atop a mountain, or go there during the day with a picnic. If you’re not into camping, you can stay at one of the lodges inside the park including Skyland, Big Meadows Lodge, Lewis Mountain Cabins, and other public use cabins available for booking.


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