Ellicott City in Maryland between Washington and Baltimore, is a charming little old town that's full of knick-knack and antique stores, plus pleasant walks, cafes and restaurants.
Harper's Ferry, in West Virginia at the picturesque junction of four states, brings mountains, rivers, forests and history together: this was the site of the 1859 raid against John Brown.
Mount Vernon, was the home of George Washington before there was a Washington, on the Virginia banks of the Potomac. The grounds are open to the public every day of the year, 16 miles south of the city.
Rehoboth Beach, on the Delaware Atlantic shore, this is the favored gay beach destination from Washington and Philadelphia, with many bars, restaurants and guesthouses -and plenty of sand. It's a three hour drive, so spend a night or two, and see our article on Rehoboth in our list of featured cities.