This road trip was planned with a few different goals in mind. First goal, Shenandoah National Park. Second goal, see part of D.C. Third goal, see fall colors along the northeast coast. Fourth goal, Acadia National Park. I had never been to this side of the country before, so I was excited to see all the beauty and history each state had to offer. We made it a point to stop in all the states along our route. Well, all except for New York. Driving across the George Washington Bridge was enough for us 😉.
We took a one-way flight from Salt Lake City into Ronald Regan airport, and stayed at an AirBnb in Alexandria, VA for a few nights. The first night we explored Old Town Alexandria and had dinner on main street. The next day we got up and made a day trip to Shenandoah National Park.
Shenandoah National Park extends along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. At the park, we drove the Skyline Drive (scenic drive), which is a VERY popular drive in the fall. Unfortunately, we were a few weeks early for the fall colors, although it was still beautiful. The park also hosts a vast network of trails, including part of the Appalachian Trail. We stopped at overlooks to take in views of the valley, and had a picnic lunch at Elkwallow campground. We hiked Stony Man Peak, which was the tallest summit in the park. On our drive back towards Alexandria, we stopped at an apple orchard on the side of the road. We grabbed a few goodies, including candy crisp apples, apple cider, and apple cake, because…fall. No regrets as it was all delicious!!
Once we returned to our AirBnb we formulated a plan on how to see D.C. with our limited time. You could spend 2 weeks in D.C. and still not have enough time to see everything you want, so two days seemed extremely short. We decided we would each choose one thing we REALLY wanted to see, and at least accomplish that. I picked the National Mall, and we headed there first. We got to see the monuments at sunset and then continued walking around at night, and it was just so perfect. The monuments were beautiful and the history was so rich. The next day we got up and went to the Holocaust Museum, which was Destiny’s pick. We spent a few hours there, which were very deep and moving. Although it was not near enough time, it was a good, small taste of D.C.
The next part of our trip included a few days of driving, ultimately making our way up to Bar Harbor, ME. The states we stopped at along the way included: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and then, Maine. This trip had quite a bit of driving, but it was awesome being able to explore this part of the country. While we were a few weeks early for fall colors down in Virginia, as we continued north and eventually made our way into Maine, the colors were beautiful!
Next up, Bar Harbor & Acadia National Park ❤