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  1. #1

    Default Washington, Blue Ridge Parkway and Chesapeake Bay --- Help?

    Hi, We live in Germany and are coming over in May to visit our daughter who is currently living in Alexandria. She has taken 3 days off work to be with us and we are booked for 2 nights at Gordonsville, on the Wed and Thurs nights. (We have BlueGreen points to use thus our stay there) We would like to see some of the BPR and also get across to Chesapeake Bay area. Has anyone any good suggestions for us? Ideally we would like to see as much as possible and be somewhere accessible for her husband to reach us on Friday night to spend the weekend, before leaving on Sunday for them to go back to work. I must admit to not knowing much about the area and would really welcome any help! We would like somewhere not too touristy on the Ches. Bay side but it would be great to have interest!!
    Appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Phoenix, Arizona


    Welcome to the RTA Forums!

    I'm pretty new to these forums myself, but I lived and worked in Washington DC for nearly 10 years (up until my retirement, one year ago) and I know the area well. Gordonsville is very near Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I assume you'll have a rental car, so you should definitely take advantage of that and do some touring. Also near Gordonsville is Monticello, the home and plantation of Thomas Jefferson, which is quite fascinating, and worth a look.

    On the Chesapeake I highly recommend Annapolis, a charming city that retains a bit of the ambiance of the Colonial era. As you travel about the area, be aware of the traffic patterns--drives of any distance should not take place at rush hour (mornings or afternoon). Beware of Interstate 95 between Richmond and Alexandria in particular--it can slow to a dead stop, even on weekends, and when you head across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (the only logical way to cross over), be aware that you'll have a lot of company on the road as the weekend begins and ends, as there are a lot of local folk heading to and from the shore.

    Washington DC itself is a fascinating city filled with monuments and museums. The Smithsonian is a world class complex of museums--not just one building, but a dozen or so, and admission is actually free to the public. Best time to see the monuments up close is early morning on weekends.

    You'll have a great time--I can all but guarantee it, and the 'real' moderators of this forum will undoubtedly have many worthwhile suggestions.

    If you'd like to see some really nice photos from the DC area, check this gallery on my personal website (give the page a moment to load, and it will play like a slide show, changing frames every few seconds):


    Rick Quinn
    Last edited by Rick Quinn; 03-29-2016 at 06:11 AM. Reason: clarification

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Making the Best Use of Your Time

    Willkommen! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I'm not exactly clear on how much time you have overall, or when exactly your husband will be joining you and your daughter, but it does look as though you're a bit constrained. So, while I would normally also recommend Annapolis and crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore, I'd skip that if your Chesapeake Bay time is limited to the weekend. Instead I'll suggest that you head down the St. Mary's Peninsula. This is an historic bit of real estate, home to Maryland's first capital and a nice state park at its tip. You can also take the Point Lookout-Ewell Ferry over to Smith Island for a unique bit of Americana. While I can't guarantee you won't see any other tourists, you will see far fewer than if you join the herds heading east out of the DC area.


  4. #4


    Hi Rick,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write and for giving me good tips re times to avoid etc. I am at fault for not being clearer in my timings ... I was in a rush to get out but should have taken some more time - story of my life!! We will have spent time in DC before taking off for 5 days on our mini road trip. Wednesday and Thursday night in Gordonsville as I said, then hopefully we want to be somewhere my son-in-law can join us for Friday and Saturday night, and he'll be leaving from Alexandria. I was hoping to find somewhere a bit off the beaten track on Chesapeake Bay .......
    Just looked at your lovely photos; guess photography is a bit of a passion ???

  5. #5


    Thank you very much for the info. I didn't make my timings clear so apologies. We are booked in at Gordonsville for Wednesday and Thursday night and want to be somewhere my son-in-law can join us for Friday and Saturday night. He will be leaving from Alexandria after work. We do only have the weekend so perhaps your idea of St Mary's Peninsula is a good idea !! I'll take a look and call my daughter before I book anything. Thanks again.

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