Between the service member being home, getting leave approved, and affording travel expenses, it can be challenging to make family vacays a reality.
But because they typically don’t require leave, a ton of time, or a large amount of money, day and weekend trips become our attainable mini-escapes. And it’s not usually hard to find a great destination near your duty station by just looking at a map.
If you’re stationed at NAS Patuxent River (“PAX River”), your backyard is full of outdoor adventure and places to explore with the whole family.
4 Weekend Getaway Trips Near NAS PAX River, Maryland
Just a couple hours from PAX River is Washington D.C., the hub of all things history coupled with impressive culture and outdoor adventure.
D.C. is close enough to home that you can enjoy making this journey in a day or book a hotel and stay for the whole weekend. Enjoy taking the kids to see national monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. Then, explore the WWII Memorial where they can learn about the service members who shaped our country.
Just be sure to take a mental break and catch a Nationals’ game before you head home!
- Williamsburg, Virginia
If you have a house full of history buffs, be sure to plan a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. It’s the world’s largest living history museum and an incredibly fun way to travel back in time to the 18th century.
Sign up for a carriage ride through town, then see how the people of Williamsburg made supplies and assisted in the Revolutionary War. Explore the Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Armory, Apothecary, Bindery, and Brickyard.
When you’re hungry after a big day of walking through history, make your way into one of the town’s historic taverns in Merchant Square. Grab a delicious bite of dinner and a beer, then walk around the local shops.
But be sure to venture beyond the Williamsburg city limits to Yorktown and Jamestown where you can continue your historical expedition.
- Baltimore, Maryland
Make the two-hour drive up to Baltimore for some lively culture, yummy food, and great entertainment.
Start the day at Inner Harbor and explore the Children’s Museum, National Aquarium, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not where the kids will have a blast. Then, head out to Fort McHenry for a fun picnic with a view of the Baltimore skyline. This is the site where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner.
Before you head home, board one of the historic trains for a ride on the rails at the B&O Railroad Museum.
- Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, head to Shenandoah National Park to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Immerse the family in some backcountry camping, where you and the kids can get one with nature. Then, wake up with the sun and head out for a beautiful hike. If a self-guided tour through the trails isn’t for you, consider signing up for a ranger program. When you’re tired from a morning of hiking through the woods, hop in the car for a ride on skyline drive.
Note: Park entrance is free for military service members, so be sure to show your military I.D. at the gate!
Need some more weekend trip ideas? Check out these other great destinations within just a few hours of PAX River.
- Richmond, VA
- Charlottesville, VA
- Annapolis, MD
Start planning your weekend getaways now. With so much to do so close to base, your weekends are sure to be busy with all kinds of adventure!
If you’re heading to PAX River, check out homes for rent or sale on MilitaryByOwner.
Have a favorite weekend destination near PAX River? Share your experience with us!