Escape the throngs that flock to Washington, D.C. each day by going on a Washington, D.C. to Mt. Airy road trip. There are many secluded places to explore along the way where you can rejuvenate your soul by connecting with nature at Shenandoah National Park. There are fantastic state parks where you can escape crowds along lakes and in the middle of fishing lakes. While marvelous places to see and things to do fill Washington, D.C., you will see things along the way that you will never see in the capital city. You may also want to see who is the pinball king or queen.
Shenandoah National Park
While many drive through Shenandoah National Park near Front Royal, Virginia, on the 105.5-mile Skyline Drive, this park has many hidden gems where you will want to stop and explore. Consider stopping at Sperryville, Virginia, and taking the climb up Old Rag Mountain to enter the park. Complete the 9-mile loop hike by going in a counterclockwise direction because there is a rock scramble about 1 mile from the mountain's summit that is easier to navigate going uphill than downhill. This mountain has many great climbing routes, but to find less-crowded routes, head to North Fork Moorman's Area at the park's south end. Consider going on a hiking and fishing adventure along the Big Run River to find a secluded spot where the trout are biting. Over 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through this park, and there are many points where you can access this trail from within the park.
Caledon State Park
Caledon State Park is between Fairview Beach and Owens, Virginia. An easy way to access this park from Washington, D.C. is to head south on US 301 at the beginning of your Washington, D.C. to Mt. Airy RV road trip. Stroll through the marshlands and picturesque wooded areas on 10 hiking trails. Four of them are designated for hikers only, and six of them are also open for mountain biking. The part of the Potomac River running through this park is easily accessible by following the 2-mile Boyd's Hole Trail, and it is a great place to go fishing.
Lake Anna State Park
About 90 minutes south of Washington, D.C. and 50 miles southwest of Caledon State Park, you will find Lake Anna State Park near Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia. This park that covers more than 3,127 acres has over 10 miles of lake frontage, and it is easy to launch a boat from the lighted boat ramp. The lake is a great place to go kayaking or canoeing. Anglers often fish from shore or a boat for bass and crappie on this lake. This park is a great place to play on the beach and to enjoy a swim in the lake. Over 15 miles of trails are open for hiking through mixed hardwood and pine forests, and you can go horseback riding and biking on most of them.
Bear Creek Lake State Park
Bear Creek Lake State Park is within the boundaries of Cumberland National Forest near Cumberland, Virginia. You will want to stop and to go bass fishing on the 40-acre lake during your Washington, D.C. to Mt. Airy RV road trip. There's a universally accessible fishing pier, or you can use the boat ramp to launch your vessel. Practice your archery skills on the 10-lane archery range.
Holliday Lake State Park
Get off your road trip from Washington, D.C. to Mt. Airy at Glasglow, Virginia, to follow Virginia 901 and 406 to Holliday Lake State Park near Appomattox, Virginia. You will want to grab your rod to go fishing for trout at this park located inside the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. Boats are available to rent during the summer months. There is a swimming beach with a particular area for toddlers to enjoy. Many mixed-use trails run through this park and into the state forest.
Pilot Mountain State Park
Extend your road trip itinerary from Washington, D.C. to Mt. Ary to visit Pilot Mountain State Park near Pinnacle, North Carolina. Take a hike over the cliffs and through the crevices at this park. It is also a great place to have a climbing adventure. Head to Little Pinnacle Overlook to enjoy the scenery for miles. While it can be steep in areas, the paved road through this park is a fantastic place for a bike ride. About 2 miles of the Yadkin River runs through this park, which is an excellent place to travel along part of the 165-mile Yadkin Paddling Trail. Rock climbing and rappelling are both popular activities at this park.
Cold War Museum
Stop in Warrenton, Virginia, to visit the Cold War Museum. See exhibits from the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Airlift. You can also see the coded messages that the U.S. Army, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency intercepted during the Cold War.
The Swannanoa Palace is an Italian Renaissance Revival villa built in 1912 by railroad millionaire James H. Dooley for his wife to serve as their summer residence. This Lynchburg, Virginia, home contains beautiful Tiffany-stained-glass windows, including a 10-foot one of her likeness. Formal gardens and fountains fill the expansive grounds. The house is open on select weekends, so see if you can include a tour here on your road trip from Washington, D.C. to Mt. Airy.
The Cemetery Center
Stop at The Cemetery Center at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Chapel and Columbarium honors religious leaders buried at this cemetery throughout its 200-year history, and it is modeled after a Civil War chapel. The Pest House Medical Museum pays tribute to the Civil War doctor John Jay Terrell and shows what conditions were like inside the city's first hospital. See tools used to care for the cemetery over the last 200 years and an old hearse at the Hearse House and Caretakers' Museum. The Station House Museum was the first depot in Lynchburg, and volunteers reconstructed it on this site. Examine mourning customs at the Mourning Museum.
Roanoke Pinball Museum
Play over 65 pinballs at Roanoke Pinball Museum. While some of the pinball machines date back to the 1930s, others are from the heyday of pinball machines in the 1970s and 1980s. A variety of games are available, so be sure to include this stop on your road trip to see who is the best player in your party for a flat daily fee.
See a collection of over 10,000 beer steins dating from the 1500s to the present at this Pamplin, Virginia, museum. You will also get an opportunity to taste America's oldest beer, Yuengling.
The NRA National Firearms Museum, Lake Fairfax Park, and Huntley Meadows Boardwalk are great places to explore in Fairfax. There are wonderful campgrounds in Fairfax with beautiful fishing opportunities, including Lake Fairfax Park, Burke Lake Park & Campground, and Hillwood Camping Park. RV dump stations in Fairfax are available at Burke Lake Park, Prince William Travel Trailer Village, and Greenville Farm Family Campground.
You can find beautiful things to do in Strasburg, including going antiquing and visiting the Strasburg Museum. Campground options around Strasburg include George Washington and Jefferson/Elizabeth Furnace Recreation Area, Skyline Ranch Resort, and Creekside Campground. You can find RV dump stations in Strasburg at Front Royal RV Campground, Candy Hill Campground, and Love's Travel Stop.
Find festivals and special events in Roanoke's Event Zone throughout the year. This community also has an incredible zoo, and there are fantastic museums to explore. If you love water activities, you will find delightful campgrounds in Roanoke near lakes, including Paradise Lake Family Campground, Lynchburg RV Resort, and Fort Chiswell RV Park. RV dump stations in Roanoke are available at Middle Creek Campground, Camping World, and Dixie Caverns Campground.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Washington D.C. to Mt. Airy, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an R.V. rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Washington, D.C. or Mt. Airy.